Jason’s Big Decision


By Phil Harwood

Jason is faced with a big decision. For the past two years, he has been enrolled as a full-time student at his local community college. His original plan was to take his prerequisites while living at home before transferring to a university to finish his bachelor’s degree. But now he is thinking twice about whether or not to pursue this path.

Jason’s parents and grandparents would be disappointed if he didn’t continue his formal education, and that is weighing on him as well. On the other hand, he knows that they will support him no matter what he chooses to do, and even more so if he is able to clearly explain to them the benefits of following a different path.

After high school, Jason took a summer job with a large landscape and snow management company. He has worked full time during the last three summers and part time during the school year. During big snow events, he was mostly able to jump in and help out in some capacity. The money he has made has been excellent, especially during the summertime with a lot of overtime hours. His bank account is flush and his student loans are minimal at this point, with low interest rates and payments that are delayed until after he graduates. Jason is in a great financial position compared to his buddies who are already $40K or more in debt from student loans.

If Jason goes to the university, he knows his bank account will be drained quickly and he’ll rack up some big loans. On top of that, he just read an article that showed what his projected salary might be after he graduates with a four-year degree. It was less than he made last year. In addition, the owners of the landscape/snow company only have high school degrees, but you would never know it. Both are very sharp, seem well educated, and are very successful. The company is growing and there are real opportunities for him at this company if he stays engaged.

Jason knows that he has much to learn but is seriously wondering if his education would be more targeted and applicable to his future career if it were more “on the job” education versus in a university setting. He hears about the partying at the university and wonders if he will really be learning much anyway, or will he just be piling up debt that will strangle him for years to come?

Jason is at a crossroad. What should he do? What factors is he not considering? Will his future opportunities be greater if he gets a four-year degree? How will he explain to his parents and grandparents about his decision if he decides not to attend the university?

GrowTheBench was created to provide Jason the practical education he needs to be successful in a professional capacity. Online courses supplement real-life experiences in the field to produce well-rounded and knowledgeable professionals in the landscape and snow industries. Managers working closely with their people and with GrowTheBench advisors are able to carefully select appropriate courses and monitor progress for optimal outcomes.

Most importantly, Jason now has another option for developing his professional skills. He still may choose to attend the university but, if he does not, GrowTheBench will be a key part of his professional development going forward.

How are your people benefitting from GrowTheBench? We’d love to hear your stories.

Comments are always appreciated via email at Phil@GrowTheBench.com.

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