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Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 11:52 AM   #1
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Careers for the future

My daughter is in 11the grade. She needs to determine what to major in college soon. With so much talks about outsourcing most high-tech jobs (i.e., hardware engineers, software developers, network enginners, data base administrators, etc.) and other jobs (i.e., accoutants, production workers, industrial engineers, reliability engineers, quality assurance workers, etc), what is the best major to choose now? Surely, she needs to identify the type of work that she might enjoy, interests, and talents. Based on tests on interests, she's most suited for a career in technolgy. In addition, she excels in math and science subjects at school. My thinking is that a career in health care is pretty safe from outsourcing. Jobs such as doctor, nurse, dentist, chriopractor, phamacist, and so on will remain in the U.S. Obviously, jobs that require direct customer contact will also stay: lawyers, carpentors, civil engineers, actors, and so on.

Any thoughts on this depressing issue?
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: Careers for the future

My spouse changed majors numerous times in college. From music scholarship to accounting to engineering to education, then back to engineering. I expect my kids will probably be just as wishy-washy.

So whatever your daughter (or my daughter) chooses, I suspect she will end up doing something else anyways. The trick is to keep all options open and not to specialize so soon. Another trick is to take time to work a little bit and travel a little bit before doing the college thing.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 12:14 PM   #3
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Re: Careers for the future

I think health care is a good suggestion, but I would also seriously consider looking at finance and accounting. My perception is that there is less of a glass ceiling issue in this area than some career fields. Every business needs 'bean counters' and increasing govt. regulations (such as Sarbanes-Oxley) is creating more demand.

I've seen no major trend toward outsourcing as of yet, but that doesn't mean finance careers won't move offshore, nor medical, as noted in this thread:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...84680#msg84680

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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
My daughter is in 11the grade. She needs to determine what to major in college soon. With so much talks about outsourcing most high-tech jobs (i.e., hardware engineers, software developers, network enginners, data base administrators, etc.) and other jobs (i.e., accoutants, production workers, industrial engineers, reliability engineers, quality assurance workers, etc), what is the best major to choose now? Surely, she needs to identify the type of work that she might enjoy, interests, and talents. Based on tests on interests, she's most suited for a career in technolgy. In addition, she excels in math and science subjects at school. My thinking is that a career in health care is pretty safe from outsourcing. Jobs such as doctor, nurse, dentist, chriopractor, phamacist, and so on will remain in the U.S. Obviously, jobs that require direct customer contact will also stay: lawyers, carpentors, civil engineers, actors, and so on.

Any thoughts on this depressing issue?
As someone who has recently finished school, my advice for her is to pick an area that she is genuinely interest in and major in that area. Don't try and pick a career at this point. Most people switch career tracks during college -- several switch plan many times. As long as she studies something that makes her happy -- and works hard with whatever she does -- she will be able to find a good and secure job.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 01:00 PM   #5
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Re: Careers for the future

Hmm, if I were to go to school again, I would do a double major in science and econ/business. Everybody needs a solid background in science and math, and you can't outsource entrepreneurship. Biochemistry would be my pick for the science, but make sure she takes statistics as well (usefull in many areas). By the time she's ready to graduate, she'll have the option of going to med school, starting a business, or getting a job as a government research wonk.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: Careers for the future

If I could do it over again, I'd do whatever it takes to get a government job!
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 04:08 PM   #7
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Re: Careers for the future

If she is interested in math and science and has an innovative/curious personality, consider Mechanical or Chemical Engineering. Thousands of opportunities for women in the oil and gas industry for example.

Consolidation of the oil and gas industry in the 80's and 90's scared most college grads away and thus average age in the industry is now late 40's. I am about to retire from the industry and our company is working hard to bring in new young talent. The industry employs a wide range of engineering talent, from subsurface to facilities to projects to economics and planning. Algo great opportunities for foreign assignments (with the multi-nationals).

