Go To College or Not?

I am now faced with a decision, to go to college or not. I always assumed I would go to college because it was the thing to do but, lately I have been feeling like it might not be for me. Unless I am planning to go into a field like law or medicine where a degree is needed, exactly how is a B.A. going to help me? I have been looking at job prospects and it seems that most liberal art degrees top off at aroung 50-60k a year. Not only that but you are left with anywhere from 30-50k in debt.

Recently I have been looking at apprentiships for different electrician careers like inside wiremen and the pay looks better. Not only do you not pay tuition but, you get on the job pay as an apprentice and when you achieve journeyman status after 5yrs you can make $40 dollars an hour. So, to me it seems that the only advantage to the degree is that you would not have to do manual labor sure you might not make big money but, you can sit comfortably behind a desk. This is not meant as a college is useless post, I am just at a crossroads and am wondering if any of you have gone through this.

College isn’t necessary to succeed. Unless you are going into a field that requires a certain degree (medicine, psychology, teaching, etc.) I think it’s very overrated.

I have a degree in Computer Science and I learned more on the job in 6 months than I did in years of college. I won’t say it was worthless. It was a good experience and a degree will help you get your foot in the door sometimes. But I have plenty of friends who went to tech schools or didn’t go to college and they make just as much as I do.

[quote]BiscuitChief wrote:
College isn’t necessary to succeed. Unless you are going into a field that requires a certain degree (medicine, psychology, teaching, etc.) I think it’s very overrated.[/quote]

all that take classes and see what you like then decide on a degree is crap. figure out what you want to do. then if it requires college, go for it. otherwise you will most likely will be left with a worthless degree and a mound of debt with a job you could have gotten without the degree.

It is not an either/or decision. You can be an apprentice and take a class or two a semester through a community college, in something that interests you. If this is the path you believe suits you go for it. However, I am unsure of how exactly it works but, for the most part, I thought tradesmen get paid well…when they work…I always figured some tradesman and contractor only worked 3-8 months out of the year, depending on the climate.

Not relaly, most of the more desireable jobs require a degree as a qualifier, no matter how unrelated it is.

it depends on what you want to do with for your career. if you want to be a journeyman then no, you don’t need a college degree. my brother is doing the same thing for plumbing and he didn’t finish college. obviously other carrers require a four-year degree as a minimum requirement to either enter the profession, or to advance to any higher level.

I graduated high school in '05 and never started college. I recently began school to become a personal trainer. I realized that it was what I wanted to do with my life. However, in hindsight, I wish I had been taking courses at my community college all along. Now if I want to get my degree in my field I have to start from the very beginning. If I had at least gotten my associates I feel I would be in a much better position.

I wouldn’t say it’s mandatory by any means, but one day you’ll wake up and be 22 and not 18, and you’ll realize most of your friends have their degrees and you have nothing. I’m not trying to preach, just giving you perspective of someone who didn’t start at all and wishes he had some curriculum under his belt.

If you have the drive and patience to learn a specific trade as you mentioned, then more power to you. But working manual labor jobs for the past five years (albeit horrible pay) has made me realize I need an education. Best of luck in your endeavors.

[quote]BiscuitChief wrote:

I have a degree in Computer Science and I learned more on the job in 6 months than I did in years of college. [/quote]

This is going to be true with any field and any degree. It is the way it is.

I have a few friends who are decently well off without college, so there’s more on the bandwagon of ‘College isn’t an end all be all’ plan.

Also, I have heard that in the past a college degree was the thing to have, and a university better; now companies are looking for university degrees where college degrees were the thing, and masters degrees where regular undergrad degrees were sought. So a college degree isn’t going to ‘make’ your future, and the debt garnered by attending college may be more costly than what the degree will give you in the future.

to echo what everyone else has said, figure out what you want to do, if it neesd a degree, get one, if not, dont…

if your not sure what you want to do, get a job and take night classes at a community college to get the bs out of the way so when / if you do decide to go to college you dont have to pay thousands to take women studies or volcanos and earthquakes at a major university since you took it for a few hundered bucks at community college…

Go to college if you want to be a lawyer, doctor, engineer or scientist. Otherwise find a trade school or just get a job…wasting your time and money otherwise.

