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You never know what opportunity will present itself if you're educationally prepared...I studied both Electrical Engineering (BS) and then went back for an MBA in Industrial Marketing and Procurement. This was back in the day when you could work your way through school...(no money sucks like Starbucks and Cancun for spring breaks of course)...I played the "starving student" game had a roomie and we cooked in almost all the time to save $$$.. Ended up debt free and ready to be productive. Had a fun and rewarding (both $$ and psyche) career. Designed and marketed industrial products that made power systems work better and longer...still in use to day! Plus I had other opportunities later on that would NOT have been there for me w/o my broad education. Plus studying business and economics gives you a shot at understanding how government and society functions..So I'd give it a go!
 

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As a followup to my first response, if you don't get a degree, get some training in something. My nephew did a stint in the military. He came out and got a great job with his skills.
 

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I was 27 when I graduated with BS in Accounting and Business

I was 27 when I graduated with a BS in Accounting and Business and had a 10 year old son too! I went to Community College at night for over 3 years and got an Associate of Arts degree. Then went to a local 4 year college for another 3 years part time and full time when I could. I graduated Summa Cum Laude. I went to work in the energy industry and was able to retire at the age of 46. It was all hard work, studied my ass off and worked part time and full time while in college and being a Mom.
Get a degree....don’t be stupid.
 

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Get a college degree ***8212; no doubt! I was once contemplating and thought college wasn***8217;t for me and I wasn***8217;t much of a student. So glad I stuck with and got my diploma ***8212; don***8217;t be a fool stay in school!
 

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E93 335i, somewhat mod <> Fog City, CA
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If you are the type of person who is super self-motivated and driven AND you have woo - the ability to draw people in and "sell" them, then you could skip the college degree and make your own business and career. Otherwise, stick with the college degree, but ONLY a degree in high demand.

Ha! Can skip the degree, but you'll be playing catch-up. Any way it's sliced, gotta educate yourself.

Of course, entrepreneurship is an education in itself, a massive DIY like no other....
 

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I did not go to college nor do I feel (at this point in my life) that I missed anything by not having a college degree. It just did not make sense financially for me to fork out $1000's a year for school since I needed to high rent in the Bay Area, CA. I worked in retail management for the majority of my life and holidays aside, it was a great choice and providing I didn't live in the most expensive area in the country I would have purachased a home and been fine. I'm currently a recruiter with a major home improvement retail brand. They paid for me to relocate from California to the state I currently reside in on the East Coast and I recently put money down on my first house. Finally!! If I could go back in time and give my younger self advice, I would have said LEO, Trades (HVAC, Electrician, etc.) or military Navy or Air Force for the GI Bill.

As for college degree increasing your chances of employment. It really depends on the industry you are going into as well as your work experience. In California, it didn't matter if you had a degree in retail. As a matter of fact, the majority of college grads didn't stack up well compared to those Senior managers who didn't go to college. Years of experience in the field are more important to the hiring managers. Most candidates in the Bay Area, CA chose not to go to college because of the crazy cost of living, managing school finances all while living on your own in the Bay Area is practically impossible. Here on the east coast however, things are a lot different. Practically everyone has a degree so it's not looked at as a plus or minus to the hiring managers. They still focus on overall experience.

Outside of retail things are a lot different. Try not to focus too much on the income, rather focus on the overall cost-of-living in the area you want to live as well as the happiness the job you may do will bring you. If the average income with a degree is not sufficient, then it doesn't matter how much you make and relocating to a less expensive area or state is the best option.
 

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.
And OP, skip the degree in recreation and other not-too-much-in-demand fields of endeavor.

Go for something in a field that creates real wealth and, even if you move to something else, you've intellectual tools you'll always appreciate.
 

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Just for perspective. It all depends on what your degree is in.

One of my nieces worked hard and got 3 degrees in Sociology, culminating in a PhD from UC Santa Cruz. She worked as a grad assistant at that school earning $15k per year while she sent out apps to be a full time college professor. She sent out 300 apps and finally got hired by a small college in South Dakota earning $35k. She lives in an old trailer and tries to pay down her huge college loans.

Another of my nieces: her parents put her thru Texas A&M with a degree in animal science. Couldn’t get into vet school so she’s been selling cosmetics for a year or so.

Remember: college loan debt is forever until you pay it off. They will garnish your social security to pay it, if needs be.
 

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A very wise decision is to attend your local Community College and take the 'basics' that you have to get out of the way no matter where you go for a 4 year degree.
Examples are English, History, Sociology for Liberal Arts students, and Biology 1, and Chemistry 1 for Science students.
Way better to pay $200 for a class in Community College rather than 4x (or more...$1600) that much at a 4 year institution for the same course.
 

