Author Topic: Associates degree vs master degree.  (Read 20607 times)

Hedge_87

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Associates degree vs master degree.
« on: January 25, 2014, 11:36:55 AM »
Had a funny conversation with my future inlaws the other day. My wife just finished school with a masters degree so we went out to dinner to celebrate. At one point they asked me when I was going back to school to get a better job. I am pretty sure they didn't mean anything by it but it really rubbed me wrong. Here is the problem

Me: went to a trade school right out of high school January 07 and got an apprenticeship as an electric lineman. Fast forward to today I make $98k a year and have about $100,000 in 401k and $10k in a newly started IRA(would be a lot more if I thought this way from day one but it's hard when at 19 you make $60k) also have no debt and should finish the morgage up by June this year.

Wife:bachelors degree in graphic design and a masters in special ed. This is her first full time job ever. She pulls in about $45k a year has $60k in student loan debt and absolutely zero investment.

I'm sure without looking at the numbers I just disclosed we look "poor" both vehicles are 14 years old, our house is small (great for two people), we frequently turn down going out to eat with them and instead offer to invite them over for dinner, and our vacations consist of camping and hiking. I just don't like how the majority opinion is that you HAVE to go to school and get a degree our your just not trying hard enough or something.


P.s. I am not trying to berate my wife that's just the numbers side of things. She has had some events that have not helped her out so far in life that I will not disclose

projekt

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 11:40:56 AM »
Just curious, how much overtime is required to pull in $98k? I often recommend trades to people who are wondering what to do and they just don't believe that they pay well.

beltim

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 11:44:05 AM »
I can definitely see why that would rub you the wrong way it's definitely tactless.  You may have identified why they thought you needed a better job, though:

"I'm sure without looking at the numbers I just disclosed we look "poor" both vehicles are 14 years old, our house is small (great for two people), we frequently turn down going out to eat with them and instead offer to invite them over for dinner, and our vacations consist of camping and hiking."

Without other information (assuming you haven't told them your salary or savings), why wouldn't they think that this is what you can afford, rather than what you choose to spend?

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 12:05:25 PM »
Just curious, how much overtime is required to pull in $98k? I often recommend trades to people who are wondering what to do and they just don't believe that they pay well.

I normally see around 150-200 a year (some contractors can see that in six months). I never feel like I actually work that much though because every time I get called out its 2 hours automatically (I've been out and back to the house in 30 minutes before). I also get paid 2 hours a day extra just for being on call. I'm on call 1 out of 8 weeks. I couldn't be happier with my chosen profession and would recommend it to anybody who doesn't mind getting a little dirty. I've probably logged just as much classroom time as somebody with a masters though. Mine was paid by my employer

Psychstache

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 12:07:00 PM »
The other issue is probably that while you have a high paying job, some might perceive it to be low status (for the same reason that people look down on plumbers, despite the fact that they make great money).

Start to practice not caring what others think about your life choices. The ROI on that skill is priceless.

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 12:21:46 PM »
Very good point. It was just odd and I don't think they really ment anything by it because they are some of the nicest people I've ever known. Maybe it was just in how I perceived it. I'm not really interest in RE (at least not extremely early) because I like my job.  Defiantly want FI and the option to. Mainly just on this forum for advise and motivation on how to trim a little more fat off my life, invest it properly, and just lead a better life in general.

Itchin4Scratch

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 12:25:25 PM »
Wow you make a lot!  I would love to go back to school for something that would earn me that much, especially if it doesn't require that much school!  Please let me know (if you don't mind), how long did it take before you were earning such an amazing living?  How physically demanding is the job?  I'm taking time to learn my options, I don't want another useless degree  :)

