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camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 10:43 AM
After I graduated high school back in 2001, I started studying accounting. Accounting was a logical choice for me because I pay attention to detail, enjoy numbers, and hey, every company needs an accountant, right? However, within a couple years of college, I realized that accounting wasn't something I wanted to do professionally. Although I'm good with details, my attention span is just a bit too short for me to maintain interest in something that can be so tedious.

After some years of traveling and doing a lot of soul searching, I've decided that I want to return to college and study something else. The problem is, I don't know what I want to study. That's where the advice request comes in.

Like I said, I'm good with numbers, but I just don't want to do anything that involves math. It's more like a hobby for me. I want to avoid science, too, despite how interesting I find it. I thought about history, but I just don't think I have enough passion for it to make it a big part of my life. As for physical labor, I'm 150 lbs., and it's just not my thing.

I also want to avoid philosophy/religion (I have some interest but not enough), health care, engineering, law, management, sales (although I made a killing when I used to do it), business, mechanics, computers (again, I have some interest but not enough), and many of the other, typical options.

Anyway, I'm hoping to do something involving creativity. I always sucked at drawing, painting, etc., and I'm not interested in that anyway unless I could do something similar to http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/ .

Here's what does interest me. I like other cultures. I worry that any culture could get boring after I spend a lot of time with it, though, so I don't want to specialize in any one culture like Russian Studies, for example.

I like languages a lot. I'm not sure why, but I just do. I studies Spanish in high school and really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed speaking Spanish with Mexican cooks that I used to work with. I've been studying German for almost a year, and everyone compliments me on how well I speak. "That's the best I've ever heard from an American!" is pretty faint praise, though. I've also had compliments on my French, even though I've never studied it in a school.

I like writing a lot, too, which is odd because I hated it more than anything when I was younger. I could see myself doing it on a regular basis, but I'm not a big fan of reading, so I don't see myself ever getting any sort of writing degree.

I love music. I'm decent when it comes to playing instruments, but I'm not good enough at any instrument to carry me through anything. I do consider myself to be a pretty good song writer, but I might be better off if that stays as a hobby. As for music engineering or something like that, I could do it and be satisfied because I would always be around music, but working in a studio isn't a passion of mine.

I also enjoy cooking. I have almost no experience with it even though my family has a long history with it. I guess I didn't get the gene or whatever, but I'd be interested in learning more about it.

Finally, I enjoy acting (but I don't have enough energy to be good), comedy (but I just don't like doing standup because I hate people expecting me to be funny all the time), and broadcasting (I have some experience with it and have done very well, but the available opportunities are so slim, and I'm neither clean-cut nor distinguished).

Anyway, I was just wondering if someone could give any general advice. In other words, is there a field that I'm not considering that I should? If I'm interested in doing something that I mentioned, where would be a good place to start? Please keep in mind that I have pretty much the world's worst grades and would have difficulty being accepted into just about any school.

pahster
12-09-2008, 11:18 AM
You might be interested in anthropology.

WMR
12-09-2008, 11:21 AM
John Fay needs an editor. Desperately. ;)

freestyle55
12-09-2008, 11:28 AM
what about Political Science? Lots of opportunities to learn about other cultures, languages, lots of options to go from there...

Yachtzee
12-09-2008, 11:29 AM
After I graduated high school back in 2001, I started studying accounting. Accounting was a logical choice for me because I pay attention to detail, enjoy numbers, and hey, every company needs an accountant, right? However, within a couple years of college, I realized that accounting wasn't something I wanted to do professionally. Although I'm good with details, my attention span is just a bit too short for me to maintain interest in something that can be so tedious.

After some years of traveling and doing a lot of soul searching, I've decided that I want to return to college and study something else. The problem is, I don't know what I want to study. That's where the advice request comes in.

Like I said, I'm good with numbers, but I just don't want to do anything that involves math. It's more like a hobby for me. I want to avoid science, too, despite how interesting I find it. I thought about history, but I just don't think I have enough passion for it to make it a big part of my life. As for physical labor, I'm 150 lbs., and it's just not my thing.

I also want to avoid philosophy/religion (I have some interest but not enough), health care, engineering, law, management, sales (although I made a killing when I used to do it), business, mechanics, computers (again, I have some interest but not enough), and many of the other, typical options.

Anyway, I'm hoping to do something involving creativity. I always sucked at drawing, painting, etc., and I'm not interested in that anyway unless I could do something similar to http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/ .

Here's what does interest me. I like other cultures. I worry that any culture could get boring after I spend a lot of time with it, though, so I don't want to specialize in any one culture like Russian Studies, for example.

I like languages a lot. I'm not sure why, but I just do. I studies Spanish in high school and really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed speaking Spanish with Mexican cooks that I used to work with. I've been studying German for almost a year, and everyone compliments me on how well I speak. "That's the best I've ever heard from an American!" is pretty faint praise, though. I've also had compliments on my French, even though I've never studied it in a school.

I like writing a lot, too, which is odd because I hated it more than anything when I was younger. I could see myself doing it on a regular basis, but I'm not a big fan of reading, so I don't see myself ever getting any sort of writing degree.

