I need help with a career path. Please help!! !

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Shadewraith
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08 Apr 2012, 5:49 pm

With the cost of college, it's really hard to just try things out and see what sticks. I've tried that before and I'm already in debt because of it. For the last few years, I've been doing computers. I did online classes, but found out that they were using outdated material. I still liked the idea of working with computers, so I found a place that does training, certifications, and job placement. It was fun until a few months ago. I started finding the classes boring. The labs were easy and the material I had to study was just dense and unreadable for me.

I've thought about going back to a college, but I'm still making student loan payments. I've got a few ideas in mind, but I'm still not sure. I'd like to work with as few people as possible because I have poor communication skills. I do have the ability to memorize a lot of information and if I don't know something, I can usually find out very easily. I'd like to make enough to pay back my loans quickly while still being able to support myself. When I looked up jobs based on these criteria, I came across:

- Software engineer: Could be interesting, but it seems you have to sort through a lot of dense material on a daily basis. I like that you could eventually do that job from home, though. Lots of math and I'm a visual thinker, so it could be a problem. I'm usually okay with math if it doesn't involve fractions or graphing.
- Pharmacist: Only having to work with a few people, especially in a hospital setting. Not sure how well I would do with the science classes required, though. Medical degrees are extremely expensive.
- Accountant: While I am a visual learner, working with numbers in this context might be something I could be good at. Sounds like a boring job, though.
- System Administrator: This is what I was in school for recently. The more I look into it, the more it seems like a high pressure job. I got extremely bored with the classes. I couldn't get through the material needed for the certification exams. It was too dense for my aspie brain to concentrate on and just put me to sleep.

So how do I really discover what would interest me? Like I said, I can't afford to go to college and test the waters.

My other problem is that I have a full time job. How the heck can I fit college into my schedule? I've heard to take online courses, but I've had several bad experiences with that. The teachers don't actually teach, you're required to do a lot of tasks irrelevant to the classes, teachers usually won't email you back when you have a problem, and the cost of much higher than a normal college. I do work for my father, so I'm sure I could get some time off as I do a lot of work for him from home. At the same time, I need to be making enough money to afford rent, food, electricity, etc. My fiancee is moving to me after she finishes school, but I don't want her to carry all of the financial burden.

If there is anyone who is taking classes in medicine or computers that can help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it.


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questor
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08 Apr 2012, 7:27 pm

From what you describe of yourself, I don't advise following a medical career path. Both the courses and the high cost of any kind of medical degree would over whelm you.

Something with computers does sound like a better fit. Have you considered vocational colleges? Some of them have computer courses, and they are usually cheaper than non vocational colleges.

Some other computer jobs are:

- Tutor--teach others how to use the computer, or particular software packages.
- Software installer. Some businesses and private citizens prefer to have others install more complicated types of software.
- Computer repair--hardware.
- Computer repair--software, and hard drive.--find and fix problems on people's computers.
- Build or refurb computers.
- Web site design.

There are a number of other computer jobs out there, but I don't know them all. What you really need to do is figure out what you like to do on the computer and see if there is any way to make money doing that or something related to it.

Right now is really not a good time for you to go back to school, though, as you have all your current school debt hanging over your head, along with your regular bills. Work on paying off most or all of your college debt before trying to go back. However, there is no reason you can't look into working for yourself doing something with computers in the mean time.


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ThinkTrees
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08 Apr 2012, 7:47 pm

I am a health science dropout...this due to the fact that medical careers involve working with people, very closely, hands on.
Not recommended.
The science side is interesting though, nothing to worry about if you possess curiosity and good recall. (Chemistry is simply logical, and anatomy & physiology fascinating.)

I would confirm all recommendations made by questor...you are probably already equipped for some of this work, just with all you've already done. Start small & build up, you can take on further study as required, just to keep yourself current.

All the best :)



Shadewraith
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08 Apr 2012, 8:51 pm

Web developer might be interesting. I'm already certified for computer repair and I enjoy doing that. Just not enough to work at a place like Best Buy, who really don't know what the hell they're doing. I've always thought about running my own computer repair business while making custom PCs on the side. I just don't want the responsibility of owning a business and trying to drum up customers. I'd be terrible at that. Being able to sit at a computer and work on a website by myself all day sounds cool, though. I like seeing things come together piece by piece.


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scubasteve
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09 Apr 2012, 10:02 pm

Hi Shadewraith,

If you decide to go back to school, you may be able to have your student loan payments deferred until you finish. I'd suggest calling the financial aid department of any school you might be interested in. They could probably give you an idea of what the program would cost, and what financing options may be available. Public colleges in your state of residence are likely to be less expensive than out-of-state, so you might start there. (This is assuming you live in the U.S. Otherwise, please disregard everything I've said to this point, sorry :)

As for the schedule... Many colleges do offer night classes. Wouldn't hurt to ask. If you call one state or city college, even if they don't offer it, they may be able to direct you to another state or city college that does. The most likely ones to offer night classes would be community colleges, and although the occupations you listed probably require a 4 year degree, starting out at a community college and then transfering might be an option... In any case, it can't hurt to call around and ask.



Shadewraith
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10 Apr 2012, 12:33 pm

I'm thinking I may as well continue my path down the whole sys admin thing. I mean, the classes have been paid for and it's only $150 to retake the classes. Getting certified is the hard part. I'm going to have to move out of my house soon and the money I'm making at my current job won't be enough to sustain me for very long. I suppose eventually I could move into the security field, which is what I originally wanted. I just feel like it's too late to do something different right now.


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