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 05:07:04 PM »
The physically demanding part is the main reason for the pay (fine with me I'm a freaking ox lol). I went to school for one year + a few summer semesters of gen-eds for my associates. After that I had to complete a four year apprenticeship with a class two nights a week after work for two hours and plenty of homework. After I earned my journeyman statues 2 years ago I earned somewhere in the $80k range. Since then I've proven myself to my supervisors enough that they give me added responsibility (most of the time with a temporary pay increase). The apprenticeship isn't the easiest but you are making damn good money while getting a free education in a lucrative field (my apprenticeship hours are consider by several schools as college credit.

kimmarg

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 05:52:38 PM »
The physically demanding part is the main reason for the pay (fine with me I'm a freaking ox lol). I went to school for one year + a few summer semesters of gen-eds for my associates. After that I had to complete a four year apprenticeship with a class two nights a week after work for two hours and plenty of homework. After I earned my journeyman statues 2 years ago I earned somewhere in the $80k range. Since then I've proven myself to my supervisors enough that they give me added responsibility (most of the time with a temporary pay increase). The apprenticeship isn't the easiest but you are making damn good money while getting a free education in a lucrative field (my apprenticeship hours are consider by several schools as college credit.

Can I just say THANK YOU!!! On behalf of the 174,000 of us who lost power in the Maine ice storm just before Christmas you guys are truly miracle workers out in 0 degree or colder wind chill restoring power.  Under appreciated career, that's what you got. I was just wondering what it took to be a lineman - now I know! :)

jjquantz

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 06:00:06 PM »
The physically demanding part is the main reason for the pay (fine with me I'm a freaking ox lol). I went to school for one year + a few summer semesters of gen-eds for my associates. After that I had to complete a four year apprenticeship with a class two nights a week after work for two hours and plenty of homework. After I earned my journeyman statues 2 years ago I earned somewhere in the $80k range. Since then I've proven myself to my supervisors enough that they give me added responsibility (most of the time with a temporary pay increase). The apprenticeship isn't the easiest but you are making damn good money while getting a free education in a lucrative field (my apprenticeship hours are consider by several schools as college credit.

It's great to see that you recognize this.  Several of my extended family members worked in various trades (including electric lineman).  All of them, mostly in their early 50's, are now not working due to injuries suffered on the job.  They all collect various amounts of disability but are not in very good positions financially.  Take care of yourself and make sure you continue your savings.  The trades pay well but are tough on the body.

HamhockHammock

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 06:12:09 PM »
Way to go man.  Your post made me think of this interview with Mike Rowe:

http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/15/spend-sunday-morning-with-dirty-jobs-mik

monarda

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 06:40:04 PM »
The physically demanding part is the main reason for the pay (fine with me I'm a freaking ox lol). I went to school for one year + a few summer semesters of gen-eds for my associates. After that I had to complete a four year apprenticeship with a class two nights a week after work for two hours and plenty of homework. After I earned my journeyman statues 2 years ago I earned somewhere in the $80k range. Since then I've proven myself to my supervisors enough that they give me added responsibility (most of the time with a temporary pay increase). The apprenticeship isn't the easiest but you are making damn good money while getting a free education in a lucrative field (my apprenticeship hours are consider by several schools as college credit.

It's great to see that you recognize this.  Several of my extended family members worked in various trades (including electric lineman).  All of them, mostly in their early 50's, are now not working due to injuries suffered on the job.  They all collect various amounts of disability but are not in very good positions financially.  Take care of yourself and make sure you continue your savings.  The trades pay well but are tough on the body.

+1
Take care of your body.
and +1
Thank you for the work you do!

Here's a little digression-

on the topic of advanced degrees: the degree doesn't necessarily guarantee the income. Common misconception by your future in-laws.  More degrees CAN mean higher income, but often people pursue advanced schooling just for the love of a field. Not necessarily for the job prospects. Maybe that's misguided, but people have a strange opinion about what schooling is for. And most people under-appreciate the tremendous value of liberal arts. 

I've got a science PhD and although I love being in academia, other highly educated academic staff and researchers like me earn only in the 40-60K range, even 20 years post PhD. I'd be thrilled to pull in a steady 60K, and not have to rely on soft money (funding on research grants is sporadic). Most college professors (average schools) don't make more than 60K. Only top tier university profs will make over 100K. So you're already making more than quite a lot of advanced degree holders.

