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

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Ilikesparklers
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:27 pm

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

Post by Ilikesparklers » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:00 pm

Flux wrote:
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.
+1

I'm a CPA, but I work in corporate accounting doing general accounting. I graduated college with a Bio degree. If you are detail-oriented and enjoy sitting in front of a computer using Excel, this is a great career. Everyone thinks you have to be really good at math to be an accountant. Nope. ~95% of the math I do is simple adding and subtracting. The barrier to entry is low. My accounting classes were taken at community colleges in order to get the required course-load to qualify for the CPA exam. This was back in 2011.

There are plenty of routine, low-stress accounting jobs where you can work about 40 hours a week for a very good salary. I'd highly recommend this profession. (There also many high-paying accounting/CPA jobs where you'll work 50+ hours a week and be STRESSED. I'd avoid those.)

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

Post by Church Lady » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:06 pm

bert09 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
Software Engineer.

It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play.

Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :(

Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to be well paid. I guess if you could land such a job, it would be OK. We could say that about a great many professions, though, couldn't we?

Would I recommend it today? I'll never say never, but I will say do not finance a CS degree. Someday, you'll be training your Chinese, Indian, former Soviet Union replacements. You don't want to be paying off your student loans when that happens.
This is pretty interesting to me, because I have had the exact opposite experience. I guess it shows how wide of a range of conditions there are in the field - as someone living on the west coast working for a large tech company I see the opposite trend for almost everything you mentioned.
Hi, Bert ...
So instead of ageism, you're seeing grey heads as new hires?
Instead of offshoring, you're seeing projects and departments repatriated?
Your working conditions are improving?
Lots of women in senior technical positions?

Just wondering ... and I'm glad you have a great gig.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

bert09
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by bert09 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:33 pm

Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:06 pm
bert09 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
Software Engineer.

It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play.

Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :(

Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to be well paid. I guess if you could land such a job, it would be OK. We could say that about a great many professions, though, couldn't we?

Would I recommend it today? I'll never say never, but I will say do not finance a CS degree. Someday, you'll be training your Chinese, Indian, former Soviet Union replacements. You don't want to be paying off your student loans when that happens.
This is pretty interesting to me, because I have had the exact opposite experience. I guess it shows how wide of a range of conditions there are in the field - as someone living on the west coast working for a large tech company I see the opposite trend for almost everything you mentioned.
Hi, Bert ...
So instead of ageism, you're seeing grey heads as new hires?
Instead of offshoring, you're seeing projects and departments repatriated?
Your working conditions are improving?
Lots of women in senior technical positions?

Just wondering ... and I'm glad you have a great gig.
I can't speak to ageism too much, but there is definitely a desire to hire more experienced developers instead of just churning through college hires, but a big difficulty is incentivising established people with families/houses/etc. to move to a HCOL with a housing shortage.

As far as offshoring goes, since I work at a primarily tech company almost everything is built internally and there is very little to no reliance on contractors or anything 3rd party.

My working conditions are at least as good as what I would expect from a similar office job in a different field and I have a decent work-life balance.

There is definitely still a gap in the number of women in senior positions, but I have been fortunate enough to work in a team where that is not the case as much as I have seen elsewhere, and over the past couple of years everyone has been a lot more focused on diversity and inclusivity.

That all being said, I would venture to guess that I am pretty fortunate with my situation and that it is not representative of the majority of people's experiences, even probably within the company I work for.

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

Post by MNGopher » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:51 pm

Science teacher/Coach. 1990-present. Great benefits, so-so pay. I don't regret the career at all and most of it has been rewarding, however I couldn't do it for another 28 years, that's for sure.

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

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:06 pm

Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:06 pm
bert09 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
Software Engineer.

It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play.

Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :(

Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to be well paid. I guess if you could land such a job, it would be OK. We could say that about a great many professions, though, couldn't we?

Would I recommend it today? I'll never say never, but I will say do not finance a CS degree. Someday, you'll be training your Chinese, Indian, former Soviet Union replacements. You don't want to be paying off your student loans when that happens.
This is pretty interesting to me, because I have had the exact opposite experience. I guess it shows how wide of a range of conditions there are in the field - as someone living on the west coast working for a large tech company I see the opposite trend for almost everything you mentioned.
Hi, Bert ...
So instead of ageism, you're seeing grey heads as new hires?
Instead of offshoring, you're seeing projects and departments repatriated?
Your working conditions are improving?
Lots of women in senior technical positions?

Just wondering ... and I'm glad you have a great gig.
I do see all those things, actually. The experience in software companies in very different than the experience in non-tech megacorps.

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

Post by DanMahowny » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:12 pm

This is a great thread.
Funding secured

trueson1
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by trueson1 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:22 pm

Pharmaceutical Research Scientist:

Lots of training and education to get to the top but top pay and benefits.
Somewhat stressful and high pressure at times but get to work on projects that you get to see make a difference in the length and quality of life of pets (in my case). Great job!

