Taking a couple years off... College

FHN-Eric

Member
Verified Provider
Just so all of you know. I will be taking 24khost's advice. I am going to step away from hosting for a few years while I go to College. I will still be here though, I just won't be as active. I graduated from high school this year, and am going to College to get a degree in IT Networking, and IT Computer Science.
 

KuJoe

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
Don't take out student loans, if you do it's a waste of time and money. ;)

I personally don't believe college is of any real value, but then again I learned more outside of college than I did in college so maybe college is useful for others who don't learn things outside of a structured environment.
 
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shawn_ky

Member
Wish you the best of everything! Take what you are given everyday serious even when those around you will not... Study hard and you will succeed! 
 

WebSearchingPro

VPS Peddler
Verified Provider
Don't take out student loans, if you do it's a waste of time and money. ;)

I personally don't believe college is of any real value, but then again I learned more outside of college than I did in college so maybe college is useful for others who don't learn things outside of a structured environment.
Having finished my Associates degree and pursuing my Bachelors, I can attest to this; the things you learn in college will not get you ready for what you will face in the real world. However, there's a chance that your degree will help you get your foot in the door for a new career, as well as the foundations for further educating yourself with real world experience. 

Best of luck! 

Do good, and don't forget about scholarships! Much better than taking out student loans.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Be reasonable with school.  Realistic education where jobs exist.  

Make sure you like/can tolerate the work so you don't waste years and a fortune.

Try to find internship / apprenticeship ASAP in relative industry.  Companies are glad to have low cost labor and someone truly interested in the field. 

Student loans,  don't fund your life with them.  Be way reasonable and cheap.

Is college worth it?  Today, not usually unless a very strict field that requires the degree.

My recommendation, community colleges and lesser cost environments for basic stuff and credits (make sure transferable to where you are intending to get degree from).  For IT related (networking in particular) an Associates degree is more than a sufficient investment and time waster.  Would do good to look at "trade" schools offering the equivalent and weigh the costs and time to achieve.
 

Jade

NodeServ
Verified Provider
Having finished my Associates degree and pursuing my Bachelors, I can attest to this; the things you learn in college will not get you ready for what you will face in the real world. However, there's a chance that your degree will help you get your foot in the door for a new career, as well as the foundations for further educating yourself with real world experience. 

Best of luck! 

Do good, and don't forget about scholarships! Much better than taking out student loans.
@WebSearchingPro

You're right, if you go to school and study hard, you're more likely to get a better career than most people. You pursuing your Bachelors is awesome! Keep going till you have enough knowledge(Oh wait you can never have too much) :)

@Eric

Anyways good luck to you and going to college! Hope to see you back here soon!
 

MartinD

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
@WebSearchingPro

You're right, if you go to school and study hard, you're more likely to get a better career than most people. You pursuing your Bachelors is awesome! Keep going till you have enough knowledge(Oh wait you can never have too much) :)
That's rubbish. Most of the incredibly rich people in this world did none of that. Bill Gates, Richard Branson... etc. I would agree with Joe - sometimes there simply is no need to spend all that money getting an 'education' when the real world is so different anyway.
 

notFound

Don't take me seriously!
Verified Provider
That's rubbish. Most of the incredibly rich people in this world did none of that. Bill Gates, Richard Branson... etc. I would agree with Joe - sometimes there simply is no need to spend all that money getting an 'education' when the real world is so different anyway.
Please don't use that argument, those people are the 0.1% who turn out so sucessful. It's true you don't need to go to college/uni to make a sucess of yourself. The average person doesn't think like that, they'll try and get a degree because they'll be more likely to get on the job ladder and secure themselves.


Honestly, the alternatives aren't so good, starting a business out of nothing and being sucessful would be quite tough. Taking an apprenteship means you're trapped to one company.. It's easier overall to get a degree if you can (it's not everyone's cup of tea) and progress onto better jobs and make a sucess of yourself like that.
 

