What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

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alex123711
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What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by alex123711 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:15 am

Curious to know what careers/ jobs / business people on this forum have or have had if you don't mind sharing. And whether or not you still think its a good career choice now with automation/ outsourcing. I'm at a career crossroads and looking for a new one, but most options don't seem very good these days.

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pokebowl
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by pokebowl » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:04 am

Information Security. Suppose its cooler or more trendy these days to call it Cyber Security.

Regardless yes I would still recommend it as a career choice. However as with all things technology related, it rapidly changes, as does it's barriers to entry. When I first launched into this career, no degree was needed, it was more what you knew practically than what a piece of paper said that landed you the high paying job. Fast forward 15 years later, it now requires some form of higher education to appease HR as well as various flavors of professional IT certifications. That being said its one of the few IT fields that are currently outsource proof (for obvious reasons) as well as automation proof. The tools may become more automated, but it just makes it easier for both myself and the bad buys to get around them. :beer

augryphon
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by augryphon » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:14 am

Electrical Engineer, engineering management. Great field, great pay, opportunities aplenty. Very hard work (at least for me) to get a BSEE, but I have been employed continually for 31 years. Not as susceptible to economic variations as many careers. I would recommend it now.

racy
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by racy » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:28 am

I got a degree in Business Administration and had a 37 year career in Production Management with a medical technology company. Yes, I would recommend it now. I believe there will always be a need for people that can work with others to achieve business objectives.

saj
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by saj » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:35 am

DevOps / Site Reliability Engineer / whatever we call it these days

I basically automate various processes for software teams by writing software/tools. It is like a software development job meets Linux administator.

The good:
- I feel like it is easier to move up in IT/operations related roles involving programming. Most people seem to be averse to at least one of those.
- Pay can be just as good as traditional software development roles. If you land a job at a top tech company, $200k+ is very possible. $100k isn’t hard to achieve even at medium sized companies (this is Boston, SF/NY probably higher, others could be lower).
- Opportunities to learn new things and move to different career paths
- Flexibility in hours and location
- The less skilled workers will be automated out of the job, but the more skilled workers will be driving automation

The bad:
- Potential ageism (concern for future, but most of my current team is 40-50)
- Could be more sensitive to market cycles. Most of the older guys I work with have been out of work at least once in their lives.
- On-call schedules can suck and affect your personal life
- At some point, you probably get sick of having to learn new things all the time

I think it can be a great career path for someone who is okay with finding something new later in life. I’m 5 years in and I can imagine in another 10-15 years, I’d want to look for something new, or get into project/people management.

retiringtype
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by retiringtype » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:41 am

Advertising. Stay away...far away. It was always quite stressful, but the stress was balanced by the perks: Good pay, lots of travel, interesting people and projects. That's mostly all gone now. Virtually all agencies have to kick back money to their holding companies nowadays — and the CEOs make millions. And then there's Google and Facebook sucking away ad dollars. Plus I know of one big client who's beginning to explore having their advertising written by computers. Yikes.

I heard it described perfectly the other day: We gone from Mad Men to Math Men.

pharmermummles
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by pharmermummles » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:02 am

I'm a pharmacist in a smallish hospital. I work overnights on a 7/70 schedule (on 7 days in a row, off 7 in a row). I love the schedule/time off, and I really like what I do. Plenty of stress, but you don't really go into hospital health care if that doesn't somewhat appeal to you. Lots of pharmacists are very doom and gloom about the profession due to some concerns for over-saturation, but I live and work in a very favorable job market.

IlliniDave
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:24 am

Engineer. If I had it all to do over again I might choose differently, but I wouldn't globally recommend against it.
Don't do something. Just stand there!

SelfEmployed123
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by SelfEmployed123 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:28 am

I'm a clinical psychologist in private practice. I've worked in a variety of settings including the Federal Govt., a local hospital, and college counseling center before ending up in private practice. I found that other than the Federal Govt., most settings do not put much value on psychologists. The Feds pay well and provide excellent benefits, but the work environment in federal agencies is often stressful. For me the absence of that stress and the high earning potential in private practice was too good to pass up.

