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life after highschool? a little help

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life after highschool? a little help

Old 08-26-2013, 02:40 PM
Typical Buck
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Default life after highschool? a little help

I'm going into my senior year in highschool now. I've been thinking and i don't think college is for me for two reasons.
  • the amount of money college costs, i don't want to be paying off student loans when i am 50
  • a 4 year degree is a long time, i want to be working as soon as possible. maybe a tech school?
maybe i should go to college for two reasons though
  • college graduates make more money (usually)
  • i feel i would be less likely to be unemployed with a college degree

I can't see myself being a white collar worker punching away on a computer 9-5. I like to work with my hands. I like working hard and being able to see what i've done or accomplished.. Like this summer a couple buddies and myself built a 12x 10 foot elevated treehouse/hunting stand. Built just like a mini house. or when ever i put a different exhaust on my truck or rotate the tires.

But i never took a tech class in highschool, right now im kicking myself for it. I don't know if i could just go to carpenters/tech/mechanic school with just the knowledge i have now. What ever i do i just want to be happy and live a comfortable life.
I'm just kinda lost. I know this site has a good mix of blue and white collar workers and i just need a little advice or just how you made it work. thanks
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:38 PM
Dominant Buck
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Go get your welding certificates. You can do this usually at a community college. You live in an oil rich area and the fact America is sitting on top of the largest oil reserves in the world. Greenies aren't always going to win on the no drilling anywhere pledge.

Look up the average age of a welder in America. Last time I checked it was 57 years old. That means a big turnover is about to occur. Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:56 PM
Dominant Buck
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FYI, http://www.aws.org/pr/shortagefactsheet.pdf
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:14 PM
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Stick to the trades. OJT for a few years but once you get your ticket, the money is great.

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Old 08-26-2013, 05:17 PM
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This is a tough choice for anybody your age. Some things to consider are:

Research the true or actual cost of college instead of assuming or listening to rumors. The cost of college greatly depends on where you choose to live while going to college and what college. In California, we have junior community colleges (2-year colleges) and 2 types of 4 year colleges--University of CA (much pricier) and CA State Universities (still affordable).

My parents and I made a deal when I got out of the Marines--I could live at home as long as I went to college full-time and worked to pay for my car, insurance, gas, etc. I lived at home with my parents while completing my 4-year degree at a state university and saved a bundle on housing, I paid for my college as I went so I graduated with no students loans or bills.

Think about what your fall back plan (plan B) is going to be if you don't make it in welding, get injured, etc. Having a 4 or even 2 year degree does open more doors for you and you generally end up making more money in life (not always).

I'm not trying to tell you that you absolutely have to go to college--that's your decision and it truly isn't for everybody. Hopefully this info helps you make a bit more informed decision. Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:00 PM
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Even if you go into the trades, you will still have to decide what you want to do. I don't know how it works where you are, but here you have to go to school at night while working during the day as an apprentice. by the time your apprenticeship is over, you would have a two-year associate degree. There is good money to be made, very good money.

I'm only 23, but people, like my husband, who have been around a while, tell me that a college degree used to be a ticket to a great variety of jobs. But it seems that's no longer true. There are still jobs, but you should decide on a major that will offer employment opportunities.

There's really no need to pay on student loans until you're 50. You can attend a community college for two years and then switch to a university to finish up. If you just borrow for tuition, and work to pay for your own support, you won't owe that much.

You have to decide on a major, preferably something with good job prospects. Majors like Drama, or Classical Greek Literature are for people who can move back home and live with their parents after graduation.

Post any questions you may have. Folks here are pretty helpful. I'm not much older than you, but my husband has been around the block a couple or three times and he might have some advice.

May The Sheep Be With You
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:54 PM
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Join the military. Sounds like you need to grow up some and they will train you for a career.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:02 AM
Nontypical Buck
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You need to decide what you want to do, the rest comes from that.

A college degree is not a meal ticket, Sachiko touched on it, but if your degree is in certain things, it's next to useless, while in others it can be the ticket to a very lucrative future, but the degree sort of locks you into a job path, at least short term.

Trades are very good, if you like that path. Tends to be shorter money short term, but when you get through apprenticeship and get your license it can change.

One caution on the community college then transfer path. Many times the school you transfer to won't accept all, or any, of your credits, so it's usually a more than 4 year path to a 4 year degree.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:16 AM
Dominant Buck
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One caution on the community college then transfer path. Many times the school you transfer to won't accept all, or any, of your credits, so it's usually a more than 4 year path to a 4 year degree.
that's important advice. Community colleges are great as long as you plan it all out from the get go. In CC, the class size is smaller as compared to a 4 year college. A 4 year college will use the freshman and sophomore years for weed outs of the bad students. So they pack 200 to 300 students per class. You can have 100% of your classes transfer as long as you plan ahead. You must pick your 4 year college in advance, check their guidelines regarding transfer credits from the CC of your choice. Then stick to that plan. The CC will encourage you to take their requirements to graduate but resist that pressure and move on to the 4 years college.

Btw, keep us updated on your decision.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:40 AM
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Solid advice so far. Hope it all works out for you. Like you i never thought of college and didnt want the expense. So i joined the military was something i always wanted to do. My training in the military got me an offer to do Government Contracting so i got out. Thats what i do now. Only thing is i will still need some college at some point. Right now my years in the military and 8 years experience is the only thing i have and developing. So if the contract goes bad and i need a new gig the only way i will get that with the competition out here will most likely be with some college in computers to back my experience. Good luck
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