I wouldn't change a thing - unless I could get full pay for half time work and spend the other half as a musician or fishing - or both. :sharebeer

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

Post by averagedude » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:28 pm

I am just a grunt worker in a warehouse, driving a forklift. aka an averagedude. The characteristics of the job is hourly, in the food distribution business, physically demanding, mostly low pay in general, but the job i got pays production which gives me an average median income. I do love being on my feet and doing something physical instead of sitting behind a desk. I would rather have my job than 90% of the other jobs that are out there. Perhaps if i had it to do all over again, i would become an employee of the Vanguard Group, helping clients financially accomplish there long range goals. Im just grateful that i was born in a country of opportunity and freedom where my outcome boils down to the decisions i make in my life. Luck does play a role, but i like what Warren Buffet says. You don't have to do alot of things right, as long as you avoid the big mistakes.

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

Post by mindboggling » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:07 pm

Retired now. I spent my entire career on the technical side of the television broadcast industry. I've worked for two TV stations (large & small), three broadcast equipment manufacturers (large & small), and two television networks. Job titles I've held include operations technician, maintenance engineer, final test technician, field service engineer, project engineer, product manager and tech-support engineer.
Broadcasting used to be a unique, prestigious industry. Not so much anymore. Many technical jobs are now daily-hire. Many jobs that used to be more technical are less so these days. Big companies have pretty much crushed the unions. I'm glad to have gotten out when I did. I don't even own a television. I don't find television entertaining, and TV news is a poor source of information about the world.

So, how did I even get involved with it in the first place? Well, I attended college in the early 70s when the underground music of the late-60s was just getting commercialized. I started working at the college radio station and it became the focus of my life. I barely got my engineering degree. Back then one needed a license from the FCC (1st Class Radiotelephone) to be a technician at a radio or TV station. I got it, found a job at a small TV station in central Massachusetts and I was off to the races.
In broken mathematics, We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson

sschoe2
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:42 pm

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

Post by sschoe2 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:11 pm

Biochemistry BSc. Chemist-Bio and Analytical MSc.
Wound up in the food industry despite my education being more applicable to pharmaceuticals research. I got into analytical as that is where most of the jobs are.

Would I recommend it? F-No. I still get recruiters wanting me to work for $15 an hour and contract no benefits. Most of the companies near me don't even value Chemists enough to hire them directly and go through them like disposable pipette tips. If I knew then what I know now I definitely would not have majored in any of the sciences. I live frugally and save like crazy because if anything happens to my current job I am in a lot of trouble and would like to either retrain or just retire early.
Last edited by sschoe2 on Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Church Lady » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:22 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:06 pm
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:06 pm
bert09 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
Software Engineer.

It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play.

Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :(

Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to be well paid. I guess if you could land such a job, it would be OK. We could say that about a great many professions, though, couldn't we?

Would I recommend it today? I'll never say never, but I will say do not finance a CS degree. Someday, you'll be training your Chinese, Indian, former Soviet Union replacements. You don't want to be paying off your student loans when that happens.
This is pretty interesting to me, because I have had the exact opposite experience. I guess it shows how wide of a range of conditions there are in the field - as someone living on the west coast working for a large tech company I see the opposite trend for almost everything you mentioned.
Hi, Bert ...
So instead of ageism, you're seeing grey heads as new hires?
Instead of offshoring, you're seeing projects and departments repatriated?
Your working conditions are improving?
Lots of women in senior technical positions?

Just wondering ... and I'm glad you have a great gig.
I do see all those things, actually. The experience in software companies in very different than the experience in non-tech megacorps.
Kyle, I worked at a tech Megacorp. To be sure, it was old tech :) but nonetheless a tech Megacorp.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

Hidjet
Posts: 8
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Hidjet » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:34 pm

Water Treatment Operator (drinking water).

I would recommend for sure. I work for a city that has good benefits, liveable wages, pension through the state, and the work isn't too difficult. Also everyone I've met working in/around the water industry seems to enjoy what they do. Those folks also tend to be long tenured, as in they stick with those types of jobs for a long time.

It's a good career that seems pretty recession proof and . There is a sense of pride that you are providing the most essential need for life. It's not glitz and glam and you probably won't be making millions but I live a comfortable life and plan to stay where I am until I retire.

mx711yam
Posts: 116
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by mx711yam » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:45 pm

I was State Trooper. NO I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND BEING A POLICE OFFICER.

I now own a business. Definitely recommend owning your own business if you can deal with the feast/famine world and the stress that comes with that. :sharebeer

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

Post by DVMResident » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:48 pm

trueson1 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:22 pm
Pharmaceutical Research Scientist:

Lots of training and education to get to the top but top pay and benefits.
Somewhat stressful and high pressure at times but get to work on projects that you get to see make a difference in the length and quality of life of pets (in my case). Great job!