Anyway. Landlording and mustachian living allow me to continue a comfortable lifestyle on a salary that is modest by most standards.  Definitely my choice to keep on keepin'-on in academia, but the academic freedom and intellectual challenges are worth it.

Question for you,
Now you're fit and young and an ox, but what are your dreams when you're 50+ and your body starts to creak a bit?


Fireman

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2014, 07:30:30 PM »
Start to practice not caring what others think about your life choices. The ROI on that skill is priceless.

+1

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 11:06:57 PM »
Yes the 50+ and creaking old bones is my main reason for wanting FI. Just like an athlete you only have so much time before you start slding down hill. I'm really planning on a couple advancements in my career to all but eliminate the phsical part of the job. Also trying my best to counteract the effects with a better than average fitness level and training routine

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 11:36:45 PM »

Can I just say THANK YOU!!! On behalf of the 174,000 of us who lost power in the Maine ice storm just before Christmas you guys are truly miracle workers out in 0 degree or colder wind chill restoring power.  Under appreciated career, that's what you got. I was just wondering what it took to be a lineman - now I know! :)
[/quote].

 I think this is my favorite part of the job although I can't take any credit for your situation in Maine. It's nice to know someone realizes it takes a lot to keep the world spinning round.

Saverocity

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2014, 07:52:59 AM »
A lot of people think like this, you can either set them straight or let them carry on.  You are in outstanding shape.  It's such a weird thing this conditioning that a Masters is required for a successful career.

Could just keep quiet, then a year from now when the mortgage is paid off take take them out or invite them around to dinner to celebrate it, if they can't connect the dots,probably not worth spelling out.

Fireman

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2014, 09:18:24 AM »
Reminds me of the time dad told me I needed to live up to my potential.  When I asked for clarification, he told me I needed to go back to school and get my bachelor's degree. 

I tried the four year college right of high school gig and after three years (and still no idea what I wanted to do with my life) I left with a terrible GPA but a better understanding of myself.  I worked a myriad of jobs, took classes here and there, and ended up back in technical college a few years later.  I knew what I wanted to do (since I was already doing it) and after a year, I earned an associates in my field.  There are jobs in my field that require a four year degree but i'm quite happy where I am.  I have considered getting a business degree but I don't see the need to spend thousands of dollars to take classes about things I can learn online for free. 

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2014, 09:51:36 AM »
I have had the same thoughts on the business degree. But I don't think I would like being in management. It would pay a little better, be more headache and, not nearly enjoyable as actually getting some work done. I have no desire to deal with board members, conference calls, or approving time sheets and expense reports.

Fireman, I'm pretty sure you have my number two job choice. Living in rural ks we are mostly volunteer departments. Been volunteer for 5 years now (sure you pros laugh at us part timers).

Fireman

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2014, 10:48:51 AM »
I don't want to go into management so much as i'd like to better understand tax code and business structure.  I feel like these are things I can pick up with podcasts, blogs, and community college classes. 

Hedge:  It's definitely an awesome job!  I volunteered for many years before I got to do it as a career and we have a strong base of volunteers where I work.  Granted, a majority of them work for other departments and volunteer on their time off...something I will look at doing if I change departments.

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 11:07:06 AM »
That's my thoughts too. I also wouldn't mind learning a little bit more about computers (pretty sure they are not going away). I will never be a computer Jedi or anything but right now all I can do is get on the internet and watch stupid YouTube videos. Other than the kick ass aspect of being a fireman I think I would also like the scheduling. Right now with my job if I get home with more than 30 minutes of daylight left. Kind of makes it hard to get anything done outside.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2014, 12:54:42 PM »
If you really like what you do, then don't worry about it. It's awesome that you are such a great saver.

