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RetroGamer87
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16 Oct 2013, 10:46 am

A few months ago I started to feel like I was stuck in a rut. You might say I was having a quarter life crisis. This was the result of being in a dead end job for four years preceded by four years of doing virtually nothing bisected by one semester of TAFE. Some posters here have reported having social anxiety. I don't have that... much. For me it's more a matter of work anxiety. It started when I was 15. Maybe it was because I started on Risperadone when I was 14. By the time I was 15 I felt kind of exhausted. I went from aspirations to thinking I wanted to do nothing.

Although I failed nearly everything when I was 15 I passed nearly everything when I was 16 and 17. I did the final year over two years. It didn't make much difference since I was already a year ahead anyway. A couple of years later I took a Cert II in IT full time and passed... barely. Even though at least a Cert III would be required for a job I didn't follow it up. I did nothing until being assigned a part time job. I enjoyed this job for a few years. I liked the short hours and the relatively easy work. A while ago I started thinking maybe this was bad for me. I started feeling sort of humiliated for being in this job.

I applied for a Cert III in tech support. haven't gotten back to me yet but at first I was thinking of doing part time and later I even thought doing it full time would be okay. I might even be able to change the hours at my job so I can keep it. This seemed like a good plan for a while. I started thinking about things differently. Some of my friends said they'd taken the same course and hadn't gotten a job out of it. I have seen entry level tech support positions available but the applicants may outnumber them. The entry level pay is only $30,000 a year. After tax that would be about the same amount I get on my pension. But the real difference happened a week ago when I started taking phentermine. I also stopped taking Risperadone to avoid interference and because I was so addicted to this energy sapping sedative that the only way I could break from it was to substitute a different prescription drug.

So I started feeling more energetic, like studying wouldn't be so bad. I lost interest in things like TV and video games and spent my time either going for long walks or typing into the computer. I thought, if I do that anyway, what difference would it be if I was typing some papers into the computer? All this extra energy is probably from the phentermine and I'm pretty sure my doctor will stop prescribing it to me after a few months even though I'd like to take it all my life. I think I have an addictive personality which is why I've never used any illegal narcotic in my life. But I thought, what if a little bit of that new found energy isn't coming from the phentermine, what if it's because I'm not on the Risperadone?

A few days ago I remembered a suggestion posted by Janissy about how if I can do calculating math but I can't do abstract math like algebra I should get into accounting. I could take a bachelor of commerce from the local university. It says the only prerequisite is that I completed high school, which I did. I still have a ton of anxiety about going to university. TAFE was one thing but this is another. I know this may be read by people who are in or have been to college or uni it may seem like a trivial fear but it's not to me.

So for a while I was thinking maybe I should do a full time TAFE course to test the waters and see how much I improve now that I'm free from the evil influence of Risperadone, which should be banned. I only recently learned how harmful it can be. It's a powerful sedative that makes it so you can stay awake but don't want to expand any effort. It makes you mentally exhausted as soon as you get out of bed. until recently I didn't know it was the medication doing that. I thought it was just me. I felt tired all the time and people kept on calling me lazy. I thought it was just my lot to feel like that or maybe everyone felt like that and they just had greater willpower to overcome it.

So I thought I could just take the TAFE course for a semester, job search for a few months and if the job market wasn't good for tech support, take the bachelor of commerce if I did well at TAFE or go back to my old job if I didn't and managed to keep it the whole time. But tonight I was feeling particularly miserable so I thought I should go for a midnight walk to clear my head and I thought maybe I should just take the bachelor of commerce straight away. Maybe I'm rushing into this or maybe it's the phentermine talking. I won't have that to rely on next year but I thought, why should I waste another year instead of starting it straight away. I still haven't decided yet. Maybe I wouldn't be cut out to be an accountant at all.

So my questions are:
1. Would I better off in IT or commerce?
2. How many hours a week would a bachelor of commerce be?
3. How many hours a week would I work as an accountant?
4. Would it be harder than studying for tech support?
4. Is this a job that's hiring a lot or are there too many applicants for the available positions?
5. Will it hurt my prospects at getting a job if I'm eight years older than the other graduates?
6. Will it make much difference if I wait another year so I can still take this course at TAFE?
8. Will employers car that I completed high school by doing random subjects with little relevance to any job and I can't remember what grades I got, only that I passed?
9. Is there some other career I'd be suitable that I haven't even considered?
10. Do you have any other comments to add?'

I'm going to bed now so I'll check if there are any replies in the morning.



stardraigh
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16 Oct 2013, 12:38 pm

I don't know much about commerce. My education and career are in IT, but I would also think about looking to see what you could do with each. There are sub-fields within each area of study that will be easier for someone with AS to handle than others.