I wouldn't change a thing - unless I could get full pay for half time work and spend the other half as a musician or fishing - or both. :sharebeer
+1. Veterinarian/researcher here (ironically working on human health these days). I love this field and you get to makes indirect contributions for people and animals with grievous illnesses who have often have no options. It can be an incredibility moving field with strong intellectual challenges, hope, and smart colleagues.

Couple thoughts on the pro: moving, satisfying, and generally decently compensated with high degrees (MS with technical specialties or, better, a PhD).
Neutral: geography. Most concentrated in Boston plus New England/NJ >>> Bay Area >> San Diego and Seattle.
Con: the work is project based. This is similar to engineers who must hop from contract to contract. Pharma doesn't use the same language, but the effect is the same: instability. Your specialty may be in hot for a few years (e.g. immunology now) and not in other years.

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

Post by joeblow » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:57 pm

Jayhawk11 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:44 am
Attorney here, I cannot recommend it to anyone unless they can graduate with less than, say, $50k in debt.

I was a "winner" - top 3 law school, biglaw job, and paid off my 200k in student loans in 3.5 years. Now I have a job that I really love working in the public sector for a solid middle class income.

You do not know pressure until you have to come up with that NONDISCHARGEABLE student debt nut every month during the great recession. Law is not for everyone - even most - in that it adversarial, high pressure, and mostly terrible hours. Look at the rates of alcoholism and divorce among most attorneys.

It does allow poly sci idiots (like myself) a chance to hit it big in plaintiffs work - but that's a lot of hustle. If you have that hustle you can make it other ways.
Reading this while having a cocktail. :beer

I heard someone say once...the practice of law is a hard way to make a good living.

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

Post by Cycle » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:27 pm

Biomedical engineer. Mechanical focus. Started working at 22 in R&D and am 12 years into my career.

I would recommend it and would do it again. As an individual contributor, I get to lead a small team of designers and also do a lot of designing / testing / modeling myself. Get to impant my devices in animals and cadavers every month or so. The work is challenging. Job is low stress.

Pay is better if going management track but I find that to be less interesting than the engineering work and have been FI for a while so I don't need any more pay increases.

il0kin
Posts: 137
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by il0kin » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:30 pm

Business Intelligence for me, aka database report writing and data analytics, primarily with SQL tools. I am most definitely on the lower end of the age curve on the Bogleheads board at 29, but I think that the field is strong and the prospects are good. Data is used to make decisions across all kinds of business, and being able to understand, wrangle and present information in meaningful ways to support management is a valuable position to be in. The pay is good in my MCOL, 70-80k for junior analysts and 90-110k for the senior folks in a developer type role doing more advanced work. Each day is a new puzzle and new problem to solve.

There are also a lot of careers which can be transitioned to: ETL developer, database administrator, application support, operational analytics/strategic development type work, etc.

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

Post by FreeAtLast » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:39 pm

Bachelor's in Chemistry. Health and Safety Specialist. I think I posted some of these items within the last year, although I am too lazy to do a search to find out:

Assess and manage asbestos hazards and supervise removals.
Assess and manage hazardous chemical hazards and supervise removals.
Assess and manage environmental pollution hazards and supervise removals.
Assess and manage ionizing radiation hazards (radon mostly) and supervise abatement procedures.
Assess and manage lead-based paints hazards and supervise removals.
Assess and manage drinking water quality issues.
Assess potential violations of Building/Fire Codes and enforce correction of violations.
Assess and manage potential hazards to worker safety (electrical, machinery, welding, confined spaces, etc.)
Assess and correct potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Interact with federal, state, and local law enforcement with regards to buildings' safety procedures.

And there's more......but the point I am trying to make is that I learned something new and different and challenging every single day of my career. If you are the sort of person who needs such a job - and I am pretty sure that a lot of the folks who participate in this forum fall into that category - then a career in health/safety management may be for you. As for me, in a parallel universe I think I would have wound up as a chemical or electrical engineer.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

Sportswhiz00
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Sportswhiz00 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:59 pm

Attorney. Would not recommend. High pay means high hours, high stress. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to get into a top ten Law school. Otherwise it’s low pay, high hours, high stress.

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

Post by T-Wrench » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:50 pm

Ollie123 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:00 pm
Downside is I am absolutely being eaten alive by bureaucracy and I don't know how sustainable this is.
Past careers: Researcher (so I sympathize with Ollie), Editor, Race Team Crew Member, and Volunteer Non-Profit President (yes, I know that no one considers that 'experience' :happy ).

I am in technology transfer (as someone else on the board was; hi!) at a major university in the US. I am one of the bureaucrats on the other side of Ollie and feel like the bureaucracy weighs me down as well. I also don't know how sustainable most higher-ed madness is.

