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Trucking vs. Software developer

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Parth P.'s Comment
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Hello everyone I am a student from high school and I have read lots and lots of things about trucking. I think it would be a good career for me. But I have one little problem is that my parents want me to become a Software developer but I want to be a trucker. Now I've thought about doing 4 years of college for computer tech until I become 21 years old and then do trucking and keep the computer tech as a backup career. I wanted to ask you guys what your opinion would be in this situation. Thank you

Rick S.'s Comment
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Depends on what field of IT you're thinking of entering.

1982 - when I got into IT - no one was doing it - now EVERYONE IS. Not that there isn't room for more, as automated as the world is getting.

Since you can't drive OTR until you're 21 - if you have the opportunity to get a 4 year degree (and someone is going to PAY FOR IT - YAAAAY PAAAAY FORRR IT!), then go for it.

You may want to sit for some aptitude testing, and maybe see if there's a field that's MORE INTERESTING than IT - that you can actually GET A JOB IN (not some liberal arts "black transgender meth addicts" major, with a minor in "classic rock"). Think about a TRADE SCHOOL maybe - get your hands dirty and learn a skill that you can step back and say "I BUILT THIS".

Or consider giving a few years in SERVICE TO YOUR COUNTRY - JOIN THE MILITARY (Navy of course, maybe Air Force) - a great place to get some technical skills, and not a bad place to put in 25 years and retire - as long as you're not getting SHOT AT (Army/Marines - sorry guys).

Still in high school - means you have a world of possibilities open to you. Keep yer nose clean, stay off drugs, keep your drivers license clean - and trucking will ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU, if that's where you want to end up.

And I'm not in any way DISSUADING you (or anyone else) from trucking, it's an HONORABLE PROFESSION - our whole world gets to our stores and our doors because of TRUCK DRIVERS MOVING THIS NATION.

God - I wish I were still in high school - okay - maybe not. I wish I knew 1/4 of what I know about the world NOW - when I was in high school. I'd have done A LOT OF THINGS DIFFERENTLY (wouldn't we ALL?).

Rick

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Reaper's Comment
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My reccomendation try housekeeping in the emergancy department. I made a thread here i have no clue how to link it if one of you amazing and awesome moderators could help me with linking the thread please. Its "my opinion on 18 yr old and trucking" or something like that very recent posting.

G-Town's Comment
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Welcome Parth.

Since you are currently under your parent's roof I think you should continue discussing this with them and respect their wishes.

I was faced with a very similar situation 40 years ago. Things were far easier back then, I actually drove to help pay for my education. I don't really know what is best for you, however if you have the means and the brains I think your parents' suggestion is relevant. No one can take an education away from you, and no matter where you eventually end up, it can never hurt you. It will also give you time to reflect and better understand the direction you want your life to take. You are young...focus on doing your best in school and make good choices when you are behind the wheel of your car.

Perhaps a compromise to consider; study logistics as a minor with your major in software engineering. The need for computer technology in the trucking industry will never be truly satisfied, always a demand. If you also have a base of knowledge in transportation operations and supply chain logistics concepts, you'll be that much more valuable.

I waited until I was in my 50's to become a full time driver. Having spent the majority of my career as a computer consultant with a sub specialization in transportation, there weren't too many surprises when I became a driver. I firmly believe if you are called to drive, you can heed that desire at any time.

In the mean time, if you haven't already read this: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving Probably a very good idea to get Mom & Dad to do the same.

Good luck!

Fisherman2280's Comment
member avatar

I.T pays twice as much, your home every night but the stress can be crazy.

Go enjoy four years of University but stay out of trouble if you want to ever get into this world.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Vendingdude's Comment
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I'm siding close with Rick on this one. Do your best in HS, put in four years in the Air Force. The physical and mental skill set honed through service will translate to ANY career. You can certainly work in any number of IT type fields while there. (Hey if you don't test into that field in the military, how would expect to get a job in the real world after working for a degree in IT at school?). If you choose military as a career, you're already there. If you choose to go to a university, they will pay for it. If you choose to go trucking, I can not think of a better hire than a 21 yr pld high school graduate with a four year military stint on top of that. You would be a no brainer to join and benefit any trucking team.

Oh, and if you're a Boy Scout get your Eagle; you start out as E2 instead of E1 which is another couple hundred bucks a month straight out of basic.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Errol V.'s Comment
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I'm in the, I guess you might say, military camp. You know all the benefits: training, see the world, free school up to post doc, really. Veteran benefits.

But there's something I believe is often left off this list. Especially for those who graduate high school, have the basic level jobs in fast food or grocery store. You learn how an organization works. How to meet your boss' expectations without hand holding, how to work together even with people you may not like. What to do when you get bogged down. How not to quit when you get mad.

And if you want to try IT or even software, you'll get the learning and the hands on that would take years in civilian life.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Vendingdude's Comment
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Yup. What Errol said. Lots of options when you're seventeen........

Farmerbob1's Comment
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I see no reason why you can't do both.

Go to school, get an IT degree then start driving. Either when driving, or after a couple years, develop quality trucking Apps and use your trucking experience to inform your application design. Most trucking apps are crap. Work on designs in your head while driving, and on your 34's and longer downtimes.

That's what I'm doing with both my fiction writing and the patent I'm pursuing. I bust my tail and never chase my 70 for that reason - I need a day off every now and then to get things done.

Cold War Surplus's Comment
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I spent 20 years as an IT Project Manager. I drive a truck. You've got a no-win situation. Being a software developer isn't what it used to be. Caterpillar, Disney, Hertz, Southern California Edison and the University of California are just a handful of HUNDREDS of organizations who have laid off their IT departments and replaced them with cheaper workers from overseas with H-1B visas. Not only will you be competing with developers from overseas willing to do the same job for <$30k/yr., you'll be competing for the remaining jobs with the seasoned IT workers who were laid off after decades of service. There are more than 800,000 H-1B visa workers in the U.S. today and most of them work in IT.

Not all degrees are created equal. The old paradigm of having a B.A. in anything guaranteeing a middle-class life is long gone. Too often a degree only means years of debt and a low-paying service job. Thousands of degrees in Journalism are issued every year for a handful of jobs. Unless you really have the ambition to get a degree in a chosen field and that field has a shortage of workers and a high average salary college is a waste of money. Yes, you can say your read the classics and woke up naked on a stranger's lawn, but it's possible to do those things without $40k+ in loans. Much like drivers, a lot of college students don't make it past their first year.

Are your parents offering to pay for your degree or would you be taking out loans? Why do they think software is the way to go?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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