I love music. I'm decent when it comes to playing instruments, but I'm not good enough at any instrument to carry me through anything. I do consider myself to be a pretty good song writer, but I might be better off if that stays as a hobby. As for music engineering or something like that, I could do it and be satisfied because I would always be around music, but working in a studio isn't a passion of mine.

I also enjoy cooking. I have almost no experience with it even though my family has a long history with it. I guess I didn't get the gene or whatever, but I'd be interested in learning more about it.

Finally, I enjoy acting (but I don't have enough energy to be good), comedy (but I just don't like doing standup because I hate people expecting me to be funny all the time), and broadcasting (I have some experience with it and have done very well, but the available opportunities are so slim, and I'm neither clean-cut nor distinguished).

Anyway, I was just wondering if someone could give any general advice. In other words, is there a field that I'm not considering that I should? If I'm interested in doing something that I mentioned, where would be a good place to start? Please keep in mind that I have pretty much the world's worst grades and would have difficulty being accepted into just about any school.

Linguistics, maybe?

SunDeck
12-09-2008, 11:37 AM
what about Political Science? Lots of opportunities to learn about other cultures, languages, lots of options to go from there...

I'll second that. Then go into the Foreign Service. After that, you can become the next Rick Steves.

bucksfan2
12-09-2008, 11:42 AM
I look at college degrees differently. The way I look at it is pick something in which there are job openings. A career in anthropology or linguistics may be something that appeals to you but does it appeal to the real world? If you are good at languages I would look into something in international business. I would look at either Spanish or Mandarin. If you are good with numbers Finance may be an idea but it has some similarities to accounting. Also Engineers are in demand where ever you go.

You may also want to look into architecture or city planning.

durl
12-09-2008, 11:47 AM
Sometimes you just have to find a job that you think you'd like and go from there. You never know what doors will open for you and perhaps you'll learn what you really want to do.

I don't recall the numbers but I believe the percentage is small of college grads that actually work in their field of study. And a good number of people will change careers (not jobs) 5-10 times over their lifetime.

I indirectly use my field of study in my current job but it didn't help me land the job. It was experience from previous jobs that opened the door. I'm not saying to avoid college. I'm just suggesting that practical experience may help you decide what studies you'd like to pursue.

paintmered
12-09-2008, 11:48 AM
If you want to be employed for the rest of your life, learn Chinese, Arabic or Farsi.

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 11:53 AM
You might be interested in anthropology.

I just read some online articles about it, and it looks like it's not for me. I have a heavy interest in psychology, for what it's worth, but once again, it's not something I want to base a career on.

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 11:53 AM
John Fay needs an editor. Desperately. ;)

That would be my dream job. I'd love to be a Reds writer who is known for his accuracy and grammar.

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 11:54 AM
what about Political Science? Lots of opportunities to learn about other cultures, languages, lots of options to go from there...

This intrigues me a little. I'll look into it more. Do you have any experiences with it?

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 11:55 AM
Linguistics, maybe?

I'm skeptical of it, but I'd consider it. Could you shed some light on it or recommend something for me to read?

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 11:58 AM
I look at college degrees differently. The way I look at it is pick something in which there are job openings. A career in anthropology or linguistics may be something that appeals to you but does it appeal to the real world? If you are good at languages I would look into something in international business. I would look at either Spanish or Mandarin. If you are good with numbers Finance may be an idea but it has some similarities to accounting. Also Engineers are in demand where ever you go.

You may also want to look into architecture or city planning.

That's very practical, but it didn't work for me. Even if it means not having much job security, I'm looking to explore other options. As for architecture, I don't think it's for me.

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 11:59 AM
Sometimes you just have to find a job that you think you'd like and go from there. You never know what doors will open for you and perhaps you'll learn what you really want to do.

I don't recall the numbers but I believe the percentage is small of college grads that actually work in their field of study. And a good number of people will change careers (not jobs) 5-10 times over their lifetime.

I indirectly use my field of study in my current job but it didn't help me land the job. It was experience from previous jobs that opened the door. I'm not saying to avoid college. I'm just suggesting that practical experience may help you decide what studies you'd like to pursue.

That's pretty useful, but that's what I've been doing for the past seven years, and I'm not much closer to figuring it out as I was right after I graduated high school.

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 12:00 PM
If you want to be employed for the rest of your life, learn Chinese, Arabic or Farsi.

I'm not sure how tongue-in-cheek of a comment that is, but I'd seriously consider that. Do you have any idea how realistic of an opportunity it would be for me?

paintmered
12-09-2008, 12:09 PM
I'm not sure how tongue-in-cheek of a comment that is, but I'd seriously consider that. Do you have any idea how realistic of an opportunity it would be for me?

Check your PMs. And I was being completely serious.

WMR
12-09-2008, 12:20 PM
That's very practical, but it didn't work for me. Even if it means not having much job security, I'm looking to explore other options. As for architecture, I don't think it's for me.

