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Am I cut out for this?


The Dude
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I come from a hard working family with blue collar roots. My father is an electrician and I have gone to work with him in the past, worked on side jobs with him and have experience in doing work like drywall, tile work, painting, plumbing and carpentry from working on our house and others over the years.

 

I am currently a sophomore for computer engineering. I enjoy it but I always saw myself as being a tradesman. I drive by a construction site and wish I was doing that type of thing. I am doing average with a 2.82 GPA and classes are OK. I plan on raising my GPA this semester. My question is, should I get my degree, and then if I decide I don't like it, go into a trade or simply drop out of school and go into the union.

 

I get a lot of satisfaction out of manual labor and I respect my father for his hard work. I hope I can be as good of a father as he has been. However, he says he wants better for me and there is too much struggles involved in his line of work.

 

I am just curious if anyone else went through this and how they reached a decision. I don't want to look back 20 years from now and regret the decision I've made.

 

Thanks. :b33r:

Edited by The Dude
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My father was a mechanic, grease monkey, submarine auxiliaryman..A/C, HP Air, Hydraulics, etc.....he told me when I went in the Navy...work with your head, not your back. Good advice. Even if you enjoy the labor, your dad knows how hard it can be, and how sporadic building trades work is...When the weather is bad and work stops, you can be inside still making a good paycheck. You'd be surprised how many trade workers from the North come down to Florida in the winter and draw unemployment because there is no work.

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As hard as school may be for you now, it will be a lot harder if you quit now and decide to go back. It's a lot harder once you start living "real life" and have other responsibilities. I would say go ahead and finish it now while you can. That way, if you do want to work as a tradesman and don't like it, you can then switch immediately instead of having to go back to school first.

 

I sometimes wish I could live on a farm, but during the summer months I'm glad I get to work in an air conditioned building. Even today, my dad called and said it was 9 degrees where he lives. I'm glad I wasn't the one going to feed the horses this morning.

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First of all, you must understand that fathers always want better for their children. It is normal as night and day..

 

I think the real question is, what do YOU want?

 

If you are not happy in your chosen profession, you will hate yourself your entire life. You had a chance to do differently and did not do it.

 

Your father will always love you, no matter what you do. He wants you to do well and be happy.

 

By doing what you feel strongly about, you will make yourself better and your father proud.

 

Just my opinion as a father for 32 years.

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My father was a mechanic, grease monkey, submarine auxiliaryman..A/C, HP Air, Hydraulics, etc.....he told me when I went in the Navy...work with your head, not your back. Good advice. Even if you enjoy the labor, your dad knows how hard it can be, and how sporadic building trades work is...When the weather is bad and work stops, you can be inside still making a good paycheck. You'd be surprised how many trade workers from the North come down to Florida in the winter and draw unemployment because there is no work.

 

My father says the same thing. I've talked to him about it and he said there is nothing that can prevent me from doing work on my own house or his when he retires. :lol:

 

He told me that I am young and when he was 20 years doing roofing before going into the electrical union he absolutely loved it, but when he started getting older it got less enjoyable and working outside in 5 degree weather in a ditch laying wire is when your start to wish you worked in a climate controlled environment somewhere.

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Of course doing what you want to do in life is important. The situation is that college will help regardless of which profession you end up in. In addition to hammering and measuring employers like employees that can stick with a job and are smart enough to make decisions when the time comes. Completing your education and receiving a degree is more than just the knowledge gained in a specific study.

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STAY IN SCHOOL


:geezer:



When I was in College 20+ years ago we were told that we would probably have to retrain for new jobs in the future and that has certainly come to pass. A degree regardless of the major will open up many more opportunities for you and the degree shows that you can learn and be trained. There will never be as good a time to finish as now, as others have said life has way of getting in the way of plans. Hang in there dude, as Leslie Nielson said "We're all counting on you".

Edited by Lou
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from my experience, school can open doors, but school wasn't for me. i'll take a labor job anyday. sure i wish i had that nice office w/ the a/c and all, but i also like being able to see what i have done in a days work.

 

one thing about getting into these unions is the wait time, at least where i am. though if you do get in you're set for life pretty much. it's just hard to mak the 10 out of 200+ that apply for the one job.

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At 66 years old I can tell you that expanding your options is the best thing you will ever do. I love outdoor work, but I became an Advanced Master Gardener to do it. Inside the climate controlled building by day--- garden the rest of the day--- which included laying wires 250 feet to my shed -- hooking up both ends 230v, boxes and all. I roofed a friends greenhouse/shed/barn last summer-- I can still climb a ladder with roll roofing on my shoulder-- my knees screamed all night :( !

You can have a good life and a good job if you have options. The people with no options are the ones who will complain loudest.

 

Get the schooling--- :P

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I'm one to go against the grain of popular opinion, but I still recommend that you stay in school. A degree is nothing but a sheet of paper that's less useful than toilet paper, but toilet paper can't get you a good job.

 

Others can only give you recommendations, and it's up to you whether you heed them or not. If you want to do hard labor, then by all means do it, just make sure you have a steady stream of income.

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Labor is fine but just remember that everything breaks. That includes your feet, legs, arms, back. wrists. With labor and a lot of blue collar jobs it becomes harder to compete with the guys 20 to 30 years old. With education the competition gets easier as you learn. Pulling wire is hard to do at 40 and 50. 112F in an attic or 23F standing on a foundation doesn't feel like a cup of coffee and a swivel desk chair. :P

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A degree is nothing but a sheet of paper that's less useful than toilet paper, but toilet paper can't get you a good job.

 

Silly, silly boy :lol:

 

I cut trees for almost 20 years, it takes trees to make bum wad. :laughing:

Edited by Bruce
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Guest badbinary

drop out, get a job.

 

do exactly what you want to do...only get a degree if you need it to do what you want to do. don't get a degree because society tells you to.

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Stay in school. Get the degree.

 

Then do what you want/like.

 

 

You can always have more than one career in life. You can even do more than one at a time.

 

You could use your degree to teach and go do roofing when you are off in the summer. I have a friend who does that.

 

Do it any way you like, but complete the degree. You will not egret it.

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I've decided to switch my major to Electrical Engineering. Since Computer Engineers take Electrical Engineering courses the first 2 years anyway, I am not wasting any credits. My interest are in power distribution and Power Engineering. Since Computer Engineers are essentially Electrical Engineers with a background in Programming, and I hate programming I think this is the best move to make.

 

My interest of being an electrician can also somewhat be satisfied by this. :)

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