Trade school, College, or just classes?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BailyTheFox, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. BailyTheFox

    BailyTheFox Monkey+

    Hey guys, I wanted to get a few opinions here as there is always useful knowledge and viewpoints to find. You're all awesome!

    So, I've found myself back living with my parents after about a year and a half renting a space in my brothers house. Car troubles, medical bills, and losing one of my jobs in early December have set me back in savings so I decided it was best to haul all my crap and critters back in with mom and dad. I figure if I can't save money I can't move forward in life. (I am still paying $100 a month in rent since they have to deal with my sorry ass of course! I want to still have some semblance of being an adult.)

    My question is what is the best way to move forward with my education. There are so many things i'm interested in and want to learn about, but I am absolutely an awful student in a typical classroom situation. My first try at college was a disaster and I was about ready to toss myself off the roof after just two semesters.

    On the other hand trade schools are a possibility. I'm good with my hands and I am interested in carpentry, but mostly just for practical purposes. I'm not sure i'd be interested or fit for a career in carpentry, though I know it is a very broad field? I haven't seen any particular trade schools around my area that pique my interest besides that.

    The last option I can think of is just taking classes here and there on things that interest me. I really, really want to learn leather working, more advanced forms of jewelry making, taxidermy, sewing, wood carving/working, etc but I am so hands on a learner I don't even want to try without someone being there in person to teach me. Its a very vexing problem for me.

    I'm just confused as to how to move forward once more (I am eternally confused). I can see that as things stand I cannot keep going as I am. My goal is to be self-employed in the future once I move out of state (preferably to Tennessee) but I want to learn new stuff until then. I refuse to be another unfortunate who works minimum wage their entire life and is constantly stressed and miserable, i'd rather die. Living like that isn't living.

    I know I'm going to try the bushcraft usa thing that Medicineman sent me a link to, so there is that. I'm just interested in what others thoughts/opinions/experiences are.

    Sorry for the text wall, thanks for reading!
    Sgt Nambu, Legion489 and Motomom34 like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Enlist, get some training from Uncle Sam. Then you can earn a sock full of frns for further education as well as have the time to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.
  3. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I'm in with ghrit on this one.I read that you don't have a real idea or passion for what you want to do. The military will give you some experience to draw on. It can lead you to good and unexpected places. It also gives you preference for government jobs later if that's where your path takes you.
    Tully Mars, Sgt Nambu, ghrit and 2 others like this.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @BailyTheFox [grouphug] it is always such a pleasure when you stop by. As for your questions, let me put on my Mom hat. I have a 23 and 19 year old. One tried college. wasted time and money. The others has no desire to go to college. I raised my kids to be frugal. I never forced the kids to go to college but always to be moving forward, gathering references and being a hard worker with what ever you are doing.

    To me it sounds like you know what you what to do. I know that society says you have to have a college education in order to succeed in life but getting that education now when you are not focused IMO sounds like a waste. There are so many trades that you can take classes and get certificates. You can work and perfect what you are doing. My daughter thought she really wanted to be something and after 6 months of school realized she had no interest in the field. Our local community college offers course that take 4 weeks and much of the learning is hands on.

    I believe whatever you decide Baily, you will always be moving and looking forward. You have accomplished much in the past few years. You know what is important and knew in order to get ahead, you had to take a step back for a little bit.
    Sgt Nambu, GrayGhost and Legion489 like this.
  5. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Your NOT going to like MY POST !!

    CORK / PLUG / STUFF up the fun zone @theY

    Learn Math & electrical
    sec_monkey, GrayGhost and Ganado like this.
  6. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey++

    Skilled trades are $$$ these days...the knowledgeable ones are retiring, and the rest are into computers/tech/liberal arts. No offense implied for the first two....

