Career path advice

Greetings Future Fam!

I am making this post in order to ask for career/education advice from anybody that is willing to take the time to point me in the right direction!

(Will separate this post into sections for easy reading)


  • I just got myself registered at a local tech school to get an associate to transfer to a bachelors degree in horticulture. I chose horticulture because out of the research I’ve done, and the people I’ve asked, it seemed like the most beneficial degree option when relating to the cannabis industry.


  • I was also considering the following degrees below. If anyone thinks any of the following degrees, or any degrees not listed, would be more beneficial than horticulture, PLEASE speak up and let me know!
    That’s what I’m here for!


-Plant science

-Plant biology




  • I am 22 years old, I have just under 2 years white market commercial cannabis cultivation experience (1 year indoors, & almost 1 year outdoors/greenhouse).

  • I am here looking for advice on how to pave my road in this constantly changing & chaotic industry!


  • Once I am coming up on graduating with a degree, I plan to get back to working and gaining more experience in the cannabis industry, in addition to my 2 years, in order to reach my desired career position.


  • My career goals are not limited to just one specific type of position, ideally, after I’ve obtained my degree, i would like to get a few more years experience and jump into a director of cultivation position.

  • I also have a very high interest in genetics & breeding

  • I am also very interested in cannabis research, tissue culture FASCINATES ME!

Thanks in advance for any & all advice!

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Here’s an old cynical and 10,000 foot view. Please don’t take this the wrong way. You must be young to think that a degree will get you a job. Job experience will get you much further. Just start grinding, even if you have to start at the bottom.

Genetics and breeding is stiff competition. If you start doing it, you are looking at 2-5 years out and there is no guarantee of success.

If you want to do TC, start with something small like fungus. If you wholesale, you have to go big. Future is the place to be if you want advice.


Get your hvac and electrical licenses. You’ll be set.

Keep a small organic garden and you’ll learn everything yourself


I would have gone further more quickly if I had done HVAC and electrical.

While you can go further with specialty like organic, the market share is still tiny like extracts.


I am young, I only have under 2 years experience in the white market. I’ve gotten jobs in the cannabis industry without a degree just fine, but it seems like the higher up positions I am striving to reach for in the next 5-10 years, all require a bachelors degree in a relating science.

I know for sure a degree isn’t required to get your foot in the door in the industry, I have already done that, I am trying to figure out what exactly I need to do to try and get to where I be in the next 5-10 years.

I guess one the main things that attracts me about obtaining a degree is that, for 1.) it seems like the positions I am after REQUIRE a bachelors degree
2.) I want to be someone who can easily find another employer if something ever falls through, We all know how shady & cold the white market can be.

Thanks for your reply! Cheers!


Experience is worth more than a kiddie debt trap these days.

Sorry for the cynicism. Just on the career arc.


My sincerest advice to you is to focus on the one very specific area of the industry you want to be in, for example some focus on just cloning, some focus on tissue culture, some focus on genetics and etc. If you want to grow the plant I would focus on just growing then and being the best fucking grower you can.

You dont need a degree for our industry but you need to put in the work consistently over time so you have a body of work to illustrate your worth and value. The next thing is I am going to assume you are borrowing some money to go to school. If you are not than congrats to you. I would have a hellafied plan on how I would pay back school loans in the shortest amount of time or be a slave to interest.

2 years is a long time in my opinion for our industry. Federal legislation and local laws and programs change with the seasons so for sure stay abreast to whats going on. I am a firm believer in this and what I would suggest above all is to continue to learn, educate, and be pliable. Put the work in and the game will open up for you. Have faith in your skills and abilities right now today and be honest with yourself and others in this game because trust me when I tell you our community is not big.

Build your career brick by brick instead of trying to build a brick wall in a weekend. My favorite motivation speaker les brown says inch by inch its a sinch but by the yard its hard. Hope this was helpful. Oh and last thing be open to living and relocating wherever, your young so that’s your advantage. This is my fourth state I have lived in as an adult, and its all been for chasing this dream.


Got an employee that was 75k in the hole in school debt then decided to go back to school. :scream:
So after he quit guess what hes doing now, professional student going back to school again.


I was a professional student. I was making enough trapping to pay it outta pocket and not go into debt.

