do you study in what you want or in what will get you a better job? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-04-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm STILL toying with the idea of a graduate degree (I have a B.Ed. in secondary education, teaching English and Religion). For some reason, the graduate degrees that are available to me here in Canada (part-time or online) aren't *exactly* what I want--though I do find them interesting, but they would lead to more interesting job prospects in the field of education. FTR, they are M.Ed. in inclusive education, or perhaps an MA in distance education. With one of those degrees under my belt, I'd at least make a better salary as a teacher or I might find an interesting job outside of the school system.

What I would *really* enjoy doing would be an MA in English or in Religious studies, with the eventual aim of teaching those subjects at the collegial level...but this isn't exactly guaranteed. However there are no online MA degrees in English lit or Religious studies offered in Canada.

What about you student mamas out there? Are you studying something you LOVE or something you like but will lead to more interesting professional prospects?
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#2 of 20 Old 08-04-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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I took nursing because it's a stable, work ready, lucrative career.

I'm also going back to school (p/t) this fall to start a B.A. in women's studies, english or history. For myself.

Not sure what I'll do with it, but I'm excited.

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#3 of 20 Old 08-04-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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I don't know how it is in Canada, but I know that my friend who's finishing up her English Ph.D. from a really top-notch program says the job market is beyond terrible -- and she's one of the golden students of her program. You would really need a Ph.D., at least here in the states, to teach at college level on a tenure track, and from what I've heard, teaching random classes at a community college tends to pay as well as waiting tables. There have been a lot of really good articles in the New York Times lately about how a masters in something like English is a waste of money for a lot of people. http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.c...-degree-worth/ I think a BA in liberal arts is a great idea, because you learn more about how to learn and think critically, and it's fine for undergrad educations to be more general. But I don't know that I would pay for a masters in one of those fields.
Doing something in the education field would make a lot of sense -- if you think you want to stay in education. For sure, getting a masters is often a good investment, as long as you use it.

I'm lucky, I'm going back to grad school for public policy, which is something I'm really interested in and familiar with after seven years in journalism, and it's also an incredibly reasonably priced two-year professional program with pretty decent job prospects. It seems like good value for the money, and I'm excited about it. I was talking to my sister about how I wanted to go back to grad school but I wasn't sure which program, and she said, what about public policy? And I had this instant light bulb moment where I knew that's what I wanted to do, and I was so surprised I hadn't thought of it before. (She and I actually had a very similar moment when I was pregnant and she suggested Cyrus's name and I was like, bingo, that's it.)

Here are some more resources: http://www.quintcareers.com/consider...te_school.html

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#4 of 20 Old 08-04-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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unless it is something I am interested in I am not going to put in the time, effort or money to do it. I would most likely end up spending alot of money for nothing & I'd end up quitting.
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#5 of 20 Old 08-04-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I will be starting grad school very soon. I am not studying what I love but something that will fit my family's needs. The grad program (advanced practice) that I would love to be in would require way too much time away while it would lead to a better job eventually, the cost of it is not worth it at this point in my life. What I am studying, master of science in nursing education, is not my passion, while education is a huge portion of my job (I currently run a program at a health dept) it isn't what I want to do forever. I most certainly never want to teach nursing students! I will be able to do more with my MSN, but eventually I probably will go back to school again for what I really what to do but at least I will already be at a masters level in nursing.

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#6 of 20 Old 08-05-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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I went to college twice for what I liked/love, Early education (pre-k teacher) and then web/graphic designer. With the fall of the economy both are not doable for me and make a living at unless we moved to a high cost of living area. This is not a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I want my kids to grow up where we are now. So, I'm back in school for nursing. Its more stable and in demand in my area, but I don't particularily enjoy the idea of doing it nor is it something I saw myself going to school for. But we do what we have to for the sake of our families and I make the best of whatever it is I'm going to do. So, I intend on using my nursing AND early education skills to find a job in an area of nursing that will suit my "likes" more than standard nursing.

