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Subject:  Re: Regrets about college education Date:  6/25/2019  5:29 PM
Author:  telegraph Number:  125977 of 138124

intercst:"My college education was strictly an employment credential. And I didn't waste any motion taking a course that didn't directly affect whether or not I graduated. (That's the reason I completed my engineering degree in 3 years.)

You need to be very wealthy to pay for a college education as a means to "find yourself"."

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It took me 4 years and I don't think I could have done it in much less for my BSEE - just couldn't take the required courses in 3 as they all had prerequisites and only taught every other semester in sequence.. Didn't take any extra courses or change majors, which impact a fair number of college kids today as they don't know what they want to do in college and flip-flop around.

Think I did 'grow up' a whole lot during those 4 years. Did work summers earning some bucks and that was an education in itself.

First summer job was working on the Ford Assembly line at Mahwah NJ making new cars. For a couple weeks put the rubber seals around doors. Loved two door cars - only had to do the left side.. 4 door cars took twice as much work. Every 68 seconds another car. took about 55 seconds to finish, then you had 10 seconds to walk back (line was moving all the time) and get set for the next car. 10 hours a day. Making fantastic money - like 4x minimum pay with evening shift bonus.....then spent couple weeks moving cars 200 feet from end of assembly line up to water test where they soaked the cars to see if they leaked anywhere. Car after car after car. One every couple minutes. Get in, move seat back, start car, move it 200 feet or so, walk back for next car. Two of us doing that. Half hour break for lunch when we all piled in new car, drove the mile to the cafeteria, ate, then back. One new car every day had 2 extra miles on it. Job lasted six weeks so some regular folks could take vacations at that time. Then plant shut down for retooling for new models. Absolutely boring as heck. Those working on the line all seemed to be able to just focus on the big bucks they were earning - big union wages and were happy to be employed. Learned NEVER to want a factory or assembly line job very well that summer. Totally wiped out after 3 weeks. NOT FOR ME!

Second summer job was with the telephone company- my dad worked for Ma Bell and they provided summer jobs for the employees kids. Did a whole bunch of things from un-installing phones and disconnecting wires to the apartments. You learn amazing things like in many areas of NYC, back in the 1960s, a telephone , even in the hallway and shared, was a 'status symbol' for many. You took their phone, or tried to, and that was like losing a child. Even if it didn't work! (disconnected at the central office). Spent a couple weeks pulling 25 pair cables in/out under raised floors in big office buildings. Got the job done many days in a few hours, but the bosses said - you got 8 hours allocated for this task....use them. Never finish early (union rules allocated so much time for each task) we got the work done, then goofed off rest of day. Decent pay - about twice minimum wage back then. Did that for 10 weeks then back to college after a week 'vacation' or so.

Next summer I got smarter - got my FCC First Class Commercial license over spring break - got great summer job as Broadcast Technician at WGY/WRGB/WGFM in Schenectady NY.. Good pay - 3x minimum wage. Did a lot from setting up the clunky TV cameras of the day each morning, to running film chains, to master control for hours every day for the 50KW clear channel AM station. No union stuff to worry about - we were 'excused' from having to join union as those guys wanted to take vacations in the summer and we filled in - as long as we had the FCC License....<g>. Good job and if you flunked out of college, it would have been a half decent career with stability and not being bored to death.

Made good use of those 4 years and learned a lot about 'life' mostly outside of the class room.....

After 4 years, decided I had more than enough college education. The smarter folks usually went on to complete a master's degree in another 12-18 months if they had the financial resources. Not me.

20 years later, I went back for my MSEE degree. my company paid. Best way. Took it part time evenings and finished in 2.5 years going year round. Had a blast. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Did I ever regret my college education? Nope. (and those who skipped college usually would up with a free tour of southeast asia courtesy of Uncle Sam - Vietnam War was raging all through my college years. )

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