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Career Choice


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I need help trying to figure out what to go to school for, so I'm asking people about their careers.

What do you do for a living?

What kind of degree did you have to get?

Do you enjoy what you do?

What kind of salary can a newbie expect?

What's your job security like?

Any help would be appreciated. Tired of making less than 30k a year.

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Started school as a history major, gave it up after less than a year and switched to geology.

I knew as a 19 year old that I wouldn't make any money with a BA.

It turned out to be a solid choice.

I was attracted by the pre-recession promises of 70k a year right out of college, but that didn't happen.

I work in the environmental consulting industry.

Started at 40k a year in 2009, and 5 years later I pull down between 50 and 55k.

Starting salaries today are closer to 50 than 40

Go get yourself a science/technology/engineering degree.

Anything else is a waste of time, IMO.

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1. Registered Nurse (Director of Nursing)

 

2. Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

 

3. I find it rewarding. No two days are alike, and you never know what you are going to run into. Four months into my journey in this profession, I was thrown into the aftermath of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I have been on duty when a facility was closed, and twice when a facility changed ownership. I have secured units during tornado warnings and prepared to evacuate during a bomb threat. It has been an interesting ride. And this doesn't even include the memorable patients.

 

4. Depends upon the area of the country. Salaries in the south and midwest tend to be lower, salaries in the far west and northeast better - but generally speaking, you should be able to reach $45-60K in a first job. The caveat is that in some areas of the country, new graduates are having problems getting hired.

 

5. My job security is pretty good - but I work for a state agency. Salaries are higher in the private sector, but especially in areas where nursing unions are not strong, employers hire and fire at will and they don't have to justify their actions. They also are given to calling you off for low census. About 25 percent of the time, they then try to call you in a couple of hours later when they start getting hit with admissions. Several reasons why I no longer do hospital work. Some hospitals are given to hiring a lot of per diem staff so that they don't have to give out benefits. Especially early on, you may have to be content with piecing together two or three per diem slots.

 

The question you didn't ask is whether I would recommend my profession to others. Again, it depends. If you pursue a nursing degree, I recommend going the Bachelor of Science (BSN) route. That seems to be the direction that the profession is headed. One plus is that if you wind up in a specialty that you absolutely hate, you can move on to something totally different without having to go back to school and get another degree. The current reluctance regarding hiring new graduates won't last forever either. As old farts like me eventually get pushed out the door, others will have to replace us.

 

I suggest lurking in online nursing forums. It will give you a good feel for the issues in each specialty, and what issues nursing students and new graduates are facing. One of my favorites is Allnurses.com

 

One piece of unsolicited advice: Leave any social science degrees alone. Even at the master's and Ph. D. levels - which are required to do anything of any consequence with them -  they generally don't pay commensurate with what you spend to get them. Before going to nursing school I had a BA in psychology. It got me a $30K dead end desk job with a small state agency eight years into my employment. I wound up going back to school in my late 30s to get a degree I could actually make a decent living at.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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Nursing is one of those jobs you shouldn't pursue unless you're passionate about the field. Hell, I wouldn't recommend getting into anything solely for the paycheck.

 

I completely agree - but the OP specifically mentioned level of pay, so that was one of the areas I hit in my response. It's a 24-7 profession, and new nurses generally wind up starting out on night shift. The hours can be disruptive to relationships and social lives, and it can be difficult to discuss your day at work with someone who isn't in the profession. Discussions about work tend to become technical pretty quickly. When I am asked about work by people who aren't in the profession, I have to remember to filter out all the medical jargon.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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I'm still in. I'll hit my 5 year mark in October and my contract will be up in October next year, and I've already made the decision to punch my ticket. Just gotta get started on my schooling at the ripe old age of 26 haha.

 

Also 26 and just got out of the Air Force.

 

Check out USAjobs.gov for work. 

I managed to land a decent one from there.

Edited by Poozy
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Well, I started out as an actor.

 

Went to acting school, clown school (Think Cirque Du Solei) and a Professional Actor Conservatory.

 

I spent a few years being cast in plays that barely paid my rent and a few commercials and a small part in a big film that paid off my credit cards. I also worked in one of the most well known Improv groups in LA. 

Then out of a need to grow up a little and pay my bills, I signed aboard a Tall Ship to teach educational sailing trips in character and costume. The boat would go to sea for up to 9 days and sail up and down California.

 

Then after a few years of doing shows and sailing, I sat for my Captain's License and became the Captain of the Tall Ship. 

 

Two years later, I quit and went back to the theater.

 

I now am the Co-Artistic Director of a small Non-Profit Theater in South OC and I teach acting and Improvisational Theater at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. I also teach Improv and team building throughout California.
 

I do have job security in two out of the three jobs, but I don't make a ton of money. I have a great time though and I work in a very creative industry and that makes up for the lack of salary.

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I left the Air Force at 31 and got my degree at 45. I have been doing contract work mostly. Good money but low stability and you have to be willing to work in some "exotic" locations.

Im the project lead now and plan to stay where I am for 6 more years then move to Philippines and live off my investment income. House is paid for and boat is in the works.

