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How did YOU pick your career?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Brad Barker, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    Essentially, what I want to know is if your decisions on college made any sort of impact on your life.

    Since elementary school, we kids are told that selecting your college is the most important decision we will make. Ever.

    I want to assess the validity of that statement ... mostly in part because I am really intimidated with the whole college selection process.

    So, have at you! :)
  2. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I didn't pick mine, it was chosen for me. The elders in the village read the chicken bones, and said that this was what I had to do.
  3. Went to college a Business major. Left with a degree in Biology. Started a career in Telecommunications. The biology comes in handy with trivia games.
  4. Ah yes, the college selection process. First you have to ask yourself a series of questions.

    1. What is the area you wish to major in, or what is the area that you are strongest in?

    2. How specialized is your area of concentration?

    3. What colleges are known to have strong programs in that area?

    4. Of those colleges, which ones can you afford?

    5. What financial aid or scholarship opportunities are at the colleges you are interested in?

    6. What are the faculty like...are they considered experts in their fields?

    7. Talk to someone who has graduated from that school with the degree you seek. Can the faculty teach? How successful were the graduates at getting a job in that field upon graduation.

    If all else fails, find the best party school and get it out of your system.

    The college experience offers you two important impact potentials: What you learn while you are there, and what happens to you (all the other stuff) while you are there. Both can be invaluable.

    College made a huge impact on my life, although initially I studied something that did not become my career. Those years are for finding yourself.
  5. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    See, in the third grade, I was nailing spelling tests -- I mean just drilling them, you know?

    I'd get all the words right, including the extra-hard bonus ones.

    Right then and there I said, "when I grow up, I'm going to get a job as a speller."

    And I did.

    I've been a professional writer for almost 20 years -- I spent about four years as a newspaper reporter, and have worked as a public relations executive (writing everything from press releases to Web content to speeches) for about 15. And I've also done some teaching on an informal basis (I was a guest lecturer on public relations practices at North Carolina State University for about six years).

    The truth is, when I was in college I was lucky enough to figure out what I was good at, and was able to choose a career based on that.

    So that's my advice to people who ask -- spend some time trying to figure out what you're good at. When you find that out, a career will find you.
  6. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    And I will tell you right now that that is a bunch of bull. What you "learn" in college will probably not help you one bit when you get into the real world. Even in technical fields that should be helping you get a job you will not learn anything compared to what is really needed to be a usefull employee. I worked at Intel for a bit and my education did almost nothing for me, while I ended up learning a great deal more at Intel than I ever have at college. Most young people in college think they are wiser and more educated than pretty much...well, everyone. But I think you will find as you get older that what what you "learned" in college is of little to no consequence in your life. That might be discouraging for someone who is just about to enter college but it's the truth as far as I have seen as well as many graduates I know. I am sure many adults here would also vouch there is way more to life than college.

    I can easily give you an example of something that is more important than where you go to college; Who you marry.

    So don't sweat your choice. Just go where you think you'll be happy.
  7. Here in Australia, teachers at school expect that each student will go to uni. I didnt. My careers counsellors said i'd be a failure if i didnt go to uni.

    I had good grades, did all the hard subjects, Maths 1, Chemistry, Philosophy etc etc And uni was a very obtainable option. I didnt go because i didnt like the courses.

    Instead i went to TAFE, it is like Uni but more centered for trades. My trade is electronics. I have tinkered with it since i was a youngin'!! I liked TAFE because it was all hands on, you actually fixed equipment to learn about it. I came out with very good qualifications too.

    The courses at uni were all too design based. Its a known thing, the EE students who went to uni could design you a TV using a pad and a pencil.. the EE students from TAFE can fix all their mistakes in the practical world. hehehe.