But I agree with other posters. She needs to go into something she loves and makes her excited. That is the only way to excel in a career.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 06:56 PM   #8
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
....My thinking is that a career in health care is pretty safe from outsourcing....
I have a couple of words for you and they are, "H1B Visa".
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 07:10 PM   #9
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Re: Careers for the future

If I were just starting out, I would get into Senior housing. There are many options available in this field and it will be growing for at least 30 years.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 08:43 PM   #10
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin
If I could do it over again, I'd do whatever it takes to get a government job!
I think a lobotomy would be more useful than a degree.

For the OP:

It is a waste of time to try to pick a career at this point. She should study whatever interests her and double major in economics or business. I found that an economics major did a very good job of teaching me to think clearly; a skill useful in most careers. I have also reinvented myself career wise about a half-dozen times in 11 years of post college work. No doubt she will be doing the same.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 10:05 PM   #11
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Re: Careers for the future

Two stipulations IMHO

1) Encourage her to do something she is relatively interested in. If not she will start with one major, change it, change it again and be in school 5-6 years.

2) Encourage her to major in an area she can get a job in after school unless she it is needed to enter grad school. Too many people drop a lot money on useless degrees, can't find a job that pays well and then have a figure out what they want to do in life.

Lastly, good candidates usually find work regardless of some outsourcing. Even if that were the case, sharp people can and will adjust.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 10:28 PM   #12
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Re: Careers for the future

Thanks for all the advices. The bottom line is that she will choose something that she will enjoy doing. I only point out the pros and cons. She thinks that biomedical engineering would be a good choice. We will see.

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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-19-2005, 11:45 PM   #13
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Re: Careers for the future

In choosing a major, interest and satisfaction are most important. Deciding on a major based on future job security and compensation is not likely to result in long term satisfaction. It may even result in burn-out or under-performance. Instead, students are best advised to look at major choices that excite them. If you choose what you enjoy, you are more likely to excel and succeed. Donít let your major choices be determined by someone elseís advice. Donít select majors based on expectations of making lots of money rather than what you enjoy. It will be difficult to complete a degree in a field that you eventually recognize as being a bad decision. In the long run, you will be good at what you do if you enjoy it, and that will lead to your greatest success.

Choosing a job is different -- but not much. At least that's what I think.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-20-2005, 12:14 AM   #14
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
Donít let your major choices be determined by someone elseís advice. Donít select majors based on expectations of making lots of money rather than what you enjoy.
That's a great advice. Very often many people choose a career or an occupation based solely on money and status. When asked, many people would say that they want to become a lawyer, money manager, doctor or any other high paying positions.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-20-2005, 04:39 PM   #15
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
She thinks that biomedical engineering would be a good choice. We will see.
Has she already picked a school? I can personally vouch for a good program at UCSD (and excellent beaches):

http://www-bioeng.ucsd.edu/
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-20-2005, 05:38 PM   #16
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I think a lobotomy would be more useful than a degree.
Can't disagree with that.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-20-2005, 05:48 PM   #17
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I think a lobotomy would be more useful than a degree.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...0&ft=1&f=1007y
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-20-2005, 06:46 PM   #18
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
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I listened to that show the other day. Amazing story.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-20-2005, 08:25 PM   #19
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Has she already picked a school? I can personally vouch for a good program at UCSD (and excellent beaches):

http://www-bioeng.ucsd.edu/
She is considering University of Wisconsin (at Madison) and Cal Tech. UCSB or UCSD is nice. One of my nephew went to UCSB. He said that people brought their surf boards to class. It is definitely a fun place. I also have another nephew who is attending UCSD, and he seems to enjoy the academic challenge and the ocean view.

U of W (at Madison) is most affordable.
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Re: Careers for the future
Old 11-20-2005, 08:31 PM   #20
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Re: Careers for the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky


U of W (at Madison) is most affordable.
True, but they should have the hammer and sickle as the school
insignia.

JG
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