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Old 01-23-2008, 11:23 PM   #41
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Went to college right out of High School.
BS in Microbiology with minors in Psychology, Chemistry and Biology.
I was in pre-med for a couple of years but changed my mind (very long story).

I changed majors 6 times and finally hit on my "final" major in my senior year. Despite all the changes I still managed to get out in 4 years.

First job post graduation was in a pharma. company. I changed companies a few times but stayed in pharma. Medical Devices, biologics, and several other areas. I picked up some business admin.c courses along the way but never saw the need for a MBA. Those that had one were no better off than I at the time.

I moved away from the core of my degree field after about 8 years but never got away from it completely as it was a major thread to all the areas I worked in and I was the "go to guy" on many areas.

Regrets? A few but I made a good life for myself and my family and I would not change much along the way.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:01 AM   #42
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BSc, MSc in Physics & MBA. I passed the MSc exam and terminated out with a quickie experimental plasma physics thesis to become an unemployed physicist. Not many jobs in industry for an advanced degree physicist, but a **** load of engineering jobs.

I’ve been employed ever since I stepped out my apartment door and said to my self I’m an engineer now.

I don’t regret the degrees, they opened the underwater acoustics engineering employment doors. Along the way, a company paid for an MBA, but never wanted me to use it. So I went into business for myself in contract software engineering.

The courses honed my logical thinking, hard work go the extra mile, results oriented attitude and work smarter not harder approaches.

I’m retiring when I get tired of playing in this software sandbox or when the next software downturn hits hard, which ever occurs first.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:38 AM   #43
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3.33 years towards BSME, worked in the field, then went back on active duty in Navy as recruiter, loved it...wrapped up with a military degree completion degree in basket weaving...(ok, BA Lib Arts/Studies with "emphasis" in Psychology)...whatever! No big college would take my OLD meaningful credits (all the stuff towards the BSME), but oh, well...life is going well. Life happens!
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:50 AM   #44
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I wish that I could have afforded to get a history degree instead of Electrical Engineer and Computer Science. History is much more interesting but EE pays much better.

My MBA was of fairly marginal value, but considering various companies paid for it, I won't complain.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:33 AM   #45
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Not the only one

I spent too many years getting a Ph.D. in Experimental Phonetics (the science that used to underlie Speech Pathology). It was an obscure, marginal scientific discipline. I suppose I made it pay off, but, following Federal cutbacks in the early '80s, the field is all but dead, with 95% of the speech labs across the nation & world shut down. I found myself having to go back to clinical Speech Pathology (emphasizing swallowing, of all things ... what that had to do with human communication, I never figured out), as an older heterosexual man in a younger woman, feminist/lesbian-dominated setting. I packed it in and FIREd 4 years ago, and seldom think on what consumed about half my life any more.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have chosen Audiology (hearing science and diagnostic practice) ... or even gone into Waste Management, with just a BA and MS.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:20 PM   #46
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College in 72

I went to college straight from high school. Had a number of factors that influenced that decision -- mom and dad said i was going, had my high school sweetheart who I married, we've been together 38+ years, money was and issue and I wasn't mature enough or knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I wish I would have had the opportunity to live on campus and go to a school out of state, but that was not an option. Spent too much time skipping classes and playing pick-up basketball. So after two years, moved to a jr. college where I received and A.A. degree in health science. While working full-time and raising a family I decided I had limited opportunities and went back to school for a BS in Computer Science. Did some programing in medical research for a while and then went into medical sales.

I have a twin brother who took a different path, join the local police department at 18 as a cadet. Has over 35 years and is getting ready to retire -- his benefits and pension are outstanding, plus he gets a drop of ~$300,000 for staying on the last 5 years.

Not sure I could do the law enforcement thing, or stay with a company for such a long period of time. One of my challenges is that I've change employers on average every 7 years -- which makes compiling a pension impossible. I have been able to build a sizeable retirement fund, but health care is my major issue.

I wouldn't trade my wife or children for anything in world. However, in my next life after graduating high school, I'm buying a sailboat and heading for the islands.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:35 PM   #47
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From High school i went to a state college for a bit over a year, then decided that my grades were not going to keep me out of the jungle and joined the Navy (when they started the lottery i found i would have been chosen right off anyway). Didn't even consider draft dodging. Around that time my silent father gave me a copy of On The Loose ( On Loose ) - looking back, i suspect that my parents were not as concerned with my doing the lock-step citizen right thing as i thought. After 4 years cruising on the big grey boats i went to Santa Fe New Mexico and found St. John's College. Good lucky move. Thought i was headed for a law degree - that was what i thought was expected of me - a year and a half of law school disabused me of that notion. Am very glad to have discarded my pre-Navy college hours and done the Great Books program at St. John's.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:08 PM   #48
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Went to state college right after small town high school (class of '68 ), mostly paid for by state scholarship. Double major: Math and Computer Science (found out I wasn't as smart as I thought; didn't know how to study as high school was too easy).