You REALLY SHOULD consider becoming an architect. [/george costanza]

camisadelgolf
12-09-2008, 12:38 PM
You REALLY SHOULD consider becoming an architect. [/george costanza]

I'd do a better job of being George Costanza. :(

oneupper
12-09-2008, 01:05 PM
One thing you should realize is that your experience as a student may not necessarily be an indication of what your professional life will be.
Some stuff may be insufferable to study, but the actual practice much more interesting. Finance, in my experience, was much more interesting AFTER graduation.

Finance+Language+Travel = emerging markets/foreign securities analyst/trader/fund manager = $$$$. You could be another Mark Mobius.
(Don't worry, Wall St will still be there when you graduate).

...and the foreign service. My sister went in to it...already in her 40s (after a messy divorce...etc). Loves it. She's just finishing a stint in Malaysia, after jobs in Argentina and Germany. Now on to Jordan.

Good Luck. I know you're going to do great.

M2
12-09-2008, 01:14 PM
One thing you should realize is that your experience as a student may not necessarily be an indication of what your professional life will be.
Some stuff may be insufferable to study, but the actual practice much more interesting. Finance, in my experience, was much more interesting AFTER graduation.

Finance+Language+Travel = emerging markets/foreign securities analyst/trader/fund manager = $$$$. You could be another Mark Mobius.
(Don't worry, Wall St will still be there when you graduate).

...and the foreign service. My sister went in to it...already in her 40s (after a messy divorce...etc). Loves it. She's just finishing a stint in Malaysia, after jobs in Argentina and Germany. Now on to Jordan.

Good Luck. I know you're going to do great.

I was thinking the same thing. There are schools with specific international business programs, which might marry the detail-, number-oriented stuff with the global interests.

oneupper
12-09-2008, 01:17 PM
I was thinking the same thing. There are schools with specific international business programs, which might marry the detail-, number-oriented stuff with the global interests.

Thunderbird is supposed to be that for MBAs.

TRF
12-09-2008, 02:04 PM
On a different track a bit, not far from accounting would be database administrator. You are good with numbers and seem to have a (based on some of your posts) a good feel for relationships. The pay is excellent, and the training to become a certifed DBA is relatively inexpensive. In fact you could by the MS course for about $150. average MS DBA salary is $80K and up. Oracle DBA's make a LOT MORE.

Cyclone792
12-09-2008, 02:38 PM
You REALLY SHOULD consider becoming an architect. [/george costanza]

Don't even think about aspiring to be a city planner, Wily Mo. And make sure you get that GPA down to a 2.0 so it's right smack in the middle of mediocrity.

On a serious note, camisa, what worked for me was going down the path of what I was good at that I also kinda, somewhat enjoyed. I'm not sure how much of a help that is to you though.

freestyle55
12-09-2008, 02:56 PM
This intrigues me a little. I'll look into it more. Do you have any experiences with it?

Unfortunately no, but it just seems like with the non-arts related things that you listed, there are plenty of areas that could branch into..

You could be a teacher, get involved in government and or various different advocacy agencies, own a baseball team (Kevin McClatchy of the Pirates, found that on Google), travel companies, etc.

Someone mentioned Rick Steves, but I'd be pretty happy taking Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel's job...she's done some cool series about Europe and Central/South America...

pahster
12-09-2008, 04:29 PM
I just read some online articles about it, and it looks like it's not for me. I have a heavy interest in psychology, for what it's worth, but once again, it's not something I want to base a career on.

You might consider sociology as well.

As for political science, I majored in it as an undergrad and am a poli sci PhD student now, so I can answer any questions you may have about it.

AccordinglyReds
12-09-2008, 07:25 PM
Possibly something with travel agency, tourism, or cruises if you don't like "business"

RED VAN HOT
12-09-2008, 09:14 PM
The first thing that popped into my mind was also International Business. Your description of your preferences leads me to believe that you need to interact with people. The fact that you sought the advice of the zone tends to confirm that. So, if you do get into IB, you need to be on the front line and not back in the home office.

A big part of learning a language is being unafraid to make mistakes in speaking it. It never worked for me because I am too much of a perfectionist. It sounds to me as if you are more outgoing and would be willing to take chances. Your entry into International Business should be your linguistic ability and not your business skills. In this increasingly connected world a fluent, culturally aware foreign language speaker with modest business training is more valuable than the reverse. You would be the customer contact, not the person working the numbers on the details of the deal.

I would take some junior college business refresher and language courses. The experience will permit you to reflect on this plan to see if it is really something you want to pursue. You also need to make good grades to demonstrate to perspective colleges that you have matured and become serious. Colleges understand that competent people often get poor grades initially for a variety of reasons.

SteelSD
12-09-2008, 10:19 PM
On a different track a bit, not far from accounting would be database administrator. You are good with numbers and seem to have a (based on some of your posts) a good feel for relationships. The pay is excellent, and the training to become a certifed DBA is relatively inexpensive. In fact you could by the MS course for about $150. average MS DBA salary is $80K and up. Oracle DBA's make a LOT MORE.

I concur. camisadelgolf, it seems like you have the math skills and like language. While a DBA job might not be specifically for you, I'd suggest you look toward computer science. There are always jobs in that field and once you get your feet wet, the advancement opportunities are excellent if you demonstrate the kind of drive, creativity, and competency I've seen from you. That practice also involves a lot of relationship management for the top tier, so if you can speak both geek and human it's nothing but a ladder to the top of any organization.

