Why we doing this ????

Hey y’all, I’m in a moment of existential crisis.

I’m A POLS major, and I got a job in vehicle sales over the summer. I’m already selling 20 cars this month, which if sustained (and I recognize that’s unlikely) even within 10-15 cars a month, puts me at a six figure income.

That’s just sales though, if I stay in the game and keep going up, 7 figures is more than possible, so I’m sitting here wondering, why the fudge am I getting this degree when I can be more than comfortable, and build up a really nice savings and 401K by just doing this and moving up ???

I seriously don’t understand what’s stopping me from getting into politics later ? Or starting a business ??? I can just keep doing this and do all of those things. What’s the degree for ?? Please someone help me so I don’t dropout, or encourage me to stay with what I’m doing now 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️


As someone who ended up getting a Master's degree in a field I no longer am a part of, the best piece of advice I can give is this: A degree does not _always_ show knowledge or mastery of a field, especially if that field is not one you are going to stay in. It does, however, show that you have persistence and ability to learn new things. That will go pretty far in life, especially if you're already pretty successful with sales. Some of the smartest, most successful people I know are the ones that can talk to and work with people, and have the ability to spin that into other fields or domains. That ability to learn new things will get you pretty far, even if you don't end up "using" the degree. Just my .02, though! :)


I really appreciate it for real, thank you


Just to build on what, uh, u/YourCrush said: lots of businesses use "has a degree" as a shorthand for "persistence and ability" etc. If you're getting 100s of applicants a year and you want a quick and cheap way of filtering them, why not use "has a degree"? There are plenty (loads!) of people who don't have degrees who have those things but your HR people aren't going to spend a week getting to know each one and work out how to invite for interview. It's not a great reason to get a degree but "to be able to compete with your peers who do" isn't something to discount either.


I don't get it. Whenever he wants he can study online while working FT like hundred of thousands of students do. And if ever the car sales money dried up, he can take his six-figures back to A&M but now he can afford a nice apartment with a nice ride. Unless he is a STEM major I don't see any compelling reason not to continue what he's doing right now. And heck top-5 CS program Georgia Tech just graduated a 68 year-old from their Master of Science in CS program


These are fair points. My... It's not even a counterpoint, it's more of an additional point is that that may well be true for OP but that in general, for most people, the "prisoner's dilemma" of having a degree is still probably true. Don't know that for certain, though. There's probably an economist who can tell us.


This! Degrees are really not about the subject matter you learn. They’re proof that you can accomplish a goal. Just having the paper will open doors to you that would straight up be closed without the paper. And money is cool, but it’s not the single pathway to happiness. Long-term, reliable success is easier to accomplish with a degree than without.


Question for former-student engineers here: how much of your undergraduate degree *content* did you use in your job, versus the *skills* (and you were "re-taught" content at your job)?


Sylvester Stalone has a line in a movie where he says that the point of college is to show an employer that you can show up to a place every day on time and complete a series of tasks with relative competence and efficiency.


You don’t understand the reasons to get a university education.


coming from someone who's been in sales... it really wears at you after a few years. maybe we're different, idk. dealing with the general public fucking sucks which is why i hope to use my degree to get out of retail/service/low level industry. if you want to get into politics, a pols major can definitely help with that. also keep in mind that having a degree in general can open a lot of doors for you in the job world. a lot of employers see the degree as your ability to commit to something and finish it through.


Thanks terminator, I really appreciate it


Concur. Do NOT give up. A degree may open doors to medical or pharmaceutical sales, which can be even more lucrative. Basically, what everyone else said. I would suggest trying to get an internship or trying to narrow down what type of job you may want after college to help get you excited for the future!


Hope you capitalize words while working on your degree.


nah bro i like to use the swipe typing thing, super comfy for one handed typing. i hope you learn that a reddit thread isn't as important as an MLA-formatted essay, goober.


