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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:31 PM
jwinter's Avatar
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Default OT: What Degree and Why?

I was working on a series of articles for a client and the topics lead me to a scenario and a question.

Let's say that you knew for a fact you would need a college degree, career diploma or certification in the next 2-3 years. For whatever reason you would not be able to work in the freelance writing field beyond that point. The degree would be something to "fall back on". Now, assuming you can afford anything from a certification to a full 2 year or possibly finishing a 4 year degree program and taking into consideration all of the current issues that could effect particular job fields (i.e. the health care reform act and the possible changes it could create in medical billing and coding field) what degree would you choose and why?

I've been thinking about this a lot today as I researched and wrote on these topics for the client. It did give me something to think about. I mean...would I want something that I enjoyed but possible paid less? Would you want something that I had to make my way completely as far as getting clients and starting at the bottom and working my way up? Would I want something in a higher pay range that may cost more for training?

What would you do?
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: California
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Personally I don't care as much about making the most money as I do enjoying what I do or my environment. I got into writing in the first place because I enjoyed doing it and I like working from home. That being said, I would choose something that still allowed me to work from home at least part of the time, instead of being stuck in an office 9 hours a day. I did that and I hated it.

As far as the degree, I would love a 4-year if I could handle it. I have an AA right now but would definitely want a Bachelor's - just not sure what the major would be!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:53 PM
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A degree? Yeah...I was supposed to get one of those thingies. In fact, two schools offered me full scholarships. Unfortunately, I decided to "take a year off" and life inevitably got in the way. Instead of a college degree and a money spewing career I ended up with two kids, a long stint as a bartender, and a freelance career.

I wouldn't change it for the WORLD though!! I love where I'm at right now in my life.

However, if I had the time and money to get a degree...? Oooooh baby! I'd hop on it!! I'd definitely try to pursue a career that I both enjoyed and paid well. I'd probably try to pursue forensics, wed design, psychology, or (don't laugh) drug/cadaver dog training. All of those careers truly interest me, they pay well, and they will most likely always be in demand.

Awesome question! I've really been considering getting a degree lately.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:40 AM
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I have a four year degree already and some Master's degree classes under my belt, but if I could do it over (and purely for the sake of what I'm interested in rather than money), I'd choose meteorology. I'm a HUGE weather nerd. I wouldn't want to be on tv doing the weather, though. I'm a behind the scenes kind of gal. My educational background is in biology (love it) and business (hate it).
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:24 AM
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Location: New England
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That's easy. I would get an apprenticeship and become a plumber. I actually looked into it a few years ago, but it's still a very heavily man-dominated field in my area. Plumbers will always be in demand, the average rate here is $90 an hour, and it's a job where you can still create your own hours if you want.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:32 AM
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I'm hoping to go back to college next year. The good thing about Germany is that in the state I live in, it's currently free to study. Classes for philology and arts subjects (aren't they called liberal arts in the US?) are usually only three days a week.

I'm hoping to do English literature and maybe with German literature or linguistics. It's what I was initially interested in before I moved from Ireland. My main reason is simply to have a degree so I can maybe start doing academic research or something in that field. Not entirely sure yet! I also want to improve my German. I have enough to get into university and have a good overall understanding, but I miss out on so much practice because I work at home. Most of my friends over here speak English anyway, I only really get to speak German if I meet new people or if I'm dealing with the bank, estate agents, neighbours etc.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:50 AM
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I will graduate in May with my BA in Psychology. I don't really like it except for doing research. The problem is that when people find out your major, they want to dump every little problem they have on your lap. I was burnt out by my junior year.

So, I'm either going to move on to get my Master's in HR or I'll go back and get a BA in Computer Science, specifically Engineering. I should have done that from the beginning. I just didn't have the confidence I needed to get through the degree when I started.

I just have to decide which one I want to do more. I'll probably go for the CS degree though.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:28 AM
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From a purely financial point of view, if I had it to do all over again, I'd go back for nursing. My daughter is currently majoring in nursing in college so it's something we've really researched recently.

Worldwide the nursing shortage is going to be critical within a few years. Healthcare bill aside, the supply of nurses is not adequate to meet the demand for them. That means that salaries, on a global scale, are going to be higher than in many professions--especially for the education that is required.

She's going for her BS in Nursing, but if it were me, I'd go for the two-year degree; and then go to work in a hospital that pays tuition for nurses to get advanced degrees. Fortunately for her, she got a full scholarship (tuition, room, board, and extra money left over). Otherwise that's what she would have to do too.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:02 AM
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I actually have a Master's degree in Social Work and sometimes I regret having done it. I loved the program and got a high paying hospital job afterwards but had I known that I would want to stay at home with my son after my mat leave, I probably would not have spent all that money.

I love ghostwriting since it allows me to be at home with my son (and future #2 that's on the way), but I constantly hear people saying to me "You got your Masters and now you just stay at home? What do you do all day?". I find people can be so disrespectful and they really have no idea how challenging it can be to be a stay/work at home mom.

I'm sometimes scared about the uncertainty of the future...when the kids go to school, will I keep freelancing or want to return to work in my field? It may be difficult to find a job since I will not have practiced for a few years. Only time will tell I suppose.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:30 AM
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Well, I love being a writer and editor even though I don't have a degree in any related field. I went to school for healthcare, and I kind of regret it now. I can only use my education for health related jobs... If I had to get a degree now, I would want to go to school for either nursing or pharmacy. Originally,I wanted to further my med. certifications and become a nurse, but the school I went to kind of lied to me, and I couldn't use most of credits nor did I have the time to go to school.
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