15fan
12-09-2008, 11:07 PM
This intrigues me a little. I'll look into it more. Do you have any experiences with it?

In about another week or so, I'll have a grad degree in Political Science, so here's what I can tell you:

At the grad level, the quantitative stuff is pretty rigorous. If you can make it through the initial methods class(es), you can get into the good stuff, where you'll either gravitate towards American or the Comparative/International side of the discipline.

(Or if you're a true sadist, you'll get into the Methods.)

I went into the program for some different reasons for most. However, in your case, it might open some doors and get you thinking about some things that most folks don't really consider. Things like interning for an elected official, getting involved with a lobbying group, working with a non-profit legal group, etc. See how law is made, how the judicial system works, see how a regulatory agency works, that kind of thing.

If you'd be going back at the undergrad level, a Bachelor's in Political Science would be a nice way to get yourself into a Masters in Public Admin program at the graduate level. There are a gazillion opportunities in government branches/agencies when you look at county, city, state, and federal levels. The MPA would also serve you well at a nonprofit / non-government organization.

As for the timing of everything, I'd say that this is the perfect time to start a program. Governments are slashing budgets in response to the crappy economy. Most signs point to a rebound some time in 2010. If that holds, then you'll start seeing most government agencies begin filling the positions in 2010-2011 that they are currently holding vacant or eliminating. With a degree in sight and an internship under your belt, you'd be hitting the market at a good time to find a full-time job with a lot of long-term potential.

pahster
12-10-2008, 12:06 AM
(Or if you're a true sadist, you'll get into the Methods.)


Based on the crap they have to read and the state of their job market, I'd say the sadists go into theory. :p:

Caseyfan21
12-10-2008, 12:52 AM
On a serious note, camisa, what worked for me was going down the path of what I was good at that I also kinda, somewhat enjoyed. I'm not sure how much of a help that is to you though.

I agree with this as well. I was really interested in music and playing an instrument in high school and I was really, really good at it. I probably could have done some type of music performance type major. But I was also very good at math and science classes in high school. And while I would much rather play my instrument than solve a calculus problem, I "went for the money" and did engineering over music. I had a very good college experience and now I am sorting through multiple job opportunities with salaries that will be more than enough to support myself as I graduate next spring. Meanwhile, my two music major roommates are looking at grad school and seminary cause their job prospects are so low right now. It helps to "do what you love," but at the same time I think you need to find a career path that's in demand during this bad economy and will allow you to support yourself. Just my $.02 and all English majors (including my girlfriend) would strongly disagree. :)

TeamSelig
12-10-2008, 02:37 AM
How good is your background? FBI seems to like candidates that speak many languages.

Good with numbers + acting.... you could get into Loss Prevention. Numbers being audits, inventories, etc. Interviews, interrogation, and undercover work would go well with good acting skills.

What about working in the sports industry? Good with numbers, speaking languages, plus acting (which I assume includes great public speaking, interpersonal, all around communication, etc.) would mix into a career as a sports agent. You could go to school for Marketing with some language classes to hone your skills.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:26 AM
One thing you should realize is that your experience as a student may not necessarily be an indication of what your professional life will be.
Some stuff may be insufferable to study, but the actual practice much more interesting. Finance, in my experience, was much more interesting AFTER graduation.

Finance+Language+Travel = emerging markets/foreign securities analyst/trader/fund manager = $$$$. You could be another Mark Mobius.
(Don't worry, Wall St will still be there when you graduate).

...and the foreign service. My sister went in to it...already in her 40s (after a messy divorce...etc). Loves it. She's just finishing a stint in Malaysia, after jobs in Argentina and Germany. Now on to Jordan.

Good Luck. I know you're going to do great.

I always figured that, but I just can't stay focused long enough to get through it. It's not a lack of effort--I'm a hard worker--I just don't like anything to do with business at all.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:29 AM
On a different track a bit, not far from accounting would be database administrator. You are good with numbers and seem to have a (based on some of your posts) a good feel for relationships. The pay is excellent, and the training to become a certifed DBA is relatively inexpensive. In fact you could by the MS course for about $150. average MS DBA salary is $80K and up. Oracle DBA's make a LOT MORE.

Actually, this sounds right up my alley. My mother actually does something similar to this, but I've never bothered talking to her about it. I just assumed that someone in this profession would earn very little, and I figured it could be a backup plan at some point. I'll have to read more about this.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:32 AM
Don't even think about aspiring to be a city planner, Wily Mo. And make sure you get that GPA down to a 2.0 so it's right smack in the middle of mediocrity.

On a serious note, camisa, what worked for me was going down the path of what I was good at that I also kinda, somewhat enjoyed. I'm not sure how much of a help that is to you though.

Not to sound cocky, but I'm good at a lot of things (and bad at a lot of things, too), but I think my problem with making a decision comes from none of my interests really sticking out more than the others. Besides family and friends, the two things I enjoy most in my life are music and baseball. Unfortunately, there are very limited opportunities with music and baseball, and I just don't think I have the energy and talent to be what I really want to be. Even some of the most skilled people in the world never get.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:35 AM
You might consider sociology as well.

