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Old 11-16-10, 03:06 PM   #1
str8jakett
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What do I want to be when I grow up?

Foosters, pick my career.

Well, not really, but here's the story. I'm a 30yo laid off factory worker who has been, at the insistence of my wife, a stay at home dad for the past two and a half years. I've enjoyed the time spent with my daughter immensely. Our income has dropped enough that I now qualify for financial aid to take some classes at a local community college. One of my biggest regrets was wasting two years of college when I graduated in 1997, and giving it all up for the job that I am now laid off from. I want to finish school for my own personal reasons and for the piece of paper to hang on the wall. I still dead end when I try to pick that degree.

Some notes.

I hate advanced math. I am terrible at it, I don't want to have anything to do with it.
I'm well versed mechanically and a quick learner at most things hands on.
Two other things I'd rather not deal with are sales or medical fields.

This is what is offered:

* Accounting Degree
* Administrative Support Technology Degree
* American Sign Language - English Interpretation Degree
* Architecture Specialization
* Automotive Analysis and Repair Diploma
* Business Management Degree
* Computer Aided Drafting and Design Degree
* Computer Graphics and Web Design Specialization
* Early Childhood Development Specialization
* Electrical Engineering Technology Degree
* Electronics Technology Degree
* Forensic Science Degree (Been there, done that, changed majors after two semesters)
* Game Technology and Animation Specialization
* Graphic Design Communications Specialization
* Human Services Degree
* Industrial Maintenance Certificate
* Information Technology Degree
* Instrumentation and Control Automation Technology Degree
* Instrumentation and Control Automation/CAD Specialization
* IT Game Design Specialization
* IT Network and Technical Support Specialization
* Machine Shop Operations Diploma
* Machine Technology Degree
* Marketing Degree
* Medical Administrative Support Specialization
* Nursing Degree
* Paralegal Administrative Support Specialization
* Paralegal Studies
* Police Science Degree
* Practical Nursing Certificate
* Small Business Management Specialization
* Welding Certificate (Changed to this. WTF, I'd never welded in my life, two semesters and realized I didn't want to for life either. I did enjoy the machine shop and metallurgy classes though)
* Word Processing Certificate

I am leaning towards Paralegal Studies. Honestly, I may never even use any degree earned. For now, I'm stuck in my small town. My wife loves her job and won't leave her family. There isn't much doubt in my mind I'll go back to my ho hum (albeit well paying) factory job when they call (projected 2nd quarter 2011). I actually DO like the job, and the benefits for my family are unbeatable. They will work with me to finish and I might even qualify for tuition reimbursement. I can then decide if it is more beneficial to look for a job in that field. With certain degrees, I would have the opportunity to remain with my company and move into a position that utilizes the degree. Paralegal Studies is one such degree.

Am I wasting my time?
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Old 11-16-10, 03:32 PM   #2
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Old 11-16-10, 06:42 PM   #3
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You didn't say that much about your abilities except for math, what you were doing in your past job, and what opportunities are available in your small town.

My approach would be to consider the things that I am good at and somewhat interested in, find out which of these things could be available in my town, and go from there. Notice I said good at and somewhat interested in. My opinion is that you should work doing things that you are good at, but maybe not the most interested in. I have hobbies for that. Some people get jobs doing things that they are interested in and it ruins the fun for them.
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Old 11-16-10, 06:54 PM   #4
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noticed that they have two machine oriented programs and you said you enjoyed the exposure to that thing in the welding course and you like working at your previous job so prehaps those would be good programs to investigate
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Old 11-16-10, 07:00 PM   #5
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Am I wasting my time?
No and Yes. Even though I currently work in the field I studied, I only use 1.238309% of my Liberal Education. However, I really enjoyed going to college and I honestly believe it helped me grow as a person.

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Old 11-16-10, 07:58 PM   #6
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Old 11-16-10, 07:59 PM   #7
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Old 11-16-10, 10:39 PM   #8
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Of all the fields listed there at the college, I point out that America always seems to need accountants.
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Old 11-16-10, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8jakett View Post
I am leaning towards Paralegal Studies. Honestly, I may never even use any degree earned. For now, I'm stuck in my small town. My wife loves her job and won't leave her family. There isn't much doubt in my mind I'll go back to my ho hum (albeit well paying) factory job when they call (projected 2nd quarter 2011). I actually DO like the job, and the benefits for my family are unbeatable. They will work with me to finish and I might even qualify for tuition reimbursement. I can then decide if it is more beneficial to look for a job in that field. With certain degrees, I would have the opportunity to remain with my company and move into a position that utilizes the degree. Paralegal Studies is one such degree.

Am I wasting my time?
If the degree is in a subject you find interesting and it will help your career, you're not wasting your time.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjtesch View Post
My approach would be to consider the things that I am good at and somewhat interested in, find out which of these things could be available in my town, and go from there. Notice I said good at and somewhat interested in. My opinion is that you should work doing things that you are good at, but maybe not the most interested in. I have hobbies for that. Some people get jobs doing things that they are interested in and it ruins the fun for them.
I agree with that. I'm a car guy, I don't want to make them my job.


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noticed that they have two machine oriented programs and you said you enjoyed the exposure to that thing in the welding course and you like working at your previous job so prehaps those would be good programs to investigate
I did consider those programs, another of which I could use at my current company, or there are a few machine shops and manufacturers in the area that need machinists.

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No and Yes. Even though I currently work in the field I studied, I only use 1.238309% of my Liberal Education. However, I really enjoyed going to college and I honestly believe it helped me grow as a person.

Couch
My reasons for going back are not just for the education, but exactly what you state. I want to finish for myself.

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Of all the fields listed there at the college, I point out that America always seems to need accountants.
America probably would do better without an accountant like me.

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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
If the degree is in a subject you find interesting and it will help your career, you're not wasting your time.
Thanks, and thanks for the other comments folks. I'm going in to talk to an advisor on Thursday, hopefully I can come out of that much more confident about the future.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:48 AM   #11
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Old 11-17-10, 08:55 AM   #12
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Electrical Engineering Technology is a pretty cool degree. Looking back I wish I had double-majored with that as my second. Also, the two instrumentation and automation control degrees could be very useful depending on the quality and scope of the course. My degree is in Mechanical Engineering Technology, and I see a lot of jobs for motion control and automation backgrounds that I could go for with one of the aforementioned degrees/backgrounds. Many in manufacturing companies. Good luck.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8jakett View Post
Foosters, pick my career.

...

I hate advanced math. I am terrible at it, I don't want to have anything to do with it.
I'm well versed mechanically and a quick learner at most things hands on.
Two other things I'd rather not deal with are sales or medical fields.
About the math, IT & Engineering:

Different institutions divide math curses differently. On a system where...

Calculus 1 = Derivates, rate of change
Calculus 2 = Integrate, Area under the curve
Calculus 3 = Integrate, Volume
Calculus 4 = More integrals
Differential Equations = be a freaking math God.

... Anything IT will have at least up to Calculus II. Engi will go up to Calculus IV, with differential equations often (but not always) required.

IMHO, stay the heck away from IT. It is a dying field (offshore outsourcing) and you might find yourself in the same position as you are now. Networking might still have a shot for some time but I would not count on it.

That said, I would go with "Automotive Analysis and Repair Diploma". Maybe pairing it up with some business administration, aiming at running your own shop some day, which can be done right there at small town USA. Car repairs is still one of those few things where the lone guy with a small shop and a few wrenches can compete with the big guys head to head and win every time.
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