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UPDATE: Schools...

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by laketex, Apr 12, 2000.

  1. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I have a long term plan that I'd like you guys to possibly help me with. It has to do with an education for success. I'm 21 years old and have been stabbing away at this college thing for about 3 years now. The family pressured me to do it, and I'm only about halfway through a mechanical engineering degree, seeing no light. I like some of my core classes like thermo, statics, dynamics, mechanics, but seriously can't imagine myself happy doing anything that this degree will prepare me for. Also I'm getting self destructive with it, dropping multiple classes and skipping too much. The only thing I dream of is working on the Blaze or starting my own small 4x4 shop. So I'm thinking why not just go to tech school for now, I can always return to real college if it suits me.

    But if I'm going to do this thing, I want to do the best and be as most knowledgable as possible. I hate mechanics and builders that don't know enough and just tell you what someone else told them, blowing smoke out their... So I read every particle of info here, in 4x4 books, Hot Rod, Engine Building tips, help buddies with their rigs, and am researching a school to go to. So far, it looks like the best programs are offered at UTI and Wyo Tech. Now here's a pretty good breakdown. They're both dang expensive and differ slightly...

    UTI: 1 year programs
    offer cert in Ford, and Porshe, BMW, ect, no mention of GM.
    offers a nascar cert program
    Hot Rod U for engine building is mandatory
    Associates Degree earned
    Houston

    Wyo Tech: 9 month curriculum
    Hot Rod U for engine & chassis/susp optional and in high demand
    Associates Degree earned
    Certified Programs include????
    In Laramie

    What's the best school out there in your experience? Most hands on real world training? And what else do I need to be doing to prepare myself for my career in custom automotive? And possibly a business?

    Possibly some of you are in the same position as me, or have seen this stuff with others. What works and doesn't? And what's the best plan to get hired on? All replies and opinions appreciated.

    Bryan


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Durant, Ok
    '79 Blazer in progress
     
  2. 79Cheyenne

    79Cheyenne 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    Finish your degree!!!

    It is extremely difficult to find the time or dicipline to go back and finish. I would suggest , get the bachelors in ME and then try one of the tech schools in your spare time.

    either way good luck

    <font color=orange>1979 BLAZER Cheyenne[​IMG]
     
  3. Steve88

    Steve88 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    I second that. Finish that degree up! How are your grades? If you're thinking of starting a 4x4 shop, how is the competition in the area you're thinking of? Know any web designers? You could start in college with a web-site and mail-order. Then open a retail store for parts, and then turn it into a shop as well, like a Desert Rat or something. What's your passion? Want to buy into a franchise or try out on your own? Does looking at the numbers at the end of the month on your quick-books database sound like fun? Do you really want to run a business? Know anyone with capitol willing to fund you? If anything stay in college and learn small business management. But like 79Cheyenne said, it's nearly impossible to motivate yourself to go back. I'm 37 and never finished, and now I'm finding it almost impossible to just attempt to schedule 2 classes a semester starting this fall. Trust me, when a wife and kids, and house, and etc...etc...etc... you're thoughts will be everywhere but college!

    [taking off my "dad" hat now] [​IMG]

    <font color=red>Steve88</font color=red>[​IMG]
    88K5 Silverado
    thunderdog@metallica.com
     
  4. Kyle89K5

    Kyle89K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    Allright. Here comes my 10 second spill. FINISH THE DEGREE!! I dropped out with plans to open a kustom shop. Never happened. Wishing like crazy now that I had stayed and got my Mechanical Eng. Degree. I'm only 4 semesters out and may go back, but with a house, a wife, 3 cars and lots of bills, that prob won't happen for a while. If you think the ME degree won't take you somewhere call Offroad Design. Pretty Sure that Stephen has got his. Helps in designing some of that stuff. Work as an ME for a couple of years and get some field exp. then jump out on your own if ya want to. At least by then you've got (hopefully) some money stashed up and you got a feel for some of the games.

    OK, I'm through

    Kyle
    89K5
     
  5. BIGJ

    BIGJ 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Schools...

    I definitely feel your pain. I have been stabbing away at this college thing for the past 6 1/2 years and I am now 24. I must have changed majors 5 times(engineering, architecture, business, back to engineering, finally design). And yes, at one time I was completely miserable in school. Everything about school sucked because I had no direction. But, this is my last semester and I am glad I stuck it out now. Even if you don't like some of the classes, a degree is worth it in the long run. Have you thought about anything in industrial design? It is not a math intensive degree but you do have chances to work in the automotive field.
    As far as opening your own shop goes, here are a few things to consider. I have a family member in the automotive repair business/hotrod builder. He said it was real difficult at first b/c he had to do all of the wrench turning as well as sales for a couple of years. The money was ok but only b/c the demand was there. There has got to be some kind of opportunity in the offroad market for an engineer. Maybe Warn or Rancho?
    On the other hand, I too want to open a shop dedicated to just 4x4 stuff. The only major drawback is I will have to go BACK to school to learn about more automotive stuff, not to mention the risk of starting a business that dosen't make it, thus hurting my credit.
    So, stay in school or persue your dreams? Tough decision. I say, go with what makes you happy. If there is NO WAY AT ALL to stick it out in college, then don't waste any more money on dropped classes and go for something else. However, who's to say that you can't change majors or work in the 4x4 field after you graduate. Either way, just make sure it is what YOU want to do.

