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Posted: 4/18/2001 12:27:14 AM EDT
Just curious what the thoughts are on here. I know there's a wide array of backgrounds represented, so I was wondering what some of your thoughts are on good, solid career choices.

I have been thinking about continuing my education, but haven't decided in what direction I should go. Apparently a 4 year degree is now worth what a high school diploma was worth in my parents day. Is a masters now required for a decent living?

Thanks for the input.

I'm wide open to suggestions as to different fields that a 31 year old with a liberal arts degree might look in to. I would consider many career paths, as long as it wasn't sales related or programing computer code. Tried it, hated it.

I guess I'm just hoping to get an idea that involves a promising career change with a future, all options left open. I realize this is vague, but anyone with thoughts, I'd appreciate hearing them. What re-education routes look like they offer a future? What careers?
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 1:06:52 AM EDT
McDonalds is opening new stores daily...

Were you involved in the Hi-tec fallout in Seattle?
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:10:50 AM EDT
I would say since you're a gun nut like me to get a FFL and open up shop, but that is easier said than done.  If not computer programing how about computer repair?  I know there is a lot of them around, but around here  most of em are still open.  Just a suggestion. IMHO
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:18:49 AM EDT
Yeah, I was involved in the high-tech sector, but not employed in a high-tech aspect of the company.

I guess I am just looking for avenues that a college grad in his early 30's might take a look at for a promising future. We live in fairly uncertain economic times and choosing the right direction is trickier than I would have previously guessed.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:46:20 AM EDT
I guess it will boil down to what you like or want to do.  Anything else you'll never be happy with it.  Good luck M4,  Sorry for my lack of suggestions.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 3:16:42 AM EDT
 M4 - Have you considered federal law enforcement?  A liberal arts degree trains you for nothing, really.  You may also consider teaching.  Whatever you do, do something that you like.  I would't open a gunshop, every gun nut opens one and if you can't sell, you'll go broke.  Good surplus stores are hard to find, you may want to consider that line........
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 3:34:56 AM EDT
Try Computer Networking, LAN (Local Area Network) technician. $45K to $50K a year to start and can go way up to $80K-$100K+ with experience and certification.  Not much programming involved, no sale involved but just common sence and hard work (mostly late work like in off hour). You just maintain a computer network, workstations and servers. If you install it right the first time, it keep running and you don't have to worry a thing until something brake down like a hard drive. Replace it and keep it going. It's depend on yourself. If you are smart and do things right, then it's an easy lay back career. If you don't know what you are doing then the job can be a pain in the butt. Be ready to work hard, willing to learn and most of all be patience. Yes, you have to deal with customers, mostly computer users, and they can be nasty sometime. Like everything else, you keep them happy and they will leave you alone.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 3:57:01 AM EDT
Gigolo.  I couldn't find a college that offered a degree in it though.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 4:16:22 AM EDT
I got a liberal arts degree.  Then I got an engineering degree.  The pay is good (some weeks get to  be long, though).  There are areas in the country that are short on engineers, mechanical, electrical, civil, structural.  The liberal arts degree (major in mathematics) is starting to look like a good idea.  It took a while to get to a level where I could use the liberal arts background.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 1:28:47 PM EDT
Get a law degree.  Lawyers run the world, they got the power.

Link Posted: 4/18/2001 1:35:54 PM EDT
No specific suggestions, just general advice.

Forget about $$$$. It has yet to buy ANYONE happiness.

Find something you are passionate about. The type of thing you can do all day, and wonder where the time went.

The sort of thing that you would skip a meal for, or go back after supper and pick up again 'cuz you love doing it.

You are gonna spend more than 1/3 of your adult life doing whatever it is that you choose. All the money in the world won't be worth it if you hate what you do.

Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:01:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:43:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:50:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:51:19 PM EDT
Try Engineering: Quality, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Electrical.  It pays very well.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 2:53:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 3:15:47 PM EDT
With respect to your Master's degree query -- it's become pretty useless in my neighborhood. If you're really interested in graduate level work or even teaching, the PhD is your most viable route.

GunLvrPhD's suggestion that you get a professional degree is pretty good... all of such degrees can lead you to a niche where you will be happy (just follow the path of least resistance!), or at least able to afford ammo from week to week!

You may consider interning at various areas, too, in order to see what's out there, and how various career may lead to happiness. Monica had the right idea.

I myself was a french fry technician (tech 1) at McDonald's; where I picked-up many skills that are still with me today. I learned to keep my hands out of my pockets, to always clean things with a Windex-like solution, to clean floors using towels and my feet. I learned how to put potatoes into this big skinning machine (75% skinned), how to cut them in a huge press, how to blanche them in grease, how to deep fry in yet more grease, how to salt, and how to get exactly 4-5 ounces in each french fry bag. I also learned how to say "Yes sir/mam" and then, actually move quickly (unlike the personnel at Mac's today!). This career lasted for several years and paid me enough ($1.85/hr) to put away a sizeable nest egg. Well, it was actually an Easter egg, but to me... wow!
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 3:27:51 PM EDT
Just to help you out...a masters is always nice to have, no matter what the profession may be.  If you have a masters, then your employer is required to pay you more for your services.  However keep in mind that many people, because if the required increase in pay, may not be able to afford you.  There are ups and downs to both sides, but I would definately tell you to go for it.  An extended education is never a bad thing.

