After growing up on a farm in Burnet County, Jim Carson went to college to obtain a degree in agriculture. However, his education was interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After the war, he returned to school and got his teaching certificate in 1956 from Southwest Texas State Teacher's College. That same year, he started what would become a 35-year career as an educator in the Northside Independent School District. During his tenure, he served as Principal at five different elementary schools.