Advice On What To Do

Topic 899 | Page 1

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Ben A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all,

Just looking for some little advice tips on what to do here, as I'm still deciding and it's a pretty major decision I need to make shortly.

My situation is this: I just turned 24, and due to some past circumstances I'm still 2 years away from getting my Bachelor's Degree for Computer Science from NC State. I've just finished the first 2 years at a local community college and am transferring to NC State in the fall. I've already been accepted and am ready to go.

But then I discovered trucking. But I'm going to school for computer science, which I still love. Nothing has changed on my desire to be a programmer, but I also now feel like trucking would suit me so much more. I've read countless articles of Mike and Brett and others who speak so passionately about trucking, and as of right now, I feel like it's a great fit for me. I'm single, plan to remain so, I love the idea of everything being so spontaneous, not knowing where you'll be in a few hours, all the challenges that go along with time management, etc. etc. I don't mind being away from home for weeks or months, as I'm fairly anti-social anyway... I don't really have friends (I don't have social skill problems making friends, I just prefer to be alone), and previously had spent my time with online gaming. Being away from home doesn't mean much for me, since I don't have any real contacts here besides my parents, who I don't live with anyway.

So now I'm discussing with my parents, who are indeed helping me with my schooling by paying for it, what I should do. Should I finish my degree in 2 years just to get it over and done with, then look into trucking? This is the route my parents are leaning on, for obvious reasons. But even though I've never been in a truck yet, just all the things I read on your site on how trucking life is really speaks to me. I am very sure that I could do very well as a trucker.

What do you think I should do? Pursue my new interest in trucking, knowing that I could eventually go back and do the last 2 years someday if I really so desired, or just stick it out for 2 more years and hope I can wait that long to get in a truck?

Thanks for any feedback you have, I greatly appreciate it!

- Ben

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Britton R.'s Comment
member avatar

You're the only one that can make that choice. If trucking interests you enough why not give it a shot? You can still study programming in your doentme. Maybe look into online courses. That way you're doing both. I think a break from school is good for some people. If you went into trucking you can still study while making money to put towards you future. Itd be good for a break from going to school year after year. Then you can jump right back in when you're ready.

Ultimately you're the only one that can make the he choice. You know yourself better than anyone else.

Brock Monday's Comment
member avatar

Finish college. Going back to school is hard. Getting your degree will give you a fall back plan. I have a masters and I am driving a truck now because it has been a dream of my wife and I to see the country and after spending the last decade doing year on year off deployments this was the only way we could think of to not have to spend any time apart. Trucking will still be here in two years. I suggest going to roadmaster during your break. You owe it to your parents to finish what you started. Just my two cents.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Traffic Jam (SunnyWalker.'s Comment
member avatar

Ben: Your parents wish to help you and they won't always be there. This is a one-time thing probably and I know from a parents perspective that they are not against any other plans you might wish to make. They just hope to see their son in a secure situation. Leaving school (a "sure thing" for your future, to them) and going into trucking is probably scary. I advise you to finish what you started. If you leave a habit of walking away from things half-done that will not look good on your resume nor do anything for your self-respect.

In addition, that degree will sure look good when you go to apply to trucking companies when and after you have obtained you CDL. Like the other writer said, Trucking will still be there. Your parents will not always be there. What a blessing to have them pay for your education! Wow! Lot's of folk would love to trade places with you.

It sounds funny, but this would be one of the greatest gifts you could give to your parents. Receive their gift to you and complete the degree.

-Traffic Jam

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

Here's my two cents Ben. I'm 57, 38 years in the computer industry, from Electronics Engineer to Chief Technology Officer. The last few years I've been working as an accredited Computer Security Professional (I have my CISSP certification). About two years ago, I left my position as an security auditor when they outsourced my job. I worked free lance for a while, but most companies didn't want to pay me when they could pay someone from India with an H-1b Visa 1/3 as much. I had done the consulting gig before, and I didn't care for it much.

So...despite all the time and experience in the field, I found I was having to work part time to make ends meet. I took a job as a Test Administrator administering ASVAB tests to military service candidates.

It just isn't paying the bills though, so at the end of May I went to CDL school, and Monday I'll be at Orientation as an OTL Driver at a company here in the Rocky Mountains.

