Possbile career moves without college degree

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dm200
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Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:33 pm

A young man (mid 30's) is a close relative of mine and I am wondering what possible career moves I might suggest to him. Except for 2 or 3 community college classes, he has done nothing else after getting a High School diploma. Although I believe it would be in his long term best interest, I doubt he will pursue college. After "turbulent" teenage and early 20's, he has become a responsible person. As far as I know, no histoy of drug use and no alcohol issues. His job history includes car salesman, working a pizza places and for the last few years settled in as a store manager of a fast food chain (3 managers staff the store two shifts seven days a week. He is bright and very personable. He has been somewhat "impulsive" in the past, but calmed down a lot. He shows initiative and says he can handle the many challenges of that fast food business, from very difficult customers (complainging about the french fries) to difficult employees.

He earns enough to pay his bills - and has OK (but not super) benefits from his job.

I could be wrong, and am glad he is in a stable situation, but I do not see a good future (growth) for him in this business. In this area, folks this age that are employed in larger corporations, government (local, state, federal, schools) have much better benefits and job security - but I have no clue about what to suggest to him.

Ideas?

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by livesoft » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:37 pm

My nephew of about the same age is a retail manager and does fine. His spouse works, too. So a two-earner family can do well, but they won't be retiring early. But they can afford their home, their vehicles (Trucks!), their kids, their pets, and their hobbies.
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buccimane
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by buccimane » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:44 pm

Perhaps a slight vertical move to restaurant/bar manager could be a future goal. I know of many bar managers who make very respectable salaries and handle a plethora of responsibilities day to day.
Last edited by buccimane on Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:58 pm

Franchises are out headhunting for restaurant managers, area directors and such. There are recent radio pieces on this I hear when making my breakfast.

Other solid fields are plumbing and electrical wiring. As a EE who's seen engineering jobs with megacorp being cut in the US and coincidentally new engineering teams opening in India and China, I'm aware that jobs like mine won't necessarily be around in a generation. But the guy putting in your pipes and wires will still be on site. Both require initial schooling and then usually low pay apprenticeships working up in title, pay and independence. My first son is in school for civil engineering and when it comes time for son #2, if he shows interest in one of these trades, I'll support that decision 100%.
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jpelder
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by jpelder » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:00 pm

If there are QuikTrip (convenience store) locations around where he lives, they are known for having good pay, especially for managers. I believe assistant managers make around $40k per year and store managers make around $60k per year. No college needed, and he'd be on track for a higher position with his experience.

In general, he could shop around for managerial positions and see who has a good reputation and pays well.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:06 pm

buccimane wrote:Perhaps a slight vertical move to restaurant/bar manager could be a future goal. I know of many bar managers who make a very respectable salaries and handle a plethora of responsibilities day to day.
Agree, something in this route chain... he can obviously handle high-speed customer service, sales, management, high variability in job, weird hours... that can translate to many sales / retail / management / insurance / type fields. Just need to move into one that has a higher earnings ceiling than the one he's in.

Two ways: get into larger company (with many many levels of promotion potential to grow career/income with solid work ethic) or uncapped commission/earnings type gig (think real estate, insurance broker, tradesman). I was making six figures in my mid-20's selling insurance... that game is all hustle and outlasting the other guys...
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:02 pm

I'd imagine that the best career move for him would be the "job" of being a part-time community college or trade school student.

But if that's out of the question, how about driving a truck? I understand that long-haul truckers are always in demand and can make some decent bucks. Set some aside to buy your own truck, then you can really do well.
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by DVMResident » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:21 pm

Technical trade school in fields such as metal shop, plumbing, and electrician can be both fun and lucrative with an option to go solo if he has good interpersonal skills. The schooling is relatively short and some trades even have unions. And you get to repair your own house for cheap.

Also, demographics are bright for a guy in his 30's: many of the skilled people are aging and nearing retirement, leaving a labor big gap that is more difficult to replace with automation.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:24 pm

I did retail management from the age of 23 to 27 with no college degree averaged ~$50k/yr.

I decided to try my hand at B2B sales (software specifically) in 2014. In the past 2 years my income has roughly tripled and the ramp up was pretty quick. If you have a decent business acumen, are coachable, personable, and can be persistent I think a B2B sales gig is an easy way to get into the $100k+ income bracket with minimal effort and no degree.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Cruise » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:24 pm

Policing.

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Hub
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Hub » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:28 pm

There is a local domino's pizza franchise that lets its best long term managers buy and take over groups of 4 stores. Maybe find a "local" business that is similar in that they are just entrepreneurial individuals but they own 20-30 franchises and really appreciate hiring good help.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Pajamas » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:47 pm

Sounds like community college and an associate's degree related to his work would be ideal for him. They have a lot of older students and offer practical classes and degrees and a flexible schedule. Courses like accounting, marketing, computer skills, and human resources would be relevant and help him a lot in his current job. He would improve and expand his skills and knowledge and get validation in the form of a degree to open new possibilities. He might decide to get a bachelor's degree and move up in management, become a franchisee, open his own business from scratch, etc.

