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Old 08-03-2015, 03:04 PM   #81
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I'm struck by how many commenters are suggesting jobs/careers that might be popular/in demand yet might have nothing at all to do with the OP's daughters skills or interests.
One of the major points of the book What Color is Your Parachute? is that so many people are miserable in their jobs because they picked one that is a poor fit for their skills and interests.

Still, there is the minor little detail of paying the rent and putting food on the table so some attention must be paid to that issue as well. But picking a job just because it pays well seems to me a path to a miserable career.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:17 PM   #82
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It is ok to do the things you love to some extent. I can see someone learning glyphs or studying medieval poetry as a hobby, but when you spend $60,000 to $100,000 and four earning years doing something like that, the end result is going to be mom's basement.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:20 PM   #83
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You can find happiness with a popular/in-demand career. When I think of those type of careers, I see stability.

I've gone in both directions--megacorp syncophant and independent consultant. I like to believe that our kids will save enough from their megacorp existence so that they can break out in 20 years or so and start their second, more rewarding careers.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:22 PM   #84
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Do people really take jobs/pursue careers that might provide a decent paycheck but might not be a good fit at all? If so, maybe that explains why so many people want to RE.
Is suspect that this may be more common in other cultures (ie Asian) than perhaps we see locally.

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Old 08-03-2015, 03:27 PM   #85
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Part of the problem that we may also be seeing on a large scale (am not referring to OP's daughter here) is the concept that everyone should go to college and then they will do okay in life.

Two obvious problems are that just because we have more college grads does not mean that the size of the labor market will suddenly increase to accommodate them.

The second issue is that many folks can earn a good living via community college education or OTJ training. (Think dental hygienist, plumber etc.)

Unfortunately in our culture we have tended to socially devalue such blue collar professions over the past few decades.

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Old 08-03-2015, 05:30 PM   #86
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Do people really take jobs/pursue careers that might provide a decent paycheck but might not be a good fit at all? If so, maybe that explains why so many people want to RE.
Yes, according to The Onion -

Find The Thing You're Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life - The Onion - America's Finest News Source

On a serious note, there are a lot of different kinds of in demand careers out there right now from industrial machine repair to dental hygienist to engineering. Four year STEM degrees are not the only option to staying gainfully employed. Why not encourage young adults to find a good balance between interests and employability?
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:42 PM   #87
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Yes, according to The Onion -

Find The Thing You're Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life - The Onion - America's Finest News Source

On a serious note, there are a lot of different kinds of in demand careers out there right now from industrial machine repair to dental hygienist to engineering. Four year STEM degrees are not the only option to staying gainfully employed.
Engineering is a 4 year degree discipline.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:45 PM   #88
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Engineering is a 4 year degree discipline.
I didn't post that it wasn't. I just posted a range of in demand type jobs.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:49 PM   #89
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I didn't post that it wasn't. I just posted a range of in demand type jobs.
Got it! Had me confused, but I am easily confused after 40+ years working as an engineer.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:56 PM   #90
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Got it! Had me confused, but I am easily confused after 40+ years working as an engineer.
The local college has an industrial equipment repair certificate program that I think is less than 2 years, so I put that at one end and engineering at the other end.

We have one kiddo that is really handy and does not like cubicle type work we mentioned the machine repair to. I think our local high school does a disservice in conditioning kids only for 4 year programs. These days many blue collar type jobs may actually be a better fit for some kids and have more long term job security, especially careers where one can become a small business owner.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:00 PM   #91
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The local college has an industrial equipment repair certificate program that I think is less than 2 years, so I put that at one end and engineering at the other end.

We have one kiddo that is really handy and does not like cubicle type work we mentioned the machine repair to. I think our local high school does a disservice in conditioning kids only for 4 year programs. These days many blue collar type jobs may actually be a better fit for some kids and have more long term job security, especially careers where one can become a small business owner.
We have a grandson who didn't want to go to college and did two years at ITT for electronics repair tech certificate. He now works for Johnson Controls at the Houston International Airport keeping the people mover trams and trains running. He loves it and makes pretty good wages and benefits. A two year tech education certainly has its place in this industrial society.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:03 PM   #92
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These days many blue collar type jobs may actually be a better fit for some kids and have more long term job security, especially careers where one can become a small business owner.
You say that with a tone of surprise? ..... Or maybe I'm just reading that into your post. Jobs in the trades, skilled jobs in manufacturing (yes, there still is some manufacturing going on in the USA), construction skills, semi-blue collar tech skills and so on are absolutely going to be better places to earn a living than a white collar clerk's job you got a MA to obtain.

I think personal expertise in a trade or tech skill coupled with a love for entrepreneurship can be a great way to support yourself. Have a personal skill to sell and a strong desire to be in business!
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:07 PM   #93
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I'm a huge fan of the trades, and I really wish our high schools would encourage more kids to consider the excellent 2 year tech schools we have in our state. As a bonus, they can get essentially free tuition there, thanks to the stupid state lottery.
I have a friend who is career changing in his 40s by way of an apprenticeship program. It will take him a year of training under a licensed educator before he can get his own license. It opened my eyes to how few apprenticeship opportunities there are for folks of all ages.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:32 PM   #94
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You say that with a tone of surprise? ..... Or maybe I'm just reading that into your post.
I am not surprised, just putting a plug in for community college degrees and certificate programs.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:44 PM   #95
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We have a nephew who initially completed a two year Associates program to repair and do maintenance on medical devices. He has subsequently added a bachelor via Phoenix U and currently leads a team for a major medical center. All in about 7/8 years. Makes great money and enjoys going around the metroplex to work at different facilities.
He is totally amused by some his docs and their level of intimidation when the equipment isn't working to their expectations or more often someone has neglected to do the maintenance on them and it quits.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:55 AM   #96
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Yes, I agree that people, in general, should train for something where jobs exist and where an adequate living can be earned.

