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  1. #1

    Default What can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

    I'm an aspiring welder who will have an associate's degree within a year. Should I go the extra mile and get a bachelor's degree along with this?

    Talking to my instructors, I found that welders with bachelor's degrees have two extra jobs open to them: full-time community college welding instructors and welding engineers. I talked to one of my instructors yesterday and he told me that an associate's degree will open up many doors and a bachelor's degree is unnecessary for welders.

    I was told that it didn't matter what type of bachelor's degree you have, so I was deciding to aim for an English degree not only because I enjoy writing, but the thought of studying English always nagged me since my first semester of college. I would rather focus on my welding career, however, than spend extra time and money to get a useless bachelor's degree. I feel like becoming a CWI would more than make up for any bachelor's degree.

    I've asked the same question on another forum (see bottom) and the consensus is that I should get an engineering degree. I told the people that despite my skill towards math and science, I would hate to study engineering material for the next five years as well as go through the math, physics, and chemistry classes along with it. I'm torn between studying my passion and risking obtaining a useless degree, and getting a degree and forcing myself to study a subject that I have no interest in.

    So to those who are working in the welding industry: what can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

    I have started the same thread here: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=47113

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Ceres, California
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    358

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    get you a job in sales. To get a job as a field sales rep working for any of the major welding supply stores or welder manufacture's. Most require a bachelor's degree. or lots of welding experience.
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  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    303

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smatsushima1 View Post
    I'm an aspiring welder who will have an associate's degree within a year. Should I go the extra mile and get a bachelor's degree along with this?

    Talking to my instructors, I found that welders with bachelor's degrees have two extra jobs open to them: full-time community college welding instructors and welding engineers. I talked to one of my instructors yesterday and he told me that an associate's degree will open up many doors and a bachelor's degree is unnecessary for welders.

    I was told that it didn't matter what type of bachelor's degree you have, so I was deciding to aim for an English degree not only because I enjoy writing, but the thought of studying English always nagged me since my first semester of college. I would rather focus on my welding career, however, than spend extra time and money to get a useless bachelor's degree. I feel like becoming a CWI would more than make up for any bachelor's degree.

    I've asked the same question on another forum (see bottom) and the consensus is that I should get an engineering degree. I told the people that despite my skill towards math and science, I would hate to study engineering material for the next five years as well as go through the math, physics, and chemistry classes along with it. I'm torn between studying my passion and risking obtaining a useless degree, and getting a degree and forcing myself to study a subject that I have no interest in.

    So to those who are working in the welding industry: what can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

    I have started the same thread here: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=47113
    It will make getting into management easier. However, I wouldn't mention it on the job, be kinda sorta like telling the guys you don't wear underwear.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southern Louisiana
    Posts
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    with your welding experience, and get a lot of it. Look at a business degree or marketing, they are broad enough that you can follow many different paths.

    I say if your inclined to get more education you should. Who is it hurting and who can it benefit?

  5. #5
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    Streamwood, IL
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    Never pass up the opportunity for more education. It makes you more valuable to a prospective employer.

    Even if that education is not in your current job, it shows that you more "rounded" as an employee.
    _kevin

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  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
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    It didn't matter much to me when I was younger that I didn't have degree, today if I had the ability would get engineering. There are other things in welding related fields beside chipping slag, it helps later. I wa i apprenticeship with a guy with the real book learnin, he blew by us in short order. Rest of us had to work our way up the food chain, someone snatched him up and pulled.
    Last edited by Sberry; 12-08-2010 at 07:32 AM.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2007
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    Medford MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by smatsushima1 View Post
    I'm an aspiring welder who will have an associate's degree within a year. Should I go the extra mile and get a bachelor's degree along with this?

    Talking to my instructors, I found that welders with bachelor's degrees have two extra jobs open to them: full-time community college welding instructors and welding engineers. I talked to one of my instructors yesterday and he told me that an associate's degree will open up many doors and a bachelor's degree is unnecessary for welders.