Current pay is low 6 figure with housing and car provided. Biggest expenses are getting 2 daughters through college.

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I need help trying to figure out what to go to school for, so I'm asking people about their careers.

What do you do for a living?

What kind of degree did you have to get?

Do you enjoy what you do?

What kind of salary can a newbie expect?

What's your job security like?

Any help would be appreciated. Tired of making less than 30k a year.

I'm a jr. high history and bible teacher at a parochial school.

I have BS in social studies and an MA in school administration.

I really like what I do. There's plenty of variety. Sometimes you have to deal with knuckleheads but there's also a lot of reward when you connect with kids, and I think I do a lot of connecting. Kids surprise me all the time, usually in a good way.

I have no idea what starting teachers make. My first year I made 14k, but that was 30 years ago. I'm now making well over 50k, and it's more than I ever thought I'd make. I'd love to make more, but it have no complaints. We can afford some nicer things here and there, take occasional vacations, and have fun without too much worry. We have what we need, though we don't always get what we want.

Job security comes and go depending on enrollment or administrators with an agenda. We're always glad when our new contracts arrive each spring.

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I'm a jr. high history and bible teacher at a parochial school.

I have BS in social studies and an MA in school administration.

I really like what I do. There's plenty of variety. Sometimes you have to deal with knuckleheads but there's also a lot of reward when you connect with kids, and I think I do a lot of connecting. Kids surprise me all the time, usually in a good way.

I have no idea what starting teachers make. My first year I made 14k, but that was 30 years ago. I'm now making well over 50k, and it's more than I ever thought I'd make. I'd love to make more, but it have no complaints. We can afford some nicer things here and there, take occasional vacations, and have fun without too much worry. We have what we need, though we don't always get what we want.

Job security comes and go depending on enrollment or administrators with an agenda. We're always glad when our new contracts arrive each spring.

You are grossly under paid IMHO.  Thanks for being there for the kids.

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I need help trying to figure out what to go to school for, so I'm asking people about their careers.

What do you do for a living?

What kind of degree did you have to get?

Do you enjoy what you do?

What kind of salary can a newbie expect?

What's your job security like?

Any help would be appreciated. Tired of making less than 30k a year.

I work with several former Air Force people and they say it is the branch you want to be in if you want a career outside of the military.  All of them.are very successful in the tech world.  Almost all of them started with the DOD straight out of the military.

 

As for me I started out at UCSD and I ended up dropping out just before the beginning of my senior year.  I was young and had no idea what I wanted to do.  I ended up taking 2 1/2 years off before going back to night school to get my BS in Information Technology.  My first tech job started me at $35K a year and that was back in 1998.  I was working on the Y2K data issue for a mortgage company.  COBOL is no bueno.  Fast forward seven years and I found myself in Colorado making a hell of a lot more money in an Applications Engineer role.  

 

I am not sure of your technical skills but the world of IT has several different skill sets that you could pursue.  There is development, networking, administration, QA, PMO, support, DBA and etc, etc...  

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BS in Community Health, Master in Public Administration

 

I work in Public Health.  I really like my job

 

Do not go into my field.  A lot of people with degrees and not a lot of jobs and it really does not pay that well unless you get into upper management.  I consider myself very lucky and blessed to be where I am at and make what I make.

 

I recommend what spencer stated.  Get a hard science/tech/engineering degree.  You can actually make some good money in those fields without getting an advanced degree.  If you want to get an advanced degree in those fields you can make a solid living.

 

If you like numbers stay away from business and get a math/stats degree.  There are some good jobs in those fields too. 

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I'm an Executive Director of an HR company used by restaurant delivery companies. Love my job.

 

BA History - I finished roughly 70% of a Masters in Education & Credential combo before realizing I would absolutely hate teaching. Cut my losses at 25 and got an entry level job @ $25K/year. Moved into middle management with that company before being laid off during the recession in 2008. 

 

We hire our career level people at $30-$35K to start. They quickly move up to the $45-$50K range within a couple years. I look for young people with degrees and no specialization - people we can educate and develop into well-rounded manager/sales/account manager types. 

 

Job security is always an issue with small businesses, but it isn't anything I worry about. 

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If I was in your shoes I'd probably look real hard at getting that "free" education. Growing up I had an athletes mindset like one needed to be established in their 20's or there was some sort of expiration date like athletes have....it's different in the real world. I see many people make career changes or start careers at all ages that become successful.

 

Be pragmatic and have a long term view opposed to just focusing on money, interests, or just one aspect of importance....you'll find a lot of people changed their opinion on their major or career, or it simply wasnt what they expected or wanted in the lomg run. So really factor in everything that's important, but also practical and also what's practical for you.

 

I can't help with any of the question you posed.....entreprenuer is what society would classifiy me as. I like the freedom and I like learning and bouncing around different industries, but you also make your own income and things like tying up capital in larger investments or waiting to be paid is a drawback.

 

It would be tougher, as there is an age prejudice, but I would take that free education and get degrees in economics and jump into the financial industry and work up to be a hedge fund manager or real estate development, personally speaking, but my perception is skewed and I'm money oriented more than other factors. 

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