    Learn a trade, make money, and pay your way while you persue your passion....leatherwork, etc.
    Sgt Nambu, Ganado and Motomom34 like this.
  7. BailyTheFox

    BailyTheFox Monkey+

    I've struggled with anxiety and depression and have been seeing specialists for it since before I was in middle school so the military would be out of the question there. I've gotten a much better handle on it in recent years but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't let me in. I'm not even remotely mentally stable for that.
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  8. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I have a college education, several degrees, but if your not passionate about something, armed services or trade school would be better.

    College costs 10x what it did when i went to school so its a waste of money imo. Trades are screaming for people.

    diesel mechanic

    all great trades if you dont mind working.

    the fun stuff you want to do you can learn on your own but until you find a direction for something you want to do dont waste your money on paid education. my 2cents.
  9. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    I was just wondering what happened to you when I sat down! Good to hear you are OK.

    Night classes? Apprentice? Volunteer at places that do what you might like to try? OK, they don't pay for volunteers, but you get to see if you like it enough to try it.
    Sgt Nambu, Motomom34 and chelloveck like this.
  10. BailyTheFox

    BailyTheFox Monkey+

    Thanks as always for the input! I agree that college prolly isn't the right thing still but i'll look into short courses they might offer for certifications at the college I did attend, I know wild fire suppression is one! I have also been collecting good references as I move along, I've gotten invaluable work experience the past few years. And thank you as always for the kind words!
    Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
  11. BailyTheFox

    BailyTheFox Monkey+

    i'm not sure if i'm being dense or not but i'm not sure exactly what you're saying?
  12. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey++


    I do the first three in my profession now...the money is good and jobs are everywhere for skilled, reliable workers.

    I've been searching for two industrial mechanics for about six months now...starting pay around $27/hr and can't find sh!t.

    Learn a trade!
  13. BailyTheFox

    BailyTheFox Monkey+

    Welding would be worth looking into, it's usually a relatively short course you take to get a certificate if I recall correctly? It'd be good for practical reasons and for possible jobs.

    I forgot about volunteering somehow, weird considering my past volunteering has been such an important factor both on my resume and me knowing what I want to do long term. Thanks for the reminder!
    Sgt Nambu and Motomom34 like this.
  14. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I have a fair idea what CS is alluding to, but I don't think it has much, if at all, to do with spending excessive time at the Young Women's Christian Association; unless of course it's assumed that one has lesbian tendencies.

    I think that the fun zone@theY that CS is referring to are those parts of one's body which involve adult, consensual sexual intercourse....not that it is any of anyone's business to be making assumptions, let alone prescribing what one has done, is doing or ought to be doing or ought not to be doing, in that regard. Why CS has neglected an escape clause in not requiring one's oral sex capabilities also to be Corked / Stuffed / Plugged makes one wonder...... ...I guess it might make tutorial group discussion far too 'challenging'.:eek:

    Now, back to your dilemma....(as opposed to CS's).

    All I can suggest is for you to do some research....and find out what discipline / subject area / trade / profession best suits your interests, existing knowledge and skills, and which you would enjoy learning.

    Examine courses that offer you the greatest flexibility, and support for your particular needs.

    Part of that research / self reflection might include identifying blocks to learning. Identifying ways of overcoming those inhibitions / obstacles to learning.

    Most trade and college and adult education institutions offer career counselling to prospective students in helping applicants to choose programs that best fit their interests and ambitions.

