Top Three Reasons to Skip the University System

Top Three Reasons to Skip the University System

Guest writer Isaac Rollor shares some different options in 2023 for high school graduates in “Top Three Reasons to Skip the University System.”

Top three reasons to skip the university system and pursue a heavy equipment career in 2023.

Imagine yourself as an 18-year-old high school graduate today. Now imagine that you must decide whether to attend a university or find a job and start a career. In years past this decision was simple for most of our culture. Just a few years ago college was almost a non-negotiable experience in the eyes of mainstream parents and teachers. For an 18-year-old today there is a new grassroots message regarding university attendance and careers that is gaining momentum. This new message lowers the importance of attending a university and raises the importance of developing a skill within a career area. A growing number of parents are embracing this new message mainly because the cost of college is out of control, and parents see clear evidence that many positions requiring technical skill are currently not filled.

An 18-year-old today must be very courageous to embrace the new message and start a career without attending a university. Choosing a profession can be overwhelming so I have outlined the Top 3 reasons to skip university and pursue a heavy equipment career in 2023.

#1 Stability 

The market for construction equipment is expected to continue growth despite signs that other areas of the economy may contract in the coming years. Regardless of economic factors there are certain skilled positions at manufacturers and dealers are already facing labor shortages. Job areas such as repair technicians and technical support are constantly in demand. Most of the manufacturers of heavy equipment have very recognizable brands and products. Plus, most manufacturers and dealers have made huge investments in fixed operations which means there is a very slim chance that your career with a dealer or manufacturer will be outsourced or quickly replaced by technology like AI. Need more evidence that this industry will survive economic uncertainty? Look at any reputable market research report. Currently the U.S. construction equipment market alone is valued at approximately 149 billion, and the market is expected to grow to approximately 194 billion by 2030. 

#2 Career Development

One of the best benefits about pursuing a heavy equipment career is that starting at an entry level position can quickly lead to more responsibilities and a high paying job title. Proving to management that you are a safe and responsible team member will be like rocket fuel for your career within the organization. Negligence of employees can cost a dealer or manufacturer a great deal of time and money. Proving to management that you can work safely around machines and that you value the safety of your coworkers and customers is critical. Another benefit of working in the heavy equipment business is that training opportunities are readily available. Whether this is on the job training or formal classroom style training, most manufacturers and dealers place high importance on training their teams. Typically, a culture of training exists in this industry. You can easily take advantage of training to advance your career. Tuition assistance is also common at manufacturers. If you feel that you need to pursue a degree from a university the tuition assistance program from your employer can be a great way to get started. 

#3 Job Satisfaction

There is something very special about working with heavy equipment. Many industries professionals recall having been interested in big yellow machines at a very young age. There is something captivating about watching an excavator load trucks at sunrise or seeing the loader that you repaired go back to work in the gravel pit. Aside from the machines the people who work within the industry are interesting and usually very enjoyable to work with. If you love the outdoors, you will feel right at home with heavy equipment professionals. Developing longstanding relationships with coworkers in this industry is very common. Hunting and fishing with your coworkers are common in this industry, so if you are an outdoors person this is a great career area to consider. Another great benefit to working within the heavy equipment industry is that you get to be outdoors regularly while on the job. There are many professionals that spend almost their entire working lives inside an office building. Working outdoors and getting your hands dirty is a key element that makes this career a satisfying choice for many people.

Final thoughts

I started my career during the great recession. There weren’t a lot of opportunities for college graduates at that time. There were many college graduates who couldn’t get a job and those college graduates who had jobs were regularly being laid off due to economic conditions. During this time, I was working as a heavy equipment mechanic. Not only did I have a secure job, but I was also making more money than college graduates could expect to make in the first several years of their career in a healthy economy. The best part was that I had zero college debt. I took advantage of a grant provided by my state and attended a two-year diesel equipment technology program. Before I finished the program there were major brands offering me and my fellow classmates’ jobs with great pay that included a solid benefits package. 

This experience allowed me to see that there was another path available to me outside of the typical university system and I saw that certain career areas such as heavy equipment was in desperate need of dependable talent. I started working in the heavy equipment industry with zero experience, the industry was so desperate for skilled labor that a grant paid for my education, and I was consistently employed and promoted during one of the worst recessions in our countries history. During my career I have held positions as a maintenance mechanic, diesel technician, technical trainer, content developer/instructor and various sales positions. The heavy equipment industry allowed me to reach my full potential within each job area and build long standing relationships with truly great leaders. If you are interested in starting a career in the heavy equipment industry or you need some guidance regarding career development, you can reach out to me anytime I always respond.

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