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  • #41
    I think you need to adjust your expectations. I graduated in 2008, right in the midst of the recession. I started my first post-college job at 35k per year. There was no way I could support a horse and myself on that, so I found alternative ways to get horse time without the financial responsibilities of horse ownership. I volunteered with a therapeutic riding program and proved myself enough that they allowed me to exercise the program horses and train the new horses for free. When I moved to an area without a similar program, I started taking lessons at a local barn. I made friends with people and was able to do low cost half leases and ride shares. Even now, when I could afford a horse of my own, I lease a fantastic horse whose owner went off to college and just needs help with his expenses. Win win for both of us. I haven’t always ridden the “best” horses, or the fanciest horses, and there are certainly downsides to not having a horse of my own (uncertainty, not sole control) but I think that the upsides of lower costs, less responsibility if I would have a change in finances, etc are worth it. I have been able to ride continuously and still save money my entire career so far.

    If if my current lease ends for any reason, I may look into buying at this point in my life (10+ years into my career) but honestly if I am able to find another lease situation I may opt for that instead. I really like the freedom and flexibility it allows.

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    • #42
      for those that are spending every extra cent on the horse, I just caution that mindset. Yes, I did spend a LOT of money on the horses but we did obtain most of our goals of providing our kids a safe harbor to learn about life.

      I checked my 401ks yesterday and they are in pretty good shape, at least currently earning more than I am withdrawing but I do wonder how much would have been in there if I had socked away the large chunk of change that went (and still goes) to support the horses

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      • #43
        In general, a BS in biology is just a ticket to apply to med school, dental school, or grad school. It is difficult to find a job with a future and a decent salary with only a BS in biology.

        The best way to maximize your chances of getting a decent job post-graduation is to get real-life work experience with in-demand skills while you're in school. Get a part-time job during the school year working for a faculty member that runs a research lab and do as many summer internships as you can.

        My son took a 12 credit hour semester-long class ("Special Problems in X") that was actually an internship, arranged through the college. Yes, that's right - I paid a semester of full-time tuition so he could have the privilege of working his butt off for a tiny stipend. But he gained valuable experience and, more importantly, made great contacts.

        I used to work with a woman who spent her college years volunteering for the National Parks Service. She usually had housing included and got hands-on experience in some pretty cool ecological projects.

        You've got to go above and beyond the basic course requirements in order to get the experience and make the connections you need to make yourself a marketable job candidate.
        "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
        that's even remotely true."

        Homer Simpson

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        • #44
          I loved biology when I was in high school. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in college. I ended up majoring in biology and minoring in psych. I worked in a research lab for a few years with my biology degree but the work I was doing wasn't for me. I am not sure I could have supported a horse on that money. I was working at a university so got discounted tuition. I took enough classes to get a psych major and applied to grad schools. I think I am doing better financially with a Ph.D in clinical psychology than I would have done with a Ph.D in biology. Be wary of science jobs where you need to support yourself on grant money, unless you are stellar, it is a very tough world out there. And as a side note. Where I went to school for undergrad there was a requirement that you took a year of humanities. I remember that the grad student TA for one of my humanities classes had a sign on his door, "Philosophy, I'm in it for the money."

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          • #45
            Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
            In general, a BS in biology is just a ticket to apply to med school, dental school, or grad school. It is difficult to find a job with a future and a decent salary with only a BS in biology.

            The best way to maximize your chances of getting a decent job post-graduation is to get real-life work experience with in-demand skills while you're in school. Get a part-time job during the school year working for a faculty member that runs a research lab and do as many summer internships as you can.

            SNIP
            This is very good advice. Most employers will value ( and prefer to hire) some one with demonstrated work experience, and the contacts/references you gain in the workplace will be invaluable as you start (and progress) your career. Someone who has shown they can get along with colleagues, meet deadlines etc has a big advantage over other applicants who are fresh out of school without that kind of background.

            I also second the advice to keep an open mind as you pursue your next couple years of schooling. My son was a biology major when he started university; he connected with the professor who taught a required seminar and ended up falling in love with chemical engineering. He worked in that guy's lab throughout his college experience and that professor's reference really helped him his first job.

            Good luck!

            **********
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
            -PaulaEdwina

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            • #46
              I'm in my late 20's and my peers who are doing the best are a PA, lawyer, physical therapist, pharmacist, software developer, pharma rep (sales). My friends who have bio degrees either went on to grad school/pa school/dental school or are making 30k a year or have a job unrelated to biology.

              The people on this thread who are saying bio research has done well for them seem to have a lot of experience. From my experience there are a lot of Sr. level people in any industry who've seen a lot of success with just a bachelors degree but I don't think that happens anymore. A lot of people I know even in teaching are going back for masters to receive higher pay. My husband has recently gone back for his MBA to earn more. I had to get a masters to even be considered for a job and my first job out of grad school paid $42k w/benefits.. not a lot. Even still I had a horse at that time and contributed to a 401k etc. but where I live is pretty affordable.

              I have a better paying job now but its downtown so 45 min drive to the barn and 30 min from my house.... Cities will help you earn more but they are a bit more expensive and will likely require a commute. Also keep in mind what you do within a field greatly impacts what you make. As others have mentioned private companies usually pad more than public sector work and non-profit usually the lowest.

              Good luck!

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