Cirno Goes To College [Employment, Education, and Careers Thread]


  • Banned

    This is the continuation of the discussion from the MU* Assholes thread about educating one's self and getting new jobs.

    So I decided that I'm not actually wasting my time going back to school.

    Talk about your educational journey here and share your own story, or share how you got your latest job and how it's treating you.


  • Pitcrew

    I'm not sure why people have said that older students don't do well in college. Most of the time the opposite is true. The older students tend to be the curve wreckers, because mommy/daddy aren't paying their bills, they tend to have some more life experience, know a little more about what they want to be doing/what is realistic for them at 30 than they did when they were 17, ect.

    There are exceptions. When I went back to school I did meet some "nontraditional" students who were bombing out, but frankly, the reason why they hadn't been to school was because they were struggling with addiction/major mental health issues and there was still a struggle.

    I started college at 15. It ended up being a good thing because I had a rather radical shift in major, so I still graduated with my dual major BS at 20, so just a little late. I did have jobs in my field (social services) but I got on the mommy track early, by 25, and spent my latter 20s and most of my 30s being a "stay at home" mom. Once 1-3 were launched into upper elementary/middle school grades, I decided that I'd really kind of like to be doing something with my life other than volunteering and hanging out with kids. (not that it isn't important and I did't like it, I did.) So I went back to school for massage, since I'd always been interested in it. (I was glad I had an excellent background in A&P and other biological science--massage school, at least in my state, DOES have plenty of the woo woo frou frou shit, but these days it's pretty medical oriented, and LMPs are considered part of medical care provider network here, so it's also deceptively academic than the stereotype). I was the 4th oldest in my class group, the youngest was 18, the oldest 57. And there were 4 people who were in their mid to late 30s, like me. So I got my trade certificate (the college awarded me the AA because they counted my other degree as eliminating the need for the core curriculum. I started my own business (which I still have), but promptly got knocked up by surprise. I worked my ass off until I was 9 months pregnant to be able to take significant time off. Still working to build up my clientele again.

    And I am thinking of also going back to school for an esthetician's cert/license (which is hilarious, for anyone who knows me RL, I am so NOT the type of person who goes to cosmetology school) so that I can get further training in skincare since I've already got a nice setup for it in my office. That will have to wait though, since with 4 kids getting ready to launch into college in less than 5 years, I cannot justify the expense and I don't have time to jump through the paperwork for scholarships presently. Or I might go back for my MSW, because my volunteer interests through the years have maintained connections with the social service community and I dearly love it. Because of the expense, though, I don't think going for the MSW is really going to be realistic until I hit my mid-40s. :) However, I'm confident that I will whip the asses of the younger students.

    Not to be all Old Lady at you, but at 25 it may not feel like your life is still way open and before you, but it probably is. I'm not even sure than 25 consitutes a "non-traditional" (meaning old) student these days, unless you are going to a 4 year state institution. But even in the 90s at my alma mater (VA Tech) there were always people a couple of years older than the "normal" immediately post-high school people--because they took a year off to travel, because they were in a co-op program (so they were interning every other semester), ect. I would imagine it's even more common now. I went back to school at a community college/technology institute so it's probably no surprise that ratio of "typical aged" vs elder students was closer to 50/50 if not tipped in the older people's favor.


  • Pitcrew

    If you have never done any kind of post-secondary education, I would say relax, be smarter than most 17-18 year olds and take advantage of the student services offered (study help, office hours, career prep, IF you have the time even getting involved in student groups, especially if you go the community college route, it can be an awesome way to network/make connections). You will have a couple of years of "core curriculum" if you want to work towards a bachelors so you do NOT need to have every damn thing plotted out in advance right away. If you have a long term goal in mind then that is awesome, but even if you decide to shift away from it, you won't have wasted your time. As long as you're going to an accredited school, many places will allow you transfer credits even 8 years old, and sometimes (like in the case of my prior degree) the current college accepted those transfer credits even though they were 18+ years old. I would take some time to look at several programs before you decide where you want to go. Even if you're looking at a 4 year degree, it may be a lot more cost effective to do your core curriuculum at a community college (and frankly the instruction may be better in a 20 person 101 class vs. a 300 person one at a major university.) but make sure that it's at a place that will transfer to the other institutions you're looking at.

    And there is a lot of $$ out there for scholarships, even for older students and /especially/ for first time college students. It may be in bits in and pieces ($500 here and there) but it's worth filling out forms and doing the bullshit essays, ect, because they can really add up. I had to do a lot of that to pay for school my first time around, and my oldest is looking into it now (we will be able to fund at least half of every child's education at a state school, but they can make those dollars we can contribute go further with scholarships/going to CC, ect). And once you have a semester or year under your belt with good grades you'll have access to more.



  • Mietze's advice is great, especially the part about doing your gen-ed work at a community college. It's cheaper and more reliable, and frankly, only the classes you need for your major really need to come from your main university, and only then because they have residency requirements most of the time which require you to take X number of your major classes there in order for them to award you the degree.