    Although the military might not be an option in finding training / employment opportunities that can provide and help pay for further education post discharge, some local, State and Federal government instrumentalities offer vocational training as part of the employment package.....just something to think upon and find out more about.
  15. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    At 79 I can say from experience that despite a BA, 1 MA, 1 MS and finishing the course work for a Phd, and having taught a few college courses, etc, for the past 50 years I have made a decent living and enjoyed life out of electronic skills and life styles that were taught in the USAF. I think that education in the skilled trades is best for the learning part, but know of no other organization that will train you to be on time, organize your life, interact with others well, take responsibility for your actions, etc than the military. Their learning curve is steep, it can be a real pita, and failing can have significant downsides, but they do have a few thousand years of experience in shaving the edges off square pegs so that they fit in round holes, and getting their desired goals met. Have hired and fired people off and on for 50 years and long ago learned that we could teach most people a skill in a relatively short time, but a life style that included being honest, showing up on time, showing up every day, getting along with your co workers and customers, knowing how to dress, talk, interact with others appropriately for the situation, being able to read, write, look up information and act upon it were the real important life skills. All colleges and trade schools, public or private, have only one goal, continue their existence and expand, your education and well being are well down in their real list of goals. Once you get your act together as crude as the phrase sounds and I mean no offense, there are hundreds of good ways to make a good comfortable living at this time with your hands and brains. It ranges from medical or dental techs, to cleaning out drains. I fix power tools, have for 30 years, have worked as a machinist, been a mechanic, set up, foreman, at a small plastic factory, and all these jobs were dependent on life skills, not formal education. My last comment is that if you wish to thrive in the present society, don't get sucked into one the organizations that makes money out of using your labor for 29 hours a week as cheaply as possible and spitting you out as soon as you try to advance, most of retail jobs do that, and you will seldom get ahead. A good start may well be as a volunteer if all else fails, it can document the fact that you do have good work habits, give you a level of responsibility and management skills that would be at least lower level management in the paid world, give you personal contacts with the rest of the world, and let you demonstrate what you can do.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  16. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    All good advice. I think its a crossroad in life so choose wisely and don't ever look back.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  17. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Are you a people person? If so then, go into the medical field. If I had it all to do over again that is what I would do because one can work almost anywhere: rural, city, overseas, etc. And, it is fulfilling and pays well... If you don't care to be around people then there are many trade/skill jobs that pays well. For example, driving semi-truck only takes a month long course to get trained and your CDL and there are jobs everywhere for drivers. An example on the medical side would be a Paramedic. There is a course offered that is about 15 months (if I remember correctly) but I think 6 months is spent in the emergency room in the hospital and with experience paramedics in the field. I have always been in electronics and/or communications but some nice places to live don't have high-tech jobs around them and both are dying fields so I would not recommend them. They are dying because technology is making it so easy now days, you 'plug and play.' Anyway, EMT, Paramedic, or even running MRI/UltraSound/X-Ray equipment pays well and performs a great service to the community also.
    3M-TA3 and Motomom34 like this.
  18. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Some times its not all about money do what you like to do and make what you can my 16 year old daughter is a waits table an if she did it full time she would make more than I do
    Sgt Nambu and Motomom34 like this.
  19. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Home - Tillers International

    I make my money selling blades and stuff I make at shows. Go learn one of those skills you want (leatherworking makes money, hit me up if you'd like some projects). There is a school in the link if you have the money to look at it. It's the path I would have taken if I had known about it.
    Sgt Nambu and Motomom34 like this.
  20. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    If Uncle Sam is out, and you like working with your hands, then the trade schools will be your option. If you want carpentry, I wouldn't say go to school for it, the best thing you can do for it is get a job on a framing crew. I've worked for different companies, from framing new houses, remodeling,,which takes a little extra skill, because you need to know how to tear part of the house down to add the new part without the old part collapsing. Decks and fences. Got to welding school. HVAC techs make good money, and stay busy pretty much year round. Plumbing and electrical. These kids these days don't want to work, they want a position, they want 100 grand a year and not get their hands dirty. If you get experience and licensed in any of these trades, you can make decent money. Some of them will be dependent on the economy, but the potential is there to make a good living, but you will work for it, but if you like working with your hands and appreciate looking back and seeing what you've created on a daily basis, you will be happy . And with experience in any of these , self employment is very possible, you just have to be punctual, do good work, stand behind what you do, and just charge an honest price. I'm not the cheapest guy on the block, but I've had people wait for me to get to their projects for a year or more , and some still call me 15 years later. This is just my opinion here, for what it's worth.
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