A degree is an indicator of basic skills, but more than that it's an indicator of sticking with something from start to finish. You're talking about the exact opposite - switching course when something good comes along. That's not intrinsically bad but to answer your question of "why get a degree" - to prove that you can set and achieve long term goals. It also sounds like you haven't been in the sales game that long. Accept that maybe after 5, 10, 20, 30 years of it you might want to be done - do you have a plan or the ability to make one for what you do then? You don't need to have the answers now. But a degree keeps a lot of doors open for you.


Thank you


Am I wrong to be asking this question tho 🤷‍♂️ just wondering, it seems logical that I would be questioning the purpose in this situation right ? should I have already understood that’s what this is for, to prove that I can set and achieve long term goals ?


I didn't realize that's what my degree was "for" until I'd been out of school and working full time for ~5 years. lol


Thanks Crush


No, that is basically never made clear to you. It’s only when you start hiring people that it becomes clear in my opinion


I completely agree, and there are plenty of professions out there that make great money that don't require a degree. They are nowhere near as prevalent as those that do, though. I got my degree because I enjoy learning, and to better myself as a person through the "soft skills" gained in college that a lot of others have mentioned here. If you really have a passion for selling cars, and it sounds like you are really good at it, finishing your degree may or may not be the best path for you, but that's an individual choice. Definitely keep in mind the auto industry as a whole really fluctuates and I think we are in a high point right now.


Whatever you decide, make sure you are using good data. Make sure you are not just riding a bubble up and have a skewed view of your sales prospects. Not saying one way or another but guessing a few months at it probably does not reflect the long-term trend. Maybe you are at the peak, in a trough, or somewhere in the middle. Just know before making the leap.


Summer has barely started and I'd wait a lot more to see if you really like this path and the average salary for auto sales is 52k. Just keep that in mind but tbh I'd still finish my degree for backup. I'd also like consistency in my salary too.


A good few months on new people can breed over confidence. I spent years in the industry, burned out as a sales director working 60-80 hours weeks fixing a problem store I was hired to help fix. We fixed it, but at the cost of my own mental health. I made great money, but I was graying more than I preferred for my mid twenties. I did well, moved up fast and made great money for my age, but good times are as common as bad. For those months where I was paid my “draw” and ended up in the bucket for the next month or so etc, it wasn’t nearly as exciting. However, I’m not sure where OP gets the idea of seven figs, the only millionaires I’m still friends with from that era of my life are GMs running some of the largest stores in the nation or corporate VPs. In the end, you can find plenty of other industries to make six figs in that are not nearly as mentally or physically taxing. I.e. software development. I’ve got buddies making 150K, 100% remote. All depends on the perspective and the person tbh, I wouldn’t trade some of my auto industry stories for the world, but you couldn’t pay me to go back voluntarily. Lol.


Everyone I know that works in car sales lives are a mess. Multiple spouses, affairs, long work hours, toxic work environments, drug and alcohol abuse, always having to be in a cheesy sales mode. My ex girlfriend was a chef and I would put car dealerships and restaurant at the same level as far as wild behind-the-scenes partying goes. My best friend is a top earner for his dealership and he is always on the verge of falling back on the way he used to be… his wife pretty much has to run every aspect of his life outside the house. Get your degree…. You will want to have something to fall back on if you get burned out or the market/economy crashes.


Multiple spouses, affairs, long work hours, toxic work environments, drug and alcohol abuse, always having to be in a cheesy sales mode: Are you talking about working in car sales or politics LOL?


I work at the state legislature… one in the same. Lol


Exactly. In this case working in car sales is like a six-figure internship for a POLS major like the OP. He can always come back for a POLS degree later or do it online with a higher-ranked program than A&M.


I think a degree gives you an avenue later. If you get tired of sales, or find yourself at a wall and no longer promotable because of your lack of degree (which does happen in any industry), you have an out. Could always just put university on hold and see how far you can go? Why not. No one says you have to graduate by 25.


Something doesn't sound right because the median income for a car salesman is around $50000 annually. But also if that part of the market crashes and you have no degree you're doomed, especially that you're getting paid based off commission. Sales jobs are rife with exploitation, burnout, and all sorts of other issues. There's a reason they don't require a degree. Again if that part of the market crashes and you're degree-less you're stuck at a dead end. Was in a similar ordeal last year and very glad I did not drop out. Don't do it.