    Me, I decided to take a riskier route. I've always had a passion for law, and wanted to be an attorney, but the kind of attorney I want to be (Civil Rights/Civil Liberties) is absolutely not where any sort of realistic money is at. But about halfway through my polisci degree, I had a realization. As much as I'd love to practice that sort of law in any meaningful way, what I'd really like to do more than that is teach.

    Except, law professors are some of the most competitive fields in the nation, especially given that lawyers are now less in demand than they were.

    So now I have to take a gamble. Get my BA in PoliSci, and apply to law school at one of the satellite universities that I'm attending, wherein I will pursue a joint J.D/Ph.D program in Law and Political Science, and then spend the next two years in a Civil Rights/Civil Liberties LL.M. program followed by a Jurisprudence LL.M.

    Why? Because it'll distinguish me from other candidates, and give me a fuckton of publications under my belt that show I'm a serious academic as well as a competent attorney. Which is what law schools are looking for when they go to hire professors, who make a surprisingly decent salary. But that's assuming that I stay on top of my shit the whole way (much easier, admittedly, since i'm not 18 and I know damn good and well what lies down this road).

    But with the Ph.D in my pocket, if all else fails, I can fall back to teaching PoliSci, which is the next best thing, or possibly go into politics myself.

    So really, anything you wanna do that's less risky than -that-? I'd say go for. Especially if you find something you're really passionate about.



  • @mietze Go to a CIDESCO school or don't bother. Cosmetology is a joke. You're there to learn not to maim people, not spread disease, and get a license. Maybe also brand indoctrination. The art and meat of the skills are taught on the job. CIDESCO is for people who like meaty science. I had a small spa until my social anxiety became crippling and I went back to numbers. I also got tired of waxing dick but the money was insane. Guys. There's a home laser now. Use that. Unless you're dark skinned. Lasers are fucking racist.


  • Banned

    Thanks, everyone. You're all awesome.

    So here's the deal: when I was a little Cirno, after watching all the General Hospital series and so on, I wanted to be a doctor.

    I may go into medicine. But when I grew older, I grew enamored with politics, and would now also like to be a politician.

    I could do like Ben Carson and do both.

    I have also researched getting a degree in Mathematics because you can do a lot with it.

    I'd really like a job in which I have power over others. I seek a job with a lot of clout, but I can give up on that dream if there's nothing like that, but do any of you have any suggestions? And no, I don't want to be a Police Officer or a Drill Sergeant. I've got a problem with the bones in my feet that requires surgery, so I can't join the Army, much as I would like to.


  • Pitcrew

    @Cirno said:

    Thanks, everyone. You're all awesome.

    So here's the deal: when I was a little Cirno, after watching all the General Hospital series and so on, I wanted to be a doctor.

    I may go into medicine. But when I grew older, I grew enamored with politics, and would now also like to be a politician.

    I could do like Ben Carson and do both.

    I have also researched getting a degree in Mathematics because you can do a lot with it.

    I'd really like a job in which I have power over others. I seek a job with a lot of clout, but I can give up on that dream if there's nothing like that, but do any of you have any suggestions? And no, I don't want to be a Police Officer or a Drill Sergeant. I've got a problem with the bones in my feet that requires surgery, so I can't join the Army, much as I would like to.

    Everyone at the top starts from the bottom. If you want to rise really fast, go be a quant. Good pay.



  • Personally I dropped out of university thanks to a car crash, tried to go back when a little older and dropped out again thanks to major depression (which went un diagnosed), then did random shit jobs for a couple of years before only starting on my current career at 25.

    Now I have the thrill and excitement of being a middle manager for a 'Blue Chip' company whilst still in my early thirties, despite not having a degree or indeed any professional qualifications. A degree is definitely not required but it does let you start a few rungs higher up the ladder and also opens the possibility of 'Graduate Recruitment Schemes' which are hard to get into but can launch people right into positions of minor importance and fast track them if it works.

    The big thing seems to be to get work experience in an in demand field then be willing to move to take advantage of new jobs, along with interviewing well, spending money on a properly fitted suit is essential! You do not even have to be good at your job if you can talk the talk and come across well in interviews, I know one person who is a horrible human being with no integrity and minimal knowledge who talked herself into a senior role in another company before she could be sacked, then jumped ship into consulting after a few years and now earns more than most doctors.



  • Did you know accountant is a job title, not just a degree? I didn't years ago. I started off as a bookkeeper. I took a break to be an esthetician, went back to numbers. My last title held at a company was accounting manager. I only managed myself (and all our millions of dollars) though but it counts I guess. They were going to hire someone but then they folded because China stole our stuff.

    I transferred what worked from my biology/premed college days (it turns out I hate people, I also buckled under the pressure of working full time and school full time) and I'm on the last leg of finally getting my accounting degree. Sometimes not going to college is ok and works out. I'm much happier with my numbers and I would have never ever ever ever picked being an accountant on my own. It's sold as something it doesn't actually have to be. You're not always stuck for forever in a closet counting beans or talking to the irs. Not are you a slick person scamming retirement money from little old ladies, unless you worked an Enron. Then maybe you did that.


  • Tutorialist

    @Luna said:

    Sometimes not going to college is ok and works out. I'm much happier with my numbers and I would have never ever ever ever picked being an accountant on my own.

