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Life/career advice needed (Getting a Masters degree)

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Badfish740, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. festerw

    festerw Member

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    Must be going around, a couple weeks ago my wife backed her Grand Cherokee into the fender of my Wrangler
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  2. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    How about "point and click" shopping?
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  3. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I can walk to the local hardware store,no need to drive to the box :)
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Don't wanna jack the thread but....I am in a town of 7500 people and it's the largest town for 250 miles. God bless internet shopping and free shipping. And GOd Bless me getting a transfer next year!!

    Now go get that Masters!!!
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  5. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    My wife wanted to avoid driving over the newspaper in our driveway, and ended up with a deep 6' long scratch the length of our car from the metal mailbox.

    The newspaper is fine. :confused:
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  6. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    The local ChemE's are getting 80-90k jobs out of their bachelors.
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  7. Elle

    Elle Member

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    I just finished a masters and I am " a little" older than you lol. A masters is an expensive degree! The reason I decided to go for a masters was to be able to be self employed. I can become a licensed counselor and have a private practice. That is my ultimate goal and the only reason I would get a masters later in life- to work for myself not for someone else.

    Is there a reason you can't do what you want to with you current degree?
  8. Elle

    Elle Member

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    I don't know how to edit from the app so another post.

    I did not get one question about any gap in work while on school. Anyone who has gone thru a graduate program knows it is a lot of work and it is hard to so both a full time job and school. I would not let that deter me. You can always learn something you can apply in your field from any job- even packing for UPS. It gives you more perspective than someone who has never had that job.

    If you can afford it. Go for it. Those letters after the name are nice. I'm letting someone else pay for the PhD tho lol
  9. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Ok, well I feel the need to chime in, I read a lot of the posts and skimmed the rest. As an mid level executive at a fortune 500 company managing over 100 people all over the US, I never finished college but don't regret it either, any more anyway.

    I was fortunate to have a one on one meeting with the former CEO of my company as part of a "early in career" leadership program a few years back. I had only been in my role about a year and was scared to death going into the meeting. When we got to the questions about my education, I squirmed and explained I never finished college but started listing all of my other accomplishments. He interrupted me to let me know he never finished either, dropped out his sophomore year, never went back, no regrets. He values "real life" experience over college any day. I then realized that even my peers, that had their BAs and Masters were not working in their field anyway. Changed the way I looked at it from that day on. I hire people based on their overall abilities, skill sets and experience. I don't worry about gaps either, they usually can explain them. As someone else posted, it is way more of an issue to me if they have job after job every few years. Not saying that's the way it should be but that's the way it is for me.

    So, only you can make the decision, however, I'm not buying the job market is flat. I get at least 3 job posting a day from ladders.com, people are hiring but you need to market yourself and your skills. My background is in printing, not mail and mailroom operations but my multi unit management skills can be applied in any industry, just had to look outside the box.

    Yes, UPS is a decent job but be prepared to bust your butt. There is a UPS depot near one of my main sites and we get a lot folks from there. It will fill the gap but before you do that, take some time to list our your abilities and brainstorm how those skills can transfer into a totally different industry. You may be surprised just how qualified you are for other positions with growth potential without going back to school just yet.

    If I had to do this all over again, I'd get into healthcare services. Not sure exactly where or how but know people are always sick, regardless of the economy and there are plenty of administrators, managers, communication specialist and other "non-medical" positions that support hospitals. With the boomers getting older (no offense to anyone) not only are they reaching retirement but eventually will be needing more and more healthcare resources.

    I'd be glad to help you re-invent your career if you want to PM me. There is a lot to say about work/life balance and right now, it doesn't appear you have that...making matters worse ;)
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
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  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Good post HM.

    You've got to be able to do something more contructive with your interim job than pack boxes.Use this opportunity to take a step towards your goal, not as a place to wait.

    My mother is a top advisor at a university offering masters degrees. She has told me to not waste my time with advanced schooling but that is because my bachelors was in a good field. Should have been a chemE.
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Not sure which direction you went Highbeam, but chem-E definitely pays well, if you can tolerate the work. I dislike chemistry too much!