A degree shows you can start something and finish it.


Thank you


There are plenty of jobs out there that can make you a lot of money with just a high school education. There are plenty of trades you can get into that just require taking a few courses to get certified and you can make a lot of money. I'm sorry no one ever told you about these opportunities. The reason to get a college degree isn't to make a lot of money, there are plenty of degrees that will only net you like 60k a year if that. The reason to get a degree is to learn something. Also, if you play your cards right, you can make a lot more money than you could selling cars.


I’m here to enjoy myself and the memories before being an adult. Along with make more connections. But hey, to each their own.


You're a POLS major, making any money after graduation is an amazing feat let alone 6 figures. If you're already making that money without a POLS degree, drop out of POLS or change your major. Otherwise you're just wasting your time. Half the people in your class will cry when they don't get into law school, some will make coffee, and the small percentage that get through law school and have connections will actually break into politics.


You've got your whole life ahead of you and this job could change in a heartbeat with new ownership or whatnot. Most people end up working at numerous companies through their life. Better to finish getting that degree but that's great you're having such success with your summer job. It's very very hard to go back to school once you've quit and started working.


Well not everyone gets degrees for money :/


those people should reevaluate their choices


So someone seeking a degree to learn the medical knowledge required to be a veterinarian should reevaluate their choices?


Yes. If having to do it over again, I would have looked at becoming an MD instead. Money does not buy happiness but it doesn’t hurt. Stress over finances is a huge strain on relationships and impacts your decisions to start a family, buy a house etc


I’ve done sales most my life, my degree has nothing to do with what I have sold. But here are a couple of things which it has helped with: 1. Learned how to learn. College is an interesting place, basically unlimited personal freedom, and with it responsibility. That part is all on the individual. Unlike primary school, college is not a bunch of memorization and information spewback. One learns how to understand and apply a fairly wide set of knowledge. Even in hyper focused degree plans, there are those pesky “core curriculum” courses. But having the ability to learn about not just whatever one is selling, but the applications of the customer and how the product/service will solve problems. 2. In state, connection city. Out of state, it comes up a bit, out of country it is sporadic. 3. Believe it or not a degree from A&M gives access to University resources. Have had grad student undertake product testing as part of their research, including developing new testing which was better at showing the specific advantages over “industry standard testing”. Finally car sales and real estate are both interesting fields, being in the top 10% of either is really nice, but the drop off from that to the average is quite steep. Both have a pretty hard “soft cap” of how many turns a month will consistently happen. May and December are both peak months in auto sales, 20 a month is a very good month for most dealerships per sales person.


Because car salesman will be some of the first 100 jobs to be fully automated


A PoliSci degree is not a bad transition point to a sales job. After all isn't much of politics just selling yourself or your viewpoint instead of an item?


Well here’s my 2 cents that are only based on the current state of our society, people are cutting expenses and cost of life keeps increasing which is not good for your job, wars and conflicts and global politics are looking rough for the next couple of years, just keep in mind that, because car sales varies a lot depending on the economy


I’ve been in the car business my whole life. I also have a degree from A&M. Run. It’s the most toxic environment imaginable


Take the extra money and invest it now. Then don't touch it and let the compounding interest take over. Take your degree and then get a job doing something with it that you enjoy. Or take the extra money and get into real estate and become a landlord. All the car salesman I know eventually plateau and then become unhappy.


A college degree is not required to have a good life and make a good living, only about half of working adults have a degree. But it does open more doors, there are certain industries/jobs where it's required (i.e. being an engineer/lawyer) but there are many good paying jobs that don't require a degree.


i dunno if u want to do sales then go do sales bro


Will do 🫡😂


Do you live in base 2? How are you going to work up from 6 to 7 figures?


If you're selling low performers your pay is going to be shit. It's all based off commission, that's why I was wondering, is he selling bugattis or wtf kind of cars is he selling??


