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  1. #1

    Looking for a career

    Im going back to school in a couple of days. Im somewhat excited but im also bummed out about it. My problem is that im going to be a junior at a local university (its a small school that i believe doesnt get any money from the govt.) but i dont like what my current major is. Im down as a history teacher but i cant see myself doing that for many years of my life. Everbody i ask for help always gives me the usual, "well what do you like to do?" question. I enjoy helping others. So i was wondering if my fellow forum members could tell me what they do. The pros and cons of it, how much schooling is needed to do it, and anything else that may come to mind. Thanks for any and all help.
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  2. #2
    Counselling. A degree in psychology and a lot of patience. A calm and positive attitude toward life and a desire to help people are what I'd say you need besides the ability to actually listen to people without interrupting. There are so many areas of counselling now that any avenue would be good particularly grief counselling or post trauma counselling. Personally I couldn't give a fudge about marriage guidance counselling or anger management or that kind of thing but the ones that really reach out to people in need are worthwhile pursuing I think. By getting into university to study history you prove you have a decent mind for general knowledge, you can't study history without it. And if you've studied social history as well as any other area then that's good.
    Personally speaking I think there's always room for more counsellors. If you look at how many people come to realise they faced a trauma years after the fact then need someone to help them, I'd say now would be a good time to go for it when the world is waking up to the phenomenon.
    Or, if other peoples problems don't inspire you then how about taking on a real challenge and teach remedial students. It's hard work but for every ten that walk away with no gain there's the one that makes such progress that it's worth the efforts.
    As you're down as a teacher anyway it would surely be only a short extension to your uni time to get the extra training for remedial teaching or just switch now if that's possible.
    I'll admit i don't know how UNI works for you out there. I'm just throwing out a couple of possibilities for you to think about.

  3. #3
    If you do go the way of becoming a counselor, just be prepared for a pretty intense job search. Unless you're into Drug and Alcohol Counseling or working with in-patients in wards. I have a degree in counseling and when you're starting out, that's pretty much all that's available. Unless you go and "hang up a shingle" so to speak. I tried to get a job in a clinic that saw non-violent people needing counseling, but unless you come with your own established case load, the clinics want nothing to do with you.

    I eventually gave up the counseling gig after being a psych tech (basically a body guard for doctors who work with violent mental patients) and got into the software industry. It's not the market that it used to be 5-10 years ago, but you can find your niche. I used to be a software developer and then became a software test lead. Pay is good and the job atmosphere is not bad. Through the grape vine I've heard the hot tech jobs are System Admins and Database Admins. But I'm still happy to have a job where my goal is to break something someone else created.
    "Smeeeeee....Heeeeeee...." -- Kryten 4000

  4. #4
    Well, I work for FedEx..............but that job really sucks and any sane person wouldent want to work there IMO. So I wouldent suggest that.

    But career wise, I'm going to college to get a degree in law and criminal justice so that I can go into LDS church security.
    "Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee, I'm a laughing gnome and you cant catch me!" said the laughing gnome....

    - David Bowie: The laughing gnome.

  5. #5
    You could be Governor of California ... doesn't seem to require any schooling or experience at all. Just the simple urge to ... "want to get things done." Think about it, we'll be having a recall election on the current recall election in about 6 months I'm sure.

    No? OK ... seriously then. If you enjoy the idea of teaching at all, I'd say simply push through and get a degree in whatever subject you like the most. You can teach for as long as you like and then if something better or more appealing comes along you can switch. But, you'll always have the teaching as a fall back option.

    Here's a good example ... I've a close friend who just recently got her Masters degree in English. She'd been teaching at the local university and at a few of the local city colleges. The other job she's had (for years) that helped put her through college was tutoring Asian (Korean in particular) children. So ... the state budget cuts come along and she's losing all of her hours at these colleges. But at the same time, the parents for all of the children that she's been tutoring for nearly a decade, are having more kids and telling their friends about her. Next thing she knows ... she's being thought of as the best English tutor (one who now has a Masters in English) in her region. These people have money, they love her, she loves teaching their children and so she walks away from the colleges and opens up her own tutoring academy. (She'll make six figures in her first year and has had to employ a bunch of her college grad buddies to help out.) Moral of story ... if you're doing something you like and keeping your eyes open, something will come along. But at the same time, you've got to pay your dues. The college degree is only a beginning and only worth what you're willing to make of it.

