Associate of Applied Science Degree in non-career related field?

In summary, the person wants an associates degree in a non-career related field so they can do their own work on their home or car. They feel like it would be a waste of time and money to not include it on their resume if they ever obtain the degree.
  • #1
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7
Hello All,

Does anyone here have degrees that aren't related to their careers? I was thinking of maybe taking some automotive courses at a community college towards an associates. This is merely for my own interests, and to allow me to work on my own car, knowing that I did the job correctly and safely. A community college is cheap. Even things like replacing all four struts, steering rack and pinion etc. can cost a couple of thousand of dollars to have a professional mechanic do it. Yet alone the cost to repair an engine or transmission. While I can take a course at a community college that costs a few hundred dollars to gain the knowledge to do it myself.

I just had my bathroom redone, it cost me a couple thousand dollars. If there were courses at a community college for a couple hundred dollars, I could have done it myself and saved a lot of money. Or classes like roof repair, driveway repair, how to install wood floors, etc, would all seem like great knowledge to have. The cost of paying someone to install a new roof on your home costs thousands and thousands of dollars.

Does it make sense to earn an associates degree in a non-career related field so you can do your own work on your home or car? Seems like it would save money? I know there's a lot of stuff on YouTube etc on how to do this type of practical work, but I'm interested in not only making repairs, but being able to know why and how things work. Or being able to diagnose a failing component.

If I did this, should I leave this type of degree off of my resume? I feel like it would be lying to not include it. Besides when I apply for jobs in my industry I have to have background checks and so forth done on me. Where I have to fill out all completed education, even if a degree was not obtained, and then sign that everything I listed for my education is true to the best of my knowledge, and that intentionally leaving any information out can be considered terms for revoking my job. So I feel like I should have it on my resume if I ever did get the degree, because either way my employer or potential future employer is going to know I got it.

I was thinking of maybe getting an associates degree in comprehensive automotive maintenance and repair services at a local community college.

Thanks for any help or suggestions. Would this type of practical knowledge be useful, or just a waste of time and money?
 
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  • #2
YoshiMoshi said:
Does it make sense to earn an associates degree in a non-career related field so you can do your own work on your home or car

No.

Why do want a degree? Why not just take the classes that interest you?
 
  • #3
Thanks for the advice and help!

I already have an undergraduate degree, so in order to get the degree, the only classes I would have to take would be the automotive classes that would teach me maintenance and repair of different systems in a car. Which is of interest to me. Learning on how to keep and maintain my car better, so I could avoid paying a professional mechanic several magnitudes more than the cost of the class. There's also the issue of finding a good mechanic you trust. Avoid the issue all together by just learning to make repairs yourself.

I wouldn't be wasting my time or money taking classes that would not be automotive related.

Do you think it would make sense then? If the only classes I would have to take to earn the degree, are related to repairing and servicing cars? Which is what I want to know how to do. Save some money not paying a mechanic to do so.
 
  • #4
Why do want a degree? Why not just take the classes that interest you?
 
  • #5
Vanadium 50 said:
Why do want a degree? Why not just take the classes that interest you?
Because All the courses that are required to earn the degree interest me, and are related to my goal. Learn how to better keep and maintain my car so I don't have to pay a mechanic to do it. I will not be wasting my time (as far as not related to my goal) taking for example cooking 101.

So if all requirements to get the degree are classes that interest me and hep me towards my goal (saving money not paying a mechanic) then why not get the degree?
 
  • #6
If you want to take those classes, why shouldn't you?
 
  • #7
It sounds to me like you've answered your own question.

I might add that in today's economy, having a skilled trade as an alternative option for employment isn't the worst idea in the world. There is of course apprenticeship involved beyond the coursework, but it might be worth figuring out how that works.

As far as adding it onto a resume in a job hunt for something more white collar, it's not necessary. In most cases resumes are expected to highlight "relevant" education and work experience. On the other hand, it probably won't hurt having it on there either, unless it's bumping off something else that's more relevant. For some jobs it helps to know that someone can work with their hands when required.
 
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  • #8
YoshiMoshi,
Nice goal, but how much time do you have and how much time will you need just for course attendance and outside-classtime studying? What way are you equipped outside of the school to practice the skills you learn? As has been suggested, maybe your goal should be less than the Associate degree.
 
  • #9
YoshiMoshi said:
Because All the courses that are required to earn the degree interest me, and are related to my goal. Learn how to better keep and maintain my car so I don't have to pay a mechanic to do it. I will not be wasting my time (as far as not related to my goal) taking for example cooking 101.

So if all requirements to get the degree are classes that interest me and hep me towards my goal (saving money not paying a mechanic) then why not get the degree?
Under the conditions you've stated (you are interested in all the classes that are required for the degree; fulfilling the requirements for the degree does not require you to take any classes that you would otherwise not take), then go for it. As for listing the degree on your resume, I don't see any negatives to doing so; and possibly some positives. In another thread, you mentioned that you're a EE working as a systems engineer in electrical systems. Certainly if you were to apply for an engineering position for an automotive company, it would be a plus; and, if you were applying for a position in manufacturing, it could also be a plus (as Choppy mentioned above, shows you're a hands-on person). And your hobby could be the basis for Plan B in case your main job goes poof, or you simply want a change: either working as an automotive tech (including setting up your own shop), or working as an instructor teaching automotive tech; particularly with all the complex electrical and electronic systems in cars these days.
 
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