He’s just doing what we in finance like to call “Cowboy mathematics” Just riding a wave of recent success and expecting the future to continue bringing the same level of opportunity with no roadblocks and assuming aggressive, often unrealistic expectations. It’s pretty common with those in sales who’ve struck a big sale early.


Maybe I got my degree early, or maybe I got it late (Environmental Geosciences ‘11) but I’m working the family sales franchise and learning the ropes so my pops can retire when he wants. Nothing stuck, or maybe after some failed tries I lost the passion. But I’d also find something more stable than car sales, unless you think someone in finance is retiring soon and you can angle for that. I worked at Lithia, and while I never had those numbers, the stress of doing everything I could (cold calling, lot walking, all that) wore on me.


OP, what do you want to do with the POLS degree? When you say "getting into politics later" what kind of job do you envision for yourself? Running as a candidate for office? Working as professional campaign staff? Working at a political non-profit? Congressional staffer? Something else?


If you’re great at sales, you’ll be fine. Everyone should be good at sales even if you arent in sales. A lot of people aren’t and it’s a liability. Sounds like you’re doing awesome and on a good path. Leverage it.


You want to quit school to become a car salesman? Isn’t that one of the most hated professions in the states?


This guy just said seven figures is possible in used car sales. ROFL. You belong in that business, mate. Have a great life!


I’m not selling used cars, I’m selling commercial and retail in Dallas. When did I ever say I was selling used cars ? I hate to be like this, but you are obviously ignorant of the situation as well as the earning potential of vehicle sales and you should think before you speak. In just sales alone, you can make 6 figures selling cars, just 6 figures, but if you move up into finance, you can make 2 or even 300000 dollars, god forbid if you become a general manager of a high volume dealership, my GM makes more than Katherine Banks 🤷‍♂️ Thank you for your input, but I want you to know that doesn’t make what you say correct just because you commented 🙂


I don’t think you’re fully capturing the level of difficulty and effort that comes with jumping from $100,000 to $250,000, much less the jump from $250k to >$1.0mm. Look it is great that you have this excitement and that you’ve experienced a certain level of success in sales. I do not want to just shit on you and make it seem like things are impossible, but if your goal here is to get to that $250k+ level then there’s some things you should know. Look I was a FINC major, class of 2011 that started in M&A investment banking working on bulge bracket deals and my career has transitioned its way into finance data science. I’ve seen the career paths of those around me in this industry, and I’ve been fortunate to get to that point where I’m making between $200K-$300K. I’ve also seen the paths of those who created hundred million dollar businesses since I was part of the team advising them on the sale of their company. Just a few pointers, you can take ‘em or leave ‘em at your discretion: * **If you are getting into a career or building a business solely for making a lot of money then your life is likely to be incredibly difficult and shallow.** All those I know who had financial success via their job’s comp or via entrepreneurship are folks who are deeply engaged in what they do for work. * **Seeking only financial gain is a recipe for burnout.** I know so many people that didn’t have that intrinsic motivation and were focused primarily on financial gain who have reached that mid-level manager position and completely burnt out. It’s nearly impossible to progress from here to the high paying director / managing director roles once this happens. * **Nobody ever accomplishes anything on their own.** Those that I’ve seen experience high levels of financial success all had their key supporters, whether that be spouses, family, co-workers, friends, or a combination of all. * **Without a college degree you will without a doubt be locked out of any real finance career.** Those without a degree end up working for Northwestern Mutual or another one of those life insurance sales mills. * **The networking aspect of having a college degree is 100% real.**. Even if you go into sales, you’d be missing out on a lot of opportunity by not having a college degree. * **The jump from $100k to $300k is astonishingly massive.** Whether it be finance, accounting, or management, it takes a truly motivated and knowledgeable person to move up to the roles that pay close to $300k. The career funnel narrows down significantly and very few people get there. I’m not saying you can’t, but if you’re going to try this without an education then it’s like trying to get to that incredibly difficult to reach level with an arm held behind your back. The only career path where I’ve seen people “easily” make $200k+ is data science and the academic and technical requirements for these careers are sky high.


