Minnesota Farmer

Do you need that cap and gown?
December 29, 2012, 10:47 am
Filed under: Farm, travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

Some very famous people have been in the news for starting huge companies without a college degree.  They seem to say dropping out is the way to success.  Do you really need that cap and gown?images

40 years after my college degree I look back and say that college did help me as a farmer.  Did I need a college degree to get my job, NO.  I joined my father in farming, so the job was there despite that degree.  But the things I learned still help me.  I have used animal nutrition classes to help me feed livestock.  Soils classes help me understand the ground I work.  Farm building design classes have shaped the placement and design of buildings.  All of this I could have depended on others to do, but I was much better off in knowing how to do myself.

I have a wife and 3 children who all graduated from college and all of them have jobs you could not get without that college degree.  None of us took more than 4 years to get our degree and my wife and one daughter now have masters degrees, another daughter soon will have, in jobs that need the higher education to advance.  One of my sisters has a job that needed the college degree she got, the other did not.

Do not think that because you have a degree in english, music or one of many other degrees, your job will be in that field.  A desire to advance, to learn on the job, to think outside the box cannot be taught in college.  You could also start out on the bottom of many jobs and work your way up by being dedicated and hard working.  Being a master in any job is not the end of education, only the start.

College is NOT for everyone, but for some jobs it is required.  The trick is to know which track you are in and then get there with the minimum amount of time and debt.  All of my family graduated in under the normal time period because we knew where we were going and focused on that career track.  You can rack up a huge amount of time and debt in college finding yourself.  You can also find yourself in travel or a job.  Or perhaps you can do both and join the military.  Many a young person has found their career in the military and gotten paid at the same time.images

Don’t get a PhD in a career unless you KNOW you can get a job there first.  There are good paying careers out there that you can learn “on the job.”  They are also good careers for those with a tech school degree.  Plumbers and electricians are currently in huge demand, these you can start out in tech school and master on the job.  One of the many jobs in agriculture, landscaping or gardening can also be fulfilling jobs, working with growing things can be very rewarding.  Just because the job is “dirty” does not mean it does not pay well and could make a very fulfilling career path.

Find your passion and then live it.



2 Comments so far
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I don’t know what prompted this subject but it is agood one. I got my degree 40 years ago. It turned out to be completely unrelated to the work I ended up doing in life but it did teach me how to do research, how to develop and defend a hypothesis, and it gave me facility in language. In my working life I used these skills every day.

But I advise young people today to choose an educational path that will lead to high demand vocations. That doesn’t mean you cannot study and read about things you didn’t learn in college after you graduate. Learning and doing should never stop just because your school days have past.

Comment by Len Rosen

You take subjects as they come to you. This one was prompted by an news story on Minnesota Public Radio.

Comment by Michael

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