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#7 of 20 Old 08-05-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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I studied for what would get me a better job. When my dd grows up and supports herself I will go back to school to study what I love. I am tired of stressing out about money and how we are going to make ends meet, it isn't good for me as a mom so I chose to make a sacrifice to find something I can make a career out of even if it isn't my favorite job choice.
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#8 of 20 Old 08-06-2010, 03:44 AM
 
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I started out by studying for what I enjoyed doing, then realized once I reached graduate school in the subject that I would need to "publish or perish" in order to achieve a professor's job and keep the job. So, I switched to another major in graduate school where I knew that I could use that degree to pursue a license in a career that would enable me to eventually create my own business and hours with a potentially-good income. 10 years later, now, the work has paid-off and I am having the business I had hoped for. But it took a while to get here. It isn't the most fun job in the world, but it's a lot less painful than many other jobs I could have settled for and disliked. And sometimes, I can say that I love it. But, not all the time. I really love hanging out at the beach and by a pool with my kids, you know?

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#9 of 20 Old 08-06-2010, 04:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post
I will be starting grad school very soon. I am not studying what I love but something that will fit my family's needs. The grad program (advanced practice) that I would love to be in would require way too much time away while it would lead to a better job eventually, the cost of it is not worth it at this point in my life. What I am studying, master of science in nursing education, is not my passion, while education is a huge portion of my job (I currently run a program at a health dept) it isn't what I want to do forever. I most certainly never want to teach nursing students! I will be able to do more with my MSN, but eventually I probably will go back to school again for what I really what to do but at least I will already be at a masters level in nursing.
I considered getting my MSN starting this fall, but I absolutely detested the nursing research. Loved lots of the ethics classes though, so I'm seriously considering looking at a BA in ethics...

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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#10 of 20 Old 08-06-2010, 04:52 AM
 
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LOVE.

thats why i am so excited i am single.

i wouldnt be able to chase something i love if i was still married. i remember once bringing up moving to a nearby city so i could attend their local program and then dh saying absolutely not.

no idea what job i will get, but i dont care. i know i will get somewhere.

and yeah i want to teach part time and do some 'travelling' lectures too.

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#11 of 20 Old 08-06-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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I guess I was lucky in that what I chose to study was a great balance between "practical" and "for the love of learning". I did an MA in international relations with a heavy focus on economics (the practical part which I actually love as well, being the geek that I am) and lots of opportunities to take modern history/political science, literature and language classes. I actually did a similar program as an undergrad, which was both great fun and a solid foundation. I have used my knowledge that I gained in both degrees extensively in my career, from both the economics side and from the international relations side.

It turned out to be a career with a decent level of income though I am sure I could have made much more money going to law school or getting my MBA. But neither of those programs would have given me the balance that I really wanted at the time, though many in my field actually have JD or MBA degrees so I could have conceivably ended up in the same field anyway.

If things had been more black and white (like nursing versus english lit), I would have selected the more practical route, because I am not a risk taker, and supplemented it in some way.

Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymorebanana.gif

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#12 of 20 Old 08-06-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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I study what I love and it does create better job prospects for me.

My friend just finished her MA in English with an emphasis in reading comprehension. She teaches high school and did the MA becuase she loves the subject. Now that she has her MA, I think her annual income will increase by less than $1k a year, while the program cost 30k. But that's an example of doing something becuase you love it.

My aunt has a PhD in English and teaches at a state college. She does it becuase she loves it, not becuase she makes tons of money.

I don't think I could ever choose a course of study or profession just becuase it was lucrative/stable. I need to be passionate about what I do. I happen to have a comfortable salary, but being happy and passionate about my work is what's most important. But that's just me. For me, it just happened to work out that what I love also happens to bring in a good living.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
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#13 of 20 Old 08-07-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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Love here too. I'll find something that I can do with my degree, and i've worked plenty of practical jobs to know that's not for me!

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#14 of 20 Old 08-12-2010, 10:00 AM
 
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Well, I'm in my mid 40s and still trying to figure out what I want to be "when I grow up" but I can say I wouldn't recommend studying what will get you a better job over what you love. If you can combine both aspects - perfect.

But, several times in my life, I've chosed educational paths that would get me a good paying job. Not something I loved ... just something I thought would pay the bills. And then I found myself in careers that I eventually loathed with every fibre of my body. And beyond the loathing - the stress of hating your job plays havoc with your health.

Once again, here I am, pondering going back to school, looking at the job market (I'm Canadian) and thinking I should go for what "makes sense" in terms of studies.

But, no. I won't. Honestly, I think a person should follow their passions and interests. The worst case scenario is that you get training in something you love and might not find a job in that field, right away or only part time. But at least you have the training and the skill sets in an area you enjoy.

