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Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by jimaug87, Mar 11, 2008.


Did you go to college?

  1. Yes, it was worth it

  2. Yes, didn't need it

  3. No, wish i had/plan to in the future

  4. No, don't need it

  1. jimaug87

    jimaug87 Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    I'm at UMass Amherst for Kinesiology. I never plan on making money with snow removal, I just plan to not have to pay money for snow removal...

    I have a question for those of you who have their own buisnesses and for those of you who have to work for other people as laborers.

    How did college help you, or did you wish you went to college?

    In my feild of study, there is no question, you need a B.S. i plan on getting my DPT (doctoate in physical therapy) eventually and working as the head of a deparetment at a hospital or opneing my own physical rehab clinic.
  2. bigearl

    bigearl Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    I went for three semesters of beer fest But If I was t do it all over I would go to class. Besides I met my wife a college. So I would say it was worth it.
  3. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    I wish I would of went LOL

    I didnt go I jumped right in to this line of work and been doing it ever since
  4. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    cooleege is for loozerrs...:waving:
  5. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    I earned two B.S degrees, one in Aerospace and one in Professional Aviation. I also minored in business management/general business. The experience of college prepared me to deal with customers and the business itself more than the degrees themselves (make sense?). When dealing with people one can really tell those who have a college education and those that do not.
    I do not really know how to vote on this poll only because in order to run a landscape business an education really is not required, though I find it very helpful.
  6. duff daddy

    duff daddy Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    I went to wyotech (automotive) and it was great got certified in tons of skills (14 all together) got my associates degree in management and also got half way to my collision appraisers license. class was great i was in pa for 9 months straight had a motor cycle apart and rebuilt in my dorm room in one winter (ra was a little pissed w/ oil running out the bottom of hte door on some days. but other then that college was def a plus. im only 22 and work at a dealer ship and make just shy of 50k last year
  7. jimaug87

    jimaug87 Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    I understand what you're saying. The degrees are more than a peice of paper listing the feild of your expertise. Being at college teaches you things your high school and parents cannot.

    So far we have did and glad with didn't and wish you had at 7

    The other two at 2 votes

    pro collge is up by 5 on against
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I guess I'm a loser. Master's degree in Psychology allowed me to retire at 54 to build up my plowing business, buy a bunch of toys for working my 60 acres of woods and start a freight broker business. Don't work too hard at any of them, though.
  9. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I am going to college next year for Landscape Horticulture. I think it will be worth it.
  10. ZoomByU

    ZoomByU Member
    Messages: 76

    I voted yes it was worth only b/c people won't hire you unless you have that slip. Nobody cares what you major in just as long as you have a degree. Personally I learned more playing football than I ever did in a classroom.
  11. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    I have a bachelors in Marketing and human resource management. I know how to market my product or service and I have the ability to connect with clients and the know how of hiring reliable, dependable employees and the knowledge of how to run a business from not just the labor side, but also from the paper pushing side. It was a great experience and if i ever wanted to get out of this business I have them to fall back on. It was a win win situation for me. Plus I met the best girl in the world at college and she supports me and my business endeavors 120%...ussmileyflag
  12. Bibbo

    Bibbo Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    im going to MMI Orlando in june for Harley-Davidson and then when i get back im waiting a year and going to UTI norwood for diesel hopefully its worth it
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I used to plow a collage does that count?
  14. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    I'm 19 and didn't go to college. High school burned me out. I've always said that by the time I'm 20 I'll be at college, and I still plan on sticking to that. i'm ready to go back. I love my job now, but I want something to fall back on if everything doesn't work out. It's worth it for sure.
  15. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    Hmmm? Let's see how should I post here? I went to college for 1.5 yrs working towards a construction engineering degree. I had envisioned owning my own construction company. This is a tough one to answer.

    I had construction back ground from back when I was in high school. I was pretty big into swimming and there were 4-5 of us on the team that were pretty good. My swim coach owned a construction company, so for a select few he would rather see us work for him and be able to work around our workout schedule than work for someone else and try to workout around our work schedule. It worked out good for both parties. He got strong hard working help and we got a lot more money than working your normal summer job, plus got to keep our normal workout schedule.

    I scheduled all my classes by noon when I went to college and worked part time construction for a local contractor in Ames. He got behind schedule a lot and pulled me a side and talked to me a bit. Told me what he would pay to roof a house or build a deck and I could do it on my own time as long as it was done by said date. Looked pretty good, so I gave it a shot. He helped me get registered as a sub-contractor, line up insurance, and bid work. This also worked for both parties. He was getting reliable help at close to market price and I went from making $8.00 per hour to making $17-18.00 per hour after expenses. I was able to work later at night and on weekends.

