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 Post subject: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:21 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:01 pm
Posts: 54
I'm probably one of the youngest members on here, at 21. But I'm naturally a perfectionist and someone who loves to learn and improve, even if it's sometimes to a fault.

Basically, where I'm at now. I'm in a state university studying geology (it's a college better known for the social sciences though). I have student loan debt accruing, which is not horrifically big, but still high enough for me to take notice.

I live with my parents. I work part time in construction, and I probably make $700 a month. They don't charge for rent, but I have to buy all of my food, personal care products, clothes and practically everything else.

I've seen lots of people feast and famine. My parents worked in mortgages. I watched them go from making $175k each to them barely being able to eat some months. I don't have many role models financially. I have a few wealthy friends who made money off the mid 2000's housing bubble.

I've seen so many ups and downs with people around me. What I want is just stability. I think the whole "quit your job, start a home business and become rich" is a bunch of shit, and I think I'd be making a lot more money if I focused myself into a productive career. That said, I do have some books/blogs/business ideas that are actually practical, but I won't quit my job or school to pursue them, but rather do them on the side.

My stepsister is 2 years older than me, and she works as an engineer at sea, probably making more money than my parents combined. She's a young woman and she's making more money than most men do in their mid to late career. She has always been academically better than I am, though in terms of actual intelligence I'd say we are equal. But academically, I'm good, but I'm just not stunning straight-A honors student.

We live in an expensive state and my parents are barely getting by. They are going to move down south in exactly 3 years, and this is a perfect chance for me to get my college done by then and settle up here for a career. How the hell I'll be able to afford rent, student loan repayment, I don't know.

And how the hell I'll be able to afford a masters program (which is essential to where I want to be), I don't know.

Overall though, I think I'm a very different person, mentally, emotionally and principally than most people. This comes with both advantages and disadvantages, but overall I'm grateful for everything that I have because it could be a lot worse. I guess where I am at this particular moment, it's just very confusing, as the decisions I make over the next 3 years can shape my entire life.


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:31 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:25 am
Posts: 777
A few questions come to mind.

So what are the job prospects for a guy with a degree in geology? Just how much debt are you looking at when you do graduate? What field would your masters program be in? What are the job prospects for holders of that masters degree? how big would your debt be then?

While I understand you want to pursue your interest I think you also need to figure out how you will pay the bills and live going forward. With the amount of unemployment and under employment in the country your decisions now could be critical.

Your sister graduated with an engineering degree that yielded a great paying job and apparently security. But geology? that in my mind is nearly as bad as archeology I hope I am wrong...

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RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5398
You are wrong Ray. Geology is not as bad as archeaology. Geologists can make a lot of money. Who do you think finds all that oil, fracked gas, and so forth.

But to the OP - a geology degree is going to be what you make of it. What do you actually want to do? That is what you need to figure out. You should also be thinking about how to get that master's degree paid for by looking for internships and such after your sophomore year. What you study is far less important than what you can do for an employer. It sounds like your step sister is paid well because she has skills that make it possible for her company to earn money. You can also do that as a geologist. But you need to find your niche. There are plenty of geologists who are unemployed because their expertise is in something that is of no practical use to anyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:01 pm
Posts: 54
RayinPenn wrote:
But geology? that in my mind is nearly as bad as archeology I hope I am wrong...


The good news is that you are.

When a lot of people think of geology, they either think of geography or "green jobs", but thats not what geologists do. It's a field that has steady increase of demand and not a lot of people studying it.


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:32 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:21 pm
Posts: 24
Don't geologists do a lot of mapping? It doesn't sound like a bad career. I was at a conference of imaging and mapping people (ASPRS) and it looks like this area has had a lot of growth, esp. when you consider all of the satellite navigation, Google maps and the like that drive our world now. I imagine Geology may tie into it. Maybe give their organization a contact, or find other professional organizations to see what the field is like?

Definitely the oil and natural resource exploration idea is possible with geology, but you'd have to move to certain areas to work.


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:49 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:01 pm
Posts: 54
treje wrote:
Don't geologists do a lot of mapping? It doesn't sound like a bad career. I was at a conference of imaging and mapping people (ASPRS) and it looks like this area has had a lot of growth, esp. when you consider all of the satellite navigation, Google maps and the like that drive our world now. I imagine Geology may tie into it. Maybe give their organization a contact, or find other professional organizations to see what the field is like?

