Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-21-2010, 09:44 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,427
I think it is important to do what you love and enjoy your work and the people you work with. If you enjoy what you do an are intellectually curious and driven, you will be good at what you do and the rewards will naturally follow (in most, but not all professions).

I recall when I was that age that I enjoyed hunting and fishing and wanted to be a game warden, but after researching that career I realized that it was unlikely to generate the earnings that I desired for the lifestyle that I wanted.

I chose a more practical career, and it has worked out - differently than what I planned, but ok nonetheless. About time to hand it up tho....... so I'm at this board. :>)
__________________

__________________
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-21-2010, 09:55 PM   #22
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 731
I'm going to add my 2 cents... I have strong opinions on colleges. I can't speak to the issue at hand. But I think it's important to treat college as a place to learn to think, to analyze, to solve problems, to write decently. If college is only about taking the courses that get you the degree that gets you the job, you don't learn these things.

Possible exceptions for highly technical degrees, but I still stand by what I said. You can always learn technical skills - learning how to think and analyze is important, and is usually a transferable skill.
__________________

__________________
Retired July 2, 2010 at 62. My only regret is that I couldn't do it sooner.
thinker25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 10:59 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,397
It is hard to know what to say without knowing more about the person. Also, is she asking you for advice on colleges or advice on careers?

I do agree that "do what you love and the money will follow is too simplistic." And, yet, to simply pick a career solely based upon money may lead to a very unhappy adulthood.

I currently have two sons who just finished their first semester in college so the whole issue of careers is very fresh in my mind.

My youngest so living at home going to community college because he is 16. He, not unreasonably at his age, has no real clue of what career he wants. Actually he is often quite adamant, but he changes his mind. For him, I've encouraged him to see at least the first couple of years of college as an exploration. I've encouraged him to take a number of very different courses in very different fields with the hope that I will find some subject that really appeals to him and may lead to gainful employment some day. He is a very bright kid (hence being in college at a young age) but he is young so needs to not shut down options too son. I've told him that, as his parent, I would like to see him achieve the ability to support himself as an adult in a style that is acceptable to him and that he find a career doing work that he enjoys. That is a very broad range of careers. Yes, what one earns is of some importance but I've spent my career often working with well paid people who are very unhappy. So it isn't everything.

My older son (of more typical college age) returned from his first semester with a range of grades from A to, alas, F. The F was really due to a fundamental misunderstanding by him of instructor expectations (yes, they really did expect you to read the whole lab manual and not just the instruction and, yes, it is unfortunate that failing the lab exam meant you failed the course even though you otherwise had good grades). But, in discussing my son's mixed grades with him it is really, really clear to me that academic college is not in his heart. He had convinced himself that he had to go to college because everyone says that if you don't then you can't earn a living and you are stupid and a bum (that is only a little bit of an exaggeration). So even though I really doubted that college was for him I supported him and sent him off to college. But, really, he just wants to cook. He has a love of cooking and maybe the money won't follow but it is hard for me to tell him he has to get a 4 year degree rather than tell him to go into a training program for what he really has a passion to do.
__________________
Katsmeow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 11:13 PM   #24
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
But, really, he just wants to cook. He has a love of cooking and maybe the money won't follow but it is hard for me to tell him he has to get a 4 year degree rather than tell him to go into a training program for what he really has a passion to do.
After a few years of cooking he'll either start to succeed at his craft... or he'll be really really motivated to go to college for a four-year degree.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 01:32 AM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward View Post
What career advice would you give to a bright young person who is considering colleges and majors?

I will need to give this kind of advice soon, and I'm finding I am very, very uncomfortable with it...
This is hard! I had a tough enough time giving advice to my own two children. I tried to steer them into something that I thought fit their personality and natural ability, and so far it seems to work. The only thing I can do here is to share my own experience.

My 25-year old daughter is a people person, and I thought that a business major would work for her. I thought she would be happy with a job in hotel or retail management. It took her a couple of years to discover that she actually liked accounting. She worked a full-time job as an accounting clerk while finishing her BS degree, then was able to get a job in the field after graduation. She has now enrolled in a graduate program that her employer will pay for.

My 21-year old son is mechanically inclined, so I steered him into mechanical engineering. He had a tough time at first, but now in his 3rd year, started to get more As. Of course having his dad to help with math problems or lab reports is a big plus and an unfair advantage over other kids, but hey, life is never fair. And recently, since he got hired as a research lab assistant at the university, he seemed to have more self-confidence. I surely hope he will be able to land a decent job when graduating in a year.

What is alarming to me is that a college degree is no longer a sure way to get a decent job to make a living. Yet, the cost of college is rising even faster than medical care according to this article. The college graduate glut even extends to China, whose growing economy cannot absorb the young graduates, and I have found articles dating back to 2007, up to this most recent one.

The world may have too many desk jockeys and pencil pushers already. If a young person is not academically oriented, a trade may be a better choice now. The above article on the China problem says that some Chinese college graduates have to take jobs with pays that make factory workers cringe.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 01:42 AM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 350
Teach them how to save and invest early no matter what path they decide to take.
Early Retirement Extreme: — written by Jacob Lund Fisker, Freelancer
__________________
Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 02:18 AM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
bright eyed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,891
I chose a major that I LOVED and it has helped me in every job - in terms of critical thinking skills and analysis. I had no idea what job it would carry me into but I knew I'd figure it out. I also worked a LOT in school and that helped me sort out my interests as well.