    I did actually go and pull the published numbers from my school, and the numbers I published from memory above were pretty much dead-on for EE, and show that the EE median starting salary is actually a good $12k (17%) over Chem-E for this school, although that might be due to different ratios of BS vs. MS or Ph.D. students graduating from each program.

    salaries.jpg

    I think Hearth Mistress will agree that it takes two things, above all else, to successfully end up where she has:

    1. Ability to demonstrate your smarts and/or skills. This goes beyond just having the smarts/skills, as too many smart folks are socially inept.
    2. Luck, to have the opportunity to demonstrate said smarts/skills to the right person, at the right time. Many very qualified people just never have the opportunity to do so, if for no other reason than bad timing within their organization.

    The fact is, you can do very well without any degree. The issue I see is that you are presented with more opportunities / luck if you have the papers to get you in front of the right person, in the first place.

    This is all interesting discussion, but I suspect all irrelevant to Badfish. He seems to be telling us he has no interest in climbing the management ladder.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I did civil and environmental. Entering my junior year of college I was accepted into and had to choose between civil, mechanical, and forest engineering at both UW and WSU. I'm happy with my choice, it's been a good move. Chemistry never appealed to me either, physics was my favorite.
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  13. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Where are my fellow Homie Chemists?!?!
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I think Adios Pantalones is a chemist or Chem-E.
  15. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Your a chem-e? For some reason I thought once you said you where RCMP... my memory must be failing or that was somebody else...


    There is a lot to be said for luck. I started as an Aero, switched to mechanical when the job outlook didnt look good, and ended up working in software of all things. Got lucky more than once along the way - when everyone was jumping ship to start ups during the dot-com boom I was hesitant and later it turned out to be a smart move when many of them got laid off in the crash and some even came back to my company. Having stuck it out through the rough times put me in a good position for management track opportunities when they opened up later and many others had left.

    (Also realizing that I'm way out of date re: going salary's! I need to ask for a raise ;) )
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  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Those numbers I published are from one of the top 20 schools in the country, based on mid-career salary, so I wouldn't call them typical. Then again, living in a part of the country with very high cost of living, as you do...

    http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2014/full-list-of-schools
  17. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    I am in the RCMP. But I still have my chemistry degree ;) I should have gone Chem-E. I appreciate/enjoy applied sciences much more than natural science. But when you're 17 you go to University, you have NO clue what is out there.
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  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I am the last one to be giving job advice because I am a (calculated) risk taker. I also know that I need a job with variety or I get bored. In 50 yrs of employment I have had at least 5 major and somewhat unrelated careers. Would I do it again? Yup. I trust in my abilities and curiosity. Here is my pov, but take this with a grain of salt. We each have our own path. The real trick is getting someone that is hiring you to do the same. Follow your passions and develop them. If you are good you will be hired. Any person interviewing you that doesn't appreciate the effort, expense and discipline you take at retraining probably isn't someone you'd want to work for anyway.
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  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Worth repeating.
  20. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Jeez tell me about it! 6k property tax on a little 1400sq house on a half acre... I can only dream of the large tracts of land some of our members here enjoy... Someday...
  21. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Nunavut has a great discount on land packages right now ;)
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  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yeah... and for three days in mid-July... you can actually see the "land."
  23. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Speaking of chemistry, MS in environmental geochemistry here. Though, I certainly didn't need it to do the work I'm doing at present. However, it was paid for by a teaching assistantship, so I figured why not. The knowledge and experience gained by doing my own research and defending it, and the professional contacts I made were well worth it. Don't know about a more professional degree, like the MPA, but I think some good connections could be made. Who you know really helps come job hunting time.
  24. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Oh how wrong you are. You can see land for 4-6 months of the year. You just can't get a shovel into it :)
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  25. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I dunno if Badfish is still reading this but to me, taking into account the commute and having some time for a young kid, the best route would be to find a job in his field with opportunity for advancement where his desire for a Masters would be appreciated and maybe even accomodated somewhat. There are places that will help with tuition, or let you work from home one day a week to allow you to take night courses or save commute time so you can do correspondence work.
    Why not start out looking for a dream position that would give you the flexibility to get the degree and then to USE it to advance?
    UPS is not your dream so why start out by compromising so much?
    Not saying it's easy or even likely, but worth a shot!
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