PDA

View Full Version : How important IS the 4+ year college degree? Job advice please



Slewdledo
Feb. 15, 2012, 01:12 AM
I have an AAS. (2 year degree.) I feel old. I dislike my customer service job, but on the local job listings everything else is Engineer This, Technologicial Whiz Kid, or Manager That, for which I am not qualified. I am professional and courteous, with good communication skills. Mostly self-educated. What fields could/should I be looking at?

My dad has recently talked to me about going back to school for that BA. If I did that, could I quit working full-time and live off student loans while going to school? What the heck could I study that would benefit me in the future? Or is it a stupid idea?

littleum
Feb. 15, 2012, 01:19 AM
I spent 10 years at a company where you had to have a 4 year to even work in the mailroom. They felt it represented dedication to your betterment or what not.

What's your AAS in? You don't say. What skills DO you have? What do you want to do? Going back for a BA and racking up the debt may or may not be a good idea depending on what your goals are.

Slewdledo
Feb. 15, 2012, 01:49 AM
Thanks very much for the reply. AAS was in general studies. I took a bit of everything. I would love to get into editing or proofreading, which I am good at. Probably a fat chance of that, though. And it's not like English majors are in particularly high demand. It's easier to say what I'm not good at than what I am or could be. Quick synopsis of my resume looks like this:

Employment History:

4/2007-Present. Teller, XXX Bank
Customer service and support via telephone, computer, and in person communication; sales; clerical; filing; auditing; marketing; record-keeping.

4/2011-6/2011. Receptionist, City of XXX Parks & Recreation
Customer service; marketing; account reconciliation; creative development; sales.

1/2003-Present. Assistant Manager, XXX Horse Farm
Billing; tax preparation; accounting; marketing; web development; sales; customer service & communication. <did not include the physical labor and horse handling, which is extensive but irrelevant to most/all non-horsey jobs>

10/2003-6/2007 Customer Service Representative, XXX Company
Merchandise print media for retail sale.

Educational History:
2006, Associate of Arts and Sciences, XXX College
Dean's List

Thanks very much for reading.

jennywho
Feb. 15, 2012, 02:07 AM
I have a BS which I managed to get debt free, decided there wasn't many jobs in my field, so I went back and got my MBA, lived off student loans. Tons of debt. Because it was just a general MBA with no specialization I still couldnt find a "good" job. Finally landed a job and found out no way could I tolerate a desk job. Lots of debt and a job I love later that wouldn't have required ANY shooling, I wouldn't go back for that second degree unless it was specific to accounting, a specific branch of engineering etc. My two cents, which isn't worth much, don't go back unless you have a specific goal and major.

nightsong
Feb. 15, 2012, 04:49 AM
A bachelor's degree is pretty much what a high school diploma USED to be: pretty much a basic requirement for non-menial employment. Often the major doesn't matter; just be sure to get COMMUNICATION skills while you have the resources available, and you'll be all right ;).

JanM
Feb. 15, 2012, 06:28 AM
There are fields where a 2 year degree is fine. Respiratory Therapy is usually a two year program, the grads work in clinics, hospitals, doctor's offices, home care (and some make big bucks with house service for therapy and oxygen), and some do traveling contract work and really haul in the money. By the way, it is a really good profession to help people. If you've ever had anything involving your respiratory system, or post surgical breathing therapy you've probably dealt with a RT. It pays well, and is very rewarding. And most of the training is hands on and clinical (of course it's been a while since I looked at the study program for this, it was for a friend's kid). The mobile service tech where I used to live had a big van, delivered oxygen and equipment, and had a nice office at the industrial park for storage and paperwork, and did very well.

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos321.htm The federal job outlook for the field.
http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/resp-career.html
And the Mayo Clinic link about this, with a lot of links. It looks like you get a national certification. It's important that you attend an accredited program.

IronwoodFarm
Feb. 15, 2012, 06:28 AM
I wouldn't put that horse job on my resume unless I really had to. It's not going to help that much and many employers will assume that you did manual labor. If I had to include it, I'd do a functional/skills type resume rather than a chronological resume to get interviews.

I would also network like crazy. It is good the OP has an AAS, but she is competing with people who have bachelor's and even masters degrees. So knowing someone is going to be key in getting interviews. I'd work my network; cultivate the one you have and expand it. Often the art of getting a job is not what you know, it's who you know.

On the entry level employment -- generally these jobs lead to advancement with an organization if one stays long enough or is a step to the next job outside the organization. I'd say the OP's receptionist job was too short to have it amount to anything. I'm not sure about the teller job -- banks have been having a hard time for the last few years AND I suspect it might a be a part time job.

