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Higher Education?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by thebobcatkid86, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I didnt know excatly where to post this but here goes... This is primarily for anyone from Ohio Lately my grandparents have been getting worried because they just realized that this is a seasonal business. No matter how much I try and reassure them, they are insistent that I get some kind of higher education. So I have been debating going to Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) for their Landscape Contracting and Construction program as well as possibly their Power Equipment or Construction Management programs. Has anyone else on this forum gone through any of these programs, most specifically the landscaping course and if so, what do you think of it?
  2. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    Listen to your grandparents. They know what they are talking about.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Maybe you could broaden your horizons and expand out of your current field of knowledge. Try for an engineering degree or maybe learn another trade like welding. The industrial sector is always looking for good people with millwright skills. At least with another trade you can still work for yourself in the winter or if you had to get a job with someone.
  4. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    Not sure about Ohio, but K-State has an excellent program related to our industry. I have heard great things about it.

    As soon as I was done w/ HS, I decided that I should probably go to college & get a degree just in case the lawn care & landscaping business didn't go as planned. I decided to go through a Business Administration program & focused equally on Management & Marketing. It was not only beneficial to my business now, but should I decide on a career change, I can take it with me there as well.
  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Even if an instructor couldn't use a shovel, college education can be very benficial.

    How I prune, and even teach it, hinges greatly on just one or two fragments I retained from Horticulture class.

    This weekend, I spoke to the Brookings Harbor Garden Club in Oregon at the coast, and a large part of my lecture was based on directing and understanding plant growth: it all goes back to a part of my Horticulture class.

    If someone can get a degree, great. If not, and if classes are available, get what is practical.

    I only went to college to take 3 classes, and enjoyed it so much, I got 2 years worth of college classes pertaining to trees and landscaping. I met a lot of people and friends, too.
  6. Buckeye Lawncare

    Buckeye Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    I go to main campus in Columbus, majoring in Ag business & Economics with a minor in turf grass. My cousin is at ATI right now majoring in Turf grass management, it is a two year program and he will graduate with a associates degree, he hopes to go work for a nice golf course somewhere. Most of the majors at ATI are two year programs.

    My suggestion is to go tour ATI, talk to students there, and talk to an adviser at ATI. Listen to your grandparents, get an education. Even if you stay in the industry after you graduate you will know more and you will probably get more customers when you tell them that you graduated from college with a degree in whatever it is.

    Plus, you would be a part of the best college in the world THE Ohio State University:weightlifter:
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    Ohio State has great programs, some of the best in the county.... you will find many of the more successful people on here have degrees of some sort......

    many change there feild eventually, but a college educaton is worth the effort....
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Your grandparents are wise in their suggestion. Education is not something that can be taken from you. But, more importantly at this season of life, you are well advised to learn how to learn. You will have several career changes over the next 40 years. Your agility in dealing with the changes, the ability to learn things you never needed to know before, will bode well for remaining stable in a turbulent workforce.
  9. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Buckeye - Those are the programs Im talking about... the 2-year associate degree programs. There's one for Landscape Construction, which is what I was thinking about. I am also debating the one for Power Equip. which is more or less the basics for working on the type of equipment I intend on owning. While I understand that the education recieved is something that cant get taken away, I just get erked when I think about the money. Which its really not so bad, about 26k for the two years, and my one grandfather would probably throw ths arm out of its socket reacing for his wallet to pay for it... I cant help but think of al the 'big iron' I could get with that kind of cash.

    PS. - I appreicate all the advice. and to Mow2nd-2 thats the way I felt about public school. And thats why I was home schooled from the seventh grade onward. Which is kind of why how I ended up where I am now. For anyone who cares my mini-bio is posted in the Who Are You forum.
  10. Mow2nd-2

    Mow2nd-2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I don't think higher education is worthless and no i didn't get started is this when i was eight. I would say a business management course or small engine repair/ maintenance course would be great for you or anyone in this feild to take. Me personally i was born and raised on a farm, so i learned alot about small engine repair/maintenance on the farm through trail and error. As far as mowing and running a business, i have taken knowledge from others i have worked for and applied that to my own business.
    Here's my opinion best sumed up:
    There is no substitute for hands on experience, the best way to learn is through trail and error. What may work for you, Won't all ways for me.

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