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Money Matters
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
GIbarra
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Career path... Direction

I don't know what I wanna do with my life, I've cruised through high school with a 2.4 GPA. Went to City College, and had some fun, but i didn't really maximize my effort and i am sitting on a 2.5 GPA(on history courses)... I can transfer to a uni but i don't know what to study, and to be honest it would be a huge waste of money to half ass it to a degree. So here i am with a dead end warehouse job asking a life question on a car forum. So here it is can a person be successful without school? Do you have a degree in an area that is your passion, if so are you currently working in that field?
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:44 PM   #2
loffa
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Yes, you can be successful without a degree. BUT you need to be either very good at what you do or you need a lot of relations in the field you want to work in. No-one will choose you without a degree over someone who has one, unless they know you personally or have heard good things about you.

I do not know how the school-system in the US works, but cant you just take a break from school for a year or two to clear your mind, see the world, have a few different jobs etc, and then decide what you want to do with your life? And only then head to uni once you have figured this out. There is no point in struggling to get a degree at something that you do not like and possibly end up working at the same warehouse 10 years later, because you did not want to work in the field you studied.

Thats what I did and at the moment it seems that it I made the right choice. At first, after finishing the 12th grade ('college' over here in Europe, our school system is a bit different) I went straight to uni and chose a random degree that had an awesome name without actually thinking. I studied for 2 years to find out it was not for me and I quit.

After that I started working for a friends dads company as a salesman (actually I still work for him, we sell and build special equipment to the police, military forces and ambulances. I.e Cameras, wireless internet and GPS solutions, video surveillance, licence plate recognition, emergency lights etc). I have met lots of new people of different ages and backgrounds (I travel a lot because of my job) and thanks to that I have realized what I want to do in the future. So now I will go back to the uni next autumn and get a degree in something I actually want to do (I will study IT).


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Old 01-12-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
GIbarra
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Thanks for the response. But is it a 'passion' for tech that motivates you? In schools in the US, the teachers throw that word around like crazy. We have charts and graphs on our classroom walls; Coupled with commercials, on television, of the 'better life' a college degree can bring you. I'm just very disillusioned with all of this, i guess i do need to find my niche somehow.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
Ynot
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My mom's answer to your question is, not everyone can be successful. Some people are born to work for minimum wage. lol I didn't study much either in college but I got avg around 3.5 gpa. A degree makes life much easier and gives you a better opportunity. I have friends who don't have degrees and they all own businesses, they work extremely hard and they have a lot of money but no time. I have a lot of successfully friends who has a degree and are pharmacist, doctors, engineers, etc and they don't work as hard, make good money and has plenty of time to spend their money. We all worked really hard at what we do, whether we have a degree or not. Basically you have to work to succeed, most people think success will just come to them.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
loffa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIbarra View Post
Thanks for the response. But is it a 'passion' for tech that motivates you? In schools in the US, the teachers throw that word around like crazy. We have charts and graphs on our classroom walls; Coupled with commercials, on television, of the 'better life' a college degree can bring you. I'm just very disillusioned with all of this, i guess i do need to find my niche somehow.
Well actually I have had that passion for computers and electronics since I was a little kid but for some reason I had not thought about wanting to do it for a living
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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Yes you can be successful without a degree, but generally speaking (certainly not always) you will have to work harder/more hours to earn equal pay.

For instance, I consider myself fairly successful. I pulled in a hair under $80k last year at age 25, but I worked almost 600 hours of overtime to do it. I have friends with 4 year degrees that earn half of what I do, and I have friends with 4 year degrees who pull in the same or greater, but only work 40 hours per week.

It's highly individualistic. In my opinion, if you aren't going to school, your best option is to learn a highly skilled trade. Don't waste too much time working mindless labor jobs such as loading boxes on UPS and Fedex trucks. Even if the pay is a little less initially, its better long term to develop a marketable skill.

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:56 PM   #7
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:08 PM   #8
Wraisil
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It is possible to be successful without a degree. An education of some kind (whether college/trade/etc) can be a huge advantage in becoming successful however. I went to college for almost two full semesters after high school before facing a very similar thought process: feeling I was wasting my time and unsure if what I was going to school for would be anything I wanted to do. My decision at the time was to stop going to school and come back when I better understood what I wanted to have for a career. Shortly after that I joined the Navy to get some life experience (and a better job than what I had). That was, for me, one of the best decisions of my life. The Navy gave me a great education with a solid career path available outside the military (I was in nuclear power in the Navy, results are not necessarily typical). After 12 years I moved to the private sector and, without a degree yet, make a very comfortable living in a good job that I enjoy most of the time. I am currently in school and currently plan to start working on my MBA in 2014 as I see the advantage of both having a degree and, in many cases, having an MBA to assist with career progression in the future.

Keep in mind, however, that "success" is more than just making a lot of money. Many would argue that a person making $40k/year in a job they love with a family they can comfortably support financially is more successful than the person making $400k/year in a job they don't care for while working too many hours to have a family. What others think, however, is not what is important. The important thing is for you to balance what you want in your personal life to make you happy with what you would like in your professional life to make you happy. If you can make both things happen simultaneously that would be ideal, but most people find they must make compromises in one or both areas to accommodate what is actually available to them in life.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:48 PM   #9
GIbarra
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Thanks for all the insightful replies, there's definitely a lot of options out there in all aspects of life. Thank you for taking the time to reply.
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