I'd say that if I was looking at the OP's resume as a non-horse person, I would wonder why after 6 years out of an associates, the work exoerience was limited. No criticism meant of the OP, just that farm work is unlikely going to resonate in a positive way even if the skill set has expanded there.

bumknees
Feb. 15, 2012, 07:04 AM
To me the answer is YES a 4 yr degree is vital to the work force today. Example. My dh is a Veteran ( a war veteran) he went into the Navy straight out of high school. Did not take any of the college oppertunities available to him. he is closer to 50 than 40. He has skills he has ''education'' he is what used to be called Jack of all master of none. He just after 2 yrs of unemployment got a job as .. a taxi driver into a company who tries to employ veterans only if they are available in the town where we live. Dh kicks him in the butt self daily...
In the next town over from where we live in a rather large jelly company.To be a customer service person aka cashier in their outlet store in that town. You NEED a a minimum of a 4yr degree in MARKETING... go figure that one out.
Yes he does have a few other things working against him but the worst is he has no college as far as employers are concerned is #2...

sketcher
Feb. 15, 2012, 07:05 AM
Will your parents help you at all so that you do not have to take on debt?

Why not do Technical writing? You might be able to transfer most of your credits into a 4 year program. The money is decent and offers lots of flexibility in terms of working full time or as a contractor and also opportunity to work from home in many cases.

You might even be able to find an on-line program - although if you do this make sure it is from a real University, not a program just designed to take money out of your pocket and give you nothing in return - which is most of them. The on-line option might also mean that you can take more classes and work full time since you save all the time it takes to actually drive to school, sit in the class at a scheduled time etc...

check out Northeastern. I'm not sure what their on-line undergrad programs are but it is a decent school and there is probably an english degree and they might even have some technical writing options.

sonomacounty
Mar. 17, 2012, 10:31 AM
"I wouldn't put that horse job on my resume unless I really had to. "

Respectfully disagree. I like how you worded that you were a manager, not a stall cleaner.

Also, I've found that those hiring often like interesting people. A few times it got me the job over the regular folks.
-----

Oh, no disrespect to those who do stalls. You all are great and often wonderful horsemen.

Kryswyn
Mar. 17, 2012, 11:28 AM
Agree you need a four year degree in today's job market. Also agree that being interesting can get you a job. My BA is in Horsemanship (Virginia Intermont's old designation). Interviewing as a legal assistant one droll litigation partner asked me, "What's the relevance of your college degree to working as a legal assistant?" Looking him right in the eye I said, "Well, you have to be able to tell the shit from the straw in both professions." I got the job. :)

CosMonster
Mar. 17, 2012, 12:28 PM
I think it depends on what you want to do. Having a degree opens up doors, but it can also be really harmful if you have to go into a huge amount of debt to get one and then have trouble finding a well-paying job. I think about going back to school from time to time (I never finished my degree, and have a pretty good career as a freelance writer and web designer, and it would be better if I'd just give up these crazy notions of being a pro in the horse industry and focused on it 100% :lol:), but there's nothing I could really take that would open up further doors to me in my career path.

I also know many people with 4-year degrees who are severely underemployed and so their student loans are in default because they just can't afford them. I think in today's economy you really have to look at whether that degree is really likely to open doors for you. It's true that the college degree is kind of the new high school degree, but often without at least a master's you're still going to have trouble finding work, but you'll have all that student debt hanging over your head to boot. Or at least that's what I've seen happen to a lot of friends and family.

enjoytheride
Mar. 17, 2012, 12:36 PM
I got a 4 year degree myself while working full time and supporting myself, got a few grants and a bunch of student loans. After my degree I was unable to find a job that even made equal to the job I held through college. I would have lost enough dollars per paycheck to make keeping my apartment almost impossible.

I think if I had lived at home through college (not possible) I would have been fine taking the income hit until I got enough experience with my college degree to get me a place of my own.

I ended up keeping my college job. I don't really enjoy it, but it pays the bills and I have enough money left over for my horse and showing/lessons.

danceronice
Mar. 17, 2012, 12:46 PM
There are fields where a 2 year degree is fine. Respiratory Therapy is usually a two year program, the grads work in clinics, hospitals, doctor's offices, home care (and some make big bucks with house service for therapy and oxygen), and some do traveling contract work and really haul in the money.
<snip>

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos321.htm The federal job outlook for the field.
http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/resp-career.html
And the Mayo Clinic link about this, with a lot of links. It looks like you get a national certification. It's important that you attend an accredited program.

