OK, the folks pushing college, and not only college but pushing student to take 5 or 6 years earning a 4 year degree is the government, not the guidance counselors or teachers. They have been trying to keep young people out of the work force for nearly a century. Use to be common for a kid to finish up 5th or 6th grade and then to find a job or stay on the farm because the family needed the extra income or help. They bumped the age up to 16 to quit school because of that right after WWII. Too many adults were without work. Then through the 50's, 60's and 70's they didn't have enough people with college degrees. So hurry up get a degree and get out there and get a job. During the Carter Reagan recession is when they started pusing kids to take an extra year or so with college.
It's their own fault if they quit or major in dance and had loans to pay back. Most of those types are trying to follow their hearts without using their heads. Got a young lady here who's like that. 4 year degree in art with a minor in music. She works in a store running a cash register and cries to everyone who will listen about her student debt.
Actually most trade schools can't claim 100% job placement. Most schools that claim that if you do a little digging are going only by the students who use the schools job placement services on graduation. Plus they don't track weather those former students keep that job or even stay in the field. One of my BIL's former girl friend went to a 2 year trade school for computer repair. She can't keep a job. Hire her. 1st week is OK. 2nd week she starts hinting that she's smarter than anyone else. 3rd week she will start to tell management how messed up they are and how they should be running the business. I've never heard of her making a 4th week.
Military is hit and miss. Say with a "heavy wheeled vehicle mechanic". Most employers know that the a person in the Army is a component changer. They do rebuilds of components at depot level shops. Last time I was in a depot level shop (mid 90's) the only Army personnel in the shop were officers and clerks. All of the mechanics were civilian employees. So if you owned a truck repair facility you might hire someone from the military as a mechanics assistant.
Some of us are well aware that the bean counters and some government regulation as behind a lot of this stuff. Especially with cars and light trucks. The customer wants performance, styling and mileage. The CART rules are concerned with fleet averages, NHSC concerned with safety and the manufacturer has to balance that. So the engineers are stuck with designing a vehicle that can only be so heavy, have this much power, have these safety features, meet these pollution standards and come in under this price.......