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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
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It is currently Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:22 pm




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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:18 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:19 pm
Posts: 620
Brenda wrote:
And this is why I'm beginning to think that one *should* choose a profession based heavily on income. Yes, they should be proficient at it, and enjoy it somewhat, but I'd rather take a job I only enjoy 'somewhat' and that I'm 'pretty good at' and be able to pay my bills with ease (and have savings left over!), than take a job I totally am passionate about only to have people determine that my career choice is not even worth a bare living wage.


Don't rule out the possibility of finding something to be passionate about even in a job that pays!

People sometimes think you can have one or the other... but I think they often limit themselves with this idea, and don't see the opportunities to integrate something fulfilling with something that pays.

I wouldn't expect that in the first job you find after the degree unless you get lucky -- most every field will have dues to pay before you can get to the good stuff -- but after a few years of experience, it's often possible to figure out what will work and find (or make) the right job. It doesn't always happen, but it's much more likely to happen if the possibility is something you are working on in the back of your head.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:39 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:04 pm
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What do you do for a living? What is your career?
I am a Product Engineer for a consumer/industrial tool company.

How did you get there (ie, what sort of schooling)?
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Thinking of going back for either MBA or M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

And do you think a BA in Accounting is a good degree to have if I want a job that will make decent money?
I think you need to find something that you are interested in and will be happy doing conceivably for the rest of your working life. Going back to school at a later age, at least in my humble opinion, will only work once for most people. Going back to school multiple times for different courses of study tends to indicate that you are unsure of what you want to do with your life, and prevents you from getting real experience in your chosen fields of study.

Or should I choose something else? Will my age hinder me from finding work? (I'm somewhere around middle-aged).
You need to find something that makes you happy, then figure out how to make money doing it. I don't think age will prevent you from getting a job. When I was an undergrad in engineering, there were a few people that were in their 30's and in college for their second time earning a BS in engineering. From what I can remember, all of them got entry-level jobs but were able to fetch either a higher salary or negotiate for something extra above and beyond what a typical entry-level, fresh out of school candidate would get based on their previous work experience.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:37 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Upstate NY
What do you do for a living? What is your career?
I am an Accounting Assistant for a private High School, although I don't really consider it my career. I make about $36k

How did you get there (ie, what sort of schooling)?
I have a BA in Linguistics. Languages are my passion and I am fairly good at a few, but if you're not fluent its hard to land a decent job. I have found possibilities in major cities making under $30k, but its just not worth it. I got this job as accounting assistant on pure luck. Was in the right place at the right time. Because my current boss struck up a conversation with me while I was on campus interviewing for a different position, we found we had some similar interests and pasts, and he decided to take a chance on me. I think I do fairly well for not having any schooling or formal training in Accounting. And I have even discovered that I enjoy some aspects of it (mainly the bank reconciliations and auditing tasks).

And do you think a BA in Accounting is a good degree to have if I want a job that will make decent money?
I have been thinking about a BA in accounting myself. My question is, how did you come to this decision? Have you thought about trying to land a job as an accounting clerk or payroll clerk? There are some accounting tasks involved and you would be able to see what you think of the field. Usually these jobs only require an Associates degree and pay around $11-$13 per hour.

Or should I choose something else? Will my age hinder me from finding work?
My fiance has been thinking about a career switch, and is considering Physical Therapy Assistant. Its a two year degree and requires certification, but the median income is around $42k. I think if you could find some way to bridge your current credentials over to a more stable career, you'd have a better time of it. Not to say that a complete switcheroo is a bad idea. I have friends that design video games (animators) and they make decent wages. I also have a friend that majored in Graphic Design, did not like the job prospects and is now going to school to be a Librarian! The choices are limitless, just try to really think about what makes you happy, what your good at, and try to apply that to a job that you could get in any town!

Good luck!

(And I don't think that your age would hinder you!)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:33 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:26 pm
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What do you do for a living?
I'm a Prepress Technician at a publishing and printing company. I make $14.50/hr, so a bit over $28,000/yr.

What is your career?
Graphic Design, focusing on print, but I can do web design as well

How did you get there (ie, what sort of schooling)?
Media Arts classes in high school, 2-year Graphic Design program, worked for the director of the Graphics department in college, and now I've worked as a Prepress Technician for 2 years

And do you think a BA in Accounting is a good degree to have if I want a job that will make decent money? Or should I choose something else? Will my age hinder me from finding work? (I'm somewhere around middle-aged).

Have you looked into applying for Prepress positions? I assume you learned prepress at school. Even small print shops need people who can do both design and prepress.