Liberal Arts - Get your Masters, PhD or MBA.

Engineering - Bachelors can get you in doors, but you need to get your EIT license (pass the Fundamentals of engineering exam, which is a biiiitch)

Science - Get your PhD

I got a dual degree, Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in microelectronics engineering. Right out of school, I was making ~$60k with a bachelors.

A college degree will get you the job… let that be as an engineer, doctor, lawyer etc… however as biscuit said, a lot of what you will do you will learn on the job. Not saying college is useless, as a MechE student I have used fluid mechanics, dynamics etc… in my last co-op, an employer does not have the time to teach course work that serves as your foundation.

If you’re looking for liberal arts degree I hope you are considering a teaching position, otherwise your apprentice idea might be more beneficial. If you choose to teach and you spend a few years at a lower preforming school the government will pay off your loans in case you weren’t aware.

I could sit here and say school school school… but I enjoy learning and plan to go as far as I can, a phd being ideal… I’m willing to be in dept, I already am :stuck_out_tongue:

Just do what makes you happy, don’t look at it from a money perspective… you may regret your choices

I would advise some sort of college education. An associates if nothing else to have somethign to fall back on. What if after five years of being an electrican you hate it. 40 hours a week of manual labor for the rest of your working career wears on you.

You can take a few classes here and there online while working towards journeyman status. People need to expect to change careers at some point in their lives, it’s a reality in modern times. Better to have a basic degree to fall back on rather than one trade job under your belt.

I think you’re thread title is missing a word. Finish high school first, figure out the word the thread title is missing, and then you can go TO college.

Do you want to be a tradesman? Would you prefer to work behind a desk?

Honestly, I prefer the latter. I don’t have a degree right now, just like 5 AAs. I’ve switched majors so many times I should have a degree by now. Choose SOMETHING, and stick with it. You can do general ed for a while, but you eventually have to choose which direction you want to go.

If you decide to be an electrician, do it, but don’t do it half ass. Bust your ass, and in ten years you could have your own business making six figures. Trust me, you don’t want to be an employee your whole life (unless you are making really good money). My buddy is in HVAC; he has been doing it for about 7 year now (since he graduated high school) and really isn’t doing great. He makes about $28/hour, but the industry is very much affected by the economy, so he doesn’t always get 40 hours a week.

Another thing to consider: I don’t know about you, but the best part of a job to me is flexibility. Knowing that you have to clock in at 8AM every day and clock out at 5PM SUCKS ASS.

If you think you have any sales skills, then this is the best job IMO. You get paid for what you produce. You don’t clock in and beat your meat all day waiting for 5PM to come–god that would be horrible. The best sales jobs IMO are ones you get with technical degrees, like Comp Science for instance, or a Biology degree. If you’re sharp (you should know this by now) than you can get a degree in one of those studies relatively easily (don’t get me wrong it is a lot of hard work). The sales guys that make the most money are the ones who sell medical equipment, or pharmaceuticals, or software.

Anyways, I am rambling, but although it might sound cliche, it is true: pick a career that you are going to enjoy. Pick something that you won’t dread going to everyday. Good luck.

Im trying to get into advertising myself. Without a portfolio,its difficult it seems.

It’s commonly ascribed nowadays (and also mentioned by Prof X in that Social Life vs. Bodybuilding thread) that you basically need a higher degree (grad school) to really do much. Something like a master’s now is like a bachelor’s 20 years ago or something like that? I know my sister’s friend who went into engineering, despite going to one of the best engineering schools ended up just doing tech support with a bachelor’s degree. So…yeah.

Just make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to do before you go to college. I still am not sure what I want to do in the corporate world so it’s hard for me to take school seriously and I feel like I am straddling the fence sometimes.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
BiscuitChief wrote:

I have a degree in Computer Science and I learned more on the job in 6 months than I did in years of college.

This is going to be true with any field and any degree. It is the way it is.[/quote]

Agreed and it doesn’t mean the degree is worthless. Any doctor will tell you that you learn just enough in school to understand the basics. You don’t really learn the game until you are actually practicing on a patient. That doesn’t mean the biology degree is worthless.