As for what career to choose, I would tell you to take a few days to think about a few things that you are passionate about, and then find a field of study that is closely related.  

What is your current job and what fields are you currently educated in??????
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 3:37:19 PM EDT
Law Enforcement and Prisons are growth industries that offer recession proof employment.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 3:43:47 PM EDT
In High-Tech, ability and experience mean more than degrees and certifications in most companies, and the ones where that isn't true are the companies you want to avoid.  I've seen companies that hire only "papered" employees; it's a nightmare.
View Quote

Funny story. A friend of mine is retiring from GM after 30 years of service. He is worried that he will be bored in retirment, so he looked for a simple part-time job. He likes working outdoors and loves tractors so he applied for a groundskeeper job with the local rural school district. They were very exiceted about hiring him until they found out he never graduated high school. He had dropped out in 10th grade to go to work for Oldsmobile.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 4:32:32 PM EDT
M4....B/S in criminal justice, minor in political science.......you`re on your way to permanent employment......THE best job for guys like us (in ny) is encon officer... you have to be patient to get it, but it is possible......if i were a younger man i would persue it. too bad i was`nt aware sooner in life....pays avge of 45000 per, AND you write your own ticket...while spending most of your time in the woods!!!!!.......[heavy]
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 4:41:59 PM EDT
start taking sisco classes, go to a book store and check out their section of computer related books, things like A+, C+ and sisco for dummies can help you get a grip on what you would like to do. as you pass sisco classes, watch you passible paycheck multiply
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 5:22:40 PM EDT

I'm wide open to suggestions as to different fields that a 31 year old with a liberal arts degree might look in to. I would consider many career paths, as long as it wasn't sales related or programing computer code. Tried it, hated it.

I am 37 yrs old and always worked labor type jobs. I was a welder for 10 years but found myself getting burned out. I have decided on a career change. I am now a college student and I am seeking a computer networking certificate. There is a little programming involved but not much.
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 5:38:13 PM EDT
308....are you 31 or 37...big difference.....law enforcement is a wide open field....will be for a long time....many interesting job applications also...it is not just the cop on patrol.....get on it....[heavy]
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 5:39:29 PM EDT
Black&Green, what is an Encon Officer?  I have never heard that term here in Texas.  Enviromental Convervation Officer?


M4....B/S in criminal justice, minor in political science.......you`re on your way to permanent employment......THE best job for guys like us (in ny) is encon officer... you have to be patient to get it, but it is possible......if i were a younger man i would persue it. too bad i was`nt aware sooner in life....pays avge of 45000 per, AND you write your own ticket...while spending most of your time in the woods!!!!!.......

Link Posted: 4/18/2001 5:50:00 PM EDT
Aggie....(football?).....yes, you hit it n.y.s. environment conservation officer.....actually have GREATER jurisdictional liberties than a nys trooper (some may argue,many do not know) it is one of the best leo jobs in n.y. state...as i said..hard to get...but GREAT when you do....people do not realize the great outdoors that ny state is....everyone thinks it`s a city....farthest from the truth...[heavy]
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 6:47:11 PM EDT
With respect to the Master's - I honestly do not believe it is always useful. For example, if you're going to commit to a certain discipline of science, you are far better off going through the rigors of a PhD program. Why? Because you need to show people (such as various hiring institutions and national funding agencies) that you have the discipline to both pass qualifiers and defend your thesis; ie., provide evidence that you can develop as an independent investigator. The MS degree does not do this. This only provides evidence that you can master a methodology or a very limited area within your chosen field. It provides you with a part of what the PhD would provide, but not everything you will need. Again, this is in my neighborhood (health science research and education)... so I cannot comment about other areas. Still, I would not advise always going for a masters degree simply based upon an argument that if some formal education is good, more must be better.

Since you have a liberal arts background, you're probably not inclined to go toward the health professions (although we do admit students with liberal arts backgrounds into our school...we also admit career-changing older students to our school -- most recently, a fellow who had 12 years in the Marines in Amphibious Recon). Anyway, I think GunLvrPhD made a great suggestion. Law school will be tough, but then again, not many things worth having is easy... unless you go into a Rap Music career (LOL!!!).
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 6:52:21 PM EDT
M B A`s in my area are now having trouble finding good positions............[pistol]
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 7:03:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 7:25:16 PM EDT
Any technical field is a good choice.  Also if your into engineering, energy production is very smart.  There will always be a need for energy (ie california).

Link Posted: 4/18/2001 7:40:27 PM EDT
DK....a geologist for oil co. requires a MINIMUM of ms, and most are phd.....also it highly political......majority of young persons on this board would most likely choose a more mainstream profession....BUT, nice work if you can get it!!!!![heavy]
Link Posted: 4/18/2001 8:32:39 PM EDT
I had actually wanted to be a paleontologist (who doesn't?) but the geology major required two years of math (calculus with all kinds of funny-looking symbols!!!). This is why I opted for microbiology (one year of math, phew!) which led me into the health sciences. Anyhow, I'd avoid geology (I did well in stratigraphy, though) because of all that math stuff.
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