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Permaculture/horticulture degree worth it?

 
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Hello, ive started down the path of a perma/horticulture degree at college of lake county illinois. Im just curious if it is worth it? Ive mostly self taught . Ide be using my gi bill so i wont have debt at the end but actually a little profit. Is this the correct path to go or are there other recommended degrees to shoot for?  Just a lost solo permaculture dude trying to escape the normal society for a free’r existence.
 
pollinator
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Man, if there was ever a question to suit the perpetual permie answer, this is it..


So..  it depends!


Do you have a feel for what you want to do, that the degree seems likely to help with?

Do you learn well in a classroom environment?

The financial part being pretty much a wash is nice, but your time is still precious.


Personally, I can't say that I ever felt I got a good return on my time in any sort of formal schooling.. but this was not ag related. Those previous experiences meant that I did not pursue formal schooling when I decided to farm.. If I was doing that transition part of my life again, I would have visited more farms as a volunteer, and tried to get employment on one that both felt like a good fit in terms of values and people, *and* was financially successful. Hands on learning while getting paid is more to my taste!

I suppose I will know in a decade or two if skipping school was a mistake!
 
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Hello Alex,

Education is NEVER a waste and, with more people entering the workforce each year, employers have the choice amongst a lot of candidates - those already skilled have a big advantage.

Also, when/if you start your own business in the future, customers will check your credentials before considering a contract - a degree, with postgraduate certificate and professional affiliations really make a big difference.

For example: Horticulture degree, postgrad in Permaculture, membership to one of the relevant organisations in your State/Country.

You may find, over time, that you veer away from a particular profession, but the knowledge gained provides a great foundation for other things.

Importantly, in a few years, it will most likely put you in a higher income bracket making life that much easier - putting in the hard work now will make it much easier when you get older.

Here on Oz, higher education is a fundamental goal for the reasons I've listed above, but also so they can travel and work overseas - internationally accredited courses take them anywhere. Similarly, we get thousands of overseas students from Asia and elsewhere - they know full well the importance of a well grounded education for financial stability.
 
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F Agricola wrote:Hello Alex,

Education is NEVER a waste and, with more people entering the workforce each year, employers have the choice amongst a lot of candidates - those already skilled have a big advantage.

Also, when/if you start your own business in the future, customers will check your credentials before considering a contract - a degree, with postgraduate certificate and professional affiliations really make a big difference.

For example: Horticulture degree, postgrad in Permaculture, membership to one of the relevant organisations in your State/Country.

You may find, over time, that you veer away from a particular profession, but the knowledge gained provides a great foundation for other things.

Importantly, in a few years, it will most likely put you in a higher income bracket making life that much easier - putting in the hard work now will make it much easier when you get older.

Here on Oz, higher education is a fundamental goal for the reasons I've listed above, but also so they can travel and work overseas - internationally accredited courses take them anywhere. Similarly, we get thousands of overseas students from Asia and elsewhere - they know full well the importance of a well grounded education for financial stability.



Hm. Maybe things are different in Canada.. most of the people I know who went to college or university are not using it. Technical certs are more likely to be used.. but many years ago when I went to get an entry level one I discovered I knew enough from my fairly obsessive hobbyist fiddling/reading to find numerous mistakes in the text, identify a lot of fluff, and lots of practical stuff was just plain missing.

A lot of places charged a pretty penny for 'industry standard' education to help people get that cert and others like it. I abandoned the first payment as cutting my losses, and got a job in my target niche of the field anyhow. If I had wanted to stay in the field, the years of experience were far more telling than a piece of paper, and quality companies pay for certs and training.

When I hire someone, I don't care about their paper. I care about their client references, their portfolio, their reliability. The world is full of seatwarmers with degrees. What you get out of one will depend on the program, your learning style, and what you put in..

Acquiring knowledge is rarely a waste, but there are plenty of ways to spend time and money with this goal in mind, that are not the right fit.

I have a friend that can slowly read a textbook front to back and retain it. I can read a novel 10x as fast as him, but I can't retain a textbook that way. I have to do the thing, and look up the details at need, for it to sink in. Neither of us does well in a lecture environment.. some people do.
 
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Is the school accredited by a legit body?  To sum up what I am getting from other posts, you need to have a good talk with yourself and find out if you are going to school to get a job or to get an education.  The two are not automatically mutually exclusive, but sometimes they are. School is an excellent place to get an education, as long as you select an acceptable school.  If you are seeking a job by going to school, the odds are greater that you may be disappointed.
 
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