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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing a lot of thinking and I figured this would probably be the best place to ask. I know that the majority of individuals on this site are on the wealthier side of the spectrum. So, I have to ask... What does "education" mean to you?

I, for one, am not formally educated. I have my high school diploma and a couple college classes under my belt, and that's about it. Well, anything I can really put down on paper. As most of you are tenured in your respective career fields, you may be able to shed some light on my conundrum.

The reason I'm asking is I may be taking another huge step in my life. Separation from the Air Force. Obviously I want to get a good job after I get out and I keep hearing that in order to do so, one requires a degree. How much truth is in this statement? Would you rather hire a highly adaptable individual with a multitude of experiences who is still relatively intelligent? Or would you rather hire a professionally educated individual? Obviously it's all situational, one wouldn't hire an uneducated person to be a stockbroker or attorney, I'm aware of that.

Anyway, I would enjoy a discussion on this subject if anyone would like to join me. I love learning new things! :)
 

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I have met several dumb professionally educated individuals. This does not mean that all are. I go more on the person than a degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I hear you there. I get to deal with officers (bachelor's or higher) that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. But the whole mentality of "you have to go to college to get a good job" thing confuses me. What does a degree tell an employer?
 

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Nick, my college education taught me two things, and only two things, that I carried into my professional career. 1. How to work and persevere. 2. How to solve problems. My Industrial Design degree from Georgia Tech doesn't translate well into a career selling cars. My guess is that your Air Force duty has taught you everything practical I learned in college.

That sheepskin does have ancillary benefits when it comes to certain employment opportunities. Obviously you can't practice medicine without a college degree and post graduate medical school. Additionally, networking opportunities as a result of that degree does open certain career opportunities.

So, do you want to be a doctor or does your career goal require polishing of #'s 1 and 2?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Randy, thanks for the info. I'm not looking to be a doctor by any means. Most of the jobs that require post-graduate education don't really interest me, honestly. Yes, they bring in the big bucks, but they also come with their responsibilities. I'm not by any means trying to avoid responsibility, I'm just saying I'm not the type to want to literally hold someone's life in my hands. That and I like sunlight. Lol. My dad was head of cardiopulmonary at Kaiser and after hearing his stories and seeing the long LONG hours, I decided medicine isn't really my cup of tea.

Obviously I want a good job, but I also want to be happy. I've already been in contact with hiring officials at Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Virgin Galactic, and Google. However, those jobs aren't near where I want to live (back home in northern CA). Also looking into some federal and state jobs that are close to home. I've even looked into California Highway Patrol. Yes, I'm kind of all over the map with what career field I want to persue, but I'm still young enough to make a few changes.

As for your question of #1 and #2, I could always use more polishing. Especially with the transition from military to civilian life. The Air Force has engrained it's core values into my brain and I live by them not just in my professional life, but in my personal life as well. Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. I've been placed in multiple leadership positions. I'm currently the assistant site administrator for a $20M facility on a bombing range utelized by US and coalition forces. Not to mention the numerous times I've been placed in charge of multiple shops with both military and civilian employees. I could go on and on about my experiences, but nobody want to hear that. I'm rambling. I'll stop now. Lol.
 

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I would always go for someone with hands on experience than someone with a piece of paper that says they have been to university and has the ability to learn.I myself have no further education after leaving school at 16 I joined the merchant navy where I spent 10 years roaming the world and getting paid to do so my only thing that I have is the ability to listen to others and learn as I go along. As of now I'm a bus driver at 46yrs old and probably have reached my end but you never know what's round the corner.
 

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J Spec,

This is a good question.

You need to decide what it is that you want to do as a career. Certain high end professional careers require higher level and specialized education. For example medicine and Law. If you wish to follow a career path into these arenas then a college degree is going to be just the beginning of the process.

If you would like a career in the Civil Service then a College degree will give you extra points at entry but also so would military service. If you wish an active role then you could apply to be a fire-fighter or police officer and I am sure your airforce service would stand you in good stead there.

If you wish to work with your hands and be self employed then I would go to trade school and learn plumbing or electrical work as examples as those guys earn pretty respectable money.