As for political science, I majored in it as an undergrad and am a poli sci PhD student now, so I can answer any questions you may have about it.

I have a general interest for PoSci and sociology, but it's not something I want to build a career around for some reason. Certain parts of the fields interest me very much, but other parts don't interest me at all. I've been thinking about it, and I just don't think it's the field for me. I'll still read up on it, though, and make a more concrete decision later.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:37 AM
Possibly something with travel agency, tourism, or cruises if you don't like "business"

This interests me, but I think image is particularly important here, and I try to avoid those types of things. However, as long as I wouldn't be limited to just one part of the world, I would certainly consider it.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:43 AM
The first thing that popped into my mind was also International Business. Your description of your preferences leads me to believe that you need to interact with people. The fact that you sought the advice of the zone tends to confirm that. So, if you do get into IB, you need to be on the front line and not back in the home office.

A big part of learning a language is being unafraid to make mistakes in speaking it. It never worked for me because I am too much of a perfectionist. It sounds to me as if you are more outgoing and would be willing to take chances. Your entry into International Business should be your linguistic ability and not your business skills. In this increasingly connected world a fluent, culturally aware foreign language speaker with modest business training is more valuable than the reverse. You would be the customer contact, not the person working the numbers on the details of the deal.

I would take some junior college business refresher and language courses. The experience will permit you to reflect on this plan to see if it is really something you want to pursue. You also need to make good grades to demonstrate to perspective colleges that you have matured and become serious. Colleges understand that competent people often get poor grades initially for a variety of reasons.

I interact well with people, but it's very easy for me if A.) they're strangers on the internet or B.) they're strangers that I will probably never see again. As for having coworkers, I get along with them, but I don't enjoy it. Generally speaking, though, I hate customers. I'm practically an expert at customer service, but I don't like it at all. Actually, I think you'd have to be crazy to enjoy it. As for business, I just don't like it.

Anyway, I wouldn't mind having an office at home. I spend most of my time with myself, and I usually avoid getting very personal with people.

Your information is particularly helpful, though, especially about colleges understanding that people mature and improve their performances. One way you helped, though, is that if I ever decide to do something that combines languages and something else, I at least know now that I'd make the languages side of it my focus.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:47 AM
I concur. camisadelgolf, it seems like you have the math skills and like language. While a DBA job might not be specifically for you, I'd suggest you look toward computer science. There are always jobs in that field and once you get your feet wet, the advancement opportunities are excellent if you demonstrate the kind of drive, creativity, and competency I've seen from you. That practice also involves a lot of relationship management for the top tier, so if you can speak both geek and human it's nothing but a ladder to the top of any organization.

I've briefly thought about computer science, and it sounds like something in which I could excel, but I don't know if it's exactly what I'm looking for. I'll definitely look into it, though, because certain fields that use computer science really interest me. I just wonder if I would ultimately have the brains for it.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:49 AM
In about another week or so, I'll have a grad degree in Political Science, so here's what I can tell you:

At the grad level, the quantitative stuff is pretty rigorous. If you can make it through the initial methods class(es), you can get into the good stuff, where you'll either gravitate towards American or the Comparative/International side of the discipline.

(Or if you're a true sadist, you'll get into the Methods.)

I went into the program for some different reasons for most. However, in your case, it might open some doors and get you thinking about some things that most folks don't really consider. Things like interning for an elected official, getting involved with a lobbying group, working with a non-profit legal group, etc. See how law is made, how the judicial system works, see how a regulatory agency works, that kind of thing.

If you'd be going back at the undergrad level, a Bachelor's in Political Science would be a nice way to get yourself into a Masters in Public Admin program at the graduate level. There are a gazillion opportunities in government branches/agencies when you look at county, city, state, and federal levels. The MPA would also serve you well at a nonprofit / non-government organization.

As for the timing of everything, I'd say that this is the perfect time to start a program. Governments are slashing budgets in response to the crappy economy. Most signs point to a rebound some time in 2010. If that holds, then you'll start seeing most government agencies begin filling the positions in 2010-2011 that they are currently holding vacant or eliminating. With a degree in sight and an internship under your belt, you'd be hitting the market at a good time to find a full-time job with a lot of long-term potential.

That sounds like it would open up a lot of opportunities for me, which is something I'm really searching for, but although it interests me, it's not enough interest for me to try to turn it into a career.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:50 AM
I agree with this as well. I was really interested in music and playing an instrument in high school and I was really, really good at it. I probably could have done some type of music performance type major. But I was also very good at math and science classes in high school. And while I would much rather play my instrument than solve a calculus problem, I "went for the money" and did engineering over music. I had a very good college experience and now I am sorting through multiple job opportunities with salaries that will be more than enough to support myself as I graduate next spring. Meanwhile, my two music major roommates are looking at grad school and seminary cause their job prospects are so low right now. It helps to "do what you love," but at the same time I think you need to find a career path that's in demand during this bad economy and will allow you to support yourself. Just my $.02 and all English majors (including my girlfriend) would strongly disagree. :)

This is good to know, but to be completely honest, I'd rather earn $35,000 per year with a job I love than $55,000 per year with a job I hate. Maybe I'm just being naive, though.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 08:56 AM
How good is your background? FBI seems to like candidates that speak many languages.