This. There ARE good jobs that will take a two-year degree but they are usually technical in nature (health care, etc) or they are in non-office type positions (for things like a culinary position, a two-year degree is fine IF it's in culinary arts and includes both practical courses and a little business/management work, but the most important thing is putting in the hours and paying your dues.)

Your degree, to be honest? It's really only worth whatever credits transfer to a four-year school. Which it might. Nowdays you do NOT have to start out paying four-year university tuition to take your gen-eds and prerequisites. The place I work is attached to a two-year residential college and a lot of students are here to take classes that will let them transfer to a four-year school, so they aren't paying big-uni prices for intro-level classes.

thatmoody
Mar. 17, 2012, 12:59 PM
Will your parents help you at all so that you do not have to take on debt?

Why not do Technical writing? You might be able to transfer most of your credits into a 4 year program. The money is decent and offers lots of flexibility in terms of working full time or as a contractor and also opportunity to work from home in many cases.

You might even be able to find an on-line program - although if you do this make sure it is from a real University, not a program just designed to take money out of your pocket and give you nothing in return - which is most of them. The on-line option might also mean that you can take more classes and work full time since you save all the time it takes to actually drive to school, sit in the class at a scheduled time etc...

check out Northeastern. I'm not sure what their on-line undergrad programs are but it is a decent school and there is probably an english degree and they might even have some technical writing options.

Sketcher, funny you should mention this - I'm an instructor in a technical communication program :D. IF you are detail oriented, a good writer, and enjoy working with people (surprise!) this can be a good field. We do diverse projects such as software documentation (that's what I did before I went back to school - code documentation), write marketing materials, design websites, and design training materials (my own specialty is usability testing).

The job outlook is pretty good, and they pay is decent for someone with a bachelor's degree. We also offer a separate certificate in professional communication which is offered fully online - you might look into that, as well, if you already have a 4 year degree and are thinking about a career transition. That can help you with more specialized areas such as grant-writing, etc.

You DO have to have a 4 year degree. It can be in IT, creative writing, English, or I have seen some people transition from marketing or PR. There are also specialized degrees in Tech Comm - our school is good (UCF) or Michigan Tech, Texas Tech, Arizona State, etc. Do NOT get a fully online degree in Tech Comm from a non-accredited school - Sketcher is VERY correct in this - the field is competitive and the managers tend to hire recent graduates from schools they are affiliated with. You can look at the STC (Society for Technical Communication) website to get more of an idea about the profession if you're interested.

danceronice
Mar. 17, 2012, 01:02 PM
If you want to go to Michigan Tech I hope you like the cold.

Not a judgement, just an observation.

thatmoody
Mar. 17, 2012, 01:03 PM
If you want to go to Michigan Tech I hope you like the cold.

Not a judgement, just an observation.

I have three friends who teach there and all of them LOVE it. Of course one is a native Yooper, and all three love snow skiing so that probably helps :D. But they DO have a very vital and interesting (and nationally well-known) Tech Comm program, which is why I mentioned it specifically. It's not a FUN school, for sure!

laskiblue
Mar. 17, 2012, 01:06 PM
Interviewing as a legal assistant one droll litigation partner asked me, "What's the relevance of your college degree to working as a legal assistant?" Looking him right in the eye I said, "Well, you have to be able to tell the shit from the straw in both professions." I got the job. :)

If COTH had a like button, you'd get it pressed 100 times from me for this comment. :yes:

I worked for attorneys -- mostly litigation -- for nearly 17 years. Now I teach psychology at community colleges. I tell my students (only half jokingly) all those years with attorneys drove me into the study of psychology. :D

Appsolute
Mar. 17, 2012, 01:11 PM
Its pretty important. Overall the employers are demanding that applicants have more education.

I graduated with my 4 year in Sociology in 2002. While my job is in NO WAY sociology related, my employer would not interview anyone that did not have a 4 year degree.

I did acquire skills in college (research methods, writing, statistics) that help me with my daily work, despite the type of degree I graduated with.

I have been in the same industry since graduating, and with the same company for 8 years now. I feel that my degree helped me land a job that has a fair bit of stability for this day and age.

Edited to add:

While my degree is in sociology, I took an emphasis in "research methodology" which is helpful in many other areas of life. When I started on my career path I was hired to do land title research. Not sociology, but many of the same skills involved.