I figured all the degrees and professional certifications would eventually pay off and they did. I don’t think id be this successful if I didn’t go to business school. I thought my bachelors were a waste of time but the lessons and certifications I acquired in grad school made the difference in running most of my businesses.

Well worth the 40k grad school cost.


Did not see that one coming from the school of hard knocks.


There were just lessons I learned in grad school that the streets could never teach me. I took a class and every week we would have some crazy business man or woman come in and tell their stories. We had people like the ceo of Harley Davidson to founders of major furniture chains and others.

Doing tons of case studies researching successful and failing companies made me plan differently. In 18 months, I plan to finish my schooling and get my phd.

I learned my most valuable lesson in grad school…… I had an accounting teacher tell me. “If you’re not getting paid what you think you’re worth; you will never be happy at that job, and you should find different work if that’s the case”.

It changed the way I look at time and work forever. It was a life changing lesson.


You would get a lot of value out of a Harvard business review subscription


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We are still in the early days in the industry. I think you’re doing the right things.

There will only be more demand for people with the level of education you’re looking to get.


I too went to college and graduated with my degree in business marketing.

I think you took my point out of context. School and education are valuable and very well worth it. I didn’t think my degree was worth it until all the lessons came into life years down the road. School taught me accountability, due-diligence, how to think of the box, structure, how to research and understand data, interpersonal skills and much more. I paid for school by having a motorcycle parts store online and clothing website. You and I are exceptions and not the rule. Most come out heavily in debt.

To bring it back full circle my former employee became a professional student meaning he went to school continuously because he had no plan on what to do with his degrees and debt he acquired, so his logic was more schooling so I can pay off my debt and acquire more debt once the forbearance ends 6 months after graduation. My point to OP is it’s not just about traditional schooling that’s all.

In this very extreme example I think most people would take the emergency room surgeon with no degree and five years experience vs the guy fresh out with a degree.

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Get a MBA

Go work for:
Or similar

Some bigass CPG or giant retailer

Get in on an executive trainee program
Get the job
Learn supply chain management and lean manufacturing and six sigma
Get your bosses job
Transition to cannabis for a MSO as a director for 150
Get into the c-suite at cannabis job 1
Jump ship for a high paying c suite job for a MSO for 250 and stock options

By the time you get into cannabis it might be good again in California and the NY tri state area and Florida will be poppin and most states will be rec


I think I may have come across the wrong way with my post, I’m no know it all about the industry, I am here looking for honest advice, as I said I do have just under 2 years commercial scale cannabis cultivation experience in California and another state as well, I have witnessed a lot of the bs politics that play into and effect every level of workers in the industry. My main goal behind thinking about pursuing a degree is that I don’t want to keep being the worker that works his way up only to get laid off with 70% of the other workers do to big losses/budget cuts. I don’t want to be expendable forever, know it’s part of it, but I’m tired of having to start all the way from ground zero every time I have to start working at a new grow/company bc of the bs politics/lack of respect from management for workers/people that are actually passionate about constantly learning new things about cannabis

Think I’m gonna make another post explaining where my head is at, like I said I am here for honest advice!

I appreciate everyone that has taken the time to reply!

I appreciate it, no hurt feelings here bro, just trying to figure out how to be someone that lasts and does well in this industry, I moved to CA. For almost 2 years to pursue my passion bc I come from an illegal state, I learned a lot in a couple years working in flower/veg/clone rooms, what I would consider to be cannabis foundations. I had to bounce back home when inflation started getting real bad earlier in the year, bc I was not getting paid well, with how high the cost of living is out there, I had no choice.

I’m wanting to move back out to a legal state and get started back in the industry again asap but it just sucks to think that my 2 years of experience doesn’t mean much. I don’t know, maybe it means more than I think but all I know is I got paid not very well to start out with, and was not getting paid much more at the last place I was at. But for me it’s about passion but at some point I feel like I have to do something to better my situation, I’m tired of my time spent at a company not meaning much when I go to the next. I’m tired of bouncing from company to company so much period.

Not wanting to come off like a wimp, I put up with all this bc I am passionate about what I want to do

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this isn’t reddit, you don’t need to post to multiple categories

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Ok I was just hoping to reach different areas of people. But heard that.