I entered this field on accident; I developed an allergy that essentially kicked me out of science and had to figure out what to do. While most of my colleagues were excited to get away from the lab bench, I felt like the option was taken from me when I hadn't gotten burned out yet.

Pro: You work at an interesting intersection of business, intellectual property law, and technology; your job is to get nascent technology out to the market where it can actually help people, including mentoring startups.

Pro: You are compensated well (for being a state worker) because you're in one of the sections of the university (or company) that brings in money directly.

Pro: If you have an advanced science degree and hated the lab bench, you can still have a nice job in an office that uses your background.

Pro/Con: Must be open to a sales role where you don't earn commissions (it's not called sales, but you're trying to convince someone else to put millions of dollars into developing your embryonic technology to the point where it can be considered a product to sell). Great if you like people and sales, terrible if not.

Con: In most cases, you're still a state worker and all of your emails are subject to FOIA requests, among other issues.

Con: You're a part of the bureaucracy that you likely hated before.

Recommended for: science and engineering PhDs (especially engineering, few go down this route) that don't want to do research any more but still want to be involved in technology. Must be willing to learn the basics of IP law (you don't have to take the patent bar necessarily, just know the basics of what can be patented) and contracting.

3504PIR
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by 3504PIR » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:11 pm

Career number 1 was as an Infantry officer in the Army. I have mixed feelings about recommending it. I spent the majority of my career trying to one up myself by getting into more elite units and testing myself until about the 16 year point. Think airborne and ranger units. Mostly now I look back and think of that time in my life as if it was someone else. Other than that I think “what we’re you thinking?” Overall I don’t think I’d recommend it. Very happy that I’m still being paid for that via retirement tho.

Career number 2 is as a strategist/policy development specialist. I’d recommend that for sure and particularly enjoy the policy side.

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

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:15 pm

Med school acceptance letter in hand but went this way.
Finance>Banking>Construction>R/E Developer.
Nobody knows where paths will end up. . . .
j

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

Post by fujiters » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:04 am

Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:06 pm
bert09 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
Software Engineer.

It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play.

Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :(

Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to be well paid. I guess if you could land such a job, it would be OK. We could say that about a great many professions, though, couldn't we?

Would I recommend it today? I'll never say never, but I will say do not finance a CS degree. Someday, you'll be training your Chinese, Indian, former Soviet Union replacements. You don't want to be paying off your student loans when that happens.
This is pretty interesting to me, because I have had the exact opposite experience. I guess it shows how wide of a range of conditions there are in the field - as someone living on the west coast working for a large tech company I see the opposite trend for almost everything you mentioned.
Hi, Bert ...
So instead of ageism, you're seeing grey heads as new hires?
Instead of offshoring, you're seeing projects and departments repatriated?
Your working conditions are improving?
Lots of women in senior technical positions?

Just wondering ... and I'm glad you have a great gig.
If he's in a government job, maybe.
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham

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

Post by DrivingFun » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:46 am

Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:06 pm
bert09 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
Software Engineer.

It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play.

Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :(

Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to be well paid. I guess if you could land such a job, it would be OK. We could say that about a great many professions, though, couldn't we?

Would I recommend it today? I'll never say never, but I will say do not finance a CS degree. Someday, you'll be training your Chinese, Indian, former Soviet Union replacements. You don't want to be paying off your student loans when that happens.
This is pretty interesting to me, because I have had the exact opposite experience. I guess it shows how wide of a range of conditions there are in the field - as someone living on the west coast working for a large tech company I see the opposite trend for almost everything you mentioned.
Hi, Bert ...
So instead of ageism, you're seeing grey heads as new hires?
Instead of offshoring, you're seeing projects and departments repatriated?
Your working conditions are improving?
Lots of women in senior technical positions?

Just wondering ... and I'm glad you have a great gig.
I'm somewhere in between both of you. I found offshoring springing up all over the place around 2010, especially with larger companies. I ended up moving to a small financial firm with a tiny IT department that very much values its people. Salaries seem to be growing in general, at a decent enough pace. I really don't know what is "normal" anymore, but I'd say for anyone with say 10 years experience $120K-150K is probably average, with great benefits. As far as women in in senior technical positions, I think it's the chicken or the egg conundrum, as with most fields where women are by far a minority. We need more women to take interest in the field first IMHO. From CS degree in 04' to now, I've come across very few women in the field.