Another thing, if at all possible, I would avoid going into big debt for school! I went to a Jr College for my first two years. I was able to work full time, while taking a full class load. Classes were CHEAP, and I lived at home. Then I transferred to the "UC" (University of California) system, which at the time was still very affordable at $4,500 a year. I lived very frugally, rented a room in a shared flop house, did my grocery shopping in bulk, bought my clothes at thrift stores, didn't have a horse (but rode crazy ones for free :) ) and graduated with NO DEBT.

Once I was out of school, and in the work force, I watched friends struggle with their now due student loans. My roommate at the time was an attorney, a fresh out of private school attorney would was dead broke due to his student loans.

DinkDunk
Mar. 17, 2012, 01:16 PM
I had this discussion just the other day...I think (in general, not always!) it depends on what you want out of your job. If you want a "career" where you have some semblance of independence and empowerment (even while working for someone), a strong 4 year degree in a relevant field is necessary. If you just want a job where you show up and do the same thing day in and day out w/ more oversight, no need for a degree. No shame in choosing one or the other. It takes all types.

I am an engineer and I enjoy having the freedom to come and go, manage new and different projects, and generally create my own career path. I have friends who do not have this independence (or the same type of degree) and feel trapped in their daily job, which is much more of a daily grind.

I do think the type of 4 yr degree is very important. Not to belittle anyone's chosen degree, but the more focused your degree is to what you want to do, such as statistics, engineering, etc, the more marketable you will be. I have seen my friends w/ somewhat abstract degrees in communications, psychology, and even business struggle more with their career path, or lack thereof.

Choose wisely, noting the job job market and what you want to do...

Isabeau Z Solace
Mar. 17, 2012, 01:31 PM
Agree you need a four year degree in today's job market. Also agree that being interesting can get you a job. My BA is in Horsemanship (Virginia Intermont's old designation). Interviewing as a legal assistant one droll litigation partner asked me, "What's the relevance of your college degree to working as a legal assistant?" Looking him right in the eye I said, "Well, you have to be able to tell the shit from the straw in both professions." I got the job. :)

^^^^ Degrees are nice. Lovely even. But attitude, 'know how' and effective communication are not necessarily related to those degrees.

Loan debt is bad. BAD BAD BAD

Do not. ever. take on private student loan debt. Go mow lawns, but do not borrow a few tens of thousands. Because they can double or even triple, very, very easily. Look for Default:The Student Loan Documentary, if you want to see the 'bad' side of the student loan story.

If you want to go back to school, do it at night, online, or find some way to do it part time. Without quitting current employment. Without borrowing $.

Mukluk
Mar. 17, 2012, 04:48 PM
Do your homework. What kind of job do graduates of this school with this degree get. Be sure that you LIKE what you will be doing rather than picking a career because it pays well. Do some career counseling to help you identify your interests talents. In some cases student loan debt is not all bad but borrow only what you need. Best of luck. Signed woman with four degrees (BA x 2, MS, PhD) paying off student debt from grad degree only but in the right field for me. I like what I do and find it fun and challenging.

I'll never forget the sign on the door of my Humanities TA, who was a Ph.D candidate...

"Philosophy, I'm in it for the Money!!!"

HelloAgain
Mar. 17, 2012, 05:03 PM
There are some in demand jobs that do not require a 4year degree but they do involve lots of specialized training. Two I can think of Court Reporter (you have to qualify for accuracy and speed, have knowledge of legal terms and other stuff, and get licensed by the state) and Sign Language Interpreter (you must be fluent in ASL and get various additional certifications depending on what you want to do - legal, cultural events, educational setting, etc). I believe simultaneous closed captioning for tv is another career path.

Paralegal is a good career for a higly detail oriented person - an excellent paralegal is a valued and important member of a legal team and over time you can make good money. You can potentially be involved with writing court papers and trial preparation. You do have to deal with almost as much long hours, stress, and crazy people as lawyers at a lower rate of pay. And some of the crazy people ARE the lawyers.

Another thought, many states have programs that help women break into construction trades. For example, here in NYC there is NEW - Nontraditional Employment for Women (http://www.new-nyc.org/).

Irishrose261
Mar. 17, 2012, 05:44 PM
You can be an RN or an RT with an associate's degree.... pretty specific professions, but you can make GOOD money without a 4 year degree.

kateh
Mar. 17, 2012, 06:54 PM
If you do decide to go back to school, look into what local colleges offer for working students. For example, my university had a college that was geared to "nontraditional students." They usually had classes scheduled in the evenings and weekends and didn't require many gen eds. I would say it's probably better to go part-time and take longer to complete than to be a full-time student with $$$ debt.

