Re: “Our View: Employers and schools should get on the same page” (Dec. 18): You point out that college graduates earn 75 percent more than high school graduates in Maine.

Well of course they do, statistically, since the ranks of college graduates include doctors, lawyers and other high-earning professionals, while the category “high school graduate” leaves out those who may have skills and education in the trades or other professions that require training or education other than college.

Earning potential is by no means the only way to measure a successful career, and people often choose to trade monetary benefits for quality-of-life benefits, yet mainly I take issue with the omission of vocational and technical industries in your summary.

We have been so busy promoting a college education as the bellwether for success that we have shortchanged and underserved individuals who may be unsuitable, either scholastically or temperamentally, for college.

We need to stop relegating non-college bound individuals to second-rate status. We need to show all students the career possibilities in construction, medical support, culinary arts, technical support, law enforcement, automotive technology, agriculture and alternative energy, to name a few.

As a college graduate now working for myself in the trades, I would not trade my education for anything – but 35 years ago, it did not cost the price of a house. Students today need to have a clear and concrete objective in mind before spending thousands of dollars for an education, only to find they have no marketable skills.

The guidance and preparation they need are required long before they graduate from high school. If we are going to include future employers in the equation, they need to be in the high schools.