Career Decisions

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jon_Gregory, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Jon_Gregory

    Jon_Gregory Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I have been been going to school for Electrical Engineering and working as a co-op in the field for about 4 years now. I work one semester full time and then go to school one semester full time and alternate like this till I graduate. I have approximately 1 year left. I have been thinking alot lately about different career paths after I graduate. I still would like this degree but don't think I want to work in it after I graduate. Is that normal? I find myself in a hard place here. I want to graduate and make a lot of money which I could do in the EE field, but it is not what I really want to do I think. I have always wanted to do something along the lines of a cop, firefighter, those types of jobs. But the pay sucks compared to electrical engineering. Me and my wife are trying to have a baby and I want to be able to provide the best that I can for them, yet I want to do something that makes less money and seems more rewarding on the personal level. I know that all jobs can be rewarding, but these types of jobs seem more rewarding when you help other people directly. For those that are police and firefighters, what are the downsides other than the pay. My wife says that I am having a mid-life crisis in my 20's. I want to make the most money yet I want to do something else. Any thoughts?
     
  2. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Hmm, interesting problem you have here. I have a couple of ideas you can explore.
    Have you thought about a job in the federal gov't? There are tons of engineering jobs but you could also get in with an intelligence agency such as CIA, NSA, DIA etc. This would put your brains to work and also satisfy your craving to do some good for the benefit of the country. My friend's daughter recently graduated with a BS degree in computer engineering and now works for the NSA and absolutely loves her job.

    You could also look into the FBI Special Agent program. They are seriously looking for college graduates with technical and scientific backgrounds and the pay is pretty decent too. Plus its a fairly prestigous job with the ability to work all over the country and you get to carry a gun [​IMG]

    Just a few ideas for you.

    Jeff
     
  3. Jon_Gregory

    Jon_Gregory Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I work for the Federal Government now as a co-op. My problem is location. I do not want to up and move my wife etc... and I love where I am at right now. I do and have done some pretty interesting stuff for the government (carry a secret clearence already). Been involved with security systems for the Air Force, been around the world already at 22 yr old. I have done interesting things with the government etc... on the technical side. I am just an outdoors type of person and this job is about 80% desk work.
     
  4. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    You don't get to do life over.

    All more money buys you is more stuff. It doesn't buy happiness. (Gawd, I know it's a cliche, but it's true.) Too little can make you unhappy/stressed, but that wouldn't be the case being a firefighter/cop.

    It matters being happy at what you do. There is nothing worse than the despair at having to rise each day to go do something you hate for 8 hours or more, or do something you may not hate but at a place or among people you don't like ... day after day, week after week, year after year. It sucks. You just watch your life trickle away in a sea of gray misery.

    Get the degree. It's a nice fallback.

    Then follow your dreams of firefighting or police work.
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I think there are professions that will scratch your itch and where you'll be rewarded for the the degree. Of course, none come to mind right now ...

    But barring that; I say go into one of the higher paying tech jobs and live on the salary you'd expect to make on one of the "dream job". Stock the rest away. Not only will this prevent you from becoming a slave to the salary; but you'll have a nice nest egg when you switch. I have one acquaintence who did this and successfully left his EE job in Aerospace for a fireman position at age 33.
     
  6. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Man, a degree in EE with a Secret security clearance equals 100k salary with a good contracting company like Raytheon or Lockheed.

    Jeff
     
  7. Jon_Gregory

    Jon_Gregory Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    I understand that I could make some really good money if I decided to move. I live in Pensacola, FL. Not the the most tech driven town in the nation. I really would like to stay here, but my field just doesn't supply jobs in my area that produce more than $50,000 starting out for EE's. Which I might add is really good for this area.

    I am going to start exploring many more options I guess. I just want something where I can see sunlight and can breath a bit of fresh air a good part of the day. I work in a cubicle right now that has no windows near by and it is about to drive me nuts.

    I have been looking into my local sheriff's office and the pay is starting to look better and better the more I look into it. With any 4 yr degree, that ups the pay also. Good insurance and benefits, company car (cop car), and much more. Plus everyone just tells me that I fit the law enforcement type.

    But who knows, I have one year left and I could change my mind again in that time frame. Man this is difficult. No wonder my wife says I am having a mid-life crisis in my 20's.
     
  8. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    decisions decision decisions. If you are truly looking into the public service sector then you may want to check with your local sheriff/police dept and see if they have any civilian learning seminars. A friend of mine did that in which he went one night a week for 6 weeks. Each session there were reps from different departments giving lessons and Q/A sessions about what they do etc..Then they even got to go to a firing range then it concluded with a one night ride along. He had a blast.
    Another friend of mine went the firefighter route. He said it was the best thing he's ever done and doesn't regret it one bit.

    Good Luck
    Jeff
     
  9. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    >"No wonder my wife says I am having a mid-life crisis in my 20's. "

    Hey, it's good to get a head start on these things and avoid that last-minute rush [​IMG]
     
  10. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    My advice is to just do what you want to do. You don't need a zillion dollars as long as you're living comfortably and HAPPY!

    Maybe I'm biased, but that's the route I took. Three years ago I was set to attend medical school but during my last semester of getting my BS Biochemistry, I had a change of heart. I'm now doing something I absolutely love and do not regret my decision one bit. Plus, having a biochemistry degree intrigues people and they always wonder how I got onto the path I did. Plus, if I ever decide to go back and do something in the biological field, I always can. So I say finish up that degree, then do something you will be happy doing.
     
  11. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

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    What path is that....:b
     
  12. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Ah, sorry, forgot to include that tidbit! I'm in IT. Not doing anything fancy, just work on PCs and servers all day.
     
  13. Jason Kirkpatri

    Jason Kirkpatri Second Unit

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    Have you thought about consulting work in your field? Work for yourself and be your own boss.
     

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