My dad went to trade school and made really good money as a pipefitter (up to 100K a year with lots of overtime). Some disadvantages of his job were that he really started to hate his job around age 50 because it was difficult for him to physically do the work. He never got any paid vacation. Because he was union, he made the same amount with 35 years of experience as someone with 5 years of experience.

There is typically a larger upside for 4 year degrees. However, many people do not experience that potential upside. If you are talking about salary for the first 10 years of a career, trade school wins. However, if you are talking years 10-30, I think the picture might be a little different. 

Fireman

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2014, 11:30:45 AM »
When I left college the first time, a friend sent me this picture. 


Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2014, 12:12:13 PM »
haha thats a good one Fireman.

clarkfan- I understand the part about the physical aspect of my job. In fact my plan I've been working on has just bared fruit. I just got a promotion to substation tech. Its a lot less physical so I'm sure my body will thank me down the line. Its also about the close as I ever want to get to being in an office type setting. I also don't want to have to live in a big city. There are not many opportunities in rural KS (born and raise here and family is important) for high powered careers and that is fine by me.

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2014, 02:24:33 PM »
You look at them with a quizzical look on your face and say " gosh, does that mean I can even earn more than my current 6 figure salary?".

Ftao93

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2014, 08:58:42 PM »
 I think you're doing great!  I don't even make 60k at 37 :P.  To realize it this early, and be content, that's amazing.  Even better if you love your jobs!

You and your wife seem to be off to a great start.  With as much as you're bringing home, that debt should be gone fast!  Then max out some 401k's, IRA contributions (maybe do that anyway, since your bills are minimal), invest the rest, and be 'retired' as soon as you want! 

Sounds like you guys both love camping and hiking.  Healthy, you get to be one with nature, and not very expensive most of time.  Sounds pretty rockin' to me!.

Maybe if you present it passively back to the in-laws, and say "yeah, we really don't want to go out much until the loans and mortgage are paid off.  Maybe then we'll treat to a small vacation".
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 09:02:15 PM by Ftao93 »

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2014, 05:41:17 AM »
Thanks everybody. Just kind of needed a place to vent a little. It gets kind of frustrating getting the stink eye for not gong to "college". I don't think they realize the amount of hours I've spent in the classroom and the stack of certifications I've had to get along the way. I do like the idea about taking a mortgage free vacation.

Ftao93

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2014, 12:51:15 PM »
One other thought:

Could this be because they'd like you to find a job where you aren't likely to get electrocuted?  I mean, they probably assume you test Transmission lines with your tongue.......

One of my former kung-fu students is an electrical engineer for our local electric company, and makes tons of cash.  He's one of the few that has gone to school and certs as much as the company will allow.  He will retire on a full pension at 50, and can then work 'extra' teaching or supervising if he wants.

He's wisely invested this in some houses for use/rent and 'stached' the rest!  He also doesn't drink, smoke, anything.  If he weren't so darn awesome I might hate him :P

MicroRN

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2014, 03:22:30 PM »
Thanks everybody. Just kind of needed a place to vent a little. It gets kind of frustrating getting the stink eye for not gong to "college". I don't think they realize the amount of hours I've spent in the classroom and the stack of certifications I've had to get along the way. I do like the idea about taking a mortgage free vacation.

I had to choke down my ego a bit going from a B.S. in biology at a good university to getting an associates in nursing from a local tech school.  Now I don't care, because I'm earning more than twice as much per hour as I did, with more flexibility.  If I worked FT, I'd only be making $2K less per year than the last professor I worked for (who had tenure, and was at work at least 60 hours a week).  I have friends with doctorates in the sciences who are adjunct professors, or post-docs, making less than I do.  A degree doesn't guarantee a well-paying job, and there are plenty of smart people who don't go on for degrees.

Fishingmn

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2014, 04:00:03 PM »
If I had to guess I think they basically think that your job must not pay very well and that you'd be better off financially if you had more education.  They aren't being mean - they just want to make sure you guys are financially secure and have no clue that you are kicking butt.