My biggest issue with this field is the pace at which it changes. When I was mid 20s, I found interest and joy in having my nose in the books outside of work. Now in my mid to late 30s, I have a family and very little desire to put in the effort to stay current. If you're not working for a company that constantly uses the latest and greatest, invests in your education, etc. You'll find yourself a dinosaur in a short order. I work for a small company with ongoing projects that started in more than 5 years ago, I have no chance to work on newer technologies. It got so bad in recent years especially with web stacks that you can't even find books that are current. By the time Angular 2 book shows up, the latest is already Angular 6. By the time you go through Angular 2 book, people are already on to some other framework. Everything is moving at the speed of light and it's a real concern for me sustaining this career, at least in such way where I preserve my higher-end salary.

retiringtype
Posts: 40
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by retiringtype » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:16 am

trojans10 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:48 pm
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.
Interesting. I work in digital advertising - went from creating the ads to doing more of the tracking, and analytics of advertisements and web traffic - has been fun and interesting. So essentially 'web analytics'. Have a degree in information systems and accounting. Since the advertising industry is changing so much, it makes me wonder if I should get out and start prepping for another career. My options I"m thinking are: Go back to school to finish accounting classes, and get a CPA OR continue in analytics, and focus more on data analytics - business analytics OR front-end development OR get salesforce certified and move to marketing automation. No idea what is best.
I was on the creative side of advertising. Loved shooting TV commercials and doing splashy print ads. Those days are long, long gone. Doing digital creative doesn't even come close to measuring up in terms of satisfaction. And the bigger salaries are now going mostly to the data & analytics people. Right before I quit, I was literally making half the salary I was ten years ago.

One more thing: Advertising was always a younger person's game, but today the ageism has become even more extreme. I read one statistic the other day: Only 4% of people in advertising are over age 50. I was over 60. I truly beat the odds.

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

Post by AerialWombat » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:24 am

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Last edited by AerialWombat on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Blueskies123 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:29 am

Corporate finance here, management type. Very good pay but with money comes a lot of stress. The biggest problem with corporate finance is mergers and acquisitions over a very long career. At some point you will be out on the street with a family and a big paycheck to replace. So I would vote no on my career choice unless you stay out of management or are very driven and willing to relocate several times in your career.

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

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:40 am

averagedude wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:28 pm
I am just a grunt worker in a warehouse, driving a forklift. aka an averagedude.
Averagedude.
There is no such thing as being "just a grunt worker". Our good world would not exist without "grunts". You are our muscle, blood and backbone and brains who has served. Congratulations for being here and thank you for what you have done for us all.
Just don't say "just a grunt worker"
Jim
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

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

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:00 pm

Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:22 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:06 pm
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:06 pm
bert09 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am
Church Lady wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
Software Engineer.

It used to be a great gig. It was like getting paid to play.

Lately, not so much. :( Wage busting, glass ceiling, ageism, offshoring, deteriorating working conditions ... now its a meh job. :( :(

Some software work is cutting edge, glamorous, and exciting. It is even rumored to be well paid. I guess if you could land such a job, it would be OK. We could say that about a great many professions, though, couldn't we?

Would I recommend it today? I'll never say never, but I will say do not finance a CS degree. Someday, you'll be training your Chinese, Indian, former Soviet Union replacements. You don't want to be paying off your student loans when that happens.
This is pretty interesting to me, because I have had the exact opposite experience. I guess it shows how wide of a range of conditions there are in the field - as someone living on the west coast working for a large tech company I see the opposite trend for almost everything you mentioned.
Hi, Bert ...
So instead of ageism, you're seeing grey heads as new hires?
Instead of offshoring, you're seeing projects and departments repatriated?
Your working conditions are improving?
Lots of women in senior technical positions?

Just wondering ... and I'm glad you have a great gig.
I do see all those things, actually. The experience in software companies in very different than the experience in non-tech megacorps.
Kyle, I worked at a tech Megacorp. To be sure, it was old tech :) but nonetheless a tech Megacorp.
Was it IBM?

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

Post by SQRT » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:30 pm

CPA/MBA. Leading to finance job at big bank. Eventually became CFO. Lots of stress and fairly long hours (50-60 hours per week). Very interesting work with quality people. Pay was outstanding. Loved it for most of my career but eventually it got “old”. Retired at 56 with a very well funded retirement.

Would I recommend to others. Sure but it’s tough. Plenty of education, ambition, smarts,aptitude and mostly luck required. That’s true for most worthwhile careers though. My Son-in -law is on the same path. Seems to be doing very well.

Edit to add an anecdote about how I got into my career.
I flunked out of advanced science studies after second year University. Went to work in a wharehouse environment in the food distribution business moving boxes around and driving a fork lift. Eventually went back to school part time at night. My first course was Accounting 100. Couldn’t figure out why so many of my fellow students wore suits to class. I had my jeans, steel toed boots and Jean jacket on. Asked one of them and he said they were CPA students. I had never heard of that. Asked him how much a new CPA made and he said $11 k per year. Way more than I was making at the time or expected to make in that current job.