Good with numbers + acting.... you could get into Loss Prevention. Numbers being audits, inventories, etc. Interviews, interrogation, and undercover work would go well with good acting skills.

What about working in the sports industry? Good with numbers, speaking languages, plus acting (which I assume includes great public speaking, interpersonal, all around communication, etc.) would mix into a career as a sports agent. You could go to school for Marketing with some language classes to hone your skills.

My legal background is good--I've gotten tickets for various events, but I've never been caught with drugs or committed an act of violence or anything. However, my grades in high school and college were very up and down (anywhere from Honor Roll or Dean's List to nothing but Cs and Ds or incompletes).

Anyway, loss prevention really peaks my interest, actually. I'd be in heaven if I could work in sports in almost any capacity, but as for being an agent, if I were good at what I did, I would hate myself. As for marketing, that's something I want to learn more about, but I don't want to make a career out of it. I would love to put my creativity to use and come up with ideas for commercials, though.

Caseyfan21
12-10-2008, 09:56 AM
This is good to know, but to be completely honest, I'd rather earn $35,000 per year with a job I love than $55,000 per year with a job I hate. Maybe I'm just being naive, though.

Yeah, after I posted this I thought I might need to clarify what I meant. That was line of thought in high school but since I've done engineering in college I've found I really enjoy it as well. I do enjoy a lot of the analysis type problems as a whole, just not the calculus type junk you need to take before. I hated my first year of college where I had to take all straight calculus and physics type classes but I loved the last 3 years where I've taken classes in my major that combined different techniques from those early classes. I guess my point was maybe something that can give you a better career is something you might enjoy more than you think. I certainly could never put myself in a position for a career doing something I absolutely hated either, that just makes your life miserable.

Sea Ray
12-10-2008, 10:42 AM
Camisadelgolf,

I don't have any advice that trumps what's already been posted here but your situation does bring up a situation that happened to a family member.

She graduated from a good business school with a Bachelors in Accounting and then went to work at a major corporation in downtown Cincinnati. However after a few years she decided this wasn't working out for her. She was too much of a people person to be stuck at a desk crunching numbers all day and wasn't particularly enamoured with corporate politics either. At that point her parents paid for her to take one of those extensive tests designed to tell what you'd be good at.

To make a long story short she decided to go to Travel Agent School
(3 month program). Shortly thereafter she began work at a nice travel agency and she is much happier.

Now let's look at the realities of this situation. Unfortunately we all have to consider the real world implications of our decisions. Bear in mind this was 20 years ago so the figures I'm going tp throw out are not current.

She left her accounting job paying her $25K/yr and took a Travel Agent job which paid $9K. Chucked her college degree and everything. This is where my sexism comes into play but as folks know, I give my opinions around here whether they're politically correct or not. I give you this also not knowing what sex you are.

It is my opinion that she never could have "politically" made that decision in the name of her happiness if she'd been male. I can't see her parents endorsing such a move had they put their "son" through an out of state 4 yr college only to have him throw away his corporate career in lieu of $9K/yr. For whatever it's worth, she agrees with me on this.

So you're not the only one who has issues with accounting as a career. You're still very young and have time to explore other possibilities. My final point is if you find a career that both pays you well and you enjoy, then you are one of the lucky ones.

M2
12-10-2008, 10:55 AM
Not to sound cocky, but I'm good at a lot of things (and bad at a lot of things, too), but I think my problem with making a decision comes from none of my interests really sticking out more than the others. Besides family and friends, the two things I enjoy most in my life are music and baseball. Unfortunately, there are very limited opportunities with music and baseball, and I just don't think I have the energy and talent to be what I really want to be. Even some of the most skilled people in the world never get.

I'm told good sound engineers are in fairly high demand, but wally post would know more about that.

TRF
12-10-2008, 11:22 AM
DBA's ALWAYS find work. Plus being a certified DBA means two types of work, steady job or contract jobs. A friend of mine just left the college I work at where she was making 37K per year (in Amarillo, that's a fairly decent wage) for a new job at a local hospital making 60K. She's a certified MS DBA. I'm working towards my MS Cert as well as one for PHP and MySQL.

Check out Monster or any of the other online job placement companies and do a search on Database Administrator or Database Programmer.

Oh, and as added incentive, SQL is the worlds easiest language to learn. Basically it's just english.

nate
12-10-2008, 11:32 AM
I'm told good sound engineers are in fairly high demand, but wally post would know more about that.

Recording and mix people (to me, they're not engineers unless they wear lab coats or seersucker hats) no. The very best in any field will always find work. However, the very best have years of experience, networking and investment in capital equipment. Even so, _they_ sometimes have a hard time finding work. Around here, many of the mid-level to large studios have gone out of bidness leaving the guys who worked there with slimmer and slimmer pickins. This was happening even before the economy started swirling in the bottom of the bowl because _everyone_ with a couple grand and a trip to Guitar-Mart could "be a recording engineer."

