Okay, you are almost finished with your core courses and you are being tempted by job openings. There’s nothing wrong with this, after all, you have invested a lot of time and money to get to this point and financial issues are pressing. But think about it: Another 5 or 6 courses could complete a two-year degree, and that’s a wonderful accomplishment! Furthermore, that English General Education course will improve your writing skills and almost everybody will need to write reports at one time or another. And speech? Heck yes! That speech course will help you communicate better with fellow employees and supervisors, and especially in those weekly team meetings that almost every manufacturer holds.

An Associate degree will indicate that you have the determination to complete projects, set you apart from less-educated peers, and probably get you that supervisory job over other candidates.

I visited with a northwest suburban Chicago firm a couple of days ago and they have a wonderful opportunity for an exceptional CNC machinist with a basic electrical background: they want to train this individual to install their optional equipment on CNC machines at customer sites, and pay $50,000 for this job. To start! But their one unequivocal requirement: the candidate must have a degree. So strong is a degree on your resume that if you just take those last GenEd courses, even if it is at night, one course per semester, your career prospects will be greatly enhanced. And consider this: that coveted dream job may be really cool that first year but what if the job goes away? The firm is purchased, moves, goes out of business, or whatever, and you are left unemployed. You’ll wish then that you had completed that degree.

So spend a little more time in college and finish that degree before settling down with family and career. Finish what you started.

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