My advice - have fun with it.  Ask them "what kind of starting pay do you think I could make with a masters degree?"  You can laugh to yourself when they suggest a number that's $30-40k less than you are now making.

One other thought - I do agree with others that talk about the physical toll.  You might want to figure out the long-term path that gets you into some sort of supervisory or training role in the future.

JR

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2014, 04:31:54 PM »
I don't know what I would have done in that situation. I have an associates in business admin and earn (way more than the average for this degree) the same as my wife who has a masters degree (no debt luckily). Of course one day when she has enough clinical hours to get her clinical license she will blow my earning potential out of the water.

Daniel

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2014, 05:04:09 PM »
Linemen man, you guys are badasses! I used to work for an electric utility so let me tell you here is someone else who appreciates what you do. Also I toured a lineman's training area as part of my training at the utility and they said something like 75% of applicant's can't hack it physically. So make sure you're in good shape before trying it "anyone who is reading this". Keep on, keepin' on!

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2014, 06:43:43 PM »
One other thought - I do agree with others that talk about the physical toll.  You might want to figure out the long-term path that gets you into some sort of supervisory or training role in the future.

Actually this was my biggest concern and I took a new position as a substation tech (started Monday). WAY less physical work but I still get to work outside on the nice days so I don't go slowly insane behind a desk. I am pretty excited about it lots of new stuff to learn.

Metta

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2014, 10:15:07 AM »

on the topic of advanced degrees: the degree doesn't necessarily guarantee the income. Common misconception by your future in-laws.  More degrees CAN mean higher income, but often people pursue advanced schooling just for the love of a field. Not necessarily for the job prospects. Maybe that's misguided, but people have a strange opinion about what schooling is for. And most people under-appreciate the tremendous value of liberal arts. 

I've got a science PhD and although I love being in academia, other highly educated academic staff and researchers like me earn only in the 40-60K range, even 20 years post PhD. I'd be thrilled to pull in a steady 60K, and not have to rely on soft money (funding on research grants is sporadic). Most college professors (average schools) don't make more than 60K. Only top tier university profs will make over 100K. So you're already making more than quite a lot of advanced degree holders.


I found this thread deeply amusing. My parents have spent about 20 years asking me when my husband (Ph.D. in History and working as a professor) will stop this history nonsense and get a "real" job. They are accountants and I think if he were an electrician or a plumber or a doctor or lawyer or a programmer or involved in financial services they would be much more comfortable. He finally became the "director" of an academic program (no increased income, just more work) and now my parents are very pleased.

You are spot-on about the amount academics get paid. Fortunately in History there is virtually no soft money so it has been a fairly steady amount for many years now. And he was recently tenured, which is fabulous! Prior to tenure we were never sure that he would have a job next year so we used the money he brought in for savings and luxuries and lived on my income. That turns out to have been a good thing in hindsight.

The lesson, I suppose, is that in-laws are never truly sure that the husband is worthy of their daughter no matter the occupation. :)


Leisured

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2014, 05:38:58 AM »

Thankyou for starting this post Hedge_87. You have to be fairly clever to get a degree, but those who are really clever simply automate the economy, and live like ladies and gentlemen of leisure on machine effort. The Automation Revolution of the fifties and sixties, sometimes known as the Second Industrial Revolution, was not a time when automatic machines emerged in any numbers; it was a time of enlightenment, when scientists became aware that the laws of nature actually allow automatic control.

We will never have compete automation of course, but aristocracies throughout history have known that many nobles just live comfortably on their rents, and a few gifted nobles work hard in high levels of government or business.

My body is a miniature automatic economy. I am not hungry, but I eat a biscuit. My blood sugar goes up, and my body converts glucose to glycogen until blood sugar becomes what it should be. All automatic, I do not have to push buttons or pull levers. Later, my blood sugar goes down, and my body automatically breaks glycogen down to glucose, until my blood sugar again becomes what it should be.