The good of being a private practice psychologist:
-Be your own boss: Autonomy to set schedule, how much you work, when you take vacation, etc.
-Higher earning potential than any other setting for psychologists
-Generally thought of as among the lowest risk occupations to be automated
-With self-employment, ageism is not an issue. You decide how long you work and when you retire.

The bad:
-High barrier to entry. You're talking minimum of 2-3 years for master's program and 5-6 years total for graduate training if you earn a doctorate. This comes with high opportunity cost of delaying your earning power (and your adult life) to pursue education.
-It is increasingly common to have six figure student loan debt to achieve this career. Many people with these loans are now relying on Federal Government repayment plans/forgiveness, which appear to be on the chopping block. Upcoming caps placed on federal loans for graduate students will push many borrowers to the private sector with higher interest rates.
-Graduate school rarely teaches you the business of private practice, so all of that is generally self-taught.
-Dealing with insurance companies is stressful. Many providers go out of network and don't take insurance if they can. That's not always an option. It really depends on where you practice.
-Burnout is an ever-present issue that needs to be managed, but in my experience private practice enables you to manage that better than any other setting.

All of that being said, I wouldn't want to be in any other career. I'm my own boss. I'd recommend it for those who feel well suited to this line of work. However, I would be VERY careful about taking on huge student loans unless you plan from the beginning to go into private practice. The average salary for a psychologist in most settings (around $75K non fed and about 100K for government jobs) just does not justify the 100K or even 200K in student loan debt some people are taking on, especially if the loan forgiveness programs will be going away.

truenorth418
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by truenorth418 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:30 am

Corporate marketing.

Don't do it unless you enjoy spending more than 80% of your time sitting in meetings, playing office politics, and working on internally focused projects that have no bearing on actually driving the business.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:33 am

I went into electrical engineering as a safety net after having been fired from my ski shop/bike shop job for moonlighting at another shop.

I do tend to think like an engineer by nature. If there's a problem, I analyze it and try to find a solution, whether it's a mechanical car problem or plumbing. I have never wanted to manage anyone and even in those few times where I had a technician working with me, tend to want to do everything myself. I did luck out over my career, taking a job with my BSEE with a company that had a program to send engineers back to school full time to get their masters.

Would I recommend it? Yes and no. There are still lots of engineering jobs out there. But in large, salaries have stagnated. My highest earning year was 2005. Megacorp has opened new engineering groups in 3rd world countries (mostly China and India, but also Eastern Europe) and closed down US based groups wholesale to take advantage of the low wages and lack of labor laws outside the US.

You have to be someone who thinks like an engineer and really want to do the work to survive. If someone goes into the field without this characteristic, you'll go into management or sales or some other place.

I honestly believe that going into a trade like plumbing will be more lucrative and stable than engineering. It's one of the jobs that can't be outsourced.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

mancich
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by mancich » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:38 am

Consumer Packaged Goods. If you can get in with a large manufacturer and are willing to relocate, it can be a pretty good career, especially in sales. 6 figure income usually within 2-4 years of graduating from college if you are a go-getter. I'd do it again.

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burt
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by burt » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:44 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:24 am
Engineer. If I had it all to do over again I might choose differently, but I wouldn't globally recommend against it.
+1
Capital engineering: everytime the economy passes gas, management freaks and shuts the projects down.
Operations and maintenance: on call with free overtime. Painful.

burt

carolinaman
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by carolinaman » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:47 am

I had a 44 year career in IT. I started as a computer operator and soon became a technical analyst/systems engineer for about 10 years and then spent last 30+ years in IT management. I enjoyed my career and have no regrets.

If I were to do it again, I would either focus on the IT management track sooner or be an information security specialist, preferably as consultant. I had a strong technical background when I started in management and that was very helpful. However, I eventually realized that planning and strategy was most important as a manager and let others deal with the technical side. Peter Drucker's statement "Doing the right things right" always resonated with me.

Security could be an interesting career if one could gain an end to end knowledge of the architecture, including sounds policies and procedures, and apply it in their job.

Too many IT jobs are vulnerable to outsourcing and offshoring, but there will always be a need for management and security specialists.