  8. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

  9. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I'm with BassSaxman on this one. I'm a third year EE student right now. While I've learned a thing or two about electronics in the past three years, I still don't know jack. I've learned more about real life electronics from talkbass than I have from school. I think college is more of a growing experience than a place where you're supposed to learn everything you need to know for the rest of your life.
  10. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    As a middle manager in a large corporation, I am often faced with approving hiring decisions. When looking at resumes, I consider a college degree pretty much just verification that a person can stick something out for a few years even if they spent a lot of time in an alchohol induced daze, that they can stay out of too much trouble, and are probably somewhat trainable. Like was mentioned earlier, what you learn in college in most cases is just the first tiny step for what you need in the real world. That degree serves mostly as your admission ticket. Once you gain admission, the real studying starts. In some cases your major is important, in others it's not. I am in a technical field even though I majored in business. I always enjoy the deer in the headlights look of a newly hired MBA. One of my best people has a degree in liberal arts from an obscure small town state college, while one of my biggest problem children is a guy with an advanced engineering degree who once attended Oxford. I actually kind of favor the small town college types. They seem to try harder. That's just me though. You may just as likely end up looking for a job somewhere where they won't be happy unless you went to MIT. Just get that piece of paper and consider it a ticket that gets torn in half once you are let in the door.
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I was born a gearhead, and pretty much always knew I wanted to turn wrenches. I went to college for electrical engineering, but wound up dropping out and going back to the garage.
  12. well I pretty much have been treading water for the road the lord chose for me to be ready(rock star) . In the meantime I choose to go to East stroudsburg university but I got a scholarship to Califonia of PA and mom thought (read:insisted) that I stay closer to home. Spend two years at cal and in the middle of finals week of my 3red semester I went to a navy recuiter and signed up and spent two years there. then after 3 years I missed music too much so i stopped that. and after that here I am
  13. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I made the choice based on money, location, and quality.

    I'm going to a community college in Gresham, Oregon (Hi Eric!). But, only for my associates degree. The first two years of a major uni are prerequisites anyway, so I'm going to a CC for two years, and get the credits for substancially less. Then, it's off to a major university that has a good program for me (english/journalism or communications...maybe even teaching).

    Sounds spiffy to me. And believe me, in my family, there's no way I could NOT finish college. Not that I wouldn't want to anyway.
  14. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Fell into my career kinda by chance.

    Ended up with a liberal arts degree, no intent of it being vocational. I contemplated grad school, law school - and then decided to parlay my part time job in desktop publishing into a career in graphic design. No real art or design courses under my belt, mind you. I was mediocre at it but good enough to stay in work. From there I jumped to ad copywriting and now I'm in marketing communications, with some creative consulting work on the side.

    The liberal arts degree taught me how to write decently (except here - TB is the one place I can let sloppy writing slide!) and gave me critical thinking skills, but was hardly vocational prep for what I'm doing today. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't change my degree plan at all.

    For some people, plotting a direct course for their future makes the most sense. Me - I'd much rather take the scenic route, and have been happy doing so. I know I'll likely be doing some challenging and new five years down the road - hmmm... wonder what it'll be? Can't wait to figure it out! :D

  15. Bah!

    Actually, you're actually pretty much right, although truly good engineers tend to be in tune with the practical side of things.

    I went out and got the practical experience first and now I can relate all the stuff in my courses to real world stuff, which is something my classmates can't do. :D Although I am getting sick of them calling me "pops"......:D
  16. worked in a machine shop for 3 yeaers and a weld shop for one... really like welding.
    Apprenticeship in hopefully 2 months time :):):)
  17. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    Question for you higher-up executive decision-maker hiring persons (LoJoe and Josh Walsh)....

    Does the fact that an applicant graduated with honors from their college have any bearing on whether or not you hire them??

    I've been telling myself that I'm going to work my butt off in college and graduate with honors so that I can get into medical school a little easier. But, I'm starting to wonder if its really worth it. I still plan on working my butt off, and I WANT to graduate with honors just to say I did.
  18. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Well Hunter I've looked through resume's to hire people, interviewed people etc...Now while I've been working for about 6-7 years I won't have the experience of the people you named. However if you care to know I didn't care about GPA when looking at people's resume. I was only looking at their list of so called abilities and basically how they "sold" themself. Remember a resume is to get you an interview not a job. GPA might be relevant for your first job, depending on the employer, but it surely is not going to affect your life in the long run. That being said you shouldn't slack off in college either.
  19. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    No college scolarship, no good jobs in town, and my dad was in the Air National Guard.

    So, 14 years later I'm still in the U.S. Air Force...
  20. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    I know that "with honors" has to do with your GPA, but I'm not referring solely to GPA. From what I can tell, those who graduate with honors are the elite, the top of their class, the smartest as well as the hardest workers. I don't know what the requirement is at other colleges, but at Baylor you must get a 3.95 to be Summa Cum Laude....that means *2* B's in your entire college life. To me that shows some real dedication (that I don't have :p )

    It's all relative anyways, I suppose. None of it really matters until I'm actually there, and hopefully when I'm there I won't be having to worry about it.