    BIGJ
     
  6. BlueKnight

    BlueKnight 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    I third that. People with degrees are hired quicker, promoted faster, and paid better. You can specialize what you like after you get it.

    <font color=purple>79' K-5 396cid 600hp, TH350, NP203</font color=purple>
    http://79blueknight.homepage.com
     
  7. Re: Schools...

    I definitely say finish up. I am about a month away from an EE degree and had to push through somtimes.

    Have you looked into switching into an easier major you already have a lot of credits for like Physics or Math? Some kinda bachelor's degree is always better than nothing!
     
  8. K5Junkie

    K5Junkie 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    I agree with everthing everyone has sais so far. I quit going to school after one semester of college and got a full time job. Then i realized that i was going nowhere at this deadend job. Then i had another problem, i had no way to pay for college anymore. My parents sure the hell weren't going to pay for it. So i joined the Air National Guard. Not only did i get an electronic degree through the Air Force but i am working on my CIS degree now. But i do have to say it is very hard trying to start back at college after being out for so long. You forget the basic [censored] that was so easy a long time ago. I would definitly stay in school and finish your degree. Hell after that do what you want to do, At least you have that piece of paper to fall back on.

    Good Luck.
     
  9. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Schools...

    Tex,

    Dude, to tell you the truth, I probably didn't learn much useful information in college. I graduated with a business degree concentrated in Finance. College was fun for me b/c of the ladies and the booze. But I sucked it up my senior year so I could graduate on time and not waste my parents money. Now, I'm in the Insurance business. And I can honestly say, that I think almost anyone can do what I'm doing. Man, half of the time on the web sending emails to my other friends in college and on IM and stuff like that. And I'm getting paid pretty well. This job is slack, any fool could do it. But, this company would never hire anyone without a college degree. Its all about the degree and the experience. The degree opens the door for you. Almost everything I learned in college, I am not using it now, but they would have never hired me without my degree. So, the moral of the story is get that degree, find a decent job, earn the income and then take those tech classes, use the money you earned to make more money. Good luck dude.
    Boss
     
  10. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    Once you quit and start living your life you end up with alot of expenses that you don't have now. Keep with the College and get your BA degree in anything as others have said it well help you get you a better paying job than if you don't have it.... Most of the peopple I know that start up their own shop start it on the side, to test the waters befor they jump in..... Give it a thought.... I am 36y/o and wish I would have stayed with the college for a degree but I was too smart for all that. Now I wish I would have had some friends that kept me going..... Do some hard thinking about dropping out and think what it is going to be like in 10 to 20 years... I think the average of companies that open up and stay open is about 1 in 10. Hope that you're that ONE percent that makes it, but don't put all your eggs in one basket... If you open your own shop plan on not working on your Blazer or going 4 wheeling much. As you start up it is going to be slow and your going to need to spend your time on working on the shop and not your ride.... Talk to your parent and explain that your unhappy and need to talk to them about your dreams. Let them know you want to go to the customizing school and want to see if they will help you after you finish your degree. You may also want to contact the school consoler and talk with them about your schooling and that you're unhappy.... It well help you through the hard times... Find something your can lose yourself in, that easies the hardship of school... Your computer or your Blazer( my two relieves).... But my vote is to get that BA Degree!!!!!..... Keep in touch and well try to help you thru it!!!!!

    C'moe

    <font color=black>the blazer is "Back in Black"
     
  11. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    ALso you may want to try working an internship for the summer in the mechanical engineering field. And see what it is like.. You'll get an idea if it is something that interest you or not.... KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!!!!!

    C'moe

    <font color=black>the blazer is "Back in Black"
     
  12. NYC K5

    NYC K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    my brother i am a 20 year old 3 year enginner myself. i hate statics, thermo, electrical, fluids, but i also want to be something some day. stay in school and get your degree, maybe chance to a more hands on engineering though, like facilities or industrial. i get my ulimited hp license when i graduate. just finish up and remeber theres alwasys someone who took longer than you to graduate
     
  13. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    Dang it yall all sound like my parents [​IMG] But seriously, I am so sick of college right now, I can't breathe. I'm working 2 jobs, about 30-50 hours a week, going to school fulltime, feeding my K5 addiction, and having fun. Just can't get the idea out of my head that if I got a tech degree, I'd be out in 9 months with real skills. What really gets me about college is when I was at Texas Tech, I was really learning stuff, the instructors were knowledgable and everything. But here at Southeastern Oklahoma, the instructors are being taught a lot of stuff by us. Sure they are down home rednecks [​IMG], I can understand them, but I'm not getting anything out of these $400 classes except another 3 hours on my transcript. I've been working in a manufacturing environment for about 6 years now. I do fit out of truck equipment, welding, punch operator, powder painter, Acad designer. But it all bores the heck out of me. The money is good, but the process just kills my creativity I guess. So what I'm thinking is maybe go to that tech school for 9 months after this summer, then transferring back to Texas Tech, buckling down and getting my MTEC degree (mechanical engineering with a hands on approach, but takes 4 years working to get your engineering stamp)

