After high school I decided to skip college and go right into the work force. Before I knew it I had a wife, two kids and a pretty good job. I had not really ever considered going back to school, in fact, I was quite proud of myself for being successful without a college degree. Four years ago I was having a discussion with my boss about my career path, goals, and where I hoped to be in five years. As our conversation progressed it became clear that at some time in the future I would hit the ‘can’t move past this point without a college degree’ ceiling, and therefore halt my progress. He said, “If you only had a college degree you could go as high as you want in this company.” That was enough for me. I decided at that moment that I would make the necessary sacrifice now, so I would not have to sacrifice a potential career opportunity in the future.
The actual degree I earn is not as important as simply having a degree, however, I wanted to get a credential that would give me as much versatility as possible, so I chose business management. My current position is sales director for our Sacramento office. I have six inside sales personnel and one admin that report to me. I looked at the classes that would be required for the degree and they seemed to fit in very well with what I was doing and what I may be asked to do in the future. Some of the classes I have taken have been Human-Resources, Accounting, Economics, both micro and macro, and most recently Leadership. I knew having a degree would help me in the future, what I did not count on was how much it would help me be a more effective employee and manager. The knowledge and skills I have learned have been invaluable in my career path today; I have not had to wait for the degree to appreciate its benefits.
Many people go to college right after high school to avoid many of the common distractions people face as they get older. I was not ready, and although having a family, a full-time job, and assignments at church can make free time rare, I am getting much more out of school now than I would have if I were younger. Waiting gave me a much broader perspective and has allowed me to augment my workforce experience with indispensable knowledge.