After seeing how people fared after high school - I think the key is for the individual to go to a school they will feel comfortable and get the options they need, don't just choose one school over the other because of prestige - and for goodness sakes don't overpay for school, everyone is so convinced college is a ticket to their future folks are paying ridiculous rates for mediocre education.

Pretty much everyone from my high school ended up fine or even better - really successful - without ever having taken honors courses or what not. The one thing we all had in common was that leadership and excellence were huge at our high school and most kids played some role in sports, arts, student activities etc and that translated into success later in life.

As someone who plays a role in hiring - i don't look too fondly at apps where they just went to school and did nothing else- didn't participate or lead in any organizations, work or other activity that shows their abilities in action vs just class. So only advice is for them to get involved and use those opportunities in undergrad to get to know their own interests and personal strengths better. The more you know yourself - the better off you will be.
__________________
If i think of something clever to say, i'll put it here...
bright eyed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 07:04 AM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker25 View Post
I'm going to add my 2 cents... I have strong opinions on colleges. I can't speak to the issue at hand. But I think it's important to treat college as a place to learn to think, to analyze, to solve problems, to write decently. If college is only about taking the courses that get you the degree that gets you the job, you don't learn these things.

Possible exceptions for highly technical degrees, but I still stand by what I said. You can always learn technical skills - learning how to think and analyze is important, and is usually a transferable skill.
I will pound the table for this one. I deal with a lot of people with grad degrees, letters after their names etc. Who have no intellectual flexibility or obvious ability to deal with new problems.

You should use school to forge your brain into a tool that you can use to pull problems apart and find solutions.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 07:53 AM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,665
But what I really want to tell her is, "Go into any field that you like. The most important thing is that you be completely financially indpendent by the time you're 40. That way you can unplug from the whole corrosive system and do what almost no one else does--enjoy your middle age as well as your old age."

Is that appropriate advice for a teenager? I feel uncomfortable giving it, even though that's the advice I most wish someone had given me as a teenager, especially if they had showed me how to do it.
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 09:04 AM   #30
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward View Post
But what I really want to tell her is, "Go into any field that you like. The most important thing is that you be completely financially indpendent by the time you're 40. That way you can unplug from the whole corrosive system and do what almost no one else does--enjoy your middle age as well as your old age."

Is that appropriate advice for a teenager? I feel uncomfortable giving it, even though that's the advice I most wish someone had given me as a teenager, especially if they had showed me how to do it.
That's what we do with our. "Hopefully you'll really enjoy your job, but make sure you're financially independent. It's good to have choices."

Of course our little ER wannabe just admitted the other day that she's stopped tracking her spending because she's been so busy at college the last four months. She balances her checkbook and pays off her credit card ever month, but she's having a hard time understanding why she ain't got no money...

All you can do is teach & coach. The student has to get ready on their own. If she's truly happy in her avocation then ER advice is irrelevant. If her job sucks then she'll develop enough motivation to make ERE's Jacob look like a spendthrift.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2010, 08:57 AM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,665
This has been a helpful thread. You've helped me decide that the advice I'm going to give her is, "Study toward the career that most interests you, but make financial independence a top priority, just in case you want to change direction down the road."
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2010, 09:23 AM   #32
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,883
You do realize that the idea of even getting into college, much less graduating and having a successful career, is quite a big and ambitious goal for a teenager just starting out. Adding financial independence might make that goal a bit too big to digest all at once. Goals that are set too high can be really discouraging or might not be taken seriously.

If anyone had said
Quote:
Study toward the career that most interests you, but make financial independence a top priority, just in case you want to change direction down the road.
to me as a teenager, I would have responded, "Oh yes, I'll reach financial independence right after I finish flying to the moon and converting all of my metal possessions to gold."
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2010, 09:38 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,665
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Adding financial independence might make that goal a bit too big to digest
Good point. It's a risk. But she's mature for her age, and she's noticed the look on her dad's face when he slogs off to work every day. I think she already suspects that $$ is freedom. She already has a brokerage acct and told me last week that she's very interested in finance and economics. I want her to go into this whole life/work thing with her eyes open, not sheltered and dopey the way I was.
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2010, 11:22 AM   #34
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward View Post
She already has a brokerage acct and told me last week that she's very interested in finance and economics.
Well, heck, introduce her to a Ben Graham book before it's too late...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2010, 11:38 AM   #35
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
I thought of some advice that I think is good and not over-extending. Tell her to study whatever she wants, but to avoid borrowing to fund anything except a career that is very likely to have a job waiting for her when she graduates.

My son's violin teadcher has a PhD in music composition, not exactly a hot field. But he never borrowed a dime, so he is OK financially, and is also a very happy man.

Ha
__________________

__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need advice of career veterans Gerbil Wheel Other topics 8 11-17-2010 07:25 PM
Career advice for DW and I laurence Young Dreamers 25 04-24-2010 04:22 AM
Hello + Career Advice veritasophia Hi, I am... 21 04-14-2006 04:15 PM
Malakito here / career advice malakito Hi, I am... 12 07-16-2004 02:18 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:01 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.