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Suitable College Degree for the Industry

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JonesLawnCareWV, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. JonesLawnCareWV

    JonesLawnCareWV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    And here I go with questions again. I'm sorry for bugging you guys so much. :dizzy:

    I just started my second semester at college; majoring in Computer Engineering with a Computer Science minor. And I hate it. My entire life I have LOVED computers and electronics. Messing with and tinkering with them on the hardware level, but not so much the software level. In high school I took several programming courses and loved it - especially knowing that I can write a program to do exactly what I want it to do. But this is something I'd rather have as a hobby and not as a profession. Computer Hardware Engineering job availability is very low but high paying. Computer Software Engineering jobs are being posted by the bucket load as software is becoming more and more involved in everything we use. Computer Software Engineering also has a slightly lower salary; average salary being ~$80k/year versus ~$90k/year for hardware engi.

    I despise my programming class, partially because my teacher barely speaks comprehensible English. :rolleyes: And quite frankly, I don't like being given program requirements and being forced to write that program in a specific manor and to produce results that I have no interest in - which is exactly what my day to day job would be if I was to pursue Computer Software Engineering. Computer Hardware Engineering, on the other hand, obviously leans more towards the hardware aspect; but, there is still a LARGE part of that field that requires programming (I mean, you have to have some way to prove the hardware functions properly).

    With all of this in mind, I'm considering changing my major.

    I love working hands on with electronics and electricity. I'm already taking the same required courses for Electrical Engineering. The Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering course-plan's go hand-in-hand until the fifth semester.

    I also have a deep desire to make my current solo-operation into a full-blown maintenance and landscape installation company. I love the thoughts of designing landscape & hardscape features including landscape lighting.


    My new consideration of course study would be Electrical Engineering Major/Some sort of business minor. Does this seem like a plausible combination if my real interest is getting into the green industry? The good thing is: if my green industry plans fail, I have an Electrical Engineering degree and can get into a very WIDE variety of professions: aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, military, power generation, railway, telecommunications, utilities, etc etc. I would have a much wider variety of available professions with an Electrical Engineering degree compared to a limiting Computer Hardware Engineering degree. And the kicker to it all is that Electrical Engineering makes a very comparable average salary; 2013 average of ~85k/year. With some ambition and hard work, a position in one of those fields could easily yield 100k+ after a few years.

    ^And thats all assuming that my green industry plans don't pan out.

    I am also keeping it in mind that I may be offered a higher paying career in one of those fields prior to getting my own business at a highly profitable rate. In that case, my business would just grow more slowly and be a side job, I assume.

    Who knows. I have at minimum three years of college left. Guess I have plenty of time to change majors then change again and again until I make up my mind. :laugh:
  2. JonesLawnCareWV

    JonesLawnCareWV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Also, I've read some into horticulture and landscape architecture, but those limit me to that industry. I like the thought of entering the business with an "out of place" degree, even though Electrical Engineering wouldn't be completely out of place if I do landscape lighting. Plus I like the benefit of Electrical Engineering leaving me with a wide variety of jobs.
  3. Townhouse Yards

    Townhouse Yards LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 824

    The electrical engineering sounds pretty cool. I'm a junior in high school, studying to get accepted into a college with a horticulture/landscape contracting major. Landscape Architecture, horticulture, forestry, and civil engineering are all good degrees imo for the green industry. Civil engineering can also be used for a lot more though. Definitely a business administration minor would be great. Good luck with your decision.
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