I’m about to graduate in May with a degree in Psychology. Although I will be graduating Summa Cum Laude and had previous internships, I have not been able to find a professional job. My network options have been exhausted as well. Of course, I always try to network as much as I can, but I only seem to land high-end retail jobs (glorified retail position) based on my previous work experience. I live in a place that’s probably the country’s capital for hospitality and shopping. Not much else going on. I knew that I would need to go to graduate school if I wanted to thrive in psychology; however, I’m still not completely 100% sure if what I want is to spend the next 5 years trying to obtain a PhD in Industrial / Organizational (I/O) Psychology. I’m not interested in the traditional clinical path, I am interested in I/0 Psychology. Many people don’t know about it but it’s getting recognition. It is basically Psychology Applied to business. and I love it. However, I think that through professional experience I can learn much of what I would learn in school. My dilemma is going to grad school (and spending all the time, effort, and money) to validate that I can learn practical and tangible skills in this era of graduating with “useless” degrees or simply try to find a professional job in HR or organizational development.
Going Back to School
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Jenni, Mark W., and Penelope Trunk are discussing. Toggle Comments
I have a choice now between:
a) Going back to school for 3 years to get a degree in speech-language pathology – and the school I was accepted at is across the country. What I would gain is a career that would be intellectually engaging, be in a field that’s growing (career stability) and be a in a field where I can take a couple months off a year to travel or do other hobbies (because I could work in a school district). I really would rather work less with more time to travel, camp, hike, sew, and do other pursuits.
b) Stay at my current job which is ok. I’m in human resources, but not all that successful in a corporate culture, haven’t been promoted in 5 years, but I meet the job requirements, and since I’ve been with this company so long I get about 5 weeks of paid time off a year. What I could do by doing this is – pay my house off in 4 years, continue living 3 houses away from my sister, maybe start a little Etsy business in my basement, and my boyfriend lives here, so we could easily continue our relationship. But as far as working until retirement — I don’t know if I could do what I do forever.
Right now I make 65K/year…and would make about the same working year-round coming out of school. If I I can make $17/K a year while going to school, I could pay for college and out with no debt – but my savings account depleted.
I’m stuck because if I have to work for the next 20-25 years – I would much rather be a speech-language pathologist. But what I really want more than a career I love – would be to be married and have a kid – and I’m 33 so my clock is running out.
Any thoughts on what to consider?
Kristan, boo, Rachel and one other person are discussing. Toggle Comments
My husband is one of those people who didn’t go to college. Instead knew what he wanted to do (become a chef), set a goal, and began working in restaurants where he moved from dishwasher in a cheesy steak house to head chef in a respected restaurant.He then decided a more “regular” job would be better for us and him, and now is in sales. A job opening was forwarded by a friend, and one of the requirements is a college degree. This is a job he could do not only well, but excel at, and he’s done everything else on the list.He seriously regrets not getting a degree, but I know from experience, and having to deal with recent college grads as interns, that a college education does not a productive employee make.How does he get around this? Or work within it?
naima, and Penelope Trunk are discussing. Toggle Comments
I am turning 22 and I have no idea what to do. I am living at home with my parents and four younger siblings. I am unemployed and have only worked a few odd jobs since high school. I have taken a few courses at my local university but do not have a degree, let alone any idea what to get a degree in. I was never able to decide if there was any point in going back to school without a real focus.
I also have no social life, and if I do actually have any communication skills, they’re overshadowed by my social anxiety. I don’t know what I’m interested in or what my skills are. I feel so ashamed of what I’ve become that I avoid contact with people in case they ask me what I do or what my plans are. I can’t discuss anything with my parents and often pretend to be working on things or I go to the library so they think I’m busy.
This has gone on far too long and I’m desperate to do something about it, but I don’t know where to start. Could you give me advice on what to do?
directionless youth, David macgloooorieeeeee, Anonymous and 78 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
I’m an engineer with aspirations for making it to the top of the management pile at my 6000-person company.
Right now I’m in an amazing opportunity where I’m working directly with a vice president as his assistant.
How do I capitalize on this opportunity? What can I do to help launch myself from this point? I’ve done great things to get here, but I want to keep the momentum going.
My other question is do I need an MBA? Do you need a second masters degree to be promoted up the ladder? Or will my experience and abilities get me there? What if I want to move to another company, do I need an MBA?
Do you have any recommendations for resources on how to write a personal statement or essay for graduate school? I’m considering applying to a masters program but am at a loss on how to write a 500-word essay on why I want to pursue this program.
I heard you on NPR about a week ago and I think you could help my son.
He needs to talk to someone with the common sense you have about career planning. He graduated Brown and has worked in [entertainment companies]. He had great ideas but by the time the upper echelons could decide on his ideas– some other faster minds in smaller, less corporate settings got there first.
Can you suggest a coach in the Los Angeles who has the same ideas as you who can talk some sense to him before he decides to go back to school for a masters in business? I think that he really just needs to find his niche. He is creative and very personable. He is now 30. His last job was six figures but that corporate world is not for him.
Thank you for your help.
I have never had the compunction you have for creating businesses and being an entrepreneur and all of that…but maybe I need to do that anyway to be more financially successful. I grew up just wanting to be a part of the entertainment industry – which I have been for 10 years. That’s my bliss. But I listen to you and other successful entrepreneurs and business oriented people who are making big money and I think “Why can’t I have been born with their innate sense of business sense and wealth accumulation?” I admire you for your success and sense of how to earn money. I want to earn 45K/year and have health insurance – something which is becoming increasingly more difficult to do in the US
Should I just go to business school and get the MBA even though that is not my passion but will ultimately provide (theoretically the means to an end)?
My husband and I married young and, while he worked and graduated college, I chose to stay home with our kids. We both agreed being home was best for our family, but I wanted more challenge (and money) than that offered, so I opened a home-based child care. I have been doing this for the past 8 years, quite successfully. While I have enjoyed the job and feel like I’m good at it, I am, once again, ready to move onto something more challenging (not to mention, I would really like my house back).
My question is this:
I am about to quit and go back to school. I have been looking forward to going back to school for many years but, honestly, I don’t have any idea what I want to do. I don’t feel like I have the luxury of time because my goal is to get a degree and get me back into the job market as quickly as possible, but I want a job that will be stimulating and useful. My husband keeps saying just having ANY degree is the goal… is that true?
I know I probably don’t have to go back to school, however it’s always been an issue for me (and my parents) that I never finished. And my husband and I currently have the means to send me back.
We married young and we decided that I’d stay home with the kids. But it wasn’t enough for me so I started a small child care business on the side. Now I want to do something more, but the problem is that I don’t want to spend two years finishing school just to realize I can’t find a job anyway. Do you really think finding a job is that easy without at least a bachelors degree?
I’m not below waiting tables (I’ve worked a lot of service jobs). I just don’t have any desire to be a 50-year-old waitress. I guess I always assumed bachelors degree=better access to jobs=better pay. Is this not the case anymore?
Have I been out-of-the-loop that long? Won’t I be competing, at every level, with kids that have way more college than I do? Even our local barista has an MFA (I’m not really sure who’s point I’m proving now).