For myself I have never stopped studying since I left school so from a personal development aspect, I am still developing and I see education as enjoyment now and not a tool to a career.

Having spent time in my life as a full time employee and alot of my life as my own boss, I would not go back to being a wage slave....But then we are all different and I'm not you :)

I'd definitely treat your conundrum as requiring a management by objectives situation..Decide what it is you want to do and then work out the route to get there.

Good luck,,treat it as a challenge more than as a problem :)

joe
 

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I'm finding this very interesting. The company I worked for up until a couple of weeks ago was one that started in a garage 40+ years ago with two men. It grew into a 500 million dollar a year company, run mostly by local people from a small town of 1000 and the surrounding area. The wages and benefits were some of the best in northeastern Wisconsin. Then controlling interest was sold to an investment group and the old leadership was sent packing. New management was brought in with all kinds of paperwork to prove their worth. Now the wages are down, good benefits going away, and they claim there's no profit. In my opinion I saw some bad calls on managements part. After seeing this I'd go with experience over a degree.
 

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Why one or the other??? A person with experience and a degree will only make you that much more attractive to employers. Do you need post secondary education to get a good job? Not always. Is it going to help you get that job? I say probably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all for the info.

Mr Fotheringham, where all did you go in the Merchant Navy? I've also been traveling the world over my past 10 years in the USAF. Love hearing travel stories. :)

Joe, I'm mostly looking at administrative, engineering, and security type jobs. I'm currently an HVAC/R Craftsman which I know isn't going to directly translate into a civilian job. I'll probably be lucky to land a Journeyman position despite my years of experience and certifications. I'm constantly reading and learning about different subjects. I've dabbled in fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, architecture, and even into quantum dynamics and astrophysics. I just find sitting in a classroom tedious.

Farmhand, if you don't mind, what did this company produce? Small business success stories always interest me. :)

Chwebby, I agree with you. Both would be ideal and I see your point. But here's my dilemma with that. I have experience in a lot of different fields. Having a degree in animal husbandry and trying to get a job as an administrator... The two don't correlate. I know it's a weird analogy, but spending years of my life on a degree in one field and then not finding a job in said field is a waste of time. An example: my best friend has her Master's in Geology. She can't find a good enough job to be able to pay her student loans, so she's back in school majoring in natural resources with a part-time job at a non-profit. Or my ex girlfriend with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans for her BA in film and media, but can't get a job at all because there are no jobs available, so she works at a bank. That's my problem with a formal education. Unless you're going to go into medicine, law, or engineering, what's the point? Even then, it's going to take a minimum of 7 years to finish your degree to be able to pay back the money you borrowed. Yet the majority of people I've talked to stress the importance of getting a degree.
 

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I'm currently an HVAC/R Craftsman which I know isn't going to directly translate into a civilian job. I'll probably be lucky to land a Journeyman position despite my years of experience and certifications.
Nick, if you'd rather live in a red state with low lax burdens versus the People's Republic of Northern California, :naughty: I can have you working in the HVAC field tomorrow. One of my dearest friends owns a very large successful HVAC company in Bubbaville, and he's always looking for qualified techs. The pay is good as well.

This guy has done all my work for over 15 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll definitely keep that in mind, Randy. Thank you! I kind of want to go home after traveling the world for 9 years. Believe it or not, I actually like Killacalinazifornia. I just ignore the hippies and hardcore liberals and enjoy the scenery (as brown as it may be right now). I never changed residency, so I still pay the taxes. But my mom has been alone since my dad passed and I still have friends there. Never know, though! Life is an adventure. :)
 

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I have a 21 year career behind my belt with 3 different bleu chips (across several continents) and these are my experiences :