  6. #6
    If you like science, and teaching, you might try getting an advanced science degree. You could work in a lab (or run one!), be constantly teaching people, and, of course, you get to do noble things like helping to find a cure for X disease that you are interested in. Just gotta be very focused and determined, because science is hard, and mostly thankless.
    "Whatever you do, take care of your shoes."

  7. #7
    jjreason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Lubing up the probe - it's business time.
    Im enjoying my time as a police officer, it's let me act out many of the roles I thought about doing as a "grown up" many years ago including lawyer (running cases in traffic court), teacher (teaching kids drug awareness and "saying no" skills), and of course cop. Good agencies are looking for people with post-secondary education as it shows stick-to-itiveness and (in most cases) some ability to adjust solutions to fit problems. The hours aren't always great, and rarely is anyone ever glad to see you - but I wouldn't trade it for anything at this point.

    One thing is, though, we're well paid up here. And the danger level is significantly less than what the American officers face from what I'm led to believe. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have.

  8. #8
    Kool-aid-killer, I am sorta in the same boat as you. I recently graduated from college with a degree in education. I initially wanted to be a history teacher as well, but since I worked with young children for much of my life, I decided to pick elementary education instead.

    Teaching is a field that sees an unusually high number of career switchers. In fact, it is one of the top profession in terms of turnover. A lot of people teach for a few years and decide that teaching is not what they expected, too constraining, or just not the right profession for them. Conversely, a lot of people in their later years leave their profession to decide to give teaching a try. I know a lot of people who did this.

    Don't worry if you don't decide it is the career that you might not want. You are still young and as long as you get a degree and received decent grades, other professions will accept your degree. They might make you go back for your master's later or decide that you are qualified enough already in where you do not need schooling.

    I seemed to graduate at a good time (the retirement of the baby boom generation) but that has not landed me a full-time job yet, despite the fact that I graduated with excellent grades, did well on my student-teaching and was inducted in a few honor societies. The job market in my area of Western New York is poor, and teaching is a profession that pays rather well. As a result, it is a saturated job field, especially in the elementary level. Competition is fierce, as evidenced by a call I made to a nearby school district that advertised an elementary position in the paper 2-3 weeks ago. It turns out there were over 200 applicants for 1 elementary position. In my case you have to put your time in, substitute teach, get your foot in the door of some school districts, get to be known, and hope for the best.

    Good luck with your future and remember, you are still young, so if you find that teaching is not right for you, don't fret. These days, more and more people are not finishing their careers in the profession they started with.
    "The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see, the future is. But this I am sure of - do their duty the Jedi will." --Yoda from Attack of the Clones.

  9. #9
    TeeEye7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Somewhere between the delta and the core
    I'm with jjreason:

    Law enforcement is one way to go if you're into helping people. I'm in crime scene investigation and it's hardly ever a dull moment. A lot of instant gratification on the job.

    I, too, was looking into education as a career in college. I double majored in history and Spanish. When I graduated, there were no teaching jobs. Having a habit of eating to stay alive, I needed to find a job and happened into this job almost 18 years ago. My education has not gone to waste. I use Spanish daily and the research skills I learned with the history major come into play frequently.

    As jjreason also says, there's a lot of variety in the field. More than likely, you won't be a beat cop for your entire career. You'll move up, especially with a degree. Master's degrees are becoming quite common at command staff level. My department has a couple of Ph.D.s floating around, too.

    I have to echo the sentiment that the money's not the best, but it's a job I enjoy, and it's not giving me ulcer, either. I also have to agree with him on the danger level. With the training given today, it's a lot safer job than the news, TV, or movies would have you believe. I have a friend who says "98% of the time I'm overpaid, 2% of the time I'm not paid enough". Common sense is the key to the safety issue, IMO. My job is a civilian position, but I worked as a reserve officer for seven years with experience in patrol, corrections, gangs, and surveillance without too many problems.

    It's a career that worth looking into. People actually have a good opinion of cops now, too. A rare point of view when I started!
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!

  10. #10
    "Whatever you do, take care of your shoes."


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