    Well, the next summer he needed a house framed and talked to me again about doing it. I flat out said, "Yeah I know how to do the majority of a house but there are some things I haven't ever done on my own." He told me no problem, that he really needed it done and couldn't get any other crews there in time to make the closing date. If I got stuck or couldn't figure something out he would come over and help me out. Oh, and that he would pay me about $7500.00 to do it. Well about 3 weeks later the house was done and after I paid my help, nails, and other expenses I was standing there with about $4k left over for 3 weeks work. This was back in 94'. I never had seen that much money before in my life. I went to college for one more semester and dropped out.

    I was 19 yrs old making $30k+ net and wondered why I was in school since I was already doing what I wanted to do after I graduated. I couldn't see why I would pay a college to get a degree for what I was already doing. By the time I was 24 I was living in a $150k house that I built for myself and had close to half of it paid for.

    I don't know how much a college degree really helps other than getting your foot in the door at your first job. I think busting your backside and dedication to what you are doing goes way farther than a piece of paper does. You can get that golden degree, hang it on the wall, and land your first job. If you don't have drive and determination you won't go anywhere with or without that degree. If you do have that drive you will go somewhere with or without it.

    Did I just luck out? I don't think I did. I worked very hard to get to where I am. To be honest I kind of wished I would have finished that degree. To me, when I look back at my life it is one place that I feel I have failed. Yeah, I'm in a pretty good spot financially for my age, but I don't do well with failure. I have owned my business for 14 years and only missed two closing dates. Honestly, the two dates were pretty much out of my control, but to me they were still failures.

    I think people that want a degree should get it, that way they don't look back and wish they did. I don’t think that you have to have one to be successful. Just $.02 from a crazy uneducated old chook!
  16. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    i am taking online classes my ex boss friend now. kinda like a dad to me thinks that i should of went to school to actually be around people. cause some of us guys who bust are butts all day can lack people skills. i think if ill have one problem from not going to school it will be that i didnt learn how to say No well enough. because i grew up with my grandparents and my mom hammering in the manners. so i am really respectful and in this world everybody eles is trying to cut ur throat. so if ur to nice get prepared to bleed.
  17. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    no college for me but my brother is in college now for landscape and horticultural managment.....no need to send both of us for the same thing
  18. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I commend Ducati & other who do physically hard work to make a good name for themselves. I disagree with you on a couple things, though. A degree is more than a door opener for the "first" job (I think you've missed it completely); it's a door opener for EVERY job. Secondly, where are you going to be when you're 45 with a bad back, bad knees, etc, unable to do the work of an ox (referencing brute strength, not intelligence... though that might be true too)? Especially in today's world, expecting much higher standards everyday from here on out, what's going to get you into a quality job & out of the soup kitchen besides "I worked hard" and "he sure worked hard for me" references? I'll use Fire/EMS as a single example. Like carpenters, plumbers, electricians, firefighters & EMT's are a dime a dozen. Hundreds of firefighters around the country apply for a single job. Are cities interviewing all of them? Of course not -- that's foolish & financially irresponsible. Cross off those who don't have EMT-Basic. Cross off those without CDL. Cross off those without a degree. Is this only in MY profession? I think not, friend. It's worldwide. Hard workers with degrees are dancing circles around others without them, and it's only the minority of those with a silver tongue that talk their way into jobs using nothing more than good references. What I reference generally applies to those who become unable to run their own businesses or work in jobs that demand physical labor like was described. The skilled few who build their landscaping/snowplowing empires through hard work, the building of rapports & reputation, to work a lifetime & pass along the gold mine to someone else.... it's commendable, especially without college degrees. It's my belief that most successful companies have educated people high in the ranks.
  19. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    I am still in high school and as much as i hate school i will be going to a program next year at a tech college. Ive been in the mowing landscaping plowing business since 2004 and the money is great but there is no way i could do this for the rest of my life. I am thinking right now of either going to a 2 year program for Diesel mechanics or a 1 or 2 year program to be a Fluid Power (hydraulic) mechanic. Either way i will still be envolved in snow removal one way or another because i love it way to much to give it up.
  20. ECLC

    ECLC Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I couldn't have said it any better Yardmedic! A college degree automatically separates you from the pack. Snow/landscaping is for the most part a young mans industry. You do have to look 20 years down the road and picture yourself where you want to be. After 15 years in this industry, I constantly think about this. I try and have built up my business for the years to come, but what happens for some reason it doesn't work out? Or you decide to sell out? Or just not happy anymore? Or you get injured? We wouldn't be in this industry if we didn't like it, including myself.....but I do think you need something to fall back on.

    What A degree does, at least for me, is it gives me options.