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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to school in the spring. My main goal is to be a librarian, maybe doing some translating on the side. But... I've been wondering if that is what I really want to do. I know that I like (love) the field, but I'm having second thoughts b/c of the amount of money I'm going to spend getting my masters. Basically, I picked that because I love books and love the library environment (worked there before). I've thought of translating b/c I love learning languages... But somehow this just doesn't seem like "enough" to me. I don't want to spend thousands only to discover that I love something else. So, how did you choose your career?
 

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Good question! Funny, I'm 31, and I've been out of college for 9 years working, but I still don't feel like I've figured out what I want to do when I grow up.
Here's how I ended up where I am:
1. In college, I wanted to do something that required no more science or math classes and emphasized written and verbal communication, which I always saw as my strengths. This left me with English and Communication...worried about finding a job w/an English degree, I went with Comm. Once in that, I knew I'd have to choose a more specific path so I went with public relations because I didn't want broadcast communication or just business corporate communication.
2. I always knew from an early age that I wanted my work to be not just working for the money that I would earn, but working towards a greater societal good. I wanted to be in a non-profit agency whose values I could really get behind.
These two things combined led me to jobs doing public relations in the non-profit sector, which - if you're familiar with non-profits, is basically fundraising. Soo...that's what I do now and have since college. I like what I do, I like that I'm making the world a better place, I fit in well - however, I don't want to think that this will be my only career for the rest of my life.
 

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For me things just sort of evovled. In HS I was convinced I wanted to be an engineer. I went to a woman in engineering career day where we shadowed a professional. It was a great experience, but I knew that the field wasn't for me. At the time I was pretty active in community service activities so I sort of thought that something like psychology or social work would be interesting. I didn't have all the prerequisites to get into the school of social work, so while I was taking them I found that I was really interested in geography- particularly urban geography. I ended up staying in that major and wasn't sure at first what I would do with it. However, I think that education is important in its own right, so better that I go and learn about something I find interesting than pursue a degree in something I found uninteresting just to be on a career path. I was mentored by a professor who helped me get into grad school. I am glad she did because it changed my life, but the grad school track was an academic track and I came to realize that that wasn't really the right thing for me either. So I wound up 26 years old with a Masters degree in geography and a six month old baby. Given my interests and the work I had done for my MA I decided to apply for jobs in urban planning. It was a natural fit for me. I don't think I would have found it though without going through the uncertainty and the trying things and not having them be quite right.

I say that no education is wasted- follow your interest or desire at the time and it will lead you in the right direction. Keep in mind that you can change directions at any time. I have another friend who got an undergrad degree in accounting, got a PhD in geography, and then went to law school. Sometimes the best path isn't always well lit, and sometimes it meanders.
 

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My career picked me. I wanted to be an artist. But I was practical enough to know that I needed something to pay the bills. So I studied to be an Art Director. When I got my first job in an ad agency as the Receptionist I saw that it was not for me and was mentored by the Production Manager. I loved doing Production and that is where I am today. Although what I do is a dying industry so I have been thinking about what I want to do next.
 

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I'd be willing to bet that maybe 30% of people are actually working in the field they studied in college. I'm certainly not the psychoneuroimmunology researcher I thought I would be when I was 17!

Go forth in Library Science since that seems like the right thing. But you might also check with other people in different fields and see how different their careers are from what they studied. I think the purpose of college is to get you well-rounded and to teach you how to think critically. I don't think the specific course of study is all that important. I'm a firm believer in a liberal arts education - especially for Engineers - whom I work with a lot. It's never their technical skills that are the problem. That field moves so fast, we can teach them what they need and they learn on the job. It's the rest of the package. So - I'd advise you to pursue a wide-range of courses withing Library Science. You can figure out the masters part later.
 

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My first job out of college was in an abortion clinic making $9 an hour. Very rewarding, but I did actually want to be able to afford to buy a house or have kids, so I went to nursing school. Kind of fell into it. I wish actually that someone had pointed out that it's a relatively well-paid union job with a lot of the warm fuzzies I was looking for in a non-profit before I went and got a degree in journalism first.
 

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My career (I'm not working right now, but with dd in school full-time, I freelance some) came out of my job in college rather than my degree.

My degree is in Slavic Linguistics. My job was in a computer lab. I found that I had a greater affinity for machine languages than natural languages, so I taught myself to write code and became a programmer/analyst. I still love natural languages, but I knew they would never put food on the table. I wouldn't give up my liberal arts education for anything, though, because it's helped me in LIFE. My brains and college work experience got me my career, my college education taught me how to live.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellien C
So - I'd advise you to pursue a wide-range of courses withing Library Science. You can figure out the masters part later.
I work in a small library very part-time. I was told by the librarian that there is no such thing as a bachelor's of library science. It's nothing or a master's.