There are no little demons with degrees having careers keeping my body going. In the long run, much the same will happen with advanced economies. It is amazing the number of college graduates who do not understand these matters. It reminds me of a senior German army officer about 1900, who received new graduates from officer college every year. He put them into four categories; clever and lazy, clever and industrious, stupid and lazy, stupid and industrious. He regarded clever and lazy as the best, and stupid and industrious as the worst.

On another note, you mentioned the physical nature of your work. In Australia, I have seen linesmen with trucks which have a cherry picker permanently mounted on the back. I imagine this must take the effort out of climbing up and down power poles.




Sparky

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2014, 11:29:18 PM »
Another one here that works in the electrical industry who understands what kind of stereotyping we sometimes go through. A few of my ex's friends (and honestly I think my ex as well), liked to generalize that tradespeople are second rate people due to their lack of a normal college education. But I guess that making up to $180k a year is nothing compared college life and serving Latte's at Starbucks.

The ex thought I should go to school and get a degree in Electrical Engineering. Thing is, after 4 years of school, I could just retire if I just kept working instead

I work a fair bit of overtime. Think I had close to 100 hours in OT alone in January alone.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 11:33:16 PM by Sparky »

grantmeaname

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2014, 08:28:30 AM »
Another one here that works in the electrical industry who understands what kind of stereotyping we sometimes go through. A few of my ex's friends (and honestly I think my ex as well), liked to generalize that tradespeople are second rate people due to their lack of a normal college education. But I guess that making up to $180k a year is nothing compared college life and serving Latte's at Starbucks.
"You can't make untrue generalizations about me! Here, have an untrue generalization about you!"

Fireman

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2014, 08:40:41 AM »
Another one here that works in the electrical industry who understands what kind of stereotyping we sometimes go through.
snip

The ex thought I should go to school and get a degree in Electrical Engineering. Thing is, after 4 years of school, I could just retire if I just kept working instead

/snip

I hope your forum name is representative of your profession!

It's funny how terrible school can look on paper once you do the math.  I developed an inkling to go back to finish my BS and get a Master's degree as a Physician's Assistant.  After calculating the cost of tuition, housing, books, transportation, and lost wages, and factoring in the increase in pay as a PA versus my current job, I determined that it would take over 13 years to get back in the black.

beltim

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2014, 11:38:47 AM »
Another one here that works in the electrical industry who understands what kind of stereotyping we sometimes go through. A few of my ex's friends (and honestly I think my ex as well), liked to generalize that tradespeople are second rate people due to their lack of a normal college education. But I guess that making up to $180k a year is nothing compared college life and serving Latte's at Starbucks.
"You can't make untrue generalizations about me! Here, have an untrue generalization about you!"

Point to Grant

Tyler

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2014, 11:39:11 AM »
Had a funny conversation with my future inlaws the other day. My wife just finished school with a masters degree so we went out to dinner to celebrate. At one point they asked me when I was going back to school to get a better job. I am pretty sure they didn't mean anything by it but it really rubbed me wrong.

I wouldn't worry about it.  That sounds to me like a simple combination of the thought process of an older generation regarding the value of college and the typical musings of in-laws who always think their child could have done better just on principal. It's not about money. 

Capsu78

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2014, 09:40:13 PM »
Had a funny conversation with my future inlaws the other day. My wife just finished school with a masters degree so we went out to dinner to celebrate. At one point they asked me when I was going back to school to get a better job. I am pretty sure they didn't mean anything by it but it really rubbed me wrong.

I wouldn't worry about it.  That sounds to me like a simple combination of the thought process of an older generation regarding the value of college and the typical musings of in-laws who always think their child could have done better just on principal. It's not about money.