Live sound guys, maybe. Learn how to use a live mixing desk. Learn how to mix monitors. Learn how to schlep it around. Get a job at your local (favorite kind of music) club. Move on up the food chain to touring companies and maybe into TV.

Sound design might be a cool field with broad opportunity.

TeamSelig
12-10-2008, 11:45 AM
My legal background is good--I've gotten tickets for various events, but I've never been caught with drugs or committed an act of violence or anything. However, my grades in high school and college were very up and down (anywhere from Honor Roll or Dean's List to nothing but Cs and Ds or incompletes).

Anyway, loss prevention really peaks my interest, actually. I'd be in heaven if I could work in sports in almost any capacity, but as for being an agent, if I were good at what I did, I would hate myself. As for marketing, that's something I want to learn more about, but I don't want to make a career out of it. I would love to put my creativity to use and come up with ideas for commercials, though.

I would avoid going to school for a loss prevention degree (or security, criminal justice, etc.) as it is really limited as far as options go. If you were really interested in this, even though you really were against accounting, business, and management, I'd go with one of those. Actually, maybe financing would be the best idea. Minor in loss prevention.

If you have any questions about loss prevention, PM me. It's right up my alley.

TRF
12-10-2008, 11:51 AM
My legal background is good--I've gotten tickets for various events, but I've never been caught with drugs or committed an act of violence or anything. However, my grades in high school and college were very up and down (anywhere from Honor Roll or Dean's List to nothing but Cs and Ds or incompletes).

Anyway, loss prevention really peaks my interest, actually. I'd be in heaven if I could work in sports in almost any capacity, but as for being an agent, if I were good at what I did, I would hate myself. As for marketing, that's something I want to learn more about, but I don't want to make a career out of it. I would love to put my creativity to use and come up with ideas for commercials, though.

Creativity + analytical thinking is right up a DBA's alley, or a Web Developer's. I'm a web programmer that designs sites with database backends. I find that I have to be creative artistically in designing a site and creative with the backend to make everything work.

Plus there are tons of opensource tools for you to practice with. MySQL is free. MS SQL Server Express is free, and is at least a decent playground for learning DB management.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 12:31 PM
Recording and mix people (to me, they're not engineers unless they wear lab coats or seersucker hats) no. The very best in any field will always find work. However, the very best have years of experience, networking and investment in capital equipment. Even so, _they_ sometimes have a hard time finding work. Around here, many of the mid-level to large studios have gone out of bidness leaving the guys who worked there with slimmer and slimmer pickins. This was happening even before the economy started swirling in the bottom of the bowl because _everyone_ with a couple grand and a trip to Guitar-Mart could "be a recording engineer."

Live sound guys, maybe. Learn how to use a live mixing desk. Learn how to mix monitors. Learn how to schlep it around. Get a job at your local (favorite kind of music) club. Move on up the food chain to touring companies and maybe into TV.

Sound design might be a cool field with broad opportunity.

I've actually spent a lot of time being a sound guy. I received a lot of compliments, but besides some routine work at a few clubs, just about everything was freelance, and for me, having health benefits is very important because I'm a Type I diabetic.

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 12:42 PM
DBA's ALWAYS find work. Plus being a certified DBA means two types of work, steady job or contract jobs. A friend of mine just left the college I work at where she was making 37K per year (in Amarillo, that's a fairly decent wage) for a new job at a local hospital making 60K. She's a certified MS DBA. I'm working towards my MS Cert as well as one for PHP and MySQL.

Check out Monster or any of the other online job placement companies and do a search on Database Administrator or Database Programmer.

Oh, and as added incentive, SQL is the worlds easiest language to learn. Basically it's just english.

About 10 years ago, I was doing some QBasic, which eventually led to some VBA and C++. I was decent at it for a short period of time, but I stopped using computers and moved to Mexico for a while. I liked the programming languages I knew, though, so if things go well with SQL, maybe I could go further. There have been a lot of helpful things in this thread, but I think the DBA possibility intrigues me the most.

WMR
12-10-2008, 12:58 PM
I've got a buddy, Sid Farkas, who's involved in bra sales... I could make a call for you if you want, Camisa.

BRM
12-10-2008, 01:02 PM
I've got a buddy, Sid Farkas, who's involved in bra sales... I could make a call for you if you want, Camisa.

I thought his name was Art Vandelay?

camisadelgolf
12-10-2008, 01:30 PM
I've got a buddy, Sid Farkas, who's involved in bra sales... I could make a call for you if you want, Camisa.

I'm tempted to reconsider sales, but upon further thought, I'd bet that at least 80% of the people who wear bras don't have very attractive, um, personalities.

freestyle55
12-10-2008, 02:36 PM
About 10 years ago, I was doing some QBasic, which eventually led to some VBA and C++. I was decent at it for a short period of time, but I stopped using computers and moved to Mexico for a while. I liked the programming languages I knew, though, so if things go well with SQL, maybe I could go further. There have been a lot of helpful things in this thread, but I think the DBA possibility intrigues me the most.

the only issue I have with computer science (and I'm an MIS guy myself) is that most of the companies I've worked for or with, tend to outsource those positions to low cost countries (India, Central America, etc.) more often than not. If not completely, a good portion of it.