    While I'm still very bitter and angry about the situation that lead to me not going to college right out of high school, I definitely wouldn't have picked programming at that time. I would have gone to art school and that's a very very high risk of 'not ever being successful' sort of career. Or very high risk of 'soul crushing hatred of other people because I'm graphic design where my art is made for other people rather than me'.

    I like it when people tell me my art is pretty and praise me. I do not like trying to make art that other people want.

    Coding up something someone was requested, on the other hand, is a challenge and I adore it.



  • @Cobaltasaurus I have a graphics design degree. I loved learning what I learned but I knew going in I would never do it for a job. I was an accountant for a print shop. Our designers wanted to be put down daily. Things people wanted were awful. A lot of the highest paid work was making peoples shitty paint or printshop or WORD work fit for press. So, you made the right choice based on how I've seen really skilled and very artistic designers go down in flames.

    My boss got us a lot of church work. Literally clouds and rainbows made the christians happy. Seriously soul crushing stuff. Get your art degree, for fun, on your own time. Or don't. So much to learn out there, I highly recommend Lynda. I get access for free with my school. Maybe your school offers that too. It's nice.


  • Pitcrew

    I think college is good for some people but there are a lot of people who are going to college not because they think they need to, its because they think they should. Often, its because of applied pressure from family or friends, when the pressure being exacted isn't being at all examined as to why its necessary for this person to be in college.

    Does this person really want to be a dentist? Well, then, yeah, college is a necessary thing.

    But there are a lot professions out there that don't require college and you can make a comfortable happy living. So I think it just depends on what it is you want to study and whether having a degree really makes a difference. There are plenty of trade schools out there will get you set up and moving towards a comfortable profession, most of these are more manual positions.

    But shit, if someone had told me what electricians make when I was in school? I probably would have re-thought the necessity of my needing a college degree.



  • @Luna said:

    I highly recommend Lynda. I get access for free with my school. Maybe your school offers that too. It's nice.

    Lynda is seriously boss. If you haven't checked it out, you should.

    @Cobaltasaurus

    Really, I don't think anyone should go to college right out of high school. It's a terrible idea. You need some real world experience before you have an idea what you want to do/what your passions are in that real world. High school is not the place to learn that, while they're busy cramming knowledge down your throat that most of us will never use.

    The lies my teachers told me still boggle the mind, and had I gone to college right out of high school, no way would I have ever picked Political Science, or Law, and I wouldn't be pursuing minors in Legal Philosophy and Spanish. Those are decisions that young adults just should not be making until they see what the world is like.



  • I never got my degree even though I had almost enough credits to do so. They were spread around so broadly for the simple fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do. Or rather, I knew and that was learn something about everything, especially as the mood struck me.

    It wasn't till much, much later that I realized I should have been a research librarian but by then I had no interest in going back to college, especially as it requires a Masters. Fortunately, I fell into my present career and love it. Hopefully, it's something I can manage to keep doing for a few decades.


  • Politics

    @Derp said:

    So now I have to take a gamble. Get my BA in PoliSci, and apply to law school at one of the satellite universities that I'm attending, wherein I will pursue a joint J.D/Ph.D program in Law and Political Science, and then spend the next two years in a Civil Rights/Civil Liberties LL.M. program followed by a Jurisprudence LL.M.

    Why? Because it'll distinguish me from other candidates, and give me a fuckton of publications under my belt that show I'm a serious academic as well as a competent attorney. Which is what law schools are looking for when they go to hire professors, who make a surprisingly decent salary. But that's assuming that I stay on top of my shit the whole way (much easier, admittedly, since i'm not 18 and I know damn good and well what lies down this road).

    But with the Ph.D in my pocket, if all else fails, I can fall back to teaching PoliSci, which is the next best thing, or possibly go into politics myself.

    I'm not sure if your gamble will be a good one. Most noted law professors have some degree of practical experience. The best ones do, that's for sure. Knowing how to argue a civil rights case is an excellent skill to have, but knowing how to get the information you need to make that case is an art form that you will never learn in a classroom.



  • @Ganymede said:

    I'm not sure if your gamble will be a good one. Most noted law professors have some degree of practical experience. The best ones do, that's for sure. Knowing how to argue a civil rights case is an excellent skill to have, but knowing how to get the information you need to make that case is an art form that you will never learn in a classroom.

    Oh, I'm aware of that. I'll still go through fellowships and practicums and whatnot. But by far the biggest predictor of whether you get a professor's spot or not is your amount of serious publications, and less how much experience you have. I've done tons of research on it already and spoken to a couple of law school deans. I don't need to be famous, just doing something that I love.

    But it wouldn't be a gamble if there weren't some degree of risk. :)


  • Politics

    @Derp said:

    But it wouldn't be a gamble if there weren't some degree of risk. :)

    I represent all sorts of parties, and do insurance defense work as well. Where there is risk, there is always a warning. Here, there's a huge warning. It's hard to become a professor if you don't have the right practical experience, and fellowships and practicum work will not cut it. At least, in my opinion.

    Judging from my professors, I'll bet a lot of them got their positions after fellowships and practicum work.


 

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