Let me suggest going with Tyler here-  My grown/married daughter had a guy friend she dated her senior year in HS.  I was so used to her college bound friends stopping by that I asked this guy "where you thinking about going?"  He kind of looked at the ground and said " I am not really college material..." six little words and I have felt like a S heel ever since.   The broke up, with some bad feelings, and a few years later, I look up to find him working at the Home Depot, helping me load my van.  I reach out to shake his hand and he reaches back and says "How are you Mr Capsu?"   I say " its Dave, Mike... how you doing?" Good, Good Mr Capsu- er Dave" and I have seen him there a couple times a year ever since.
I offered to hook him up with a CAD machine tool manufacturer who is dying for some kid to come in (show up) and learn the business, but Mike says "I got a good thing going here at HD...but thanks for thinking about me".  I shake his hand every time I see him because he passed all of my "pop quizzes" when he dated my daughter and respected my simple bottom line: "If you make her cry, I will make you cry... capisce?"
 

Capsu78

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #40 on: March 15, 2014, 09:40:35 PM »
Had a funny conversation with my future inlaws the other day. My wife just finished school with a masters degree so we went out to dinner to celebrate. At one point they asked me when I was going back to school to get a better job. I am pretty sure they didn't mean anything by it but it really rubbed me wrong.

I wouldn't worry about it.  That sounds to me like a simple combination of the thought process of an older generation regarding the value of college and the typical musings of in-laws who always think their child could have done better just on principal. It's not about money.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2014, 06:52:13 PM »
   Very interesting thread! To the OP, do not let the in laws irk you. You are doing great and bugger all what anyone else thinks. The cost of college is something that students must take into consideration. In the 80's college was cheap, now it is shockingly expensive. Student debt is over a trillion dollars in the USA as in $1,000,000,000,000  and this is a monster problem! I did the math and figured professional degree or PHD would have a very long pay back (13 years) vs just using my BS and working. Ended up making an absolutely stunning (to me anyway-not stunning with respect to Goldman Sachs) amount of money just with my BS.

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2014, 08:26:28 PM »
I don't know if it was ment to be a snide comment or not that was just the way it came off. It really surprised me too. The grandfather in law never went to college and worked his way up though the ranks with nothing but a high school diploma and good work ethic. I actually kind of look up to the guy and maybe that's why it rubbed me the wrong way.

brewer12345

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2014, 10:56:46 AM »
Had a funny conversation with my future inlaws the other day. My wife just finished school with a masters degree so we went out to dinner to celebrate. At one point they asked me when I was going back to school to get a better job. I am pretty sure they didn't mean anything by it but it really rubbed me wrong.

I wouldn't worry about it.  That sounds to me like a simple combination of the thought process of an older generation regarding the value of college and the typical musings of in-laws who always think their child could have done better just on principal. It's not about money.

Let me suggest going with Tyler here-  My grown/married daughter had a guy friend she dated her senior year in HS.  I was so used to her college bound friends stopping by that I asked this guy "where you thinking about going?"  He kind of looked at the ground and said " I am not really college material..." six little words and I have felt like a S heel ever since.   The broke up, with some bad feelings, and a few years later, I look up to find him working at the Home Depot, helping me load my van.  I reach out to shake his hand and he reaches back and says "How are you Mr Capsu?"   I say " its Dave, Mike... how you doing?" Good, Good Mr Capsu- er Dave" and I have seen him there a couple times a year ever since.
I offered to hook him up with a CAD machine tool manufacturer who is dying for some kid to come in (show up) and learn the business, but Mike says "I got a good thing going here at HD...but thanks for thinking about me".  I shake his hand every time I see him because he passed all of my "pop quizzes" when he dated my daughter and respected my simple bottom line: "If you make her cry, I will make you cry... capisce?"
 

I plan on telling any would-be suitors "don't do anything to her you would not want me doing to you."

PajamaMama

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2014, 12:04:24 PM »
Don't you love in-laws.