I know you're frustration finding a job that pays well. I started out of school at $13.69/hr, but that was after a lot of looking. I had an interview where the interviewer laughed in my face when I told him how much I was expecting ($27,000/yr the average amount a graduate of my program makes 1 year post graduation). He only wanted to pay me $10/hr. No thanks, I can work at Wal-Mart for more than that.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:06 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:52 pm
Posts: 56
Katie-ryn wrote:
What do you do for a living?
I'm a Prepress Technician at a publishing and printing company. I make $14.50/hr, so a bit over $28,000/yr.

What is your career?
Graphic Design, focusing on print, but I can do web design as well

How did you get there (ie, what sort of schooling)?
Media Arts classes in high school, 2-year Graphic Design program, worked for the director of the Graphics department in college, and now I've worked as a Prepress Technician for 2 years

And do you think a BA in Accounting is a good degree to have if I want a job that will make decent money? Or should I choose something else? Will my age hinder me from finding work? (I'm somewhere around middle-aged).

Have you looked into applying for Prepress positions? I assume you learned prepress at school. Even small print shops need people who can do both design and prepress.

I know you're frustration finding a job that pays well. I started out of school at $13.69/hr, but that was after a lot of looking. I had an interview where the interviewer laughed in my face when I told him how much I was expecting ($27,000/yr the average amount a graduate of my program makes 1 year post graduation). He only wanted to pay me $10/hr. No thanks, I can work at Wal-Mart for more than that.


I have definitely done Pre-press work and have worked as a Pre-Press technician myself. It was at GWP publishing in SoCal a little under 10 years ago, and it paid $11.00 an hour. Raises were once a year, at about 10 to 20 cents an hour. I stayed for almost 3 years, and quit (for a better graphics job) when I realized that it'd take 5-10 years of working there just to get a raise of a dollar.

I'm surprised you were able to find pre-press work that actually paid as high as $13.69/hr. Usually, most of them pay around $8.00-$10.00 an hour, as you saw from that one interviewer. (Then again, depending on where you live, it might not be all that high. If you're in SoCal, New York or the Bay Area, CA, then the wage isn't even a living one). I personally haven't seen many pre-press jobs advertised at all, at least not where I'm at, and on the rare occasion I do see one, it's for $8-$10 an hour. Then again, you said it took a lot of looking. So far, I haven't come across one, but I don't know how long you've been looking vs. how long I've been looking (almost 3 years now). This is another reason I'm seriously wanting to switch careers. Decent jobs in my career (that pay more than retail) shouldn't be super-rare. If most of the jobs are paying close to what a Walmart worker makes, with only a few gems standing out once in a blue moon, then it's likely work will always be hard to come by. I'd rather restart with a career where jobs that pay $13.69/hr are *plentiful*, and jobs that pay even higher are not unheard of.

Thanks for your comment! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:55 pm 
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Location: England
What do you do for a living? What is your career?
I've recently changed careers, I'm a web publisher/editor with a public sector organisation. I used to be a consultant in data and information

How did you get there (ie, what sort of schooling)?
I have a maths degree, that was relevant to my previous career. I needed to have a degree to get the job that I have now, but I learnt my web skills as a personal finance blogger. I also had a bunch of transferanble skills in basic proof-reading, editing, project management and public speaking which helped me get the job. At some point I might do some work related study - either a masters in knowledge management or communications, depending on how I want to take my career.

And do you think a BA in Accounting is a good degree to have if I want a job that will make decent money?
I have many friends who are accountants - in the UK it's a common profession for maths graduates. They make good money, around £30k and up (probably $45k+) 3 years after graduating. You need to be very detail oriented to make a good accountant - it's not about the maths much.

Or should I choose something else? Will my age hinder me from finding work?
For the cost of studying I would switch to being an accountaning assistant / technician and work up from there if you want. I think there's a quicker return on investment and it doesn't rule out progression through a BA in accounting. I suspect that it's possible your age will hinder you if you want to work in one of the Big 4 accountancy firms.

Have you thought about moving in to marketing? We produce our publications in house and our graphics person also sub-edits, but other combinations that would be helpful are graphics and events management/organisation and graphics and web skills. In the UK marketing would pay from £20k-£35k easily ($30k-$50k?). I'm not sure whether that's enough money for you.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:51 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:41 am
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What do you do for a living?
I am in healthcare administration and work in a private clinic as the manager.

How did you get there (ie, what sort of schooling)?
I completed my http://www.cc-sd.edu/health-care-administration-degree.html from California College San Diego.

And do you think a BA in Accounting is a good degree to have if I want a job that will make decent money?
Its a pretty good degree from what I hear. However, what worries me is that you need other people to convince you of the same. Nothing you do will go the distance if there is no genuine interest. So maybe you need to examine your goals and motives a little more closely. Don't be afraid of where that takes you.