That is not the same thing at all as saying that everyone needs to go into a STEM field -- whether at the 4 year college level or at the community college level.

For those getting a 4 year degree, it is perfectly possible to earn a living with, say, a business degree. There are others.

But, if you hate science and technology fields and your mind doesn't work that way, the fact that some people make more money in those fields doesn't help you. It isn't the end of the world if you decide to be an accountant or, gasp, a teacher.

And, as mentioned, most people actually aren't particularly well-suited to earning a 4 year degree. I have 2 kids in college right now. One son is currently a senior in college majoring in computer science. It suits his interests and his abilities.

My daughter, on the other hand, had no interest at all in an academic degree. That doesn't mean that she isn't obtaining an education. We looked carefully at the nearby community college programs and she found several she was interested in (she is not good with math or science and doesn't like those fields and had no interest in them). With each one, she did research on the field and learned about job prospects and income. (She was homeschooled in high school so we actually had her do a career planning course).

For example, she briefly had some interest in cooking. After researching the job prospects and income level, she decided that cooking would remain a hobby. She finally narrowed it to two fields (which had some overlap in course work). She ended up choosing office administration, with a concentration in office communications. It is well suited to her interests and abilities. I am sure she would theoretically make more money as a dental hygienist. But, she couldn't do that job because it doesn't match her abilities or interests. Therefore, it is not a realistic possibility for her.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:27 PM   #97
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Ha, I am glad the hands off approach worked for your adult kids, but there are a lot of college grads out there with huge student loans and part-time jobs at Starbucks. Student loan debt is reaching $1 trillion a year and dragging down our entire economy. If those grads all had six figure jobs those loans would likely be getting paid off.

Part of the problem is "students prefer to study things employers are not willing to pay for":

Where the Jobs Are, and the College Grads Aren't - US News

"But students with a ken for liberal arts—who often argue that expanding your mind is more important than learning technical knowledge—might want to reverse their thinking. Perhaps your investment in education should go toward learning things you can earn a living at, with intellectual stimulation coming later, when you can afford the indulgence. Otherwise, college can turn out to be a mighty expensive hobby."
I am sure that you are right. I also think that some parents here are too interfering. I met a woman yesterday who has done all the course work for a religion Masters. She is messing around with her thesis research now. She is 36, unmarried, works low end jobs like server, and has to scramble to afford her rent. I can't come out and say "is this a really good idea?" While she told me her story my mind ran through all sorts of possible scenarios -good divorce settlement, wealthy and indulgent parents, etc- but without me ever asking she essentially disposed of all these things. I did ask her if she was preparing for an academic career. "No way!" she said. She just likes her life and is fatalistic about whatever comes farther down the road.

People like our members do not think this way, and for the most part are not very tolerant of this worldview. Still, there are many intelligent well educated people pretty much this way. At least while some feeling of youth lasts they seem very happy. To me at least, this sort of person is easy to like, although I would not want to be married to one of them or otherwise responsible for any bailouts that might be needed.

Ha
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:56 AM   #98
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Got it! Had me confused, but I am easily confused after 40+ years working as an engineer.
Seems right. Most engineers I've known were easily confused.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:45 AM   #99
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I am sure that you are right. I also think that some parents here are too interfering. I met a woman yesterday who has done all the course work for a religion Masters. She is messing around with her thesis research now. She is 36, unmarried, works low end jobs like server, and has to scramble to afford her rent. I can't come out and say "is this a really good idea?" While she told me her story my mind ran through all sorts of possible scenarios -good divorce settlement, wealthy and indulgent parents, etc- but without me ever asking she essentially disposed of all these things. I did ask her if she was preparing for an academic career. "No way!" she said. She just likes her life and is fatalistic about whatever comes farther down the road.

People like our members do not think this way, and for the most part are not very tolerant of this worldview. Still, there are many intelligent well educated people pretty much this way. At least while some feeling of youth lasts they seem very happy. To me at least, this sort of person is easy to like, although I would not want to be married to one of them or otherwise responsible for any bailouts that might be needed.

Ha

This was a LONG time ago.... I went skiing with a friend... (I am NOT good and have not done it again)... was in my early 20s... it was interesting to meet some of the people who were in their mid 40s who were ski bums... they lived in a hostel where they bunked with others.... just so they could get a job 'on the mountain' and ski as much as they could... they had no plans for the future.... lived in the moment and did not want to change...


We both just looked at each other and shook our heads...
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #100
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Do people really take jobs/pursue careers that might provide a decent paycheck but might not be a good fit at all? If so, maybe that explains why so many people want to RE.
In my circle of family, friends, and co-workers I can only name two individuals who clearly like their careers to the extent that both of them are still working in their 70s. One is a small business owner, and the other is a Math PhD who loves classroom instruction. Pretty much everyone else that I know considers, or at least talks about their jobs as "work." That isn't to say that the people I know hate their jobs, but I just don't know too many folks that have managed to hit the career jackpot: enjoying what they do and earning a good living at it. Quite the reverse. My friends are working to provide for themselves and their families. And yes, it definitely explains why I want to RE
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