Turned out I had quite an aptitude for accounting and finance and got much higher marks than the CPA students. Given that, I decided to pursue that field. Worked out really well.
Last edited by SQRT on Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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

Post by hmw » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:42 pm

I am a subspecialty surgeon.

Pros: high income, good job security, able to make a real difference to patients’ lives

Cons: long period of training with grueling hours. When I was a resident, I worked 60 to 100 hours a week.

Medicine isn’t for everyone. I would not recommend it to my son.

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

Post by pjbyrne707 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:15 pm

Acute care nurse practitioner practicing in gastroenterology, private practice seeing patients in the outpatient setting and inpatient consults. Love my career, can’t imaging doing anything else. Very good pay (110-120k), work/life balance (no weekends, holidays off, no on call - this is specific to GI and likely varies depending on speciality), very rewarding making a positive impact in people’s lives.

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

Post by Mursili » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:03 pm

Mechanical Engineer (ME) here with an emphasis on the fluids and thermo-physics side of the house. Ending up specializing in explosives technology. I can tell you the field is really booming!

I would certainly recommend ME to anyone, but I went the path of getting a PhD and working at a government laboratory. I can't complain even though not everything is the way I would wish it to be.
When it comes to havoc, no one wreaks like me! - Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

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

Post by hicabob » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:34 pm

Mursili wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:03 pm
Mechanical Engineer (ME) here with an emphasis on the fluids and thermo-physics side of the house. Ending up specializing in explosives technology. I can tell you the field is really booming!

I would certainly recommend ME to anyone, but I went the path of getting a PhD and working at a government laboratory. I can't complain even though not everything is the way I would wish it to be.
Just a simple software enginerd here, robotics specialty for the last 80% of my career. It has been very good to me culminating in my own small biz which I sold for a nice sum and retired. Having worked with ME's most of my career and having a decent aptitude at it I always liked the field. ME knowledge seems to be so cumulative, the older guys usually run circles around the young whippersnappers. Software engineering is great but requires constant effort to learn the new flavor of the day if one wants to stay current.

s8r
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by s8r » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:19 pm

Mechanical engineer for a couple of years now, specifically vibrations R&D. The company is great and the pay is OK, but sometimes I miss the high-level maths of uni since I am not a practically oriented person. Plenty of programming is great, though.

I would recommend mechanical engineering, especially the simulation field since at least in my country the demand is huge.

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

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:25 pm

ping1050 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:50 pm
Ophthalmologist-eye surgeon

I work 8:00am-4:30pm Monday thru Friday. During these hours I do work my tail off and typically work thru lunch. The field is procedure based and we get quick, reliable, excellent results the vast majority of the time (cataract surgery/LASIK/eyelids). The pay is solid ~$330k, and I would recommend it again for sure.

Now, the path to get there was not so great. Graduated medical school at age 26 and then residency at age 30. At age 30 I had nearly $300k in (in-state public) medical school loan debt at 6.8%. Fortunately my parents took care of college education so i ONLY had 300k. I am now debt free at 34 but just now have started to save in something other than a roth for retirement.

I would definitely not recommend going to medical school. The lifestyle fields (radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, dermatology, plastics, and less so ENT, ER) are very competitive and I know of many colleagues that ended up doing something they didnt want such as general surgery or family practice due to not ‘matching’ their desired residency. There is an astronomical number of administrators for health care systems now. And with the expected changes coming to health care (declining reimbursement, increased workload, red tape) I wouldn’t advise someone to go into medicine unless they truly felt it was a vocation. The jobs are stable and compensation good but outside of the lifestyle fields listed above, docs are getting burned out and jaded. For instance, lets say you love kids and want to be a pediatrician... graduate from a private medical school with ~350-400k in debt at 6.8%. Job offers for $120k and you peak at around $180k after years in practice... Doesn’t make any sense.
Cardiology: No. This is not a lifestyle field.

I agree with above re: med school. If you can't imagine being happy doing anything else, then do what you have to do, but if there is something else, do that something else.

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

Post by trojans10 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:29 pm

SQRT wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:30 pm
CPA/MBA. Leading to finance job at big bank. Eventually became CFO. Lots of stress and fairly long hours (50-60 hours per week). Very interesting work with quality people. Pay was outstanding. Loved it for most of my career but eventually it got “old”. Retired at 56 with a very well funded retirement.

Would I recommend to others. Sure but it’s tough. Plenty of education, ambition, smarts,and mostly luck required. That’s true for most worthwhile careers though. My SIL is on the same path. Seems to be doing very well.

Edit to add an anecdote about how I got into my career.
I flunked out if advanced science studies after second year University. Went to work in a wharehouse environment in the food distribution business driving a fork lift. Eventually went back to school part time at night. My first course was Accounting 100. Couldn’t figure out why so many of my fellow students wore suits to class. I had my jeans, steel towed boots and Jean jacket on. Asked one of them and he said they were CPA students. I had never heard of that. Asked him how much a new CPA made and he said $11 k per year. Way more than I was making.