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I'll tell you a story, after my Freshman year majoring in Beer Tasting (frequently and in massive volumes), dating a girls five years older than me, and skipping many classes to have lunch with said girl ....who needs calculus when a hot older blonde wants to have lunch with you , I had managed to accumulate a GPA of 1.4. I came home that summer and told my Dad - F**K school, I'm getting a job and buying a Camaro (this was 1974). My Dad worked for over 42 years when he got out of the Navy at age 19 and only attended college (which he couldn't afford) for one year. It was the one big regret in his life that he didn't finish. When I told him I wasn't going back, I expected fireworks, screaming, and cursing. Instead he said "where do you want to work?" I suggested the factory that he worked in all his life until then, it was the major employer in our small Pittsburgh town. He didn't even flinch, instead he said "I'll talk the the Personnel Director (HR to all you young guys) and see about getting you a summer job there". When I protested that i didn't want a summer job, he simply said "Do good work for them, work hard and I'm sure they will keep you on".

On my first day, after Dad talked with the HR guy, the HR guys mentioned that I was his last summer hire and the only position he had for me was on the night shift (11:30pm - 7:30am) in the foundry. As it turned out, every one of the other twenty summer hires, worked in the air conditioned office, all day shift and one guy worked on the loading dock and was sound asleep by lunch time. If you don't know what a foundry is, Google "Steel Mill Blast furnace" and you will get the drift. In any case, on a cool night it was only 90 degree in the mill, I never worked so hard ever in my life before or since. When I got home every morning, I looked like I had rolled around in a coal mine and would blow black dust out of my nose all day long. But the pay was amazing....at the time the minimum wage was $1.60 and hour and I was making $6.00 and they let me work all the overtime I wanted, I was making bank. BUT, I hated the job, the company, my boss, the work (which most night consisted of driving a fork lift with a huge bucket on the front of it up to the blast furnace for them to pour hot molten steel into, then I would drive it to various work stations were they were making casting. At the end of the summer I had steel spark holes in every piece of clothing I owned and scars on my arms, chest, and legs.

Sometime during the abuse of that summer job, I decided that this was BS and that I was going back to college. Luckily I had managed to get one B in one class after two semesters of college and for that one single B, the Dean took a chance on me and let me back into college on probation. However, on my last day of that job, I took a small casting that we literally made by the thousands each night and after it cooled I slipped it into my pocket. I have had that casting on every desk of my life since 1974. Each time I was ready to bitch about a class, a test, a final exam, a new job, a new boss, a bitchy customer......I would look at that casting and say to myself "There are a lot of harder jobs you could be doing than this, get back to work"

After getting back to school, I managed not only to finish a degree in Marketing and Personnel (HR) but I managed to impress the Dean enough that he gave me a fellowship, where I taught undergrads and he paid for my graduate degree in Business. Now that I am retired, I think back to all the people (first my Dad, then the Dean) who made such a big difference in my life that allowed me to go back college, get two degrees, and I will not even bore you with the success that I managed to accumulate along the way. AND ABSOLUTELY NONE of it would have been possible without me going to college and having people who inspired me to go back, even if the inspiration was in the form of a kick in the ass.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part. Years after I was out of school, working at a great job, married with two kids - my Dad and I were working on my car in his garage. I was under it messing with something and he and I were talking about something at my job and I mentioned that I was motivating a young guy who want to quit and told him the casting on my desk story....by the way the small casting was called a "diamond" due to its shape. I said to my Dad "You know, I've had the diamond on the corner of every desk I've ever used in college or at the bank I worked at, at that time. He was shocked to hear that I still had the casting, at which point he said "You don't know how hard I had to push the Personnel Director to hire you". My reply was "Well he told me I was the last guy he was hiring". Dad says "No when I told him I wanted him to place you in the foundry, he didn't want to do it because he said "We want our summer kids to come back every year, that place is hell on earth" and my Dad's reply to him was "Well that's the first job I had at age 19 and I don't want my son ever coming back here to work". I thought I was a pretty smart guy, but as I rolled out from under the car and looked at my Dad with possibly the dumbest look he had ever seen on me, I said "you set me up?" and his answer was "It worked didn't it"

Get your ass back to college. The money you will make today and the success you think you will have without that diploma is but a fraction of what you are capable of, trust me I know!
 

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A lot of these responses are awesome.
I would add that if you don't know what you want to do, start with the things that you are good at, as sometimes (as in my case) they are not the same thing. I definitely think college is a good plan because by almost any metric (generally speaking of course) those with higher degrees (on average) make more money, which from your posts seems to be a vital point for you.
Also there are few better places to network than at a college. You might go there for/with one degree in mind, meet some people who show you new ideas, become inspired, complete a degree you never thought of pursuing before and be completely happy.

Whatever you do I want to stress that you get busy doing it! Do not sit idle as that will only get you nowhere or where others want you to be!
 

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I'm the guy with the degree from a good undergraduate college and MBA from a "for profit" school. I also have PMP and CISSP certs.

It is simple: have a plan. I've known people without a plan go to school and waste time. I've seen people without a degree makes loads of money because they had a plan. I've seen the opposite.

I had a plan and it didn't work out as planned, but having a plan allowed me to pivot and still be successful. How does one define success? Define your own success. Only you can answer what that looks like.

edit: was my "for profit" degree worth it? Definitely! It was part of the plan and opened doors - Good ROI. Do I recommend a for profit school? No... not unless you understand how it can work for you. Those degrees can be a waste a time and not worth the paper they are printed. Any degree can for that matter.