Dropped out of CompSci (@#$%^ punch cards). Graduated in '72 with BA in Math.

Took FSEE and was hired to work for USArmy as Management Analyst.

1979: started work on MA.

1981: dropped out of MA.
(I have nothing but admiration and awe for those who can manage work/college/family; I can only do one at a time.)

1982: took PACE and was hired by USAF as Programmer (COBOL).

2004: retired.

I really enjoyed math and it did help teach me how to think logically, but I have never used anything beyond algebra and geometry in life or work.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:11 PM   #49
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I really enjoyed math and it did help teach me how to think logically, but I have never used anything beyond algebra and geometry in life or work.
I am impressed: you found a real world use for algebra?!

Despite having a degree in economics and a master's in accounting and finance, I just about managed to stumble through algebra (and don't ask about calculus ).

I got my degrees fairly quickly and have put them to very appropriate (and lucrative) use. Also did the professional designation thing (letters after one's name seem to be worth at least $5k a year per letter). So no regrets there, per se.

What I do somewhat regret is that I spent a gawdawful amount of time and energy in pursuit of degrees and technical knowledge and mostly neglected pursuing self knowledge and the better things in life (like roadtrips, partying until dawn, dating more than three women in my life, etc.). I suppose that is why ER is so alluring: I will finally get to have my adolescence. Although I think I missed the boat on the multiple women thing: not gonna fly with DW no matter how wealthy we become.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:36 PM   #50
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Class of '78 '79. Went to Catholic HS and did really well on PSAT. Squeeked by SAT and got National Merit Scholarship. Checked engineering on the intended major box and got a flood of scholarship offers. Selected local school to stay home with widowed mom. Didn't really understand what engineering was or how challenging it would be, but loved everything about the classwork. No time for parties and still don't miss them. Worked part-time during school and intern summer jobs to supplement scholarship. Biggest mistake I made was not taking a full ride scolarship that would've let me skip the part-time jobs. Took extra semester to graduate and had my pick of 5 really nice job offers. Been with the same mega-corp for 29 yrs before my division was orphaned last August. Worked in Durability Development, Emissions, Applications, Field Engineering, Product Development, and mostly Product Test (Love testing to destruction). After 25 yrs in Engineering, xferred to Sales & Customer Support to facilitate moving back home to East Coast for homesick spouse...very boring, but working from home and lots of freedom...boss is 150 miles away. Wish I had maybe concentrated in a bio-medical field.
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:12 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I am impressed: you found a real world use for algebra?!
Use it all the time, though maybe not in a formal structure.

Quote:
Despite having a degree in economics and a master's in accounting and finance, I just about managed to stumble through algebra (and don't ask about calculus ).
I enjoyed calculus (three semesters of duh! and a lightbulb moment in the fourth semester).
I taught calculus as a graduate student. "You want to be an engineer? First you have to get past me."

Quote:
I got my degrees fairly quickly and have put them to very appropriate (and lucrative) use. Also did the professional designation thing (letters after one's name seem to be worth at least $5k a year per letter). So no regrets there, per se.

What I do somewhat regret is that I spent a gawdawful amount of time and energy in pursuit of degrees and technical knowledge and mostly neglected pursuing self knowledge and the better things in life (like roadtrips, partying until dawn, dating more than three women in my life, etc.). I suppose that is why ER is so alluring: I will finally get to have my adolescence. Although I think I missed the boat on the multiple women thing: not gonna fly with DW no matter how wealthy we become.
I spent a little too much time in roadtrips/partying/dating. I was a a nerd and outcast in a small town high school; went a little berserk when I got to college (nothing violent or destructive).
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:20 PM   #52
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I spent a little too much time in roadtrips/partying/dating. I was a a nerd and outcast in a small town high school; went a little berserk when I got to college (nothing violent or destructive).
I guess I never got past the Jesuit influence after HS. It wasn't called "detention," it was called JUG (Justice Under God).
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:33 AM   #53
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I regret not getting better marks as I now work in a retail store with a degree in economics.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:13 AM   #54
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My degree is a two-year computer science degree; it served me very well for many years. What I regret is not getting a degree in biology, a field I love, when I was young and single.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:00 AM   #55
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What I do somewhat regret is that I spent a gawdawful amount of time and energy in pursuit of degrees and technical knowledge and mostly neglected pursuing self knowledge and the better things in life (like roadtrips, partying until dawn, dating more than three women in my life, etc.).
This will not be on my list of regrets...

However, the size of my portfolio tells the tale...
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