I want to go to college but.........

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chamoisee
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18 Jul 2005, 11:12 pm

I've wanted to go to college for years now. I watched in envy while my sister (who is less bright) majored in photography and was inundated with art courses (doubly worse, because art is my passion and was never hers).

I am now pregnant with my sixth child and tryign to support the family on a fairly low paying job that I don't enjoy very much. It occurs to me that perhaps I could/should go to school somehow during the end part of the pregnancy and while the child is small. I could get better job skills for a job that I would enjoy and that might pay more. However, there are a number of problems:

:arrow: Will they pay for some of my living expenses? How do I procure this help? I have been told that basically, you can get the schooling paid for and that is it, and then other people say otherwise. I am confused!!

:arrow: I find the whole application process hopelessly confusing. Do any of you fidn the paperwork to be hard to decipher, and can we get help for this on accoutn of beign autistic, or do we have to wade through it and try to figure it out?

:arrow: Online classes: these are offerred for a good part of the graphic desgin program that I want. In your opinion, are online classes worthwhile, are they as good as the real life sort? The idea of commuting over an hour each way through scary traffic and having my baby farmed out in daycare doesn't appeal to me.

:arrow: In your opinion, is graphic desgin a viable career, or is it flooded? Could someone easily do this at home at least some of the time? I am a quilter as well as an artist, and I have heard from someone 'in the know' that the quilting industry (which is booming) has a dearth of garophic artists who are actually familiar with and sensitive to the needs of quilters. For example, a regular artist may not be aware that certain shapes are harder to sew than others or that having a hundred pieces in a 16" block isn't really desirable. I have already sold some of my work as quilting patterns to be published so this is the field I was considering.
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Opinions? Feedback please?



CleverCait
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19 Jul 2005, 12:18 am

I'm not a mother or an art major, but I'll try and help as best I can.

Applications and paperwork are easier, for me, if I take them one step at a time. Don't think about the entire application, just think about the question you're working on at the moment. If something doesn't make any sense, just ask someone who might know the answer (in this case, I asked my mom).

Also, I'm paying for everything using student loans. I know that as a mother returning to school, you're eligible for quite a few scholarships and grants and whatnot. I would think that you could somehow get enough money to support your family and yourself while going to school.

As far as graphic art careers, it will probably be MUCH easier if you have contacts (like the person you mentioned about quilting).

...I don't think I was much help here. But that's awesome that you want to go back to school. :)



Scoots5012
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19 Jul 2005, 12:27 am

chamoisee wrote:
:arrow: In your opinion, is graphic desgin a viable career, or is it flooded? Could someone easily do this at home at least some of the time? I am a quilter as well as an artist, and I have heard from someone 'in the know' that the quilting industry (which is booming) has a dearth of garophic artists who are actually familiar with and sensitive to the needs of quilters. For example, a regular artist may not be aware that certain shapes are harder to sew than others or that having a hundred pieces in a 16" block isn't really desirable. I have already sold some of my work as quilting patterns to be published so this is the field I was considering.


I know at least in the field of television, with digital television just around the corner, and the potential explosion in programming, I think there will be a need for graphic design, it might not be going onto fabric, but it will be on CRT or LCD display.


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pyraxis
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19 Jul 2005, 1:27 am

Graphic design (including advertizing and web design) is a very viable career at the moment. At my art college, which had majors in everything from film to furniture design to historical preservation to 2D animation, the majority of the job offers posted by the career office were in graphic design.

Contacts are certainly helpful but not necessary. I was able to start freelancing at 16 even though I had just moved to the country a year ago and had no local friends. Most of my first clients were found through family members. By the time I was 18 I had enough work experience for a viable resume, so I could present myself well enough to pick up strangers as clients.

As long as you have a decent computer and the right software (legit or not, depending how cautious you are), you can do almost all of it from home. I've worked with clients in other cities whom I've met in person only once for an initial interview. The rest of our communication was through email and phone. (It was great! - I make a much better impression over the internet than in person.)



larsenjw92286
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19 Jul 2005, 10:24 am

I think you should push back college until after you have the child, because children do need the care. So many people have been hurt by going back to school after having a child.


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julieme
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19 Jul 2005, 5:59 pm

Hi all,

Graphic arts is one field where a porfolio counts as much as a degree. You can start by taking a class each in photoshop, quark, illustrator, macromedia flash. This can be done at a community college and then you can buy the software and PC with student discounts.

The stress of taking care of kids and going to school will only add to financial pressures

:idea: Perhaps the children's father(s) could take them part time or maybe you can work out more child support, or your parents could help with the kid

:idea: Could you get an entry level job at a graphic related business. They tend to beat minimum wage



chamoisee
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20 Jul 2005, 12:01 pm

Well, I don't think it will hurt the baby for me to take the online classes, which was what I was intending to do. And I think that taking online classes will be a LOT less detrimental than working over 30 hours a week as I'm currently doing...I can't see putting a newborn in daycare...especially if the classes are part time.

The father of three of the kids that are born already has joint custody, so he has them half the time, which helps. I don't get child support since he pays for at least half the expenses.

I went to the job service center yesterday and found out more information...the guy there was unfamiliar with Asperger's and the difficulties involved...but he gave me a contact number that would be more helpful.



julieme
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21 Jul 2005, 10:22 pm

:idea: So long as I was in an approved major (where I could 99% get a job) the Wi dept of vocational rehabilitation paid for my housing and books. That was many years ago but there might be a similar program available.