I could argue my certs were a better investment but without the MBA I would not have been in position to take advantage of the certs. Certs can kick doors wide open...

If I were starting over now I'd get into robotics.
 

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As noted by others, a college degree says to the world that you are willing to take on a challenge and you finish what you start. Beyond that, all it really proves is that you are trainable. The important thing, whether you choose the college route or not, is to choose a path for which there is current and likely future demand. Do NOT borrow money to go to college in any major that has the word "Studies" in the title! It is tough to pay off college loans flipping burgers, which is the only thing that a "Studies" degree will get you.

Education has been good for my family. My wife got a master's degree in Spanish and taught high school Spanish for 25 years. She was never unemployed. I got a BS in mechanical engineering and became a registered professional engineer in California. I was never unemployed for more than a week between my 16th and 66th birthdays. My older daughter is an an attorney, admitted to the Bar in three states. She was once briefly unemployed but is doing great since then. My younger daughter has a BS in mechanical engineering, has never been unemployed for a day, drives a Tesla and owns her own home.

If you don't go the college route, try to choose a skilled trade that has constant demand - perhaps a plumber, electrician, HVAC technician, etc. If you want to fix cars, be aware that it is a shrinking industry, and you want to focus on electrics and hybrids.

Find something that few other people want to do. Owning your own business can be great, and a lot of people make a good living at it, but you have to have the patience and people skills (which I don't). Being a car salesman is OK, but there will always be a lineup of charming, good-looking youngsters who are anxious to replace you.
 

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My son was homeschooled and is making more than all of his friends who went to college. Don't believe the lie that you are either a college grad or a nothing. Count the cost of debt. It's not worth having half your life in debt.
 

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Don't go to college if school is a struggle and if your only reason to go is to please your parents. You are happy with your job. It looks like there is a future there for you to advance. You can always go to college later on. With Covid, young people are realizing that college is not the automatic first step after high school. Plenty of very smart people didn't go to college and became very successful and happy with their careers. Follow your gut. College will always be there if you change your mind.

People who have an easy time with academics will always tell you go to college. College is not easy for everyone and that is perfectly ok.

You sound like you will have a successful and happy life!!!
 

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I got a job as an apprentice. 4 years later I was a licensed electrician. I have always made more than college nerds, and have a super pension. 140K last year, this year I have a no show job. 60 K so far. after 20 years in the industry, I went back to college and got my associate (honors) and Bachelors. I didn't have to take classes that I was not interested in, I studied what I wanted. I own a 6 plex and a 4 plex, and will do 5k per month on my retirement. so go to school, or go to the trades, but find your place.
 

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Lots of great stories and insightful comments here.
I worked for a very small family business through college and for a few years after getting my bachelors degree in business management. Things we***8217;re going well financially but not with the family. Enough was enough and I made an offer to buy out the company. The answer was locking me out. So I started a competing business, and 22 years later I still own it. It***8217;s several times the size of that original company. With continued hard work and a little luck I will be able to retire in around 10 years having raised and provided nicely for 3 boys, myself and my wife. My point is I***8217;ve never really used my degree, as I don***8217;t feel I utilized much of what I learned in college to the real world of owning and running a small business. But I***8217;d do the same thing over again, because I***8217;m proud of my degree. It***8217;s also something that could open a door if I have to get work elsewhere one day, and nice to know I have that in my back pocket. I don***8217;t believe you***8217;ll ever regret getting a degree. Your adult life, most likely, lasts decades. The time you spend getting your degree will be in your rear view mirror before you know it.
 

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I got a job, as an electricians apprentice. Eventually became a wireman. I make a ton of money, got a great pension and heath care. Along the way, I bought a 6 plex, and then a 4 plex. got an associate degree, then a BA. Now I'm ready to live. Personally, I think you're asking the wrong question. And I mean women. Dont get married for any reason, until you are a graduate or a licensed pro. Woman are dream killers.
 

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Discussion Starter #80 (Edited)
Haven't read any of the other responses, so I apologize if this answer duplicates a prior response. I've hired a bunch of people and a degree only mattered for entry-level positions, and that is if no one else had actual work experience. Having a degree meant you were able to follow-through with something. That's all. I have a degree from a major university that is relatively useless expect as trivia. Unless you plan on being a Dr., lawyer, CPA, engineer, etc., liberal arts degrees are pretty useless. So, figure out what you really want to do with your life. If it's doesn't require a professional degree, don't spend a lot of money on your education in school, but do spend money to educate yourself. Find an entry-level job in that field, learn everything you can about that field, then work your ass off. Find a mentor in the field. Be able to understand the financial side of the business, and the sales and marketing side of the business. You will rise through the ranks. As you do, hire the smartest people you can, based on what they've accomplished, not where they went to school. There's a reason your educational background is at the bottom of your resume, it's because that's where it belongs. Lastly, be the solution, not the problem.

+1

Foreign parents don't understand that. They think college is the only way to a successful life. I love my job, but had to quit because of the virus and school.
 
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