Because he has taken community college classes in the past, he is probably open to the idea and your encouragement and support to go back to school could make a huge difference in his life.
Last edited by Pajamas on Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by blueblock » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:21 pm

If he wants to leverage the experience he's already gotten and also move up, he might try applying to the many national restaurant chains around: Chilis, BJ's, Olive Garden, Outback, you name it.

My brother has done well with one of these. They don't care about your educational background, they care that you are meeting (not to mention exceeding) your numbers. He climbed the ladder from banquet sales to assistant manager to general manager, complete with stock options and car allowance.

It takes a certain mindset to succeed in this environment—yay team and all that—but the financial rewards are certainly there for the motivated, right-minded individual.

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:25 pm

Getting into recruiting isn't a bad option if he stays organized and is personable. I have a co-worker that barely has a HS diploma that makes over $150k base...

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Watty
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Watty » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:09 pm

It may seem obvious but a good thing to do would for him to talk to his manager and any higher level managers that he knows about making a career with that company and what it would take to advance within the company. They likely have formal training programs and he could also ask what it would take to get more training.

He should also keep checking the job listings on the companies web site since there might be job openings that he is qualified for that he does not know about. Before applying for an internal transfer he should talk with his manager so that it does not come as a surprise that he applied for some other job.

If he is willing to move that would be a big help since they might need a general manager in some other state. He could very well start out in some less desirable location but after a couple of years he might be ready to be promoted again or switch to a better location.

I not sure how it works in that field but he might also consider if a similar job at a casual dining chain(Olive Garden, Chilis, etc) might have better prospects, if so he might be able to get in a management training program for one of them.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by joe8d » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:41 pm

He seems to be doing fine as he is.
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tim1999
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by tim1999 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:48 pm

What's his current boss's title and what would it take to move up to that kind of position? I imagine it is a person in charge of multiple fast food restaurants in a geographic area and might be the natural progression for him.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by chinto » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:53 pm

Uh...he can apply to Chik-Fil-A and may land a gold mine.
That being said you can pull down a good buck as a FF mgr. Many District mgrs over 100K. Land a corporate district inspection/training job with a zor. Or better yet over to the hotel industry. 100K plus salaries abound there.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by The529guy » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:06 pm

JupiterJones wrote:I'd imagine that the best career move for him would be the "job" of being a part-time community college or trade school student.

But if that's out of the question, how about driving a truck? I understand that long-haul truckers are always in demand and can make some decent bucks. Set some aside to buy your own truck, then you can really do well.
They say trucking as an occupation has maybe 5-10 years left, due to self-driving trucks.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by gkaplan » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:42 pm

The529guy wrote:
JupiterJones wrote:I'd imagine that the best career move for him would be the "job" of being a part-time community college or trade school student.

But if that's out of the question, how about driving a truck? I understand that long-haul truckers are always in demand and can make some decent bucks. Set some aside to buy your own truck, then you can really do well.
They say trucking as an occupation has maybe 5-10 years left, due to self-driving trucks.
That's a scary thought.
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:15 pm

Why are you concerned about "suggesting" something? Did he ask?
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:01 am

Welder

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:59 pm

If he's looking for suggestions why not suggest he post here so he can get direct feedback?
If he isn't looking for suggestions I wouldn't insult him by bringing them up.

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dm200
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by dm200 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:18 pm

leonard wrote:Why are you concerned about "suggesting" something? Did he ask?
We have discussed, because he asked, many aspects of his financial situation - and he is very open to such discussions. His employment, compensation, benefits, etc. are very vital to his "financial situation" - both present and future.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by rg422 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:32 pm

How about looking into becoming a correctional officer for the prison system? Not sure how it is in other states, but here in California, I know a few friends from high school, with no college degrees making well over $100K annually being correctional officers. I don't know the details, but one does not need any college degree, just complete a short 'academy' sort of training. AFAIK, correctional officers have great benefits/pension plan, as well; at least here in California.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by leonard » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:03 pm

dm200 wrote:
leonard wrote:Why are you concerned about "suggesting" something? Did he ask?
We have discussed, because he asked, many aspects of his financial situation - and he is very open to such discussions. His employment, compensation, benefits, etc. are very vital to his "financial situation" - both present and future.
I'd suggest a trade - carpenter, welder, plumber, etc. A lot of earnings upside - including owning ones own business.
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by bonfire » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:14 pm

customer service rep for large companies if you have any in your areas. Locally we have AT&T, State Farm, BC/BS, United Health, Geico, Progressive, etc.. He has the background in dealing with customers so could be a fit. Entry level positions in these large companies can often lead to rapid advancement if you're worth a damn. Benefits are usually pretty solid. Our local State Farm regional HQ has starting salary of $15.00 and pretty good benefits and last I heard they couldn't find enough employees

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by alfaspider » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:14 pm

Home inspector?