My husband has a bachelors degree and I have an associates. When we first started dating I took any available low need days at work. Basically a day off with no pay when ever work load was low. I made enough to pay my bills and as a single parent I liked the extra time off. My In-laws accused me of using my husband to pay my mortgage. Not true. They finally shut up when I told them I made more money  working part-time then he did working full time.

alphalemming

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2014, 05:46:52 PM »
Degrees don't = more money.  You really need to look at the expected payback from going back to school:

1.  What income am I giving up while I go to school
2.  What additional debt/expenses am I racking up while going to school
3.  What incremental income will I earn over my current job when I graduate

In your case, #1 is a lot
With cost of school these days, kids are graduating with crushing debt loads
Given the current state of the economy, the answer to #3, for a lot of people seems to be 0.

grantmeaname

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2014, 07:00:26 AM »
Degrees don't = more money.  You really need to look at the expected payback from going back to school:

1.  What income am I giving up while I go to school
2.  What additional debt/expenses am I racking up while going to school
3.  What incremental income will I earn over my current job when I graduate

In your case, #1 is a lot
With cost of school these days, kids are graduating with crushing debt loads
Given the current state of the economy, the answer to #3, for a lot of people seems to be 0.
That's absolutely not true. Weekly earnings by bachelor's degree holders are almost double those of people with only a high school diploma. And student loans, while increasing, are far from crushing. If you examine the world based on facts and not news station FUD, you get a much different picture of reality.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 07:03:08 AM by grantmeaname »

Argyle

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2014, 02:31:42 PM »
I suspect there are a couple of reasons that college graduates earn more money on average, apart from the "College gives you so many skills" angle.  One is that the people without a college degree includes a sizeable proportion of people with big life problems brought up in chaotic households, abuse, inner-city environments, grinding poverty, addiction in their families, etc.  Not that people who grow up in those circumstances can never be successful, but the obstacles are greater and some of them are going to end up repeating the same patterns.  So that's a certain percentage of the "no college degree" group, and they'll drag the average salary down.

The other reason is that our high schools are so bad (and our culture is not big on intellectual accomplishments) that many graduates graduate without good literacy or numeracy skills.  So employers try desperately to screen the weak applicants out by requiring a college degree, even for things that a literate high school grad should be qualified for.  (The problem is that these underprepared high school students go through college and don't always acquire all the skills they need there either -- so now employers are starting to ask for graduate degrees.  Bad trend.)

But there are still some well-earning non-college careers out there.  If we could reverse the problems with education, there would be more.

warfreak2

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2014, 02:51:24 PM »
I suspect there are a couple of reasons that college graduates earn more money on average, apart from the "College gives you so many skills" angle.
It seems to me that most of the higher earnings associated with having a degree from an elite university can be explained by meeting the entrance requirements in the first place.

I say this as a graduate of an elite university. Most of my classmates are exceptionally smart people, but they were also exceptionally smart at the start of the first year, otherwise they wouldn't have been there at all.

I suspect many employers have the same idea when looking at applicants' CVs.

Hedge_87

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Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2014, 08:45:30 PM »
Degrees don't = more money.  You really need to look at the expected payback from going back to school:

1.  What income am I giving up while I go to school
2.  What additional debt/expenses am I racking up while going to school
3.  What incremental income will I earn over my current job when I graduate

In your case, #1 is a lot
With cost of school these days, kids are graduating with crushing debt loads
Given the current state of the economy, the answer to #3, for a lot of people seems to be 0.
That's absolutely not true. Weekly earnings by bachelor's degree holders are almost double those of people with only a high school diploma. And student loans, while increasing, are far from crushing. If you examine the world based on facts and not news station FUD, you get a much different picture of reality.
I agree that a college degree is a good thing. Where my problem lies is the fact that I've spent as many hours in class as any master degree holder just to get my journeymans card. And I've taken several more advanced classes to improve my employable skills within the industry. I really don't see why I am any less "high achieving" as somebody who paid a university for the knowledge they gained. I guess I was just taken off guard by the inlaws not seeing all the work I've put into to be in the position I am in at my age. Also the statistics that say a bachelor's degree holder makes double what a high school diploma holder would make can be a little misleading. It would be interesting to compare skilled labor (lineman, HVAC, machinist, etc) to the typical bachelors degree. I have a feeling the numbers would shake out a little different.