As for DBA, it's a little less likely, but more and more companies are outsourcing these operations to companies like IBM, HP, etc. (as my company is about to do) who can do it cheaper on a larger scale. If you get in with one of those companies, you're more likely to make a stable career out of it...

Just my opinion...

TRF
12-10-2008, 02:53 PM
Depends on the company. A great place to start once you get certified would be higher education. Generally they don't outsource. They promote continuing your education and often they provide said education. My college provides free tuition to myself and my immediate family. This semester's bill for my daughter was $0. All we had to pay for was books.

Also DBA's seem to do well in freelance projects, and can charge EXORBITANT amounts of money. Our CIO's son makes 4 times what she does WITHOUT a college degree, just his certifications.

freestyle55
12-10-2008, 04:24 PM
Depends on the company. A great place to start once you get certified would be higher education. Generally they don't outsource. They promote continuing your education and often they provide said education. My college provides free tuition to myself and my immediate family. This semester's bill for my daughter was $0. All we had to pay for was books.

Also DBA's seem to do well in freelance projects, and can charge EXORBITANT amounts of money. Our CIO's son makes 4 times what she does WITHOUT a college degree, just his certifications.

Very true. I should have classified that more as the "corporate" world...

Freelance/contracted positions are one way to go, it just depends on how willing you are to do that and how aggressive you potentially could have to be in marketing yourself for the next position. Having a young family, it's something that I've decided I can't gamble on, and have gone the full-time non-contract route to stay as constant as possible...

Ltlabner
12-10-2008, 04:54 PM
You mentioned sales, and depending on the sales job, it can demand highly creative thinking.

Doesn't mean it would satisfy your particular creative needs, but I wouldn't reject it out of hand. If you got involved in international sales you'd spend a lot of time in other countries which taps into the culture and language pieces. You'd also probably get to learn a lot more about local dishes to try your hand at back in your kitchen in the USA.

And, trust me, in sales you spend a lot of time writing.

paintmered
12-10-2008, 05:26 PM
Yeah, after I posted this I thought I might need to clarify what I meant. That was line of thought in high school but since I've done engineering in college I've found I really enjoy it as well. I do enjoy a lot of the analysis type problems as a whole, just not the calculus type junk you need to take before. I hated my first year of college where I had to take all straight calculus and physics type classes but I loved the last 3 years where I've taken classes in my major that combined different techniques from those early classes. I guess my point was maybe something that can give you a better career is something you might enjoy more than you think. I certainly could never put myself in a position for a career doing something I absolutely hated either, that just makes your life miserable.

Engineering school is not for the faint of heart. And I agree, once you get past the first two years of classes, engineering school gets a whole lot better. Of course, by then only the true nerds, masochists and alcoholics have survived. I'm not really sure which one of those I am.

But now that I'm through it and taking grad classes, I am thankful for every minute of it.

15fan
12-12-2008, 01:28 PM
Based on the crap they have to read and the state of their job market, I'd say the sadists go into theory. :p:

Ah yes. Theory.

Given the choice between Methods and Theory, I think I'd choose...a bullet to the skull.

camisadelgolf
12-12-2008, 02:01 PM
Ah yes. Theory.

Given the choice between Methods and Theory, I think I'd choose...a bullet to the skull.

In theory, that would be a good method.

pahster
12-12-2008, 06:30 PM
Ah yes. Theory.

Given the choice between Methods and Theory, I think I'd choose...a bullet to the skull.

I, on the other hand, might upgrade my methods minor to a second major. :cool:

vaticanplum
12-13-2008, 11:46 AM
I've actually spent a lot of time being a sound guy. I received a lot of compliments, but besides some routine work at a few clubs, just about everything was freelance, and for me, having health benefits is very important because I'm a Type I diabetic.

I don't know why anyone would want to be a sound person unless s/he really truly loved it. The due paying is pretty arduous. Long hours, lame pay, no benefits, and isolating, sporadic work. Not to mention musicians :)

camisadelgolf
12-13-2008, 02:14 PM
I don't know why anyone would want to be a sound person unless s/he really truly loved it. The due paying is pretty arduous. Long hours, lame pay, no benefits, and isolating, sporadic work. Not to mention musicians :)

I got paid $60 per night and worked about four or five hours, four nights a week. 90+% of the music was awful, though. Although there were some benefits (i.e. free beer), the music and musicians canceled things out more often than not.

WMR
12-13-2008, 02:16 PM
Sound guys don't get groupies?

Will M
12-14-2008, 12:50 AM
you have a degree in a real major. not some fluff degree where you end up working at Barnes & Noble. get a job. live frugally. save and invest.

the idea that you'll find a job you love is B.S. Its a job not a hobby.

if you are really unhappy as an accountant then take some night classes trying some new stuff out. but don't quit your job!

one thing you don't want to do is screw around now then be 45 years old, broke & find out you aren't happy. this is the classic mid life crisis. it will happen. now if you have $500,000 saved for retirement by this time it will go a lot smoother.