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Carson » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:02 pm

Power plant operator/technician
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by poker27 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:28 pm

Is he wanting or trying to get out of retail/ food service?

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by NateH » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:02 am

Cruise wrote:Policing.
although out of the "blue", this is actually a pretty good suggestion based on the information provided.
I am friends with a half-dozen cops and the money is pretty good. Your relative is already used to managing off-hours work and has developed people skills.
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Robconoclast » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:06 pm

I'm 35 and come from a similar background. Rough childhood, food service industry for ten years, and used credit cads for impulsive purchases until the age of 25. I could have went into management, but I tried community college and failed.

If he wants to stay in the food industry I'd defanitely put a resume together and research management positions. Alot of chain restaurants have high turnover rates though so I'd take my time and research each company he'd apply to. Look at the turnover rate and potential bonuses he'd receive for keeping costs low.

While some former coworkers have moved on to upscale restaraunts, a few have also taken couses and become plumbers, electricians, etc and are happier. One even left management to become a police officer in his early thirties and is happier. I left the corporate chain world for a smaller company (brewery), transferred to the brewery at the age of 31, worked my way up from a simple bottler, and am happy with my life...and a great 401k. He's still young...but should make a decision soon. :beer
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by FRANK2009 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:54 pm

To the posters suggesting policing:

-The pay can be good, poor, or anything in between.

-Mid 30's can be past the age limit in some jurisdictions.

Above all, policing should be something you REALLY want to do. The job can be rewarding, but one needs to understand that you will see and deal with some really distasteful things.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by simple man » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:51 pm

In my area, policing requires 60 hours of college (basically an Associates Degree).

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Bulldawg » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:28 pm

If I were wanting to stay in fast food , I'd look into Chick-fil-A . It's competitive to land a store , but the fee is only 10k . The owner -operators I know do very well.

Also , how did your relative do in sales ? Productive sales people usually do very well .
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:51 pm

You can certainly do a lot worse than being a store manager. My dad ran several stores for an owner with multiple stores. It's a middle class living with job security. The only downside is the shift work, stress, and hours. (Not unlike a lot of other jobs.) There is upward mobility to own one's own restaurant.

The trades are quite good now, but he'd be around forty years old by the time he would go through an apprenticeship and had good experience. For a job that is hands on and not always kind to the body, it's possible the time has passed to do this. (Maybe not if he's in shape.) Getting an entry level tech job may be a better direction if he's inclined.

It's humbling to realize one is nearing middle age and see that you've already aged out of a lot of jobs. This is why one's twenties are so important.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by RVosen » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:41 am

There do seem to be a lot of good suggestions here. But I feel some of these jobs aren't as easy to get as some think. They pay and benefits can also vary a lot from state to state.

Policing in my state requires 60 college credits within 5 years of hire date but it's uncommon for someone with less than a bachelors degree to get hired.

I was a corrections officer and the hire process in my state isn't to bad but the pay is pretty low. Also only requires a high school diploma. I looked at possible moving out of state to stick with it and the states I looked at with better pay had a longer more detailed hiring process.

Currently a plumbing apprentice and this field might vary the most from state to state. Here to get my license I have to do a 5 year apprenticeship but first had to earn my apprenticeship by working as a laborer for my company. I do like my job but it's not for everyone. I work commercial construction and it's rare to do any apprenticeship in service only. It's a pretty physically demanding job and you are exposed to the elements year round as well as having to do some traveling.

If he has interest in any of these fields he should try contacting human resources at one of those employers they might have someone that can give him some information on what to expect in that line of work.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by stemikger » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:59 am

I was in his shoes 27 years ago. My Father passed away at 50 and I did not want to work as a barber in the family business any longer because there were zero benefits in that field. At 24 I went to a trade school to learn Word Processing and never looked back. I cut my teeth at 3 firms before I ended up at a White Shoe Law Firm on Wall Street. For the past 22 years I have been working at that firm as a Word Processor and make $90K per year. Not bad for no college.

Also, if they do phase out Word Processors, many Legal Secretaries today are men and after experience and a little O.T. make anywhere from $50 to over $100K. Also, some transition into the paralegal field and if you become a coordinator or supervisor you do pretty good without a degree.

Good Luck to him. I was once there.
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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by Longtermgrowth » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:26 pm

It's fairly depressing that there really aren't many more things to list. As already mentioned, learning a trade like electrician, plumber, hvac technician, might be the best bet if law enforcement is out of question. All of that takes time in trade school and/or years of apprenticeship. Probably any full time permanent job in the USPS (aren't those hard to obtain?) would be worth the benefits alone even though the pay may not be as high as a seasoned tradesman would bring in.

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Re: Possbile career moves without college degree

Post by WhyNotUs » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:44 pm

Grocery store manager- people, inventory management, relatively solid field, lots of mobility, chance for six figures, good training programs
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