College vs skilled trades.

Baron85

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Feb 23, 2019
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To add, it’s really hard to have ambition and drive doing a job you don’t like. Brain surgeons I’m sure make lots of money but I have no desire to do that, there for I wouldn’t make money or be successful.

Also, money isn’t everything. If it was I would still be doing demolition. Everyone has to find the right balance of work and play and a job they get satisfaction from.
 

2531usmc

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Apr 5, 2021
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the entire job skills and money evolution is all coming full circle. It started off with technical skills/apprenticeships (see Robert) grew into college for everyone (see Phillipe) And now the country is full of people with huge college debt and no technical or marketable skills.

But in the world of software developers, a degree is a secondary consideration. What really matters are your certificates that define your knowlege and skills. When you get a certificate, you are learning the new practical skills to do the job Without the huge cost of college degrees.

industry seems to be moving in this direction where apprenticeships and college degrees merge into practical skills that are affordable and marketable.
 

Wmmichael20

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People just need to stop putting down trades people because of their so called lack of education. Those folks are needed period. Someone has to fix your furnace/ a.c. someone needs to wire Homes and businesses...things need welded together and cars and equipment need to be repaired they are essential jobs and they are important people...not everyone is cut out to sit in an office chair and stare at a screen all day....some people need to fix things and build cool stuff...and find that working with their hands is more satisfying than pounding away at a keyboard and wish that they could be outdoors doing something more fulfilling. ....just my thoughts ....
 

Pocoloco

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Oct 17, 2021
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There seems to be a lot of hype around skilled trades lately. I think it's just that, hype. People will recommend learning a trade over getting a good college degree. I don't get it. Everyone and their mother claim these tradesmen are making 100k a year. A simple look at BLS average salaries says otherwise.

I'm not saying they're not needed. I'm just saying I think they have become overrated as career options lately.

What do you guys think?


EDIT: Now, obviously, if you get a worthless degree then a skilled trade would be way better
Skilled Trade or College… what matters is do you own the business or are you a employee.

My undergrad is engineering and I have an MBA, quit corporate life at a telecom and started my own company in construction and have done well and my college education probably contributed little to any success I have had. Too many folks rely on a degree and get trapped in a “comfy” corporate gig with a fancy title. A skilled trade is more likely to own their own business and for that reason I would recommend the skilled trade route.
 

Q child

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My undergrad is engineering and I have an MBA, quit corporate life at a telecom and started my own company in construction and have done well and my college education probably contributed little to any success I have had...
Why doesn't your education in business help you with owning a business?
 

Dos Perros

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There seems to be a lot of hype around skilled trades lately. I think it's just that, hype. People will recommend learning a trade over getting a good college degree. I don't get it. Everyone and their mother claim these tradesmen are making 100k a year. A simple look at BLS average salaries says otherwise.

I'm not saying they're not needed. I'm just saying I think they have become overrated as career options lately.

What do you guys think?


EDIT: Now, obviously, if you get a worthless degree then a skilled trade would be way better.

Wanted to reply to this specifically.

A close friend, about a year ago, quit his 'big company' trades job and went into business for himself, one man operation. He's making money hand over fist and has more work that he can meet. I'm talking easy multiple 6 figures in a midwest metropolitan market. He doesn't even know (something he needs to mature as a business). In this time he's paid off his house, paid cash for an expensive (but used) vehicle for his wife, and has no debts. He has complete financial freedom and he's like 35. His wife stays at home to care for their kids and does help with the business, too.

Meanwhile, my wife and I both have good college degrees and MBA's and professional certifications that have enabled us to get good jobs. Our household income is like 3x our zip code's average. We live frugally and have done a good job saving and retirement is looking good.

However I would bet, even with his late start, my buddy is able to surpass our financial position by the time he's 40, 45, all the while with more flexibility and freedom than we have. I don't think his path is for everybody. It will only work for hustlers, folks who bust ass and work hard. But for those folks, I think it's almost a certainty working for yourself is worlds better than working for 'the man.'
 

fng4life

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Wanted to reply to this specifically.