    I was going to lay out a semester anyways, why not just hit it and do the tech school thing while I'm out to gain some more. Money will be a problem, but I always come up with enough somehow. Btw, yes I do have the financial backing if I have a workable plan for a future business expedition. My parents are owners of a 25 employee manufacturing plant (where I work). I've seen the up side and severe downsides to working for yourself and haven't completely ruled that that's what I want to do...but haven't ruled it out either. Dang, just too many decisions. Sometimes, I just figure people need a break from the same pressures.

    Time to get back to work, thanks for your opinions and thoughts.

    Bryan

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Durant, Ok
    '79 Blazer in progress
     
  14. delta9blazer

    delta9blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    i don't want to kick this dead horse, but i guess i gotta.

    if you stay in school
    you'll get a lot smarter
    don't quit now, you fool
    on your future don't barter

    there's money to be made
    with any kind of degree
    you can work in the shade
    (4 out of 5 doctors agree)

    if you go to tech school
    and be a car dude
    you're options are limited
    you won't get far, dude

    anyway, i had a buddy that went to wyoming technical university. i visited him for awhile up there in cowboy country. partied alot. i think he now installs pool tables or something.......

    <font color=purple>delta9blazer</font color=purple>
     
  15. Eagle86K5

    Eagle86K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    I am 46, and thanks to Uncle Sam and the Marines I got the EE and the ME pretty much for free, then on my own went back for the Masters in Electrical. Looking back it was the best choice I ever made, finish school no matter what it takes. You are young and cannot see the future, none of us can. And the last thing you would want to happen is for years from now...wish you had cause life just up and kicked you where it hurts. I believe whole heartedly that the one thing they cannot take away from you is what you learn. And like everyone else here on this forum...if you need help...just ask....we are a giving bunch.....[​IMG]
     
  16. DangerB

    DangerB 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    Hey Brian, we need to talk allright. I think you might like what I have to say.

    DangerBrett[​IMG]
    <font color=blue>obviously a smartass </font color=blue>
     
  17. jcg

    jcg 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    I'm in the same situation as you. I'm 24 and a 4th year ME at Rochester Institute of Technology in NY and I've got another year left (5yr program). Every quarter it gets harder and harder to get up in the morning but I know it's worth it in the end so I do it. I've thought about ditching the program until I joined the Mini-Baja team at my school. We design, build, and race an off road race car without any help from the instructors. It's the greatest thing I've ever done. Our team placed 5th in the country last year and this year we have an excellent chance at 1st. It's taught me that there is a use for all those classes after all. I've always wanted to work in the off road industry and now I have a chance. Some of the guys on the team and I are thinking of starting a race team after we graduate. I also heard recently that the owner of Avalanche Engineering (they build the Sniper) is an ME who never liked the desk work. A mechanical engineering degree is one of the most usefull degrees you can get, and if you want to get into off road design, your going to need one. It won't only help you with the actual custom design, but it will give you better credibility than "the guy down the street." If your school is so bad, you might think about transfering to a different one (I suggest one with a mini-baja team).

    Here's a pic of last years race car. We built a new one for this year but I haven't got any pics on the computer yet. It's a small car, but there's a hell of a lot of engineering that went into it. We make everything except the engine, that's regulated by SAE. We do all our own machining, welding, etc. It makes for some very long hours (I spent over 20 hours this weekend TIG welding .035 tubing) but it's a lot of fun.

    I think I've gone on long enough. Long story short, stay with it... it's worth it in the end.
    Oh, something else, all my friends that graduated in the last couple years lined up jobs averaging $45-60k before classes even ended (RIT is a really good school).

    Joe
    Rochester Institute of Technology Team Mini-Baja
    Proud owner of an 88 Jimmy
     
  18. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Schools...

    One more swing at the dead horse...
    Finish your degree. Simple as that. If your social life is getting in the way, DON'T GO OUT!! Yes, I know that sucks, but if you want to succeed, sacrifices must be made. There are trade-offs everywhere in the world. If you're working so much that it interferes with class, find a way to cut your hours back. Make a budget and STICK TO IT!! You won't believe how much more money you'll have available if you discipline yourself and stick to a good budget.
    It really boils down to self-discipline. If you really want something, you need the self-discipline to see yourself to the end.

    Good luck, man

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
    [​IMG] So many ideas, so little money...
     
  19. 3030

    3030 Registered Member

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    Re: Schools...

    Laketex, check your private messages.

    There ain't no way I'll get stuck in that hole.....oops.
     
  20. windrider

    windrider Registered Member

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    Re: Schools...

    My buddy started his own shop and succeeded. But he put in many long hours and weekends and still works 10 to 12 hours a day. I did the tech thing and wish now I would of went to college. Finish the education would be my advice.
     

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