College Degree

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GreenMan33, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I don't have a degree, my girlfriend has a degree from UF and we make the same kind of money at our day jobs, and mine actually has better benefits. I think college is important but I think it's also very overrated these days. There has been such a huge push to "go to college" that kids go just to go, and with so many boom boom degrees out there kids end up in the same places they started. I think one of he best things one could do is go to college and get a purposeful degree, or take up a trade.

    I started my business as a part time venture because I enjoy cutting grass and to make me a nice bit of extra money on the side, however, I would be doing it full time even if I had a degree as I hate being inside and stuck behind a desk. I went to school to be a firefighter and started the business to get me out of my current dead end corporate hell hole until I get hired, and then to keep me busy and make me extra income once I am hired. A firefighters schedule gives ample time to make a lot of extra money, and most of the guy I know have second jobs or run a business on the side, one or them actually owns a major landscaping company in the Tampa area.
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  2. Joe Shooner

    Joe Shooner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    I get to deal with a lot of lawn/landscape companies in my line of work. I would say that absent a college degree, I would highly encourage EVERYONE to pursue some structured eduction in Accounting and Communication. Improving your skills in these two regards will help you get more business and keep more money from the work you do.

    Honestly, the communications classes I took do me more good than any others - and with all due respect toward all present, the landscape industry includes a lot of people who can't be troubled to write an e-mail in complete sentences. The easiest way to show professionalism is to be well spoken and clear in your communication.
     
  3. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    Most of the landscapers I see around town can't speak in coherent English, can't write complete sentences with proper punctuation, they look like convicts, and their trucks and equipment usually look like they should be in a junk yard. Most have no idea how to run a professional looking business. This is how I get clients, because I'm definitely not as cheap as they are.
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  4. CGros31

    CGros31 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    I received my BS Degree in 2004 in Health and Physical Education. I received my Master's Degree in 2011 in Educational Leadership. I've been teaching for 10 years. I started my lawn service in April of 2007. Right now I'm making more money with my lawn service than my teaching jog. I'm strongly considering giving up my teaching job because 1. I don't like it anymore. 2. It's keeping me from taking on any new business. 3. I like the idea of making as much as I put into it. I can get on my wife's insurance. The benefits are teaching aren't great. I can pull out my retirement money and roll that over. I can always substitute teach in the winter when the grass isn't growing. Being in South Louisiana, we have a long growing season. Looking back, I wasted my time going to college. Those overpriced pieces of paper do not guarantee happiness or a good job.
     
  5. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    True story. I think a college degree is really important... for some people. So many people make it sound like if you graduate from college with a degree, you get a good job. Most of the people I work with at my current full time job have a four year degree and they are doing the exact same job as me, making the exact same money. I think the primary problem is degree saturation and a poor job market. A degree does NOT guarantee one a good job. I also feel as though in the professional world there is too much emphasis placed on having a degree vs being qualified, the airline industry is a good example. One shouldn't need a degree to fly a plane, they should need the correct certifications.
     
  6. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,450

    Going to college is only the beginning. There are many things one should do.....self improvement is the key to self improvement.

    In addition to college (a should do), there are 3 things you must do:

    1) Take the Dale Carnegie course. Then go back as a graduate assistant.

    2) Join a local Toastmasters organization. Effective communication is a very powerful force.

    3) Join the Jaycee's. They are the finest young persons leadership training organization on earth.
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  7. Fwilamosky

    Fwilamosky LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    Do both. I currently am enrolled at The Ohio State University and double majoring in Construction Management and Finance. I finishing up my second year of college in 2 weeks. Sure it's hard to do both, but what happens if you become badly injured and can't do landscaping anymore? Go to school then? Why not go now, while you have little overhead (no mortgage, kids, spouse, etc...) to invest most of your earnings in the business to get all the stuff needed to then go big. That's my philosophy. I know college is a scam now-a-days, but that's why I majored in something, Construction, where I could still have the possibility of being outside everyday and earning good money.
     
  8. Whittaker's Lawn and Snow

    Whittaker's Lawn and Snow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    You have all.made some very valid points. Iam considering going.to.college, for now tho I.might just wait.a few year and then get.my.1 year in landscaping, just for.the knowledge and the know how, from a technical school. Then once my business grows and I have more people working for me I will go back.to.college for something else.
    I started my business sooner than I wanted. My plan was to get my associates in BM then open my business. But opportunity knocked, some of the other landscapers in town retired, and the one I was working with was talking about.doing the same.so I went ahead and filed all the paperwork. The only things I need are a bank account and to sign the insurance paperwork, which I am doing on my 18th birthday this Friday. After I have the insurance proof the.landscaper I was working with is supposed to. Turn some of his clients over to me. Whether or not.he.will, idk. Because now hes been talking that he might not get out of it. I have been able.to get clients on my own tho. I currently have 6, I know its.not.much but.I.have also.not paid for.any advertising its all been word of mouth, and me calling local businesses asking if they're accepting bids. But my goal.is to.have around.30 by the.end.of.the season
     
  9. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,450

    If you don't go now, you never will.
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  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,412

    Yeah, you're probably going to realize that "outside" means sitting inside modular offices that are located outside. :) For the industry, your double major is a great choice.

    My brother is in const mgt, currently building your new cancer hospital. O-H!
     

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