I spent 4 years in the USAF, from age 18-22. If I had not been chasing women and fast cars so much, I could have gotten out with my BS as well. Most of my time was in the Pentagon, and it set up my whole career/life.
The military is pretty much a guaranteed paycheck for 20 years, and then you get a retirement. I would be retiring this year if I would have stayed in! I'll be kicking myself on that 20 year mark, but I have NO regrets.
Make sure the debt doesn't overpower the degree!
On the MMI route, Florida has become awash in these "for profit colleges." They have gotten very good at 100% financing and the sales dept pushes the kids to sign on the dotted line saying they will probably get scholarships/grants etc. .........then the troubles hit:
1. Student loans are not dischargable (you can't even declare bankruptcy to get rid of them)
2. Loans are 9% plus
3. Drop out rate at these places is very high, yet the school still got paid and the student is still stuck with the debt
4. Jobs promised don't equal real money jobs
MMI can't pump out 100 kids a semester and expect jobs for those 100 kids in engine repair (there isn't that kind of demand right now). MMI also has a motorcycle school with the same issue (nobody is buying Harleys at the 2004-06 pace). But the school needs the students (and their tuition) to stay afloat so they have flashy TV ads to suck them in!
I blew a full ride acedemic scholarship on beer and girls. Have been a mechanic my whole life and have always been able to pay the bills. I have had a very nice offer on my business, and when the sale is final the first thing I am going to do is GO BACK TO SCHOOL at 45 years old.
Every time one of these threads come up the first posts always start out with "don't make your hobby your career".I have always made my hobbies part of my career and done well at it without losing any passion for the hobby. I think for me it is that I love what I do and look forward to opening the shop door every morning (34 years and counting). As far as not wanting to work on my own boats I do not have that problem, for me its the payoff for all the hard work I do on my customers boats.
Another hidden gem I didnt think about until I was out was the Coast Guard, you get the same everything as the military. And to dispell a myth whether your in the AF, Navy, or Army everybody gets paid the same as far as PVT in the Army get paid as the same rank in the AF and Navy. There are some special pays for subs, jump pay etc. But most part everybody has the same pay checks.
You definately want to make you career something you enjoy doing. If you like wrenching on boats, you will be able to learn the technical know how by attending a school like MMI. But I would not stop there. It would still be a good idea to attend college for a business management type degree. That combined with the technical hands on training and experience you can gain while going for your business degree will allow you to elevate from the mechanic, to the shop owner. An education is never a bad thing.
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