The only bad part was that I had to check in every week for assessments/updates and they tried very hard but were unfamiliar with AS> They were helpful on learning disabilities though -

Also check to see if you are eligable for any ADA assistance. My University had a very good program that did skill testing, evaluated traditional performance measures and then came up with modifications (extended test times, non traditional ways of doing homework - like red, green, and blue colered boxes on graphpaper for boolean algebra)



chamoisee
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27 Jul 2005, 6:56 pm

What is ADA assistance? It sounds helpful....



HugoBlack
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27 Jul 2005, 7:47 pm

>>Will they pay for some of my living expenses? <<

No most likely not. Few people are going to pay you to go to school. There is some scholarship and grant money out there, but it is limited. What you will qualify for is $18,500 in low interest student loans (called Stafford loans; the money comes from a private bank but the funds are guarenteed by the federal governmnet). Other than that, you will probably have to turn to regular interest private loans. The interest rates for these are higher than Stafford loan rates. None of these loans do you have to start paying off until six months after you graduate. To do this you will need to fill out a FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) after January 1 (it may be too late for this year, although you will be able to work out private loans through your schools financial aid department). Other than filling out the FAFSA, do everything though your school's financial aid department.

>>I find the whole application process hopelessly confusing. <<

Do everything online, as it is much easier. You should be able to apply to your school online. FAFSA is online.

>>Online classes: these are offerred for a good part of the graphic desgin program that I want. In your opinion, are online classes worthwhile, are they as good as the real life sort?<<

Online classes are good IF you are self disciplined enough to listen to the lectures and do the assignments and tests on your own without someone telling you to do them. That said, they tend to take less time to do and may be a far better option for someone raising 6 kids and working full time.

>>In your opinion, is graphic desgin a viable career, or is it flooded? <<

That I don't know, but stay away from anything IT or programming related. There is a severe supply/demand imbalance with this area. There is too much supply (in the form of unemployed workers and trained immigrants) and not enough demand (do to all of the outsourcing).



alex
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27 Jul 2005, 8:51 pm

HugoBlack wrote:
That I don't know, but stay away from anything IT or programming related. There is a severe supply/demand imbalance with this area. There is too much supply (in the form of unemployed workers and trained immigrants) and not enough demand (do to all of the outsourcing).


Thats an urban myth spread by people who are in the field and don't want lots of graduates coming in and taking their jobs. Also, IT employment depends on where you work. If you live in Washington, DC, for instance, there are going to be a lot of government jobs which can't be outsourced. Also, all the private defense companies will need programmers and they don't want foreigners working on defense contracts.

If you're good at IT, you can get a job and you can get a high paying job. You will even get job offers before you graduate if you go to a good school.

Read this if you don't believe me:

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos267.htm


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julieme
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27 Jul 2005, 10:20 pm

Quote:
What is ADA assistance?



Under the american's with disabilities act Universities will change exam and teaching polocies to accomodate disabilities. For example if you have trouble in rooms with overhead floresent lights and cannot think with background noises or need to stim during exams - you can get a private room to take exams in -people with reading problems can get recorded text books, etc.

The key is to figure out what defficits exist because of your disability and then figure out how to "correct" for them.

Ialso qualified for vocational rehabilitation because my disability. This was a grant from the state department of work force development. The university ADA counciler helped me fill out the paper work.... The idea is if you go to school in a field where you will get a good paying job the state won't need to help you out for the rest of youe life.



HugoBlack
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27 Jul 2005, 11:09 pm

>>Thats an urban myth spread by people who are in the field and don't want lots of graduates coming in and taking their jobs. Also, IT employment depends on where you work. If you live in Washington, DC, for instance, there are going to be a lot of government jobs which can't be outsourced. Also, all the private defense companies will need programmers and they don't want foreigners working on defense contracts. <<

I live in the Telecom Corridor and there are no jobs. I am not in the field (nor will I ever be). However I have known many people that were once in the field. One christmas during college I worked as a seasonal temp at Wal-Mart. There was an IT worker with 10 years of experience who was also a seasonal temp. He was laid off and was looking at getting into the data entry field (with little luck). I once worked at Home Depot, another seasonal temp during college. There was a laid off telecommunications worker with 30 years of experience who was also a seasonal temp. I once worked at a bank, and one IT worker came looking for a 40k job in the branch (everyone other than the manager made minimum wage) because he was laid off.

>>If you're good at IT, you can get a job and you can get a high paying job. You will even get job offers before you graduate if you go to a good school. <<

In the ideal society yes. But in reality, no. In reality IT was hot, during the 1990s. But then the dot coms went dot gone, and the IT industry went into a tail spin. But during the 1990s many people trained as computer science people, and many more flooded in from India and China (they never left). The supply was good for the demand before the crash, but after, much of the IT/telecom/tech business dried up and many of the jobs that remained were outsourced to India and China, were they can do the job just as well, only for a fraction of the price.

>>Read this if you don't believe me:<<


I am not going to bother looking at it, because I assume that it links to the govt telling us how great software engineering jobs are growing. Well if you want to take just one opinion (the opinion written in the late 1990s when software engineering/IT jobs were booming, and was retracted a couple of years ago) and assume it is absolute fact without looking at anything else, that is ok (although you can also go here http://www.itpaa.org/ to see another opinion). You may throw your life away, but that is your choice.

BTW what exactly do you do? Software engineer for a major IT company?