Definitely the oil and natural resource exploration idea is possible with geology, but you'd have to move to certain areas to work.


yes, G I S is certainly one side of it. oil, mineral and resource exploration is as well. there's academia and consulting too. there's also testing and research


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:21 pm
Posts: 89
Geology is about as lucrative as it gets, if you want it to be. The good news is that you don't HAVE to have an internship until you begin your masters, if you are interested in the oil and gas route. I highly recommend moving to Houston or New Orleans for a summer to try it out.

A few anecdotal compensation packages. I hired on with an earth science MS degree with a major oil and gas company. Sign on bonus $20k, relocation $9k, base pay $98k, prorated bonus $12k. That was my first year, two years ago.

The senior geologist on my current team is about 35 years old and is well-respected for his skills. He picks well locations for $100 million development wells in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. He flies to other cities to meet with partner companies, he mentors young geologists, and he has a job just about as secure as a tenured professorship. He works, like the rest of us, a relaxed 40 hour week where he goes home at 4 PM typically and enjoys plentiful 3 day weekends. He makes about $200-250k total compensation, if I had to guess.

There is a ~50 year old geologist manager on my floor. Not everyone makes manager, but he probably pulls total comp north of $400k, working about 45 hours per week with excellent job security. The sky is the limit.

You don't have to be a rockstar student. One of my good friends came to my undergrad from community college with a ~B average. he struggled through the math classes. now, he's halfway through his MS degree and will be staring at multiple six-figure job offers when he graduates.


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Cnnfn.com had a headline this morning about oil & gas engineers - salaries up to $350k right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:08 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
DoingHomework wrote:
Cnnfn.com had a headline this morning about oil & gas engineers - salaries up to $350k right now.


I'd say that is about right for a senior engineer - total compensation at least.

Geologists make less than engineers. Maybe it has something to do with the 40-45 hr work week JMC was talking about it. I've rarely ever done that.

There is also a lot of upside in restricted stock and stock options.

Also, there is no reason to have to move to Houston or New Orleans. I've done tours in both of those "cities" (I call them hell holes). Denver has more oil & gas jobs than you could fathom. They pay just as well and it is a really fun city to work in.

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"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:15 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:21 pm
Posts: 89
No senior engineer at my company makes $350k in total compensation, but I'm at a very large company, known for its friendliness to work-life balance and family situations. If you know the industry well, you can probably guess where I work. I'm OK with making a little less in exchange for job security, a relaxed schedule, and a great pension.

40-45 hour workweeks are the norm here, around the globe from what I understand. My boss works ~60, but his working habits are seen as an aberration, even by his manager peers. One of my mentors is now at the lower executive levels ($500k plus) and always insists that if he can't squeeze it into 40 hours, it's not truly necessary. He coaches multiple sports teams for his kids and is active in his church.


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
Be patient, my friend. Don't let those frustrations cover your dreams. You can do it!


Cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:43 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Armstrong BC Canada
Do what you love and the money will follow.

It helps make decisions fast and remember it's not always about the money.

I have friends that make a ton of money, never see their family, fat and frustrated with life.

Quiet your mind and the best decision/route will come to you.

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James and Jenna Johnson

"The Freedom Pros"- How to live doing what you want, when you want with whom you want with the power of the Internet.


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 Post subject: Re: Planning A Career For Myself; My Situation
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:14 pm
Posts: 178
Hey there, 23 here, recently graduated with 20k in student loans, so I'm not too far in front of you :) And I live just a bit outside NYC, so I know how expensive life can get.

A lot of people have been saying figure out what you want to do. While I agree and believe future planning is important, don't get too tied down to ideas that may not work out. I graduated with a BS having studied both Business Management and Classics and had planned on getting into Human Resources after I graduated. I ended up quitting my first job (not HR related), finding a new job (again, not HR related) in a private equity firm, and am now considering going into legal/compliance, simply because the opportunity is there (and I enjoy it!).

When I was in college, I got so bogged down mapping out ever detail of my life after graduating. It totally stressed me out and was too overwhelming. Plan, but be prepared for things to go not as expected. They probably won't.

As for grad school - look into Grad Assist programs. Many colleges will offer things like covered room and board, a stipend, and part or all of tuition if you assist in your department some how. Might be student teaching or research, depending on what's up your alley and what the school needs. I personally looked into Residential Life grad assists (non academic related), but I also spent 7 out of 8 semesters on my res life staff during undergrad.

My point is, don't stress now. Enjoy your college days, because you'll miss them. The fact that you're worried about your future shows that you're at least somewhat prepared. The most important thing is to be able to take things as they come.


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