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Guess what my college professor said...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GreenStreet, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. PLLandscape

    PLLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,389

    One more thing. My wife has a great job but is limited in growth due to only having a bachelors. She could probably be at $20,000+ per year more that what she makes now with a job if she had a masters. These are the careers of educated people I know very well.

    Counselor - $50k
    Regional Bank Manager - ~$100k
    College Professor - $70k+
    Lawyer - $120k
    Physcologist - $75k+
    Research - $48k

    This doesn't even include bonuses, free family health care plans, retirement plans, 4-5 weeks paid vacation, etc... With all that you could easily up all their salaries by $20-30k

    The one without education?

    $30k laborer, but he's married to the lawyer.
  2. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I have always looked at this attitude as a huge benefit. In many cases it allows me to make more money than many of my customers because of their arrogance/ignorance. I live on acreage and my house and possessions are hidden from the general public, after all, I am just a poor Lawn Turd :walking:
  3. Joel D

    Joel D LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    Keep in mind that most professors have never had a real job. They go to school until they are 28 years old then start teaching stuff they have no real experience with outside a class room.

    I am finishing my ag business degree, but I could keep mowing, and be very happy if I can continue to grow and make a decent living at it which seems to be very possible with as much success as I have up to this point. If I do decide to go into the job market I want to be a rep for a mower manufacture. That seems like a sweet gig.
  4. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,995

    Options. It is all about having options in life. A degree can provide those options.
  5. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,727

    Actually where I went to college, I would say 80% of the professors in IT/CS were retired from the industry. One professor I had was one of the lead programmers for IBM on Lotus Notes. He was incredibly hard and too smart for teaching. I had others who had retired from Texas Instruments, Oracle and HP. They had a lot of great insights.

    I'll never forget the quote that one professor told our class, and it's made the most sense of anything.... "A certification only proves you can take a test. A college degree only proves you can be taught. Once you get into the industry, you'll learn what you need to live..."
  6. GreenStreet

    GreenStreet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Wow. Had a great time reading all the replies, thanks a lot!

    It seems to me from these replies that college definitely DOES give you many more options. In my case, a civil eng. degree or construction mgmt. is a great back-up plan. The guy I first worked for (a small lawn maintenance company outside of Columbus, OH) is a full-time plant-managing chemist. He ran our crew and I would never have known he had that kind of job if I had not asked.

    One thing I have heard my whole life and has definitely been validated by this website is that if you do something you really love you will never work a day in your life. Societies views on the industry really should not influence a job choice...LCO's will just laugh at them all the way to the bank


    As for my professor: He E-Mailed me this morning apologizing for his remarks. He then went on to tell me about his high school friend who did not go to college, and owns a 2.5m landscape company (a little jealousy on my teachers part, maybe? :laugh:).
  7. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I'll never forget the quote that one professor told our class, and it's made the most sense of anything.... "A certification only proves you can take a test. A college degree only proves you can be taught. Once you get into the industry, you'll learn what you need to live..."

    That's really what it boils down to, which is why corporations end up going through so many people, their throwing out the resumes that don't have the "Masters degree stamp of approval" and claiming their aren't enough "Qualified Applicants" Seriously? I got the "A degree opens up options" from my parents all through high school. So I went in the military and did my thing there and then got my degree, I was told it was a sure way to the BIG MONEY, not only did I have 10 years military background but a degree to boot, I did in fact get that "big money job" I was making around 75K+/year with good benefits and the whole deal, but one thing was missing, IT SUCKED, and it wasn't really that much money after all. Then 2008 hit and like everybody else that degree didn't mean squat, it all came down to seniority, of which I had none so I was out the door. Am I bitter? nah, life happens you learn, relearn and move ahead. It's five years later and I'm still doing the self employed thing and even though not making near the money yet, I'm much happier. People ask me all the time "Why don't you put your degree to some use? I tell them all that piece of paper proves is I was able to go to a bunch classes and learn, nothing else really.
  8. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Interesting theory. Do you have stats to back this up? My dad was a college professor, worked days as a lumberjack and nights as a musician to pay for college. Or are those a cushy job? Most of the professors I know busted their tails to pay for school, usually at crappy, low wage jobs. My wife is a professor at a state university so I know what her path was as well as a number of our friends' paths. And in a number of the design classes I took, the profs were adjuncts who actually worked day jobs as architects or designers.

    But please, keep making sweeping generalizations based on... what, exactly?
  9. Joel D

    Joel D LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    Perhaps I should have said real careers until they started teaching instead of not having real jobs. As far as my stats, I have been to two different colleges, and I would say most, but not fall into exactly what I described. I have also heard several professors admit to what I said.

    But please, keep assuming I'm stating an exaggerated theory just because you know a few exceptions.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    Sorry, Joel, you just dug your hole yet deeper. What is "real career...?" PaperCutter asked important questions.

    Those who are in liberal arts programs are less likely to have double employment, than those involved with agriculture, horticulture, engineering, accounting, or any other career-oriented study major. I think the focus here is on the career-oriented fields of study, and not liberal arts.

    When I was in college, nearly all professors worked in other jobs, many owning their own businesses. Perhaps owning their own business does not qualify for a "real career." At present, I know of several people who are adjunct professors, working most of the time outside, again some owning their own business. None of these are in liberal arts programs.

    In recent years, and especially now, many colleges are restructuring their instructional staff. Many are moving their teaching staff to part-time basis, wanting as few full-time staff as possible. This structure requires outside work to make a living.

    Hmmmm, "real career," ... perhaps a new idea that has not yet surfaced.

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