WIthin IT, I'm stuck at Level I support for my organization(deals with logistics) and I've been stuck there for 6 years as of next month. All my previous jobs were Level I helpdesk support except for one which I was a combo Level I support, Network Administrator. There are no doors open for me to go elsewhere currently. The economy sucks just enough here in the states that with what experience I have, but in regards to position, all I can do is hope that someone will hire me for an entry level position of Level I helpdesk support. I think it's my AS that's holding me back. I don't know why I get overlooked for promotion or getting positions in a different area of IT. It might be other reasons. I think I'm good at my job. I love IT, and computers. I just don't socialize well and dealing with other people bothers me. Ideally I would like to do software development. I did a small project for my office that saved an estimated 20-30k$ of money because I did it in house instead of contracting it out, and I got nothing for it. but I digress with my problems. In your position I would see what you like to do with commerce and and IT and see which one is perceived to be more viable.

Of course, you can go both, getting an undergraduate in IT and a graduate degree in commerce, or whatever Australia has as equivalent. That's what my boss is trying to get me to do because it's what he did, although his was Undergraduate in Logistics and then Masters in Business. I'm thinking of eventually getting my masters in Healthcare to just have something to get my foot in the door with another industry area.

But I would just see what you like to do first in each, and see what the available career market and educational offerings are.


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RetroGamer87
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16 Oct 2013, 5:14 pm

I guess your right. I should get into IT first and if that doesn't work out then I should get into commerce.

Edit: Maybe not. I should go straight into commerce instead.



GiantHockeyFan
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23 Oct 2013, 11:40 am

I don't know if Australia is like here in eastern Canada but I'm going to assume it's probably close. In either case:
DON'T GO FOR COMMERCE!
Let me repeat once more in case you missed it.....
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GO FOR COMMERCE!
Where I live, commerce jobs ALL require experience and there are so many people with the damn degree you would be better off working at McDonalds for the rest of your life. I'm not exaggerating: I assumed that a $45,000/yr job was a realistic goal but I eventually found out that $30,000 was about the best I could hope for. In other words, not much better than a 'crap' job and for literally ten times as much stress. Even these jobs had upwards of 400-500 qualified applicants and with those odds you don't stand a chance.

A commerce degree is WORSE THAN WORTHLESS for you, especially with no significant experience. Unless you are getting a Master's AND love Commerce (or are a sociopath) find another path. Besides, IT is filled with Aspies and the culture is very Aspie friendly. In case I didn't make it clear a commerce degree for an aspie is just a worthless piece of paper. I wish I knew that 10-15 years ago because networking is MANDATORY to get a decent commerce job, a skill I just don't have.



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23 Oct 2013, 1:46 pm

I don't know much about "commerce", but it's quite a broad area. If you're talking about becoming an accountant (which is much more specific) - yes, that will definitely be much harder than tech support. I mean both the study and the actual job. On the other hand, it is a more prestigious and higher-paid job. Accountant vs. tech support is really not an apples-to-apples comparison.

I know a little bit more about tech support, though not from direct experience. Tech support is IT - technically ;) - but not much of a "career" in itself. It can help you start one, though. I don't know if the jobs you're looking at are level 1, 2 or 3 tech support, but I'm guessing it's level 1, which is basically a "customer service officer" role. There's not much "tech" in it at all. But it can be a stepping stone to better jobs in IT. If you show that you're intelligent, capable, are a good problem-solver and are willing to continue learning (ie. you're not the average, useless tech support person) then you can get into level 2 support. That's actually somewhat technical. :) If you continue to do well you can get into level 3 support and from there it's not such a big jump into network admin or software testing. Obviously, this involves broad generalisations - it all depends on where exactly you're working.

To apply this to study: I would first figure out what kind of job you want to go for and then figure out what you need to study for it. Don't assume that just because you get a Commerce degree you can become an accountant - it's not that easy, from what I've heard. On the other hand, tech support may not require any education at all, but if you're into computers you could perhaps go directly for something better (like network admin or testing), which would require at least a TAFE diploma.

So to answer your questions... IMO:

1. Only you can decide that, but I'd lean towards IT based on GiantHockeyFan's answer. ;) Also, notice that you made 2 mistakes in numbering questions 1-10. I don't know if that's typical for you, but if it is then I'd say attention to detail is not your strong point and that's important for accounting as well as many aspects of IT - but perhaps not tech support.
2. You'd have to ask the university, but probably a lot.
3. Ask an accountant, but probably a lot.
4(a). Yes.
4(b). Not sure which job you're talking about, but there's competition for most jobs.
5. Yes.
6. Probably not.
8. Unlikely, especially if you have some education after high school. Experience is far more important to most employers than even TAFE education, let alone high school. If you can somehow get experience (even if it's by working for free) that may be a better use of your time than a TAFE course.
9. Hard to say. Have you tried talking to a career counsellor?
10. Plan this out a bit. Figure out first why you want a job, where you want it to go later, then what kind of study (if any) you need for it and research that.


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DoodleDoo
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27 Oct 2013, 1:14 pm

I have no college degree. Yes I'm in IT and electronic related stuff. They are paying me right now. Actually I am upgrading some firmware and preparing for some other equipment moving/replacing. I could work 7 days a week and never run out of stuff to do. They will have no argument paying me too.

Do things people really need that few are willing and have the ability to do.