IronwoodFarm
Mar. 18, 2012, 07:19 AM
Mr IF, in real life, is a statistician at the US Dept of Education and produces a tome, The Digest of Higher Education Statistics. So I asked him.

He said that the difference in income between people with associates degrees and bachelors degrees is $10 - $15K a year; $450K - $500K in a working lifetime. Of course, he adds the cavaet that all statistics are aggregate figures and do not predict what any one individual will do.

Before I get flamed, my younger sister who only has a high school degree, out earns me with a masters degree. She is in sales and is very good at it.

Still the general idea that education can lead to higher incomes is pretty clear.
Interestingly, there is no really strong correlation about what bachelors degree brings the biggest bang for the buck with the exception of engineering.

Guilherme
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:30 AM
Your employment and educational history indicate a lack of "focus." What do you want to be when you grow up?

That's not a "facetious" question. If you don't know what you want to do then expending assets, especially borrowing money, to take training/education that might end up being "superfluous" is a Bad Idea.

On the other hand if you do decide on a future path, that path is reasonable (there is a demand for the skills you want to develop), and you have the right mix of personal traits to make it in that profession then taking on debt to achieve it might be a Good Idea.

So, again, what do you want to be when you grow up? Answer that question and you'll be on your way.

G.

P.S. A great place to "mark time" for a couple of years; get a decent pay check; perform important public service; and get a bunch of good quality training and experience can be found at your local Armed Forces Recruiting Center. There the only question is do you look good Navy Blue, Marine Corps Blue, Air Force Blue, Coast Guard Blue, or Army Blue!!! ;)

lilitiger2
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:45 AM
While typically i am always in favor of more education,I agree that is helpful to think a bit about what you enjoy doing, what you are considering the degree for. If you are hoping for a job as a welder, for example, I would say a four year degree is not so important. Same thing for the (high paying) gov't lineman jobs, where they hire right out of the two year programs for an apprenticeship.

You might try getting some kind of vocational assessment done (by someone with an doctorate who knows what they are doing) as way to try to focus your interests,so you can then determine if your interest entails a four year degree. I will say my mother got a job on a cattle ranch becase she had a four year degree (they wanted someone who they knew would stick out the season and figured a dgree,regardless of the field, said "this person will hang in there"). But the assessment can help narrow down interests ("could never do a desk job", "hate/love working with others", "hate machinery", "love doing things with my hands", "love working at night", "hate writing", "love writing", "want to travel", )whatever.

A friend of mine just did this, and as a result is getting her masters in teaching english as a second language. She loves it.

I also agree with the recruiter idea: go USMC!!!

HoofaSchmigetty
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:11 AM
Some of the DUMBEST people I know have TWO degrees.....one of them actually has THREE!!!

OTV
Mar. 18, 2012, 01:54 PM
I think there's open-ended degrees and less open-ended degrees, both which are valuable. You can take your nursing degree and be a nurse. You can take a pharmacy degree and be a pharmacist, etc. The more open degrees are the BAs where you'll have a degree, but not necessarily know what you want to do...and chances are, you'll end up in a job that doesn't relate to it at all. In both cases, though, the 4 year degree IS important. I know a 55 year old lady who just lost her job as an HR rep (that she'd had for 17 years) because the new requirements included a 4 year degree, which she didn't have. The new lady who got the job majored in history, but she had the 4 year degree.

It took me forever to find out what I wanted to do. My parents pushed me into the more focused degrees like teacher, pharmacist etc. but those never appealed to me. I eventually gave up on my degree. Fast forward 6 years later and I'm back in university finishing my degree. I had to move back home to do it debt-free but I don't regret it. My only regret, in fact, is that I hadn't decided to do it sooner. It took me 6 years to realize the kind of jobs you can get without a degree are the kinds of jobs I don't want to be in.

I recommend getting an open-ended degree if you don't know what you want to do. It's a good way to take different classes and try to figure out what does appeal to you. You can always switch, too.

Frank B
Mar. 18, 2012, 02:37 PM
Some of the personal finance magazines are now questioning the value of 4-year degrees for certain fields, especially with college costs inflating more rapidly than other categories.

Trixie
Mar. 19, 2012, 09:11 AM
I really go back and forth on this. I don't think a college degree is actually necessary to DO many of the jobs that "require a college degree." Whatsoever. I've also had a number of college educated assistants that were essentially useless in the workplace.