Or should I choose something else? Will my age hinder me from finding work? (I'm somewhere around middle-aged)
Age is in the head. I knew of several mature students when I was completing my degree who put students half their age to shame in terms of drive and ambition. Don't make excuses - just go out there and do it. Nothing is too late.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:37 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Upstate NY
Brenda: Have you taken a decision yet? Are you moving in the direction you had hoped you would?? I just made the leap to start school again, big move for us financially! I hope you were able to come to a decision that feels good for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:52 pm
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mskalinin wrote:
Brenda: Have you taken a decision yet? Are you moving in the direction you had hoped you would?? I just made the leap to start school again, big move for us financially! I hope you were able to come to a decision that feels good for you.


Sorry for the late reply...I just moved cross-country (back in with my parents now).
Yes! I have indeed made my decision to push for an Accounting Degree and have applied to the local college here for the upcoming spring semester. Waiting to hear if I got accepted or not. If not, I'll have to pursue alternate education (online or something), since I'm stuck here for a while. It's been a very weird upside-down year...I'm starting my life all over again, as if it was 1989 once more. :/


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:58 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:37 pm
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Location: Upstate NY
I know a bit how you feel, its been a crazy year for us as well. We basically realized we were on a dead end path, and we need to kind of start over. I am in the process of applying for a program which starts in Fall, its by no means a guarantee that I will get in, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it. We're moving in with my parents for a few months until (hopefully) my husband can get a decent job!

Good luck to you!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:52 pm
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mskalinin wrote:
I know a bit how you feel, its been a crazy year for us as well. We basically realized we were on a dead end path, and we need to kind of start over. I am in the process of applying for a program which starts in Fall, its by no means a guarantee that I will get in, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it. We're moving in with my parents for a few months until (hopefully) my husband can get a decent job!

Good luck to you!



Oh wow, yeah, you're almost in the same place as me.
Good luck to you and your husband as well!! I hope you do get accepted to the program, and that your husband gets a great job! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:29 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:32 pm
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Brenda wrote:
My dad was an engineer for Contel back in the day when they were still around. He made pretty good money, and always stressed math-based careers to me, but stupid me, I followed my artistic side, since I was so good at art. Still kicking myself for that mistake. 'Doing what you love' isn't always a good thing, if you like eating, and having an apartment to sleep in (and not a freeway underpass).

I was in the same dilemma (see several posts back). Fortunately, I didn't choose the art side. I don't think I loved it enough anyhow, but I don't regret it. Making decent money is much better and I can always do art on the side if I want.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:18 pm 

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if accounting doesn't work out why don't you try physician assistant. that's what i would do if i was smart enought to pass the math courses :cry: , you can end up doing six figures. in some states you can even write prescriptions.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:49 pm
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Location: Orange County, Ca
Back in the late '70's I made a short list of things I wanted to study. Then I researched each of those majors to see what they paid, what their future outlook/demand would be, and general financial outlook. From that list I picked Information Technology Development.

Five years after graduation from college I was at six figures, and that was back in 1983, and I've been at the $150k range ever since then. There are good opportunities out there and I am busy all the time. The cream on top is that I love the work too. It provides me lots of options in life.

A huge problem with young people is that they burn through tens of thousands of $$ in tuition learning a career in which they NEVER ever researched what that direction pays.

Too many art majors making chump change. Too many sociologist majors selling shoes at the mall.

Oh it is soo much fun to paint and do art....burn through mom and dad's retirement...then the epiphany happens years later....they wake up one morning and think "gosh I make chum change and I have an MS in Anthropology".

Parents add to this problem too, by having this attitude of "I love my daughter and I support her in whatever she wants to study"...this attitude some parents have is very damaging to their children. It would be far better for parents tell their college aged children that they will not fund any major they want, but rather only those that have a very good potential in future earnings.

Leave the majoring of art, anthropology, and sociology to the trust fund babies, the truly rich, etc....for the rest of us, pick a major that will launch you into the six figure range within 5-10 years.

Determine Return on Investment (ROI) of a major before you burn through years of time, and resources.

My oldest daughter wanted to be a beautician. I refused to pay her tuition because I know she could do better and pick a hihger paying major and she did.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:44 pm 

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AynRandMindSet wrote:
Five years after graduation from college I was at six figures, and that was back in 1983, and I've been at the $150k range ever since then. There are good opportunities out there and I am busy all the time. The cream on top is that I love the work too. It provides me lots of options in life.

I'm with you ARMS. Are you in management or in consulting and where do you live? I've been in IT work since about the same time (1983) and make just at 6 figures now, but it crept up there, not near after just 5 years (in 1988 I was probably making in the high 20's, low 30's, but in Wisconsin). But, I've stayed technical and resisted management and going into consulting. I'm in the Chicago area now. I moved to Illinois into the Chicago market purposely for the pay increase in about 1990).

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