A close friend, about a year ago, quit his 'big company' trades job and went into business for himself, one man operation. He's making money hand over fist and has more work that he can meet. I'm talking easy multiple 6 figures in a midwest metropolitan market. He doesn't even know (something he needs to mature as a business). In this time he's paid off his house, paid cash for an expensive (but used) vehicle for his wife, and has no debts. He has complete financial freedom and he's like 35. His wife stays at home to care for their kids and does help with the business, too.

Meanwhile, my wife and I both have good college degrees and MBA's and professional certifications that have enabled us to get good jobs. Our household income is like 3x our zip code's average. We live frugally and have done a good job saving and retirement is looking good.

However I would bet, even with his late start, my buddy is able to surpass our financial position by the time he's 40, 45, all the while with more flexibility and freedom than we have. I don't think his path is for everybody. It will only work for hustlers, folks who bust ass and work hard. But for those folks, I think it's almost a certainty working for yourself is worlds better than working for 'the man.'
What trade is he in?
 

SteepandDeep

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Here’s a specific question that I am curious to see answers to:

Many Gen Zers are wanting to retire by 40, deciding this at 18-20 and then Planning, budgeting and investing their life accordingly around this strategy.

What do you think is the best course of action for someone to fully retire comfortably at the age of 40?
Designing and/or playing video games.
 

74Bronco

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With either career choice, the best option is to be a motivated business owner. Trade or engineering firm.. Not for everyone, but as a banker it is pretty obvious that's the key.
 

schmalzy

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With either career choice, the best option is to be a motivated business owner. Trade or engineering firm.. Not for everyone, but as a banker it is pretty obvious that's the key.

Best option if you’re capable and have the right mentality. There’s a big difference between owning/running a trade company with employees vs self performing with a helper or two. If you’re trade or discipline allows for it, self performing imho would be the sweet spot of cash/freedom/risk.

Getting strung out on payment for 100k in the commercial contracting world is an every day reality. Trucks payments, payroll, insurance, etc could care less whether YOU got paid or not. The GC could care less that material prices doubled since contract date vs site mobilization.

Again, the flip side is awesome, just not always a bed of roses where you learn how to do a trade and starting making 150k a year and taking off hunting season.


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Q child

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Philosophy is foundationally about knowledge and ethics. In my experience, those are good things to learn about. I took a couple philosophy classes in school and enjoyed them. Philosophers who are employed are often times called writers.
 

thefckncaveman

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Right out of high school I went to college to get a mechanical engineering degree. After 2 years I dropped out because I didn’t feel it was right for me and I hated the liberal environment (I live in CA). Started turning wrenches when I moved back home now I have a union job that pays well over 100k a year and I’m a foreman at 25. I think either option can be lucrative depending on what you want to do and I have even considered finishing my degree since my company will pay for it.


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fng4life

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Right out of high school I went to college to get a mechanical engineering degree. After 2 years I dropped out because I didn’t feel it was right for me and I hated the liberal environment (I live in CA). Started turning wrenches when I moved back home now I have a union job that pays well over 100k a year and I’m a foreman at 25. I think either option can be lucrative depending on what you want to do and I have even considered finishing my degree since my company will pay for it.


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What kind of wrench turning?
 

Steves29

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Feb 28, 2021
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Right out of high school I went to college to get a mechanical engineering degree. After 2 years I dropped out because I didn’t feel it was right for me and I hated the liberal environment (I live in CA). Started turning wrenches when I moved back home now I have a union job that pays well over 100k a year and I’m a foreman at 25. I think either option can be lucrative depending on what you want to do and I have even considered finishing my degree since my company will pay for it.


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We see this more than one would think in the oilfield: someone with common sense and some work ethic is more valuable than a degree in a lot of instances
 
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