Turned out I had quite an aptitude for accounting and finance and got much higher marks than the CPA students. Given that, I decided to pursue that field. Worked out really well.
Curious, I'm 28. Accounting Minor, Information Systems degree. Is it too late to get into Accounting at my age? I could probably get enough credits to sit for CPA in a year, year and a half. BUT, unsure if it would be worth it.

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

Post by magazinewriter » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:43 pm

Sheepdog wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:40 am
averagedude wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:28 pm
I am just a grunt worker in a warehouse, driving a forklift. aka an averagedude.
Averagedude.
There is no such thing as being "just a grunt worker". Our good world would not exist without "grunts". You are our muscle, blood and backbone and brains who has served. Congratulations for being here and thank you for what you have done for us all.
Just don't say "just a grunt worker"
Jim
+1

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

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:47 pm

trojans10 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:29 pm
SQRT wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:30 pm
CPA/MBA. Leading to finance job at big bank. Eventually became CFO. Lots of stress and fairly long hours (50-60 hours per week). Very interesting work with quality people. Pay was outstanding. Loved it for most of my career but eventually it got “old”. Retired at 56 with a very well funded retirement.

Would I recommend to others. Sure but it’s tough. Plenty of education, ambition, smarts,and mostly luck required. That’s true for most worthwhile careers though. My SIL is on the same path. Seems to be doing very well.

Edit to add an anecdote about how I got into my career.
I flunked out if advanced science studies after second year University. Went to work in a wharehouse environment in the food distribution business driving a fork lift. Eventually went back to school part time at night. My first course was Accounting 100. Couldn’t figure out why so many of my fellow students wore suits to class. I had my jeans, steel towed boots and Jean jacket on. Asked one of them and he said they were CPA students. I had never heard of that. Asked him how much a new CPA made and he said $11 k per year. Way more than I was making.

Turned out I had quite an aptitude for accounting and finance and got much higher marks than the CPA students. Given that, I decided to pursue that field. Worked out really well.
Curious, I'm 28. Accounting Minor, Information Systems degree. Is it too late to get into Accounting at my age? I could probably get enough credits to sit for CPA in a year, year and a half. BUT, unsure if it would be worth it.
Start a thread in this forum (Personal Finance (Not Investing)) and ask your questions. This will allow us to better focus on your individual situation.

Feel free to link to your new thread here.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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

Post by magazinewriter » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:51 pm

Journalist. Sadly I must say stay away. I loved it, getting paid to learn something new every day. Mostly I worked in business journalism, interviewing CEOs, reading 10Ks and learning about various industries. But print is almost dead and digital pays nothing. Plus, of course, journalists now rank below garbage collectors in the eyes of many. I’m so glad that I was able to have such a fun career without the constant worry about the next round of job cuts.

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

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:55 pm

42 years in broadcasting, from weekend radio announcer to the Chief Engineer of a network affiliate TV station. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the career I had. However, sadly I would not recommend TV engineering as a long-term career today. The landscape is just changing too much, what with all the competition for eyeballs from the Internet and mobile devices.

I loved my career,and wouldn't have wanted to do anything else. But I got out at a good time.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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

Post by Texgal17 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:14 pm

Postal Worker for 31 years, retired at 56. I loved it in the beginning as the mid 80’s it was booming in my mid size college
town. I was making more money than I ever had with great benefits and tons of overtime. I worked in the processing side
as well as retail. I jumped around doing many different jobs in the post office. I would get bored and want to try different
areas. The Postal Service is federal government but is self- supporting, I.E, no tax dollars go to it.
With all the technology and digital media platforms and the decline of first class mail, they have to survive on “junk” mail
and parcels! Thank you, Amazon!!! Lol.... So even though it was a good career for me, I don’t think I can recommend it.
It’s just dramatically different now....
Texgal

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

Post by staythecourse » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:16 pm

hmw wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:42 pm
I am a subspecialty surgeon.

Pros: high income, good job security, able to make a real difference to patients’ lives

Cons: long period of training with grueling hours. When I was a resident, I worked 60 to 100 hours a week.

Medicine isn’t for everyone. I would not recommend it to my son.
I'm a doc married to one from a family of docs and agree I couldn't suggest going into the field going forward. I see the future being: A LOT of work (grade school, high school, college, residency, fellowship) just to get get to the point of making money (which will be less then current OR much more work to get the same $$$) all the while accumulating HUGE amounts of debt. Then in the end you have folks who are far inferior to your level of knowledge of clinical care and frankly level of intelligence giving you marching orders for the rest of your life. Doesn't sound to appealing. This is the effects of decreasing reimbursements and more employed models either via corporate medicine or the current fad of private equity backed groups.