That being said, a lot of employers do require it. We practically require one to answer the phone, which frankly, is silly. Our phone system is simple, and we need someone who is cheerful, well-mannered and organized - not highly educated. My office then proceeds to wonder why their administrative and reception staff has a high turnover.

I also think many college degrees tend to cost more than their actual value. Think of how long you'll be paying off your education.

The thing that stuck out for me the most was that this:


If I did that, could I quit working full-time and live off student loans while going to school?

is probably not the best way to go about getting a college education for most people in this economy. Simply put - the employment statistics and starting salaries are frequently not enough to pay down years of loans that paid for both an expensive education and living expenses for years.

If, however, you can go at night (I do) and pay some or all out of pocket, it's a good plan. A lot of really excellent schools have programs that allow working adults to return to school on a more convenient time schedule and a lot of state schools are pretty affordable.

Aggie4Bar
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:45 PM
The usefulness depends on what you plan to do for income. If you intend to work for yourself, degree or no degree is largely irrelevant. Many successful entrepreneurs do not have college educations. However, if you intend to work as an employee for someone else, a degree does help get a foot in the door.

Since you've got some experience related to accounting and marketing, assuming you enjoyed those activities, you could look into those fields. Existing experience plus participation in a degree program can help land you work and/or paid internships during school. (Agree with others... avoid loans!)

You might also want to look into document control for engineering/technical companies, which isn't a huge step up from administrative work. Where I work, the base for document control is $40k-45k, and no one in that group has a degree.

vxf111
Mar. 19, 2012, 02:26 PM
I'll take a slightly different approach... figure out what it is you want to DO and then research the qualifications you need to get there.

Although yes, a 4 year degree is pretty integral for most career paths, you can take a different path without a 4 year degree. For example, if you want to be a CT/X-ray tech, that's a program you can go and take (I was to say it's generally 1-2 years but it depends on the program) instead of a 4 year degree and then have good employment options. If you want to be a lawyer, you're going to need the 4 year degree and then the JD. My point is that you should take some time to figure out what it is you want to do, what the job prospects are in that field, what the education requirements are, and what the full/part time options are (and loan options) first.

In the abstract, I can't tell you if a 4 year degree is what you need. First you need to do some soul searching about what you WANT to do and what you're going to succeed at. And then work backwards from there.

Good luck. The nice thing about being at a fork in the road the way it sounds like you are-- you have a LOT of options!

AppendixQHLover
Mar. 19, 2012, 07:27 PM
Yes a 4 year degree is important but...do something that you can see yourself making a living. I have a BS in Business and a MS in Management. I am a technical project manager. I didn't start off as that. I was a junior programmer who put up with an enormous amount of BS.

With that said..I worked full time and attended school full time. I didn't live on student loans.

Technical Writing is a very good field to get into. Becoming a socail worker, while rewarding the burnout rate is high and pay is low.

Think long and hard about what you want to do.

kathy s.
Mar. 19, 2012, 08:11 PM
I am a 53 y/o college student working on a Masters in Sociology and CJ. I graduated in 2010 with a BS in Applied Sociology with a minor in Forensic Psyche.

My career background is well paying blue collar occupations that are very different from what I'd like to do now but I'm hoping I can somehow mesh my work experience with my degrees.

I have incurred a small amount of debt but for the most part, we have paid cash for my education. I don't think I will make as much money with a degree than I did without one however, I'm willing to trade the difference in pay for the opportunity to work in an air conditioned building.

I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do.:)

dropitlikeitshot
Mar. 20, 2012, 07:13 AM
Your employment and educational history indicate a lack of "focus." What do you want to be when you grow up?


This is what I noticed as well. The lack of consistency and focus in your resume shows that you don't really know what you want to do, so prospective employers will look at it and go, "Hmmm... is this just another 'thing' s/he is trying on for size?"

First thing to do is to evaluate yourself. What is it that you are passionate about? Is there a way to turn that passion into a career? If not, is there a parallel or similar job track that would allow you something interesting to do and afford you some extra to pursue your passion?

I can understand what you are going through because I am there myself. It's that point where I have stepped back to take a "30,000 foot view" (e.g. looking down on my life from above) of my life to decide if I am happy and if I can see this being the rest of my life. To be honest, I am tired of the struggle that comes with pursuing this as a career and I am wondering if I am ready to trade this lifelong struggle for something else.

As others have said, make sure you have your pre-reqs done. Apply for financial aid, grants, etc. Work to pay off things so you can get as little debt as possible. Go to in state schools to get better tuition. Etc etc etc!