OP needs to read this. Money is great when you don't yet have to pay all the bills and retirement. Additionally, if you're only focused on money, the grind is long and painful. I have multiple friends who sit in years-long depressions because they can only calculate the XX amount of years its gonna take to retirement based on their pay and can't shake it off. Also, don't forget OP, there was a small period of time where the auto sales industry crashed recently, do you have versatility in case something happens again?


As a POLS major you need to be aware of the current economic and political environment. Obviously rn there are huge markups. Inflation. Margins. Social media. Fed reserve IR. EVs. Supply chains. And alot more


Where are you working and how can I get that job too haha


A degree is a qualifier for certain fields. Sales is something you don’t need much of a qualifier for unless it’s more complex sales like financial advising or commercial banking; however sales does not come easy to most so if you think you’re good at it and can actually see yourself in the car sales business for the rest of your life, why not do it? Keep in mind though if you anticipate climbing any corporate later, you will hit barriers because of the no degree. P.S. If you’re really good at car sales, I highly recommend getting into real estate.


I dropped out and make plenty by finding a job that invested in a hobby of mine. College isn’t for everyone and it’s a shame society presses you to take out loans


Politics is one of the few things you can do in life without a degree or any real qualifications at all. It will always be there. Keep making your money.


Oh, we can tell you were meant for automotive sales and not public policy analysis.


My advice: Drop out NOW because it's a POLS degree for goodness sake! You can always come back for a POLS degree not like STEM majors, or you can even do it online with a higher-ranked program than A&M. Just remember the simple finance schools don't want you to learn: six-figures you earn today worth even more 3-4 years from now with this crazy inflation


Not to shit on a POLS major but its POLS major, stick to sales make some money.... retire early why stress with college... or just do it later don't pass up opportunities... college will be there


100% fact


It'll help you with networking, especially coming from someplace like A&M, but getting a degree just to finish it is a boomer artifact that should've been done away with a long time ago. I've met more self-taught programmers with steady jobs than I have those with a degree in anything related to comp sci.


Think about it though…those who are employed in Computer Science without a degree have skills to warrant themselves above those with a degree. So it’s obvious as to why they are better than your normal degree-holding CS graduate. Those who don’t aren’t employed at that level. The problem is that they’ll have to at some point fight the political game in companies to get into a managerial position. Not having a degree (boomer attitude or not) is still a widely gatekept requirement for lateral movement in companies.


That's starting to make it sound like universities are there not to teach people but instead to keep them locked into a legacy prestige game. If that really is the case then they need to make a stronger claim to catch up with the times, IMHO.


They do, and I agree. I think it’s more of a catch-all universally used method for HR to eliminate competition easily, even though it’s unfair.


I mean a POLS degree is about as useful as no degree. If you got your ring, that probably will help you close sales and result in better income/lifestyle than anything you could do directly with your current major without going to law school or something.


How far along are you in your pols? I’m graduating next may


Best thing to do is learn to sell, finish your degree, use the experience coupled with the degree to prove that you are a producer. After that, you take a job that most people don’t want and you knock it out of the park. It’s easy to sell. So many people have such a negative connotation about it though, so if you are half smart you can still make money.


If you are like the car dealer that represents me in Austin please never get a degree and stay in sales we don’t get more brain dead people in state government.


...because life without a degree means you often hit a ceiling. A degree will open doors and opportunities you wouldn't have otherwise. ...and I know I personally expect politicians to have a good education - it's a massive amount of reading, critical thinking and understanding about a lot of really complex issues they need to have a good grasp of. ...plus, in the new economy, the role of a car salesman might be eliminated entirely - this has been a discussion for a few years and has only accelerated with the pandemic, etc.


Go with your gut but remember your resume tells a story. I for one would question why someone dropped out to do car sales unless you are applying to other sales jobs. It is one thing if this is something you love, but it is not going to sustain you if you are in it for money only as that grind gets old. Plus you have to look at the time put in to money you get. A friend of mine sold cars for 10 years but worked 80-90 hr weeks to get that 6 figure income. If you have the summer use it to bank money but I imagine you will get tired of this sooner than later.