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Psyayeayeduck
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:01 am

augryphon wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:14 am
Electrical Engineer, engineering management. Great field, great pay, opportunities aplenty. Very hard work (at least for me) to get a BSEE, but I have been employed continually for 31 years. Not as susceptible to economic variations as many careers. I would recommend it now.
+1

As a fellow EE, we are incredibly flexible on what path we take within our field. There's the power route, the electronics route, the computer programming route, the controls route, the electromagnetics route, and so on. More than likely, one stream crosses another and us EEs have to be flexible when we arrive that bridge. I've been an EE for over 10 years and have been quite a stable and well paying field.

Flux
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Flux » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:20 am

MegaCorp Accounting. I recommend it. I work about 37-40 hours a week and my job is mostly stress-free. Pay is decent too. Downside is I'm sitting in front of a screen all day, doing cyclical tasks. You'll need a degree or two and maybe a CPA license to move up the ladder easier.

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Stinky
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Stinky » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:23 am

Actuary. It has been rated in the "top 10" by many lists over the years, and the ranking is correct. Once a person finishes their actuarial examinations (usually happens before age 30), unemployment is basically zero, salaries are very good, and the stress level is relatively low.

I would highly recommend the profession for someone who meets the basic criteria - a strong aptitude for math (practical math, not PhD-type math), and a desire to work in business.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

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Top99%
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Top99% » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:24 am

1) Software Test engineer from 1985 - 2006
2) Software Test manager from 2007 - 2012
3) Cyber security engineer from 2013 till <part time> present

I have been continuously employed but had a very close call when the tech bubble popped. 1) and 3) have been very interesting work but I would not recommend 1) right now. SW test is one of the number one targets for outsourcing.
I definitely recommend 3). Interesting work and the skillset is in demand. But, if you do go the engineering route I highly recommend saving aggressively because as a few others have mentioned, job security isn't the best. Keeping your skills marketable at all times is especially critical in engineering. Also, at least in technology starting in around 2001 outsourcing has really put downward pressure on salaries. At the MegaCorp I work for which I think is typical, promotions and salary increases tend to come quicky in years 2-10 of your career and then things really flatten out for the 98% of people who don't make it to the Principle Engineer or higher level. So, don't assume your real (post inflation) salary will keep growing once you reach the "senior engineer" level.
Adapt or perish

retired recently
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by retired recently » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:38 am

I was a managing partner of a Big 4 audit firm and would highly recommend auditing for a Big 4 firm for anyone that likes accounting.

The con is the working hours for sure as there are many late nights but there is ample down time too.

The pros are the money is typically quite good, most of your colleagues are a similar age, at a very early stage of your career you interact with senior level people in many top companies, you see the inner-workings of many companies, there are typically numerous opportunities to travel (sometimes this is a con) and you learn quite a bit pretty quickly.

mak1277
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by mak1277 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:54 am

retired recently wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:38 am
I was a managing partner of a Big 4 audit firm and would highly recommend auditing for a Big 4 firm for anyone that likes accounting.

The con is the working hours for sure as there are many late nights but there is ample down time too.

The pros are the money is typically quite good, most of your colleagues are a similar age, at a very early stage of your career you interact with senior level people in many top companies, you see the inner-workings of many companies, there are typically numerous opportunities to travel (sometimes this is a con) and you learn quite a bit pretty quickly.
As a Big 4 alum w/ over a dozen years in public accounting, I agree with this for someone starting a career out of college. My enthusiasm is tempered, though, if you're older and considering a career change. My observation was that it was always harder for a "non-traditional" hire (read: older person) to advance. Perhaps that was just the case at my firm though.

rixer
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by rixer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:05 am

I was a carpet cleaner. I worked hard, lived below my means, paid off the home, invested in my retirement accounts and am now enjoying a comfortable retirement.

Would I recommend it? Not unless you enjoy sucking nasty stuff out of carpets to make ends meet.. :shock:

But it worked for me. :sharebeer

acegolfer
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by acegolfer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:18 am

Professor, 2003 - present (Finance major)

Would I recommend it now? Depends on who you are.
If you love to read hundreds of research papers, spending weeks solving problems, are passionate about teaching, have patience dealing with students every month, then yes. The hurdle to become a tenured professor is very high. You need several publications in top journals, in addition to excellent teaching record. Once you make it, then you have a secured job with lots of time flexibility. And you can spend work time on bogleheads.org legitimately.

