Funny, and awesome, how common some of these experiences are. Nice too, as a relatively new parent. I was a very young kid in the early 80s as the last of the steel mills (and secondary/tertiary things: foundries and heat treating facilities) were closed. For a handful of years it seemed like everybody's dad was out of work. Mine took the opportunity to take some electronics courses, and I have good early memories playing with HP test kits, building and testing circuits, that kind of thing. Also got introduced to soldering very early... in hindsight, way earlier than I'd feel good about as a parent. Thanks, dad! After a couple aimless years of college I did four more in the USAF and parlayed that experience in an entry level IT job when I was done. Also good experience but I decided I didn't want to spend the rest of my working years driving or on the Acela, sweating in other peoples' network closets. Used my GI Bill and still work in tech, but as the management now. As new generations enter the workforce I can see that they're further and further removed from some of the abstract/fundamental understandings some of us were lucky to have: Basic circuits, troubleshooting principles; Data flow, basic topology and protocol-level transactions in the IT realm. A lot of that stuff has served me really well even in functions that are superficially unrelated. For that matter, so have Econ I/II and some of the other Gen Eds that people love to ***** about. It's good to be well-rounded if you can help it; Don't let ITT counselors tell you otherwise.