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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im torn right now between getting an associates degree or getting experience in the field...would a company/contractor hire a college grad over someone who took class at CHI or just joined a union? Is it a waste of time or could something could come out of the degree?

thanks
 

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School VS Field

In North Carolina, there are many Community Colleges which offer the same classes at night that they do during the day. Hopefully, you have the same access where you live. Trust me, if you get the AA, there will come a day when you are tired of your knees hurting, freezing your butt off in the winter, and roasting in the summer when you could be IN THE OFFICE as an estimator, Project Manager, etc. using your brain instead of your ASSets! Do school AND work! Most electricians will agree that even engineers need to spend 5 years in the field before they try to tell us how to do our jobs. Good Luck!
 

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Bilge Rat
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There's such a shortage of decent electricians in northern Nevada right now that it doesn't matter at all what qualifications anyone has. Most contractors around here will hire anyone, put them on a job and see how they do. If you know your stuff, you'll make it just fine. If you really know your stuff, you can pretty much write your own ticket.

There's NOT a shortage of engineers, project managers, or any other non-physical trades. Seems like everyone around here wants to jump right into the plush office jobs and by-pass all that hard physical work. The very best (and highest paid) office people are the ones who have been actual journeymen for a few years though.
 

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I guess it depends..............

Are you already an experienced electrician?

If you stay in college you risk a chance of rackin' up student loans, then entering into an entry level position making the same figure you would be making now as an electrician (who is in high demand in most parts of the nation).
Been there, done that.

If you want to be an estimator/project manager......then that is a different story.

If you are just looking to boost your income level. College is prolly not gonna help in the long run.

Your age and time in the trade are factors to consider. Either of which I don't know.
 

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I'm sure your mom and pop would say "stay in school".
An AA is not a very difficult degree(though I wouldn't know), perhaps you could do it at night?
The union schooling here in Utah is fully accredited, although the curriculum applies towards a bachelors not an AA. If did have an AA and with the union schooling, I'd be 2 classes away from a BS.
Which goes a lot further on a resume.
 

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NEC Educator & Consultant
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The only thing I will add is this - If you get a degree it may work for you in a good way also if you go from one state to another ( never know where life takes ya ) and need to meet the licensing requirements for the state you are moving into in regards to electrical licensing or sitting for exams.

Many states say you have to have this and that to sit for their state license, sometimes degree's if associated with the field and sometimes not associated with the field...are accepted as experience and allow you do sit for a test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the info guys...Ive been working with a friend but im still young and would like to make it a career....I'm in college right now but I still need another year before I can get the associates(had too much fun lst yr)..I go durring the day(2 days a wk) but if it's not going to help me get a better high paying job with a better company i'm just going start working full time..
 

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Get the degree you will not damage your brain in anyway and you can always get a job for expierence later, I did the college thing part time and it can be a struggle especially as you have a family with work constraints, never did finish, though I recently went back at age 54, still pat time and not in engineering this time. The real BI*CH is all those credits from years ago do not count and I had finished all but one 1/4 of the math and the English requirements. Now I need to retake, though I probably will not retake calculus
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree brian..but i'm just not into school at all.. I want to work and actually get something out of life... I just feel "stuck in the mud" in college and it feel's too forced and i'm not happy going there but i'm scared I going to leave school and regret it...
 

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... I just feel "stuck in the mud" in college and it feel's too forced and i'm not happy going there but i'm scared I going to leave school and regret it...
If you feel "stuck in the mud", think about this.... The time you spend in college is a speck of sand in the whole hourglass of your life. Seriously, just one little spec. Just calm down, finish what you started, then move on to what you want to do next. There are lots and lots of people who regret not going to college or not finishing college. Ne'er will you find a guy who regrets going to college. Think about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you feel "stuck in the mud", think about this.... The time you spend in college is a speck of sand in the whole hourglass of your life. Seriously, just one little spec. Just calm down, finish what you started, then move on to what you want to do next. There are lots and lots of people who regret not going to college or not finishing college. Ne'er will you find a guy who regrets going to college. Think about that.
Damn good point...but he only thing with me is that I need to be doing something with my self... i.e. working.....I have a hard time sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher preach to me about the mysteries of life in some stupid philosphy class when I could be out getting paid and learning more about my trade...I have also been thinking about switching to online courses that way I can work everyday and save my self the 2 hr round trip to school....i'm sure you guys think i'm being stubbourn and an ass but I just want whats right for me
 

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Damn good point...but he only thing with me is that I need to be doing something with my self... i.e. working.....I have a hard time sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher preach to me about the mysteries of life in some stupid philosphy class when I could be out getting paid and learning more about my trade...I have also been thinking about switching to online courses that way I can work everyday and save my self the 2 hr round trip to school....i'm sure you guys think i'm being stubbourn and an ass but I just want whats right for me

Sounds like the "grass is always greener" adage. It never is.

If you've already invested in a degree, then finish it. Once you have the degree you have it, if just have some credits you have nothing and will have to retake those classes later in life when you decide you'd rather be the guy in the clean hard hat with the collared shirt on the job site.
 

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You are now in a position to finish your education. Even though it seems like a waste of your time, it certainly is not. Complete the schooling and as others have already stated, you can "work with your hands" afterwards. This schooling can and may come in very handy when you are a little older.
 

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Damn good point...but he only thing with me is that I need to be doing something with my self... i.e. working.....I have a hard time sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher preach to me about the mysteries of life in some stupid philosphy class when I could be out getting paid and learning more about my trade...I have also been thinking about switching to online courses that way I can work everyday and save my self the 2 hr round trip to school....i'm sure you guys think i'm being stubbourn and an ass but I just want whats right for me
I have to say that finishing school is probably your best bet. I just lost a damn good apprentice that has been working with me since he was in high school. He was convinced that he should be working not going to school. Thankfully, his parents convinced him otherwise. he got his degrees in a totally unrelated field and came back to work for me again. Then he got a job offer in his field. Last Friday was his last day. He decided to use his degrees instead being an electrician. He was only 5 months away from qualifying for journeyman too. I tried to convince him to stay until he got his license but nothing doing. He'll do well there too. The point is, you never know what life will bring at ya. Just try to be prepared. You will never regret your education, although you might not miss all those ramen noodles and hot dogs in school.
 

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I'm working and going to school also and have been working as an apprentice electrician for my father for the past five years. Just passed my journeyman's exam yesterday. My father is really pushing me to finish school and get my BS degree which is in telecommunications systems where in a couple of years I will be graduating and taking the Cisco and MCSE exams for more licensing.

I just think of it as something to fall back on, if something doesn't work out in the electrical field. If you just have a year left I would definitely finish it out and get the degree. It really looks good on a resume and could mean that you get hired over another person because of that. Just my 2 cents and just do what you think feels right it's your life after all.
 
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