If you follow a path in something for practical reasons only, well there you are with your degree/diploma - you likely didn't enjoy the studies too much. And now you need to find a job in this field and grow and excel? And in the meantime, you've not acquired any training in the field you really love!

Everyone is different but no matter how many times I tried to "suck it up" and do something for the cash, eventually the feeling of being in the wrong job and disinterested in the field catches up with you.

I would say following your bliss in the best path even if sometimes it is the hardest path.
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#15 of 20 Old 08-12-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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To teach either of those subjects at the college level in the US, you pretty much need a PhD, and even then, those jobs are few and far between, with gigantic competition.

Personally, I'd go for the practical, but only if I could find something that I wanted to do. It wouldn't have to be my ideal career, but I'd need to enjoy coming to work every day. For example, if I didn't want to be a special ed teacher, no matter how good the job prospects, I wouldn't do it. But I also wouldn't get a master's degree in philosophy, because it wouldn't help me with employment.
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#16 of 20 Old 08-12-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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I am studying in what I want and have an interest and passion for. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminology. I've always wanted to take this path and now, at almost 28 years old, I am going after it. I don't think it's really where the money is but I want to have a career in something that interests me and makes me happy.

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#17 of 20 Old 08-12-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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I study what I love (birth) with the hopes that it will make me the kind of midwife I want to be someday.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#18 of 20 Old 08-12-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Mine is BOTH! I'm doing nursing. It took me a long time to realize it, but I'm a pretty damned good caregiver! Lol. I love science too. So I'm excited to do something I'm passionate about..using my smarts and my instincts to put to good use. It's also handy that nursing is one of the only stable jobs left on the market (although word is even nurses are seeing the economy hit).

I'm hoping to head into Thoracic ICU or Cardiology. But if it doesn't work out, I'm Ok with home health and gerontology, which is probably the least likely area of nursing to suffer. That's where most of my CNA work experience lies, and I do like it..I just want to try something challenging before I settle in. I'm working so damn hard in school, I might as well do something a bit challenging!

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#19 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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When I first went to college, my intention was to be a veterinarian (despite hating anything and everything to do with math, science, and blood), so I first obtained a BS in animal science, then went to vet school for about 6 months. Dropped out after the 6 months, started back to school, this time with an English/Creative Writing major (my true love). Dropped out of THAT after one semester because I was getting married (and young & silly, blinded by the "happily ever after" fairytale), which left me with the animal science degree. The job options available were pretty good, but they either made my skin crawl with dislike, or they would have required me to relocate, something my new husband was adamant he would not do.

Anyway, if I had to go back and choose, I would pick something I adored and had a ton of passion for over something that simply had a good financial outlook. If I could somehow combine the two, or even find something that got pretty close, then that would be great, too. I'm also okay (for now) doing what I'm currently doing...working at a decent job that has absolutely nothing to do with my degree, and writing in my spare time.

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#20 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Well, I'm probably older than many here (almost 47) and have basically been working mostly full-time since I was 17. In answer to OP's question, I've done both, and have no regrets for either.

I went to art school in my youth and then got a masters in visual arts. I love, love, love the visual arts.

After that I ended up doing a lot of work in the theatre and working various low-paying positions at non-profits while doing my own work. It was good to an extent, but we were living hand to mouth. I never imagined myself supporting myself through my own artwork, mainly because I recoiled from the idea of having to make stuff that was sellable. It sounds elitest but I really get no pleasure from making stuff that doesn't come from within myself. So, my art degrees weren't really practical in my case as far as living off my work.

Fast foward to my thirties, and I decided I needed a new challenge. I came to the realization that I was working day in and day out for other people, and not really improving myself through said work. I was also working day in and day out for low pay. I decided to go to law school. It seemed both practical and challenging. It was a huge leap for me both mentally and financially, but I haven't looked back. I think it made a huge difference, however, that I did all this pre-child.

I don't know if I can express this properly, but I feel that I have reached a place in my life where I am both satisfied with my day job and my personal pursuits. My day job pays me well and I can honestly say that I'm never bored. I also feel a newfound passion for my art pursuits. It is like I took a long sleep and suddenly feel re-energized. For me, one compliments the other, not because they are alike but because they utilize different aspects of my brain/personality. Maybe that is just the ebb and flow of life.

I know there are tons of people out there that can combine love and practicality in one pursuit (my present boss being a prime example). For me, it was a different journey. Honestly, if I had to do it over, I might change the timing of certain things but I wouldn't change the subject matter.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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