LawEgr1
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by LawEgr1 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:22 am

burt wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:44 am
IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:24 am
Engineer. If I had it all to do over again I might choose differently, but I wouldn't globally recommend against it.
+1
Capital engineering: everytime the economy passes gas, management freaks and shuts the projects down.
Operations and maintenance: on call with free overtime. Painful.

burt
ChemEng here - design / ops / major CapEx projects / PM for major specialty chem mfg. facilities for megacorp and mini-megacorp.

Pros:
-Lots of of global travel experience and extended stays. Far and away, this has been the highlight of my career.
-Once you have demonstrated experience, this is a very valuable skillset to have in the market

Cons:
-Always unrealistic expectations
-Stressful (to me) due to schedule, downtime, budget, etc., and the above statement and "getting it" from above and below
-Project teams can be miserable to work with
-Travel expectations can be brutal
-Holiday work on shutdowns, etc.

I love the technical side, but have great displeasure for the typical culture that comes with the roles I have had and the travel as I get older becomes more and more of a pain in my personal life.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd choose differently, but I also wouldn't globally recommend against it.

Stinky wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:23 am
Actuary. It has been rated in the "top 10" by many lists over the years, and the ranking is correct. Once a person finishes their actuarial examinations (usually happens before age 30), unemployment is basically zero, salaries are very good, and the stress level is relatively low.

I would highly recommend the profession for someone who meets the basic criteria - a strong aptitude for math (practical math, not PhD-type math), and a desire to work in business.
This has been a very interesting field for me to potentially pursue due to interest, skill and what I have heard from others. Thank you for sharing.
Last edited by LawEgr1 on Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

invst65
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by invst65 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:22 am

Although I had lots of fancy titles along the way I was basically a computer programmer for over 40 years. Rather than being a conscious career choice it was something I just stumbled into. When I came home from Vietnam and was discharged from the military I applied for unemployment benefits and back then you had to take an aptitude test and accept training in order to qualify. So the test said I would make a good programmer (actually a board- wirer back then) and the rest is history.

I was good at it but I'd be hard-pressed to say that I actually enjoyed it. At one point I was making $1k/day as an independent contractor but I think that is probably a relic of the past. There is just too much competition nowadays, a lot of it foreign.

If one has the aptitude I would still recommend it as a career starter. Just don't plan on spending 40 years doing it like I did. It can get very stressful, as well as boring, and years of sitting and staring into a computer screen for 40 years can be surprisingly hard on the body. And there is also the foreign competition thing.
Last edited by invst65 on Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Cyclesafe » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:23 am

Megacorp minion to executive to unemployable.

Chemistry, then MBA landed jobs as chem industry salesrep, product manager, general manager, vice president. Continuously denied promotions because on the losing end of affirmative action and twice laid off after business divestitures. Ultimately decided to just drop out and live modestly.

I would not recommend this path, but one gets hooked into the reasonable salary, the healthcare benefits, executive options, the 401k's, and the (at the time) defined benefit program etc. One tends to forget about the constant threat of budget cutting inspired layoffs. But what I should have done when I was young and had nothing to lose was to start my own businesses. Nothing beats being in control - for better or worse - of your destiny. Foolish to risk everything now that I am of retirement age.

Tamalak
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Tamalak » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:29 am

IT.

About half my days are stressful, facing problems/puzzles that seem inscrutable. The other half are very relaxing.

I lack intellectual curiosity for my chosen profession, which has held me back. Even given that shortcoming, the pay and benefits are VERY worth it IMO. I am happy I chose the path I did.
Last edited by Tamalak on Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Raybo
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Raybo » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:43 am

Professional Speaker teaching employees how to use Unix, C, Java, Perl, Javascript, etc. This job is no longer available due to general increase in IT knowledge in the world. The kink in the curve was the dot.com bust in 2000.

It was a great way to make a living. I was my own boss, got to use all my skills, made my own decisions (and mistakes), had many retirement investment options, got to create all kinds of products.

Downsides: long hours, travel to uninteresting places, constant hustle, resources limited to my own income and savings.

If you like to talk in front of people, public speaking is a great way to pass a day of work. It is hard to get started (unless famous), but once established it gets much easier (though never "easy").
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

IowaFarmWife
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by IowaFarmWife » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:50 am

I am a Speech Language Pathologist, and I have worked in geriatrics/adult settings and in the local school system.

