Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Importance of College

While doing a Google image search for a diploma (that's the one I found above) I came across this great article that articulates what I always try to do, explain the importance of college.

Now I’m the FIRST to admit that college is not for everyone and without the proper commitment can lead to a whole lot of wasted time and money.

The below is excerpted from a website development resource to assistant golf professionals, but the ideas expressed are pretty universal.

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Do you wonder the importance of having a college degree and what a college education has to offer? Well, according to a survey by the US Census Bureau, those with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $51,554 in 2004, while those with just a high school diploma earned $28,645. Those without a high school diploma earned an average of $19,169. In today’s economy, those numbers could be down. Funny, I still see entry level assistant professional positions that pay $20,000 a year. I know of entry level assistant professionals with college degrees that make that little, and I know of experienced assistant professionals with college degrees that make far less than $51,554. With all this said, for those of us that are passionate about our career [in the golf business], we can't ignore what is becoming a smoldering hot topic as the business evolves.


You might be asking, “What does a college degree prove in this business?” “I work hard and that’s all that matters”. You’re half way correct, hard work does matter very much. But what a college degree can verify to Head Professionals and hiring committees is that you have the proven ability to manage your time over a lengthy period. From a social standpoint, you will likely be more refined in how you interact with people of all authorities. A college degree can confirm that you are organized in accomplishing tasks within time constraints. Because of your patience and discipline, the degree you achieved can verify that you were able to lay out a path, reach milestones, and arrive at an ultimate goal.

“Ability” “Manage” “Time” “Organized” “Accomplishing” “Tasks” “Constraints” “Patience” “Discipline” “Goal”. Take note of all those words in the previous paragraph. If you did not or do not go to college or you left college, this may raise a red flag to employers. You may have all the above characteristics, but they are not proven under strict conditions. In an industry that seems to be becoming less about golf and more about business, a college degree will aid you greatly in maximizing your potential and earning the best that your hard work deserves.

Before we continue further within the golf business, what are the intangible benefits of having a college education? One benefit of a college education is that it develops a person’s ability to think abstractly and critically as well as improves their ability to express their thoughts clearly both orally and in writing. It is also widely believed that a college education helps people become a responsible citizen by giving them a greater understanding of their community, country and global issues. If not achieving anything quite as grand as this a college education certainly helps people become more self-sufficient.


Take Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as another example. SVCC has hosted more than one USGA Championship, carries a rich history of tradition within its gates, and caters to Eastern Pennsylvania’s upper class population. The clubs General Manager, Gene Mattare says “I would not hire an assistant or head professional who does not have a college degree. I think it is extremely important. You are dealing with a highly educated clientele and you have to be able to converse and communicate with them on a higher level.”

General Manager Mike Leemhuis paints a vivid picture in his preferences for golf professionals with college degrees. “I look at a college degree as one of your "arrows", if you have it, great. If you don't, it’s an "arrow" you need to get. The same with a master’s degree, CCM, MCM and PGA certification. We would hire those without degrees and do hire the best assistant professionals that we can find but be sure that I will check to see what "arrows" are in their career quiver.”


The moral of the story is this: You need to sit down and ask yourself, “What do I want out of this career path?” If you want to be the very best and work your way to the top or somewhere close, then the higher you get, the more significant a college degree becomes. As an [assistant golf] professional, you will have more opportunities if you have a college degree and you will put your resume higher in the pile when gunning for positions. If you don't have a college degree, does that mean you will never be able to accomplish what you want to accomplish? Absolutely not. But the odds might be stacked against you.

Bottom Line: Your opportunities as an [assistant golf] professional and beyond are greatly increased if you have a college degree in your credentials. Consider adding that arrow to your quiver.

Read the full article 100 Degrees & Climbing: Significance of a College Education in Todays Golf Business by Brian M. Dobak here

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Again I wasn’t even looking for that article, but I couldn’t stop from reading it and agreeing with everything he said. I was talking with a co-worker about how much of a struggle it was to get through college and she said the following.

Wise, wise words and very true. Even the president had to struggle.

Finally, this is what I posted on Facebook June 13, 2010. With the below picture.

"Another alum of Towson University posted on FB that he just got his degree after 10 years (the actual paper degree) and while it hasn't been ten I realized I don't even have a digital pic of mine.

Yes it is in that envelope/folder since 2002. Never felt the need to put it on the wall...yet. I deserved it, I got it and it helped me get my job that I have now. One of the proudest moments of my life. Somehow that's enough for now :-D"

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