Career Advice Request

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Topic Author
shavenyak
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:06 pm

Career Advice Request

Post by shavenyak »

This is to get your input on a career-related question my youngest son will be facing. Brief background: He studied three years at a top university. He was an economics major before he was convinced that he wanted to have a career where he was working closely with people in healthcare. He left college to begin work at an ophthalmology practice as a technician and has gained his first certification (Certified Ophthalmology Assistant). He loves his job, and ophthalmology in particular, and is about to be promoted to a first level management position. He currently makes ~$35,000 a year before the promotion, loves the highly-ranked-city-for-livability he's in, and is engaged to be married this summer.

As of now, he is contemplating one of two choices near term:

1) He has been accepted this fall in an evening, online program at his former university for a bachelor's degree in healthcare/management (total cost would be ~20k). He would work full-time during the day at his current job and take about two classes a semester at night. Again, he loves ophthalmology, but this degree could open up options in a broad range of healthcare careers, with the possibility of better paying jobs in the future.

2) Instead of pursuing the degree, he would work at his current job, where he is appreciated and respected by the long-term thinking owners, and pursue advanced certifications in ophthalmology. With this option he would study in the evenings for the next two levels of certification (employer would pay): (Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist, which would pay ~$50K+ salary) and eventually (Certified Ophthalmic Technician, which would pay ~$65K+ salary). He would grow within his current organization, and he would be even more qualified to move to another city/ophthalmology office if his fiancé's career dictated or he chose to do so in the future. (His fiancé's future is a separate discussion, but, in short, she wants to stay in their current city for at least two or more years.)

Thanks in advance for input on questions he should consider or other recommendations.
stan1
Posts: 14109
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Career Advice Request

Post by stan1 »

Seems like he should figure out how to finish a bachelor's degree, since he's close, and get the certs he would need in his chosen field. Not sure making this a binary choice of one or the other is the right answer.

Could he finish an online degree in his original field of study fairly quickly? A degree, plus the certifications, plus good work experience should put him into a situation where he has some demand for his skills. Finish off the bachelors as easily as possible, and if he later desires a Masters in Health Management pursue that.
tashnewbie
Posts: 4100
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:44 pm

Re: Career Advice Request

Post by tashnewbie »

stan1 wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:30 pm Seems like he should figure out how to finish a bachelor's degree, since he's close, and get the certs he would need in his chosen field. Not sure making this a binary choice of one or the other is the right answer.

Could he finish an online degree in his original field of study fairly quickly? A degree, plus the certifications, plus good work experience should put him into a situation where he has some demand for his skills. Finish off the bachelors as easily as possible, and if he later desires a Masters in Health Management pursue that.
+1

I personally would finish the bachelors in economics. Then pursue a masters and/or other certs if desired.
Topic Author
shavenyak
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:06 pm

Re: Career Advice Request

Post by shavenyak »

tashnewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:53 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:30 pm Seems like he should figure out how to finish a bachelor's degree, since he's close, and get the certs he would need in his chosen field. Not sure making this a binary choice of one or the other is the right answer.

Could he finish an online degree in his original field of study fairly quickly? A degree, plus the certifications, plus good work experience should put him into a situation where he has some demand for his skills. Finish off the bachelors as easily as possible, and if he later desires a Masters in Health Management pursue that.
+1

I personally would finish the bachelors in economics. Then pursue a masters and/or other certs if desired.
Thanks. Understood that finishing the degree in economics is a good suggestion, but that's not a viable option. Among other things, in brief, he can't finish his degree online at his former university and it would take much longer to finish by starting over online elsewhere. Also, his current employer paid for the cost of his initial certification and more; in short, it's important to him to continue to work with his current employer while he pursues option 1) or 2).
tashnewbie
Posts: 4100
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:44 pm

Re: Career Advice Request

Post by tashnewbie »

shavenyak wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:36 am
tashnewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:53 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:30 pm Seems like he should figure out how to finish a bachelor's degree, since he's close, and get the certs he would need in his chosen field. Not sure making this a binary choice of one or the other is the right answer.

Could he finish an online degree in his original field of study fairly quickly? A degree, plus the certifications, plus good work experience should put him into a situation where he has some demand for his skills. Finish off the bachelors as easily as possible, and if he later desires a Masters in Health Management pursue that.
+1

I personally would finish the bachelors in economics. Then pursue a masters and/or other certs if desired.
Thanks. Understood that finishing the degree in economics is a good suggestion, but that's not a viable option. Among other things, in brief, he can't finish his degree online at his former university and it would take much longer to finish by starting over online elsewhere. Also, his current employer paid for the cost of his initial certification and more; in short, it's important to him to continue to work with his current employer while he pursues option 1) or 2).
How long would it take him to complete option #1?

How long would it take to transfer credits to another university and finish a bachelor's there?
er999
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:00 am

Re: Career Advice Request

Post by er999 »

shavenyak wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:17 pm THe left college to begin work at an ophthalmology practice as a technician and has gained his first certification (Certified Ophthalmology Assistant). He loves his job, and ophthalmology in particular, and is about to be promoted to a first level management position. He currently makes ~$35,000 a year before the promotion,

2) Instead of pursuing the degree, he would work at his current job, where he is appreciated and respected by the long-term thinking owners, and pursue advanced certifications in ophthalmology. With this option he would study in the evenings for the next two levels of certification (employer would pay): (Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist, which would pay ~$50K+ salary) and eventually (Certified Ophthalmic Technician, which would pay ~$65K+ salary). He would grow within his current organization, and he would be even more qualified to move to another city/ophthalmology office if his fiancé's career dictated or he chose to do so in the future.
He obviously will make his own decisions (and isn’t the one making the post) but health care is a credential driven field where you can never work your way to the top just based on knowledge unlike something like software. If he’s young and truly likes the field look into optometry or medical school and his income won’t be as limited. It’s a longer road and depends on why he left school but I think income is limited working as the assistant unless he does something like opens his own business hiring ophthalmologists himself, which might be hard to do unless you have a lot of capital.
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