Is High School enough education?
Is a high school diploma enough to succeed as a tech these days? I am talking about the advice you give a 17 year old. Many of us older techs have a high school diploma. Do we have a college degree? Not many. Do you need one to be successful? Let’s define success. That is worthy of a few sentences. Webster defines success as: “Favorable accomplishment or prosperity”. The successful techs I know won’t say they are successful; most are modest about their achievements. Most feel prosperity hasn’t been reached yet. Are you successful?
In today’s very high-tech auto repair world, an ASE Master with L1 is something to be proud of. An AAM (accredited automotive manager) is worth a bundle as a service writer or manager. What about a college degree? Do I need one? Will it help me fix a car or run a repair shop? I give young people advice at my training classes as I am training more young people than ever before. What do I tell these young people? A college degree is a must. Do it before you have a family, a home mortgage, or get past 30. My older brother went to Clark University. He did well, attended more college at Stanford. As he aged he is employed, secure and has two college educated children. I didn’t follow that road. Did it matter? Yes, a college education would have helped me run my business more effectively. A college education would have added to my technical knowledge. I am proud to say that I was successful without a degree. I was at risk early on; it was harder for me to operate my shop without the proper education. I would have a degree by now had I taken a few more classes at night. I did attend college but did not graduate.
You can see that in today’s marketplace a degree will help the average tech succeed. The brightest techs wouldn’t have much of a problem in college. So don’t dismiss college in your automotive career development. If you employ a younger person, talk about higher education. Offer them an incentive. Support you local schools. Parents would love to see their children looking at college as part of the repair industry. It will add credibility, status and positive self-image. As for us old cronies, cars and trucks were pretty simple decades ago. We may be playing some old tapes; it is time for the old timers (like me) to sing a different tune.
So be part of the highly educated repair industry. Learn more to earn more. Support scholarship funds. Talk to your staff about furthering their education, It can only make your life more “Successful”.
Even without a college degree I find myself teaching at colleges all over the world.
Written by Craig Van Batenburg