    I was told that it didn't matter what type of bachelor's degree you have, so I was deciding to aim for an English degree not only because I enjoy writing, but the thought of studying English always nagged me since my first semester of college. I would rather focus on my welding career, however, than spend extra time and money to get a useless bachelor's degree. I feel like becoming a CWI would more than make up for any bachelor's degree.

    I've asked the same question on another forum (see bottom) and the consensus is that I should get an engineering degree. I told the people that despite my skill towards math and science, I would hate to study engineering material for the next five years as well as go through the math, physics, and chemistry classes along with it. I'm torn between studying my passion and risking obtaining a useless degree, and getting a degree and forcing myself to study a subject that I have no interest in.

    So to those who are working in the welding industry: what can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

    I have started the same thread here: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=47113
    Hi
    I can't specifically say what good a 4-yr degree is for welding, but
    some general comments...

    I've never known someone who said "Gosh, I got too much education"...
    IF you can swing the time, $, and so on, get as much as you can.

    If you look closely at the unemployment data for our current hard times,
    everything else being equal, people with more education tend to be doing
    better -- they have lower rates of unemployment and are out of work for
    less time vis-a-vis the folks with less education.

    As to what major - engineering vs english or business... I'm an engineer, with
    engineering degrees, etc, etc. When I look at the alumni magazines from my
    universities, I see lots of folks with engineering degrees who are doing things
    like being executives at companies or doing other non-engineering work,
    but 0 folks with, say, only business degrees working as engineers. Looking at
    the data, it seems that having a technical degree opens more doors and makes
    more paths available than having a non-technical one. My guess is that what
    all those physics and math courses really teach is how to approach problems,
    analyze them, pick the right tools to solve them, and so on. Also, since the
    technical fields are constantly changing, another secret thing that's taught
    is to constantly be able to learn things.

    Also, any decent university will require that their engineering students
    take a number of non-engineering courses, which can be in business or
    English (or underwater basket weaving, for that matter). Look closely
    at the course catalog and degree requirements for those areas; the
    number of non-technical courses to take might be enough to get you a minor
    in business/etc -- or close enough to it that you'd need only another course or
    two. If things work out right, you might even be able to swing a dual-major
    degree

    Good luck

  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
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    If I would have listened to my mother I could be slaving away under a hot secretary instead of a welding hood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    If I would have listened to my mother I could be slaving away under a hot secretary instead of a welding hood.
    Best I've ever heard it put.

    But go as far as you can go, no matter what the major.

    You want to have and be able to open doors later in life. When your settled in your 40's doors start to close. If the economy or whatever starts looking bad, even more doors close.

    Then its tough to create options later on, create them now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Idaho
    Posts
    203

    Default English degree

    Every one of these replies offer good, solid advice, so instead of offering more advice, let me share my real-life experience.

    I learned to weld in vocational agriculture class in high school and worked as a welder in order get through college. I ended up with a B.A. and M.A. in English, intending to teach at the junior college level. However, this was in the late '60's-early '70's and those jobs were very hard to find. Consequently, I spent the next 3 years after graduation working as - you guessed it - a welder.

    Finally, though, I was able to find a job with a publishing company as an outside sales rep. This came with a good salary, bonuses, expense account, company car and many other benefits. Life was, indeed, good, but I never lost my passion or skills for welding.

    Then the company I worked for was aquired by a larger company and I was out of a job. But by then, I had saved enough to purchase a small shop and the equipment necessary to start my own welding business. I did general repairs, custom work, and a lot of construction-related light fabrication. Again, life was good, until 2008 when the economy crashed and construction came to a halt.

    But, at the age of 64, I was able to land a job as a technical writer with an engieering firm. It turned out that my welding and construction experience, along with the English degrees, were exactly what they were looking for.

    I know this has been a bit long, but I hope it demonstrates that the more skills and education you have, regardless of the field, the better off you will be. You never know where life will take you.
    Last edited by mikeswelding; 12-08-2010 at 10:27 AM.

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