OSUmountaineer
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by OSUmountaineer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:01 am

Geologist since 2008...

Yes. In a a heart beat, yes. Diversify your skill set in this field, understand everything from oil and gas to the environmental world, and you have the capacity to make a good living that puts you outside a lot.

alfaspider
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:01 am

Tax Attorney for a Fortune 500 company

It really is a dream job for me. Good pay, lots of autonomy, reasonable hours, and interesting work. There's travel involved, but almost always to pleasant destinations and there's not too much of it.

I would make a qualified recommendation for someone looking at it today. Law is a bifurcated field between haves and have-nots. Starting salaries out of law school are bi-modal, which the majority of new graduates making around $50k (to go with usually substantial student loans), and a minority starting at $180k (soon to be $190k as the major firms have recently upped the ante). Which side you end up on is mostly a function of which school you go to. Yale graduates can take their pick of highly paid jobs (or a professorship if they'd prefer to keep their heads in the clouds),while some lesser known schools are lucky to send one or two graduates into such jobs. If you end up on the high side of that bi-modal curve, you will get crushed with work, although tax tends to be somewhat of a haven from the truly insane hours some of the M&A associates have to put up with. In order to get a nice in-house job that I have, starting at a large law or CPA firm is pretty much a prerequisite - Exxon is the only company I am aware of that recruits tax lawyers straight out of school.

Which school you go to is largely a function of your LSAT score, so I think a prerequisite is that you need to be someone who does well with standardized tests. On top of that, you need to be someone who enjoys logical analysis and is good at communicating that analysis. Finally, you need to be aware that law school can be a risky gamble due to cost. It's possible to start your career $300k+ in debt if you borrow full-freight. Doable if you stay in a highly-paid job, but the burn out rate is high at law firms and there's only so many highly paid jobs outside the law firm world.

Of course there are lawyers who build successful small practices without high-end academic credentials. Some are more financially successful than any large firm lawyer. However, corporate tax is not really a place where that can be done. It's effectively impossible to get into the field without significant time in a large institution. You simply can't attract the types of clients who will give you the experience you need. There's very few small firms that are able to attract such business. The only successful small firm tax lawyers I'm aware of were already leaders in the field before they struck out on their own.

TLB
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by TLB » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:04 am

I'm a Plumber, it's been good for me and my family.

shorvath
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by shorvath » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:05 am

Academia.. adjacent? I'm pretty young (30), so I still have a long career story ahead of me. However, i often am stumped in the moment for how to best describe what I do, so approaching this as a bit of an exercise.

Most of what I do right now is technology transfer for medical research (software based mainly), i.e. trying to get academic research to a place where it is usable and marketable. We partner with university researchers on grants, and also do contracts with young start ups.

Recommend? It was a long and weird path to get here, and I've found that people with PhDs rarely recommend that anyone else get them :D Having the PhD for this work is very helpful, if for no other reason than Dr. D. Roboticist commands much more immediate respect from medical researchers then D. Roboticist, BSE (or MS ) :annoyed .
Drunken Roboticist

abner kravitz
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by abner kravitz » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:20 am

Corporate Finance at Megacorp. The pay and benefits were very good and the hours were usually reasonable. I also retired the first day I was eligible for retirement benefits, because I didn't like it all that much. Corporate BS can be soul-sucking.

stoptothink
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:21 am

Chief Health and Exercise Scientist for a niche health products company that is the biggest player (~4,000 employees) in its industry. I work for an amazing company, named one of the top-10 mid-size companies to work for in the country by Forbes 3yrs running. I got lucky, studied exercise physiology and nutrition from undergrad through my doctorate; I had zero intentions of ending up where I am at. In fact, had you asked me if i'd be working in this industry just 5yrs ago I would have laughed. I thought I'd spend my life training professional and olympic athletes and possibly work on the side in academia (I was, until last year still teaching a class a semester at a local university), but the opportunity in the corporate world was simply better. My career is amazing; I may be underpaid for my level of education and fancy title (very much so, based upon countless comments of posters on this site), but I work in an amazing environment and my employer basically has created a job specifically for me - as long as I can explain how it values the company, I pretty much do whatever I want.

