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To College Degree or Not to College Degree - That is the question

2117 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  DBBII
I couldn't state it any better than this guy.

I took a few college courses in the military with the idea I might try to get a degree. Very quickly I got the impression that the point of the classes was learning the professor's opinion on things rather than any real knowledge. Not just the professors I had, it seemed like the entire exercise of college. I decided against it and today I own my own company and do quite well. Some careers need a college education. Most do not. Just go out and do it. It's the best teacher.

My thoughts:
Being an expert at something can be an individually learned thing or a collectively learned thing. In a FREE nation - YOU CHOOSE!!:thumbsup::clap:
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I agree 100% but I'll pm you my reasonings. It seems to bother some on this board.
I went to college right out of grade school........had NO IDEA what I wanted to do with my life.

I have many friends who KNEW what they wanted and went for it.

College is neither a PRO or a CON necessarily. As Americans we are INDIVIDUALLY able to achieve success (financially, spiritually or whatever you do to define success in your life) with or without a college degree.

Bill Gates and Rush Limbaugh are just two exceptions to the college = success philosophy.

If you are looking to be an employee all of your life - college will help.

If you are going to be starting a business - college is not required, but wouldn't's just a very expensive investment...make sure it is recoupable.

I find practical experience with the task at hand to be the most valuable thing over a degree. But that's just my 2 cents
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That's why I'm taking my courses online from a Local college. You don't have to listen to a professor ramble about his beliefs or opinions, I just read my chapters, do the homework, and tests. After many years in the construction field I have decided I've had enough. In a few months I'll have my Associates in Business management (prerequisite for my Bachelors), then in June I start my Bachelors in Accounting.
Bill Gates went through a lot of college but never finished, he said screw it and started up Microsoft. I was thinking of going back to school and getting a business degree, but I don't think I will. I can probably gain more by studying the stuff on my own, that way I can learn things that apply directly to what I'm doing.

On that same note "going out and doing it" isn't necessarily the best teacher. If you look at statistics, the higher the education the higher the salary. High school graduates make more than drop outs, people with their associates degree make more than high school graduates, people with their bachelors make more than someone with an associates degree, and people with their masters make more than someone with their bachelors.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule, there are some high school drop outs who are billionaires. There are people with their masters degree who are homeless. But on average, the higher the education, the higher the pay.

I agree it's neither a pro or a con necessarily, you have to look at it on a case by case basis and decide what works best for you.
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Well, in the really useless artsy fartsy courses, ya, you'll often run into profs who misuse their position to promote a political or social point of view. But college is so much more than that.

Take a business program and you'll get a good overview of business. No, it won't teach you every little detail, or how to be the embodiment of entrepreneurship, but you can be sure you'll get a better, more rounded and less self-destrucitve overview than making all your own mistakes to figure it all out yourself. And, you'll probably be exposed to topics that you'd never envounter running your own little gc business, and who knows, maybe open up a whole new area of interest or a new chapter to your life.

Or take an engineering or applied sciences program and you'll discover a conmpletely opinion-free zone filled with people of a brilliance most have never imagined and have your capacity for abstract thinking expanded.

At the very least, a good college program - again, avoiding the useless artsy crap - is an excellent exercise in developing your ability to integrate large amounts of complex concepts, digest it, and apply it to new problems. You might not use a lot of the actual information - it's the mental, rational and reasoning skills you develop that are the real education.

Some people are blessed with these skills and don't need to develop them in a formal setting. They are the exception and only fools assume they will also be the exception.

Also, from a strictly practical point of view, many jobs are open only those with the piece of paper. Those who have proven they are able to knuckle down, follow the program, and complete a massive task. Having that piece of paper, that proof, opens up a world of possiblilities, many of which you have not even ever imagined.
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hey Bob i hate to bust your bubble, but i would venture a bet that there is no shortage of "artsy fartsy" people livin' way better than you. as far as the OP IMHO, like any thing else; you get out of it what you put into it! I've been building for a living for well over 20 years, no regrets! During that time I've gone to college on two occasions (fire fighter / physical therapist). Ultimately though I never recieved a degreee in either of the chosen fields, i did however learn a hell of a lot of new things that today and every day i use to help make me a better person and look at life in a more positive view. People are so quick to say "a degree gives you more power" when in reality its' KNOWLEDGE that gives you power, and if nothing else piece of mind in a world of mindless people. PS Bob the only reason i busted your chops was the fact that i myself would love nothing better than to make a living doing art for the rest of my career.
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I debated whether or not to go to college. One sucessful business man told me that you may not need college, but you will learn skills and knowledge that will get you ahead of the competition if you attend college. I know that it has helped me with running my business. I understand a lot more about accounting and marketing that would have taken me years to learn outside of college.
It's one of them there co num drum thangies. If you are already a business owner and making money and staying real probably won't have time to get some learnin'. If you ain't busy and makin money...maybe some learnin will change that.
If You have a college degree it greatly increases your chances of success
for you and your family
You can always do constuction before during and after college
I would tell any youth to start college classes as soon as you can
11th grade around here
You could be done when you are 20
If you decide to never use this degree oh well at least you have it
You can enter constuction any time you want
The older you get the less likely you are to go back to college
I'll only hire non-college folk. I went to college to get a degree because it got me into a higher paying job. Did I need anything from that learning for that job? Nope but it was a requirement to get it. Here is some good info for those of you thinking of going the government route for jobs:

Attend classes and rack up some credits. Do NOT get a degree. Get some experience in the area of interest you're wanting to work. Between the 2 you can get your job and then you get your degree after you get hired. You just did a self improvement and you skip levels on promotion. You get a bonus on top of that.

Also, the government will pay for 99 percent of your education needs if you can prove it'll help you in your job function. ANYONE on this board with a college degree can find a good paying job in the government right now. Of course, their rules are hard to play by but if you're clean, you're hireable.
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Obtaining more education is never a bad thing, and always has a positive, even if it is not directly connected with your field. I have a M.Ed. in Adult Ed, and that has about as much relevance to what I do as picking cotton, but I would not trade my degrees for anything.

And..the idea that a professor is simply wishing to impose an opinion or bias is is human nature to do so. Einstein was noted for this....but the ability to think for yourself is what you get from any "bias" in a method you were taught.

Anyone can find exceptions to the college/success or no college and success, but the fact remains, across the population, a degree gives you more earning power.

Rush Limbaugh, on an unrelated topic, was discussing income....what people want to make vs. what they can make. His contention was that if you want to make 250k a year, then you would need to be "exceptional"...or far above the average. This contention is correct. Some guys can knock down an income like that on dumb luck, but in reality and most cases, an individual must have the talent that separates him from the average to make an exception amount of income.

I tend to put a lot of stock in what makes us tick....after all, followers do not lead and leaders do not follow, but all the tools you can obtain, like a degree or technical training will never be a waste.
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Especially in commercial construction, a college degree gives you the APPEARANCE of being much more of a professional. In other words, it helps you get in the door. It goes along, in my opinion, with how you dress. For example, look at your banker. In most cases, he's wearing a shirt and tie. Several construction companies I worked for required all their office staff to wear ties. They felt it projected a more professional operation.

To be a licensed GC in Florida, you have to have 4 years of experience. The State allows you to substitute 3 years of college for 3 years of experience. Does it mean you know more? Heck no. It's a perception.
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