I would suggest my kid to be a doctor ONLY if it meant as out of pocket field and start your own business. Something where you can find a niche that no one wants and charge in cash. Something like a fibromyalgia clinic or irritable bowel syndrome clinic or specialize in teenage drug addiction and set up in a wealthy suburb or etc... The opportunities are out there, BUT it takes a real rogue attitude to the current model to get the level of satisfaction one wants. Of course, this is all avoided if one just wants to work in a smaller community where the supply of physicians are just not there where the "bosses" have to treat the docs well as it would be difficult to replace them.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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

Post by staythecourse » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:20 pm

magazinewriter wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:51 pm
Plus, of course, journalists now rank below garbage collectors in the eyes of many.
Not to steal your post, but curious if we have any garbage workers out there? I remember reading an article saying how difficult it was to find workers to fill the spots. It seems the pay is pretty good as well. I have one patient who works for a private company and told me with overtime he cleared 100k easy. Pretty good for a guy with likely a GED or high school diploma level of education.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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

Post by student » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:38 pm

edudumb wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:02 pm
acegolfer wrote:
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.
Assistant Professor, 2015 - Present (Management major)
Agreed with the above.
Would I recommend it now? Depends on whether you like mobile life.
I feel that the job market in this profession is very global. You can't bet on applying to schools in the same state/ country/ continent. Though once you get a job and tenure, you can stay in the same school forever. Pay is just so-so at the beginning. The starting salary for junior prof is in the 100k range, or close to 200k if you work at a top school (salary reflects stress and workload). Always makes me wonder the value of my PhD.
Business professors have relatively high salaries. Those in the humanities probably start at around $55k. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... discipline
Last edited by student on Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by stemikger » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:39 pm

I was a hairdresser and my dad owned two shops. My dad passed away 30 years ago at 52 and I was a young 22 year old and lost it all.

I never went to college but was tired of the profession because there were no benefits and the income was not steady. My Mom was a legal secretary and she said a lot of Men are temping as Word Processors. Flash forward 30 years later I have been employed in a large law firm as a lead Word Processor making over 100K a year.

The field probably won't be around in another 10 years which would be around my retirement age, due to the technology, but it provided this High School grad with a decent living. Not everyone here is a professional, but we can still manage to become 401K millionaires.

Would I recommend it. Hell No, but I don't think anyone here is going that route. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably go to school for social work like my daughter and get my MSW. I never cared about becoming a high income person, I'm happy making enough to be an average Joe.
Last edited by stemikger on Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by One Ping » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:41 pm

ofcmetz wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:03 am
Law Enforcement.

I'd never recommend it to someone who just wants a job.

. . . . .

Law Enforcement today is not what it was even 19 years ago when I started. It requires using a lot more technology, and you are policing on camera. Everything that you do is recorded (body cams, surveillance cams, vehicle cams, the public using their cellphones). It's hard for old school cops to get used to it, but its the reality.
All the more reason to thank you for what you do! :beer

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

Post by Outafter20 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:53 pm

Law Enforcement in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.

Sad to say I would not recommend it to this generation of job seekers. Too many people second guess every move you make, including your own executive management. That being said, the job has been very good to me. I hit 25 years in service this week (could have left at 20) and at 45 years old I have been able to provide for my family.

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

Post by goodenyou » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:32 pm

MD. Specialty Surgeon. Would not recommend going to medical school. Way too costly and way too much time. If you don't like it after many years, you will be trapped. How many times have you met someone in a different career that used to be a doctor? Career rapidly changing for the worse. None of my kids will go to medical school. Most of my colleagues' kids will not either. I would recommend being a "provider" if you want to help people. Cost and time is less and compensation is still very good. No need for a residency to call yourself a "specialist", and you can change anytime you wish and become a different "specialist". Not possible as an MD. My wife is a "specialist" Nurse Practitioner.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

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

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:52 pm

Finally decided to join BH after many years of lurking (maybe not since the site inception but close). Great forum and I have learned a lot from you people.

Retired 2 years following 40 as a professional academic librarian.
Best part of career: working with library collections and helping people (especially students) use those collections
2nd best part: having release time and travel money to attend conferences and workshops often in interesting places
Worst part (nothing else is even close): working with other professional MLS degree librarians (far too many of them were either weak and wimpish or rude arrogant and self-centered)

Neutral on the point if I would recommend to others - or for that matter if I would choose it again starting from scratch. Especially from reading many of the above statements the field is relatively low stress and if you work in a good library what you can learn is truly amazing. The pay isn't great but it is not as bad as is often portrayed. In many respects the field has gone through a protracted steady decline for the past 20 years or more. Not just because of technological advances but because the work is much less interpretative then when I entered. Managing paper map and atlas collections was one of my major activities (would not call it a true specialty). Not too hard to figure out what is happening here.

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