I would absolutely recommend what I do, I almost couldn't imagine being more content with what I do for a living and the work/life balance it offers (though, of course, more money would be nice), but there isn't exactly an abundance of opportunities to do what I do. I was recruited by a growing company who liked me enough that they basically told me I could create my own job if I came on board. I would not recommend younger kids study what I did in school and spend a decade bouncing around working in the strength & conditioning/athletic training and public health industries, but it worked for me.

Glockenspiel
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Glockenspiel » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:24 am

Civil Engineer - Water Resources emphasis - consulting engineer - Good pay, good consistent raises, went from Engineer-In-Training to Project Manager within 10 years, found a job even in 2008, sometimes a little stressful when multiple project deadlines are aligning close to each other, but typically I only work 40-42 hours a week. I'd recommend it, but I do think other career paths are more lucrative for someone with above average intelligence.

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Sheepdog
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Sheepdog » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:26 am

Chemical Engineer, then chemical (paints and resins) factory management. It was a good career and I would do it again. Factory and union supervision were never a problem; to the contrary, human relations was rewarding. Factory management is different today in regards to employee (sorry...team member) management as I have been told by present factory managers. I hope that I would have adjusted to the new norm. What is great about U.S. coatings manufacturing is that 90% of it is still made in the U.S. And, chemical engineers are needed and earn excellent starting and continued salary growth.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Spedward » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:29 am

retired recently wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:38 am
I was a managing partner of a Big 4 audit firm and would highly recommend auditing for a Big 4 firm for anyone that likes accounting.

The con is the working hours for sure as there are many late nights but there is ample down time too.

The pros are the money is typically quite good, most of your colleagues are a similar age, at a very early stage of your career you interact with senior level people in many top companies, you see the inner-workings of many companies, there are typically numerous opportunities to travel (sometimes this is a con) and you learn quite a bit pretty quickly.
Tax partner here.

Agree with everything said.

Tax world is changing and compliance is moving to more automation, which is increasing the need for the demand for tax advisory related skills. Pay is great for those who can (1) stomach the hours and (2) are passionate.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:34 am

My previous career was working as a manager in the financial services field. I did that for a few years but didn't find it to be very fulfilling. I’ve been teaching 5th grade for the past 15 years and enjoy it. Teaching isn’t for everyone but I would recommend it for the right type of person. For those who want a big paycheck, it isn’t the best work out there. If time is valued more and the individual enjoys working with kids, it might be worth looking into. Other benefits include having lots of days off, good job security, and a pension. Most of the years have been good ones but I’ve had some tough ones as well. In any case, I’ve looked forward to working on most days and still feel that way.

There is a wide range out there in terms of work environment. I’ve been very fortunate by working most of my career for a good principal at a school where the students are hard-working, but not everyone finds themselves in a position like that. Personally, there isn’t anything else I’d rather do.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Cheyenne » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:36 am

Professional musician. Recommended.

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Will do good
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Will do good » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:48 am

retiringtype wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:41 am
Advertising. Stay away...far away. It was always quite stressful, but the stress was balanced by the perks: Good pay, lots of travel, interesting people and projects. That's mostly all gone now. Virtually all agencies have to kick back money to their holding companies nowadays — and the CEOs make millions. And then there's Google and Facebook sucking away ad dollars. Plus I know of one big client who's beginning to explore having their advertising written by computers. Yikes.

I heard it described perfectly the other day: We gone from Mad Men to Math Men.
Your company sounded like the old agency I worked for, the old glamour ad game ended a long time ago.
Those of us that got in and out early did well.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:57 am

Software engineering/management. Highly recommend if you enjoy it, but don't go into it just for the money or you might be miserable.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by GAAP » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:04 am

Telecom in general, Wireless for the last 24 years.

No, I wouldn't recommend it. When I started, this was a growth industry. Wireless in particular was in early adoption mode. Now, it's mature with rapidly declining margins, and increasing competition.

If I was hoping to change careers, I would look for a field and industry in early growth, it's a lot more fun.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by delamer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:08 am

Stinky wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:23 am
Actuary. It has been rated in the "top 10" by many lists over the years, and the ranking is correct. Once a person finishes their actuarial examinations (usually happens before age 30), unemployment is basically zero, salaries are very good, and the stress level is relatively low.

I would highly recommend the profession for someone who meets the basic criteria - a strong aptitude for math (practical math, not PhD-type math), and a desire to work in business.