Aldryic C'boas

The Pony
Please don't use that argument, those people are the 0.1% who turn out so sucessful. It's true you don't need to go to college/uni to make a sucess of yourself. The average person doesn't think like that, they'll try and get a degree because they'll be more likely to get on the job ladder and secure themselves.


Honestly, the alternatives aren't so good, starting a business out of nothing and being sucessful would be quite tough. Taking an apprenteship means you're trapped to one company.. It's easier overall to get a degree if you can (it's not everyone's cup of tea) and progress onto better jobs and make a sucess of yourself like that.
While true enough, you can't go blindly into the Uni direction either.  ANYONE planning on spending time and money to attend college/university needs to be wide-eyed stupid about realizing that having a degree does not guarantee a middle-class existence.

The best tactic I've found is a combination of hard work and natural affinity.  Use College ONLY to enhance your skillsets, as it will not guarantee you a job.  As a personal example - I started working for a local Coca-Cola plant loading trucks.  Did that for 6 months, took a driving/delivery spot when it opened.  Did that for two years, spent my spare time after my route helping the ladies in the office fix their computers/etc.  Now I'm running the IT department for the entire division here - with absolutely no college/uni education to my name.  It shouldn't be that hard to find a similar setup just about anywhere - you just have to keep in mind that you will almost never start with the job you want;  but if you're willing to work for it, you can get much farther than just walking up and saying "Hey there, I have this diploma thing" will ever get you.
 
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Reece-DM

New Member
Verified Provider
Well done with deciding to go to college, its for the best sometimes, though from personal experience it sucked and I was "Better Off" Running my own business than some shady college work which was printed offline somewhere.

:))
 

KuJoe

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
There is one rule of thumb that is worth following if you want to be successful without a degree (this coming from a person with a degree that my boss didn't know about until over a year after he hired me): "It's who you know, not what you know."

I am where I am now because I worked at Dominos as an assistant manager and one of my drivers worked in HR and my manager's mom was in charge of the internship program at my current place of employment. I was working in the same department I am now before I was old enough to drink without even a real high school diploma (5 years wasted there and they gave me my diploma on accident). While I admit I was probably the biggest geek at my school and knew more than most of my college professors at both colleges I attended, in corporate IT you can get away with following manuals and using Google if you wanted to (just don't volunteer for any projects, high profile shifts, or critical maintenance windows).

So here's some secrets to getting ahead in the corporate IT world:

  1. Network. You never know who knows who or does what so if you go to conventions or seminars for a field you want to work in, build your contact list. If you work in any job that is a viable option for part-time work for 9-5ers, get to know your co-workers. Online networking is fine, but in my experience people rarely vouch for somebody they haven't met in real life and a recommendation from somebody you've worked with (even if it's in fast food) is 100x better than somebody you talk to online. If you do go to school, make friends with your instructors.
  2. Internships. Internships are amazing because they are extremely easy to get if you're in school and while you are there they train you on both the company procedures and how to work in the department you are interning for. In addition, if a full-time position opens up, managers and HR would always prefer to hire in-house rather than externally because you have a track record of your abilities and work ethic and it's usually a lot less paperwork. Internships are also really good for resumes and count as work experience. The pay usually isn't the best, but when I was an intern 8 years ago I was making almost 1.5 times more than I was as an assistant manager at Dominos so it was well worth it.
  3. Certificates. For some reason managers love certs. They are cheaper, easier, and a lot quicker than school and a lot of IT areas require them and will accept certain certificates in lieu of a degree.
  4. Do what others don't want to. If you're young and able to stay awake at nights, I highly recommend looking for a night or weekend position in IT. It's very rare to find somebody who is willing to work outside of the 9-5 window and chances are the pay is a lot better if you work an off hour shift. To give you an example, we had one night shift position that was available for 6 months and after more than 50 interviews, they were willing to give the job to anybody who would agree to work nights.
I'm sure I have more advice to give, but I need to run. :(
 

Damian

New Member
Verified Provider
At 28 years old, I'll be attending college within the next year or two. I also feel that this will be mostly a waste of time or that I don't really see the entire value of doing so, as I, through experience and relationships, have advanced to making a nice pile of money per year on my own accord.

