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Old 09-21-2017, 05:02 PM
 
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I'll say it again if you learn a trade you can do just as well as somebody with a college degree. Electrician, mechanic, plumber you'll do pretty well.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:42 PM
 
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With a degree in a technical field, if you are willing to relocate, you can begin a career with a much higher salary than a non-degreed person. How well you do after that point depends on your personal skills and career desires, but a technical degree nearly always gives you a lifetime advantage.

Electricians, mechanics, plumbers can only earn comparable money after years of experience and with lots of overtime. You are also occasionally subject to dangerous environments, are physically worn out over time, and if you are part of a larger company your chances for management advances are limited and will likely be filled by less experienced college graduates.

If you are lucky and have developed enough management and people skills, you can own and run your own business over time - but that will require a significant cash and time commitment. But for every person that does this there are hundreds who do not/cannot.

I opted for a technical degree, and every-single-person that I knew since childhood (over several decades), and every-single family member who did not get a college degree is significantly poorer in health, money, and possessions than those with degrees. I literally cannot think of any exceptions.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,771,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_General View Post
I'll say it again if you learn a trade you can do just as well as somebody with a college degree. Electrician, mechanic, plumber you'll do pretty well.
Man nobody wants to do those jobs. Those are fallback options for most people.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,090 posts, read 1,072,738 times
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First of all, the "American Dream" varies by person, so achieving it is subjective.

But to the point, having success in your career is possible for nearly anyone in the country, and a degree or degrees certainly doesn't guarantee anything.

BUT it's kind of obvious that many people on this thread don't seem to understand the difference between anecdotal and empirical evidence. Your brother may be a high school dropout who invented the latest, greatest thing and became a billionaire, but statistics tell us that far and away his chances for higher potential career earnings will increase significantly with increased educational attainment. I'd go dig up stats, but this information isn't obscure in the slightest and is at this point common knowledge.

Am I saying that everyone needs to go to college? No, but doing so opens many doors and is a minimum qualification for many jobs and in a competitive economy where high-paying are few and far-between, I'd suggest to err on the side of more education (and training, certification, etc.) rather than hoping that you'll fall into something or make a random connection that leads to a great opportunity.

In a world where we are exposed to more information than we've ever previously imagined, I think it's important than ever that people have an understanding of the world around them, and a college degree helps to provide both knowledge and training with skillsets like advanced communication and writing skills that come from development and practice. Do I think that some elements of academia are out of date or poorly prioritized? Without a doubt. But I'm reminded more and more often about how valuable my liberal arts education is to my existence, and how many people talk out of their *sses about certain topics. Some people would do well to look up the Dunning-Kruger effect as it most certainly applies....

Ultimately, you can still do things like provide for your family or make a lot of money by learning a trade. But, do know that if you neglect your education, you're missing out on a lot. Why not do both?
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:31 PM
 
1,830 posts, read 1,254,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartonizer View Post
First of all, the "American Dream" varies by person, so achieving it is subjective.

But to the point, having success in your career is possible for nearly anyone in the country, and a degree or degrees certainly doesn't guarantee anything.

BUT it's kind of obvious that many people on this thread don't seem to understand the difference between anecdotal and empirical evidence.
You don't need empirical evidence to know whether something is possible. The OP's question wasn't whether the American dream is the most likely outcome or if people without bachelors degrees are more likely than those with to achieve the American dream.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,090 posts, read 1,072,738 times
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Originally Posted by Parhe View Post
You don't need empirical evidence to know whether something is possible. The OP's question wasn't whether the American dream is the most likely outcome or if people without bachelors degrees are more likely than those with to achieve the American dream.
Read my second sentence again. As I clearly said, it is possible. My later comments were more directed to some of the people on the thread who devalued education, suggested that the importance of it is some sort of conspiracy, or insinuated that a singular example of dramatic success is the rule, and not the exception.

So you're right, you don't need empirical evidence to know that "achieving the American dream" without a college degree is possible. But I think that it's relevant to point out that you're more likely to get there with an education. Don't you?
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:29 PM
 
154 posts, read 75,178 times
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I don't have a degree and I make over $100k and have been making that for years. I even switched careers and still made close to that.

Tip 1: Someone said it before: it's not necessarily what you know, but who you know. If you know the right people and can get in the right "club", you can go very far.... degree or not.

Tip 2: Don't underestimate the power of people skills, how you present yourself, and influencing people. I work in IT, so you would think people skills don't matter, right? Wrong. I have very good people skills and can sell myself, which has opened many doors that pure technical skills and degrees alone wouldn't. I am an introvert though so I had to practice. Over the years I learned how to interact with people in a business setting, how to project confidence, how to make people feel comfortable, how to be gracious, and how to get people to trust me. This does to a certain extent involve being a conversationalist which doesn't come easy for everyone. But if you can practice and master this and do it in a way that appears natural and not overbearing, you have it made. Learning how to read people and knowing when to talk, and when to shut up and listen, is also very important. Most people love to talk about themselves so I always ask people questions about themselves. I will also in a round about way find out if they have any problems that I can perhaps offer a solution to. If you are a problem solver and can make a problem go away for someone, you are adding value already. I also learned to be a good story teller, and who doesn't like a good story? Basically if you can get people to like you, in some cases you can be a complete moron and you may still get a shot, simply because you're you.

Degrees aren't necessary to make something of yourself, but honestly I think a person does need some natural ability (i.e. technical ability, sales skills, "hustle", people skills, etc), to offset the lack of a degree if they don't have one.

The bottom line is you need to provide something of value to someone, to get paid. How you add value, is determined by your skills, abilities, and/or education, or any combination thereof.

Last edited by luckydogg; 09-30-2017 at 10:48 PM..
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:47 PM
 
4,443 posts, read 2,616,298 times
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It is possible, but those without a college degree, or some college, but not completed just have to work a little harder, that's all.

My OH and I are both "some college" but no degree. We have 3 job incomes, plus my SSDI.

We own a modest updated house. It is half paid for in just 2 years already.

Our two vehicles are paid for. The '14 brand new in cash, the '06 was financed for 5 years, but paid off in 2 years, 3 months.

We have savings in the bank.

We have some retirement, though not enough, if there is such a thing. We plan to work longer is all.

It's all about how well you are are willing to WORK, how you budget, you choice of spending/saving.

With a college degree, we'd probably be in a house way to expensive compared to income, in a higher COL area.

It's all relative.
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:24 PM
 
1,593 posts, read 834,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
Man nobody wants to do those jobs. Those are fallback options for most people.
They pay well. You have to be certified for the most part.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:28 PM
 
157 posts, read 99,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
This needs to be for bachelor's degrees now. Most people I know who have them are waiting tables and only one has a stupid major. Most are engineering degrees from LSU.
Yeah, really. I graduated from college in 2011 with a bachelor's in communications and I've been underemployed ever since. At the time I graduated, one out of two college graduates were unemployed or underemployed. I have an exceptional work ethic and ambition, but a lot of times that takes a backseat to the overwhelming demand for 3-5 years of previous experience. Well, it's been six years now, and I would have gotten that much previous experience by now if someone had bothered to throw me a friggin' bone.
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