Any career/training that demonstrates above average proficiency in math is a good option.

It is a surprisingly rare skill, and employers will pay for that expertise.

My field was economics/statistics, mostly with the federal government. Government jobs have their downsides, but my work was interesting, the hours reasonable, and the benefits are good.

N10sive
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by N10sive » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:12 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:33 am
I honestly believe that going into a trade like plumbing will be more lucrative and stable than engineering. It's one of the jobs that can't be outsourced.
Interesting you say this. I too am an EE and currently feel my I am close to my top pay range for me only having a BSEE. To increase that I need to gain more experience in coding, move to management, or go somewhere that EE's are in demand but no one wants to move too. And gain more experience but in my current role in hardware test/verification I do not get to do much design.

I love working on cars/dirtbikes/etc and have actually thought of changing my career despite the pay drop. I love fixing things, I could even see plumbing as a path or welding.

To OP, the EE field encompasses many different professions and feel you can really pick any interest you want. From renewable energy, designing IC chips, software engineering, biomedical, etc etc. Its been a good path, currently at a megacorp but am more of a startup person which has me really wanting to do something else.
Last edited by N10sive on Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:14 am

Sheepdog wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:26 am
Chemical Engineer, then chemical (paints and resins) factory management. It was a good career and I would do it again. Factory and union supervision were never a problem; to the contrary, human relations was rewarding. Factory management is different today in regards to employee (sorry...team member) management as I have been told by present factory managers. I hope that I would have adjusted to the new norm. What is great about U.S. coatings manufacturing is that 90% of it is still made in the U.S. And, chemical engineers are needed and earn excellent starting and continued salary growth.
+1
ChemE, always in chemical plant environment, from 1971-2017. Never really unemployed. About half&half operations engineer/manager and EHS manager. I preferred operations, but the EHS background, especially as RCRA & OSHA regulations evolved, was invaluable.

Also worked in resins, as well as agricultural chemicals, precious metal plating chemicals and various organic specialty markets.

Jesteroftheswamp
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Jesteroftheswamp » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:17 am

Medical device sales. If you’re not smart enough to be a doctor or an engineer, I would absolutely recommend it if you want to have a six figure income.

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SimpleGift
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by SimpleGift » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:18 am

Geographer (retired), specializing in mapping and satellite image analysis for conservation groups.

Came of age and was trained in the "manual era" of paper maps, aerial photography and acetate overlays. But modern training today in digital geographic information systems and satellite remote sensing should be applicable to many fields, beyond just conservation. Highly recommended for folks with spatial and visual aptitudes.
Cordially, Todd

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by bert09 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:21 am

Software engineer - I would absolutely recommend it. I have a hard time seeing the demand slow down any time soon, and it is easily the most lucrative career you can have with the lowest amount of education. You can feasibly get OK-paying entry-level jobs being self-taught without a college degree. On the other end of the spectrum you can be making doctor-tier salaries with a bachelor's degree.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by friar1610 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:27 am

Military (Navy) officer for 28+ years. I generally enjoyed it very much, had mostly interesting assignments and great people to work with. My retired Navy email network seems to think it's not nearly as great now for a variety of reasons. I don't know if this is true or if it's just the inevitable grousing of old farts. Since I've been retired (from the Navy) for > 20 years, I would hesitate to either recommend or not recommend it now because I just don't know. (But the inflation-adjusted pension sure is great!)

After the Navy I worked for 6-7 years for several Defense Contractors ("Beltway Bandits") in management/client interface positions before retiring for good. I generally did not enjoy that at all although the pay was pretty good. In retrospect I sorta wish I'd tried teaching post-Navy but I don't know whether or not I would have been able to adapt at that age ((50-ish).
Friar1610

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Glockenspiel » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:35 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:33 am

I honestly believe that going into a trade like plumbing will be more lucrative and stable than engineering. It's one of the jobs that can't be outsourced.
Civil Engineers will never be outsourced to another country. There are too many local, state, and federal regulations, codes, standards, requirements that need to be followed that someone from India will never be able to get a grasp of as well as someone who lives in the locale. Especially in consulting, my clients would NEVER hire a consulting firm from Asia. They prefer engineering firms located in their city or state.

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