Newbie here: question about college


Hello:tiphat: I'm a new member but have lurked awhile just never joined lol. I'm 23 and a Catholic convert (converted in 03). I would like some opinions about college.

I have been going to a small tech school taking automotive but then decided that turning my hobby into a career wasn't what I wanted to do. So I decided I want to take management (it was always my second choice) so right now I'm taking core stuff and planning on transferring. I had been trying to decide what type of management I wanted to do. And I got hired at a grocery store and really like it I really think I want to do management in a grocery store (or other retail like Lowe's but mainly grocery stores).

So this is were my question comes lol. I had been planning on going to a university to get a 4 year bachelor degree in management. But from what I see and hear with grocery stores and other retail thats not a requirement because they train from with in.

So what I'm trying to decide is if I should still go get my 4 year. Or just go to Tech and get my 2 year associates degree. Personally I would rather just go to tech and get my 2 year degree. Because the school is smaller and cheaper plus with all the talk of the big university's having cuts and all. But I want to make the smart choice so I dont sit here years down the road looking like a dummy lol. Ive talked to my parents about it and their supportive either way so its really up to me. So what do yall think?

God Bless



A 4 year degree doesn't hurt anything. In fact, it can only help. Having said that , college isn't for everyone. I'm working on an advanced degree right now, and the more I'm in school, the more I am convinced that it is not what it's cracked up to be. Many people have natural abilites they can market and in the right job field, can go very far and make some money without a college degree.

I know nothing about the fields your going into though-If I were you, I would take a look at the people who have jobs that I want in the future. Emulate them, and with some luck, you'll be just fine.


This is a very personal decision to make, but I think that in a field like management there is more to be learned from experience than from sitting in a classroom. Of course, you’ll want to take some basic accounting classes and the like, but management in retail is ultimately more about knowing people and knowing your product than learning the “theory of a firm,” etc. Go to whatever school you think you can best afford while working your way up in the grocery store, networking, and learning the business. Ask to interview current grocery store and retail managers and ask them how they got to be where they are and what they like about their job. People love to talk about themselves, and (as I’ve found in life) people like to be helpful.

Best of luck with whatever you do of course! (Pray about it!)


Everyone who works gains experience. Those who have a degree under their belt will have experience plus the knowledge – giving them an advantage. As for 2-year vs 4-year, go for the 4-year degree. Over the course of your lifetime career, it will serve you well not only in terms of the additional education, but it will be a requirement for any upper-level position that you may wish to be promoted into.


It’s the school that you graduate from with a four year degree that counts, not the school where you get your general education requirements met.

Not everyone agrees with me but I believe that completing your first two years at a community college can be just as advantageous as going to a four year college or university. You just have to be motivated to learn since not all of your fellow students will be. (That is can be true at a university too.) Community colleges are less expensive so you can do a bit of exploring like you already have been doing. Many universities have agreements with community colleges that they will take you for your junior year if you complete some basic requirements and maintain a certain grade point average. And since class sizes are usually small you have plenty of access to the teachers.

If you take the right classes you will have a two year degree (in business or marketing?) Some businesses may hire you and pay for you to finish your four year degree. Or they may at least be happy to work your hours around your school schedule. And your job may count as work study units toward your degree.


One thing you might want to look at is maybe getting a two year and then going back for your four year online allowing you to work while you study. Also many large corporations have tuition assistance for those who are type A’s and working full time.


All of the managers that I’ve had while working retail have had their 4 year degrees, not solely experience.

I think that you should go and get the 4 year degree. Because if down the road you change your mind again in what you want to do, a 4 year degree sounds so much better than a 2.


It’s much easier to get a 4 year degree when you are younger and not a spouse with children. I think it depends upon your money situation. If you can afford to get the 4 year degree then do it now. If it means you have to go into a lot of debt then go for the 2 year but make sure it is something you can earn a living from unless you have another solid full time job. Around my parts you really do need a 4 year degree if you want to advance in a company.

Really look into the grocery store system. The people I know who work in management have it a bit tough. They get transferred around a lot and have seen people come and go off to other jobs because it is difficult to make it in that business.


I would definitely go to college and get your degree. Even if a particular chain of stores trains from within, you don't want to be tied to it in that manner. What if they lay you off at some point? What if they go under? What if you decide you no longer enjoy working there?

Having a 4 year degree will give you many more options in life, and getting a good job without one is much harder than with one. As another poster pointed out, when you're older going to school full time will be unrealistic as you may have a family, will need to support yourself.


Definitely look at companies that have been noticed for their commitment to providing a great workplace and great employee and management training.

Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2010

Several grocery chains made the top 100 to work for this year: Wegmans, Whole Foods Market, Nugget, Stew Leonard’s, and Publix. Other retailers are in there, like Nordstrom, REI, the Container Store and Build-a-Bear Workshop.


Having gotten a 4-year undergraduate degree (+graduate degrees) and having worked on-and-off at minimum wage under management that did not have any degree, I have a slightly more cynical take on the universities than you all do. :wink:

That said, if you know what you want to do (which is a huge bonus these days) see what the people in your field are doing. I think it is a big mistake to assume that you MUST get a 4-year degree: with the economy the way it is and the amount of debt that a degree requires, its best to consider all of your options. If you can postpone the study now or find a way to study part-time or do a 2-year programme, that might be worth considering. :slight_smile:


You know your situation better than we do. Generally, I suggest a 4 year degree because I think it gives a person more options. Also, in a down job market, every little thing you have to offer is helpful, and so I would think a person with 10 years of experience and a 4 yr degree might look more attractive than a person with 14 years of experience (all else equal). But, there are multiple options for education, as other posters have written.

Have you tried speaking with some people who have the types of job you want? Most people enjoy sharing their experiences. They might have some insight into what employers want and what has/hasn’t worked for them personally and why. Good luck. :slight_smile:


In my post earlier, I did not mean to imply that you should not get a four year degree. Other posters have highlighted the inherent value of additional education and the future value of a degree. As someone who has spent the last seven years in college and professional school, I could not agree more. College is valuable, indeed. However, I feel as if these days people think that somehow getting a degree itself is a golden ticket. This is not the case. There is a sliding scale. For one thing, you must consider the opportunity costs of going to college and losing valuable experience in the mean time. There is also, of course, all of the cost of going to school itself, and the loss of potential networking opportunities while focusing on an education. These things must be factored into the overall equation, considering also that the opportunity costs will be higher if you put off going to school and the risk of not having a degree ten years down the road, when the standards and norms might be different.

I say that experience (the right experience) matters so greatly because of the nature of a field like management. Given the state of affairs, taking yourself out of the game for four years might actually hurt when your looking for a job. The ideal situation would be to go to school (for a BS/BA) AND to continue working, taking advantage of the flexible shifts that grocery stores offer. Never turn down a good opportunity, and take advantage of the time and flexibility that you have to dedicate to your future now. Consider applying for scholarships, going to a public university, and even taking night or weekend classes. Like I said, this is a personal decision. More school is not always better, but it can help.


I worked in managerial positions in the computer industry for over 35 years. In most of the companies I worked for, you would be quickly eliminated from consideration for employment by HR without a 4 year degree. A hiring manager with an open position would never see your resume and if they somehow did, would not be able to hire you. It did not matter so much from where as long as it was properly accredited. What your degree was in mattered too, but not having a 4 year degree was a non-negotiable show stopper.

You don’t know what the future holds and Seatuck’s point on it being easier while you are younger and without the responsibility of a family is good advice.


Thanks for your opinions its given me a lot to think about.


Honestly what Ide like to do is just get a two year as a back up and start my own small side business. For one thing I totally HATE college.

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