The problem is security: if I should happen to lose my day job, there's very little precedence for me to be able to start at another company doing the same thing at the same approximate pay. So my mindset for this is not really to learn anything new (though i'm sure I will), but more or less to ensure that I can keep doing what I do; for "life security".

The big question is: what do I want to be when I grow up? Do I want to do something I already do? Or do I want to go to college for something completely different? So many decisions...
 

KuJoe

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
Damian, I would think really really really hard about such a decision. I went to school for the same reason (a safety net for the future) and during the first year I loved it. There were a handful of classes and instructors I enjoyed but IMO I didn't get $75k worth of enjoyment nor did I learn $75k worth of knowledge. Ultimately I brought this upon myself by getting a degree in Computer Network Systems, a field that I already knew and was well beyond the knowledge they would teach in a classroom. I had more IT experience than some of my teachers at that point and when you have to explain to your classmate next to you every week how to do a ping and traceroute, you quickly realize that college is designed for people who need to learn something and not for people who know that field and want a piece of paper to prove it.

Honestly, the vast majority of the students in the same program as me were people who were doing construction jobs who wanted to learn how to work with computers. Most of them struggled with our intro classes but they got a lot more out of the classes than I did (especially since I was instructed not to answer any questions).

This is why I highly recommend people who already know a wide variety of skills to focus on certs instead and use them to build a strong focus on a specific area (i.e. servers, networking, security, storage, etc...). It's a lot cheaper, a lot less time consuming, and you'll get a lot more out of it by focusing on one area and learning everything there is to know about that area. While some people will scoff at certs, managers love them and managers are the ones who hire people.

Now if your goal is to go to school for something completely out of your realm where you don't have much experience/knowledge in then I'm all for that. You'll have to work a lot harder than in a field you already know but you'll get a lot out of it.

Just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into and make sure you can afford it in the long run. One of the reasons I haven't sold my house in Florida yet is because my student loans would prevent me from buying another house in the next 10+ years and I really don't want to buy a house in my late 30s.
 
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KuJoe

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
Also, I apologize for being so negative regarding the subject. I just think I would feel better if I shared my mistakes and others could possibly learn from them. :)
 

mitgib

New Member
Verified Provider
Also, I apologize for being so negative regarding the subject. I just think I would feel better if I shared my mistakes and others could possibly learn from them. :)
Your only mistake was not joining the military ;)
 

KuJoe

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
Your only mistake was not joining the military ;)
Joking aside, it's one thing I will always regret. If I didn't meet my wife in high school my life would be completely different.
 
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Damian

New Member
Verified Provider
And throwing another wrench into the works is that today our landlord offered to sell us our house for $reasonableamount that, if we kept paying the same that we do now, the house would be paid off in ~8 years when i'm 36 and the wife is 35. I think we would be fools to not take them up on the offer , but I can't help but to think: what if?

Your only mistake was not joining the military ;)
One of my regrets in life was not joining the military too. Some of my friends tried to get me to go, and I got as far as taking the ASVAB, but it never really appealed to me at the time. I don't know why it does now... maybe I feel that the military would better apply my skillset than my day job.
 
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drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
@Damian, how is the area?  How are the schools?  Safe enough and stable enough to honestly think it will alright area in 8 years?  Look at the tax burden also (comes with the rest of the fun).  Also look over the house in a big way.  Good roof?  When will it need done and what does it cost?

Rapid paydowns on real estate = sane.  So long as area doesn't devalue your investment.  Been there and done that.

@KuJoe,  I like your style.  Wise words from the trenches.
 
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