1] A degree is just an entry ticket. Once you're in, you're on your own. Whatever grades you had in school...won't help you as of here.
2] Hardly any of the stuff I've learned in college has been used during my professional career. Amongst others I've got a Belgian law degree. Never used it.
3] Making progress means you need a good balance of functional and emotional intelligence. Learn how to read people. Always remain calm. The moment you 'lose it', you also lose the deal (and possibly your next promotion)
4] Personal drive is the difference between a cube and the corner office. I've known lots of smart people...but without any spark (drive), they will go nowhere in the real world. At least not in a highly competitive blue chip. Hell, I've fired a Harvard MBA because he lacked drive. Some people are better off in academia. Or work for the government.
How did I ever land my first job with a blue chip ? I combined 2 years of college while serving my military service with our special forces. That was tough. Am I smart ? Nope, I saw it as a challenge and some people had told me that what I intended to do was impossible. I had to prove them wrong. That's what got me noticed and landed me a contract while still being in college (and the army :))
5] Learn how to take (calculated) risks. Any great company started with somebody having the balls to swim against the stream.

In your case, you seem to have a proven track record of success, albeit within 1 specific environment. Your key challenge may be that the government has molded you a certain way, so I hope you will be able to develop the appropriate flexibility to work in a corporate environment. Maybe best if you try to start up your own business ? Aside from the Valley and Orange County California is struggling though, so please be careful.

Best of luck !
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Very interesting read, yves. Thank you for that. Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is a blue chip? I'm still young and dumb, so I apologize for simple questions. I have considered starting my own business, but I'm not sure what market to enter. After looking at that 3D carbon fiber printer, my wheels started squeaking, but it would have to be a side business until I grew a large enough product demand. I'm not 100% sure I want to stick to the HVAC world, but it's always there as an "easy" fall back. If I have to move for work, so be it. It's not ideal, but If it means success, that's an avenue I'm going to take.

Lastly, since you said "special forces" instead of "special operations," I'm guessing you were Army SF?
 

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"Blue Chip" generally refers to a large, well capitalized, frequently multi-national company.....like General Electric or Coca Cola.
 

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me i think the world has gone crazy
i left school at 13 not because i wanted to because we were very poor , where was i going to end up most said toilet cleaner if i was lucky
well today i have 22 under me, 15 knobs with BSC, degrees ,Masters ETC , doing jobs that the lower end of the education scale would normally do
out of the 15 smarties 10 are useless they can not shit without working out friction and pressure ratio's (which they get wrong) and by the time they have done that ,they have shit themselves .. the other 5 are okay ish think to much about simple things but can not work out basics .. like a job like this.. he could not get a spanner to tighten a instrument securing bolt , so he walked 20 mins to my office in 55 deg heat to ask if he could use a socket on it .. he had his 2 way on him and is mobile/cell also his ute completely fitted out with tools inc a socket set


then i have 7 other guys working class came up in the school of hard knocks ..at 5 they come in pick there work sheet test sheets and service sheets , then pick up anyparts they need i dont see them till 5. 12hrs later never a drama never a fault push out 300% more work than the smarties but get paid less because they dont have degree's
 

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"Blue Chip" generally refers to a large, well capitalized, frequently multi-national company.....like General Electric or Coca Cola.
i thought Blue Chip was a stock market term that meant very secure but low yield investment in a large secure company

but bandy working for blue chip company like a flag is strange .. because the fork lift driver at coke works for a blue chip Co
 

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i thought Blue Chip was a stock market term that meant very secure but low yield investment in a large secure company
I'm quite sure you're correct.
 

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.....out of the 15 smarties 10 are useless they can not shit without working out friction and pressure ratio's (which they get wrong) and by the time they have done that ,they have shit themselves ..
Typical F4 weenies.......:stickpoke
 

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The original Bleu Chips are the components of the DOW. Membership is limited to 30 companies, but they tend to fluctuate (last big reshuffle was 2008 - think AIG).
However, we also see the term used in a broader sense for any company which indeed offers stable and predicatable growth.
Some of these companies are stellar employers and offer continued learning opportunities. I was fortunate enough to be recruited on campus by P&G, it is something which has shaped the rest of my career.
My current company only recruits form company the likes of P&G, so all of our senior finance leadership is either ex P&G or GE. Funny.

My special forces comment : I am not American but served with the Belgian "Para Commando" unit. Not comparable to the US high tech approach, but physically very demanding. I liked it a lot.
 
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