My advice...like the others here, get the Degree. Get a job in computer industry. If you like it, it'll be a great career and the rewards can be very good. If in the future, you decide you want to give trucking a try, go to CDL school and get on the road, it'll still be there, and you won't spend your life wondering about the other side.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Anytime college is brought up I have to laugh. Really I do. Why? Well think what college gets you. $30k to $50k in debt and if your really lucky you will land an awesome job but the reality is 9 times out of 10 with the job outsourcing and being able to hire people outside the country and if you do land a job in your field it will be a $30k a year job if that and you will still spend the next 10 to 15 years paying off the school loans. If your lucky and kissed enough corporate backside you might make it to $35k in 5 to 10 years. Corporate office environments are not for me and I will never go back to one again.

Now trucking is not for everyone but for those that make it in this industry top tier drivers are making $40k to $45 after only a few years of experience. If you want you can do online college courses so you can keep your credits up. Now a days college degrees are just a long winded titles to put on your McDonald's application. Just like lawyers were and still are....8 lawyers to 1 job. People going into college and coming out with degree is Computer___________… you fill in the blank degree space and hundreds are competing for very few jobs. Oh I am sure you can land a job working on a computer at a phone company and asking "would you like to upgrade your service today?"

I have a friend that is awesome with computers. He has 4 or 5 different Microsoft certifications and a bunch of 4 and 5 letter certifications dealing with different areas of computers. He is lead programmer for a large copyright organization that he writes the programs that the legal department uses to defend against corporate espionage and internet espionage for companies world wide. Want to take a guess at what he makes BEFORE taxes? $42k a year. All the degrees and certifications in the world and I make more than he does. And according to the government I am just poor unskilled labor. Go figure.

OK I am done laughing at college dreams for the time being but serious do outline classes if you want to stay current with your credits but look at the job market that you are trying to get into and ask yourself if you could spend the next 20 to 30 years in a 3x3 cubicle wondering if you will ever go anywhere.

At least try trucking. What do you got to loose? Take a 6 month to a year break from school and try trucking and if you don't like it then go back to school and be assured I will make sure toilet paper magically appears on the store selves when you need it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Wow, if you were looking for a variety of opinions, you got it!!! Everything possible opinion across the spectrum. A lot of excellent points made by everyone. smile.gif

For starters, I feel it's very, very important to pursue something you would love to do as opposed to pursuing something you think will make good money or you think someone else would prefer for you. It's your life and you're never going to be happy living it the way others see fit. Do what you feel is right for you. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say, "I'm so happy now. I had a dream years ago and abandoned it to do something someone else wanted to me to do instead. I don't like what I'm doing, but I'm glad it makes others happy." confused.gif

The other concern echoes what Guyjax said - college degrees don't get you very far nowadays, especially in the computer fields. I've read recently that very soon the number of employees in the work force that graduated from trade schools will outnumber the ones who graduated from Universities. Employees need specialization. A college degree in anything computer related may land you a $25k-30k/year entry level job, but it's going to take years of very intense focus to really sharpen your skills to the point you're truly valuable to companies. If you really love programming, you'll want to put in the time and you'll work your way up to the big bucks. If you don't, you'll burn out and be doing something else soon enough anyhow.

So make sure you pursue something you truly love. Programming will give you far more opportunities down the road if you're serious about it and develop some incredible skills. Trucking will never offer anything in the way of future opportunities but it's a priceless lifestyle that you won't find anywhere else. And neither one is going away anytime soon. So the decision you make now is not a life sentence.

Daniel Johnson's Comment
member avatar

I was in a similar situation, and I'll make my decision I made brief. I dropped electrical engineering career for truck driving. best move I ever made. But that was my life's decision, you'll have to make your own.

Patrick L.'s Comment
member avatar

Just my opinion but my thinking is the more options you have in life the better off you are. Since you have some one willing to pay for college take that opportunity and run. No employer ever looked down on a degree. College is very time consuming and expensive so get it done and out of the way, I believe you will regret it later if you walk away now. Besides once you have finished college, if you decide to go into trucking its a months worth of school and then your out driving. I believe trucking is and will be a great career for most anyone but you just don't want to make it your only option.

Ben A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for your very helpful posts. That did pretty much cover the whole spectrum, but was helpful nonetheless.

I think I'm going to go ahead and get the 2 years out of the way. If anything, it should only further prove to myself that if I still want to do trucking in 2 years, it's the right choice for me.

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