OP- I tried my hand at translating. This was 15 years ago, mind you. I found that in the US they want translators that are not native English speakers, but are fluent in English with the foreign language as their native language. I found out too late that it's OUS where the need for native English, multi-lingual translators exists. Just thought I'd mention that to you so you can look into that further before you take the plunge. Just telling you what my experience was. I did find work abroad, but it wasn't enough to make ends meet.
 

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This is a facinating subject for me.

I had my first child when I was supposed to go to college (as a computer science major, go figure.)

I have had eight children over 20 years and am presently a Biology major (I went back to school when my youngest went to school.)

I'll be trying to get into med school either in a DO or PA major.
 

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I too took the searching route.
I'll be 33 the end of this week and am in school working on my 4th and final degree.
: My BA was in Philosophy, Law and Rhetoric - I thought that I'd go to law school and do environmental work. I didn't get into the law school that I really wanted and about 9 months before graduation did an engineering research internship and loved it.

I decided that I'd work on a biomedical engineering degree... Realized that I loved general math but HATED statistics with a passion - give me a double integral or derivations and I'm in heaven, but ask me to derive the value for P=0.5 and I'd rather cut off my right arm. So, I switched to civil - I'd be able to help clean up the environment/build clean projects to start with and make a positive impact on the public well being/health. Realized about a year before graduation that unless I wanted to do wastewater/water engineering work, I needed to go for my masters. Got the masters in Environmental Engineering. My timing really stunk - 9/11 had happened and thte sector for the work I wanted to do was drying up and not paying enough to make me want to spend time away from my family.

I had joked with my sister for about 10 years at that point that I should just be a DC (chiropractor), she put a boot to my tush and shoved me in that direction... so here I sit, 10 months from graduating with my DC, getting ready to go into practice.
:


It was a winding path, but I know that all of my education makes me a better care provider for my patients and makes me a well rounded person overall.
 

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I think my career sort of found me.

I was a double major math/stat in college and thought I was going to be an actuary(google it). It took me 6 years to finish my BS and I was sick of school, but my aunt, who I was living with during my last year of college, convinced me to go ahead and get my master's. I am so glad that I did! I was still pursuing actuarial science in graduate school, but during a summer internship as an actuary, I discovered I hated to sit in office buildings all day. So now what?

I finished up my MS, got married and moved out of state with my DH. With an MS I was qualified to teach at community colleges and universities so I figured I do that for awhile until "something else" came up. I taught in grad school for my stipend and didn't care for it at all then, but once it was my job and I didn't have to split my time between my own studies and grading papers, I really enjoyed it. I have such a great connection with students and it makes my semester when a student earns an A or B when they previously "hated math" or felt they "could never do math." I may not do this forever, but right now I am quite happy. I could make a lot more money as an actuary, but I love the freedom I have as a teacher which is important as a WOHM.

I agree with pp that the education alone is worth it no matter what you decide to do. I have learned there is much more satisfaction in doing something you enjoy rather than going for the $$$. Good luck!

Quote:
... Realized that I loved general math but HATED statistics with a passion - give me a double integral or derivations and I'm in heaven, but ask me to derive the value for P=0.5 and I'd rather cut off my right arm.
I'm just the opposite. I LOVE statistics and if it were possible I'd be going for my PhD. You can have all the double integrals and derivations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I didn't hit the email notification button or something so I wasn't getting any emails saying that there were replies so I figured no one did


Anyway, your replies have given me a different outlook on it. I'm working full-time right now in a job that I hate so that we can pay the bills. I was feeling pressure because I don't want to be in this same situation after paying thousands for a degree. But after reading your replies I've decided (for now anway!
) that I will start in January with the intent to get a masters in library science and if that changes, so be it
Thanks again!
 

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I went back for my Master's in Library Science at the tender age of 22 when I realized my Bachelor's in Journalism wasn't going to make me any money. I had worked in a library shelving books and figured that the librarians' jobs looked like something I could manage, so back to school I headed.

I became a real live librarian in 2003 and haven't looked back since. I love this job...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm 23 so that is inspiring.
How long did it take you (and anyone else who is a librarian) to finish your masters (including b.a. since I am starting from scratch). TIA I'll be doing summer classes and fast track classes where I can.

Another question, is there a good online/distance learning school for this? I live in a place that offers this masters at a good college but we might move before I get to the point where I need those specific courses and I just want to covers my bases. Any good/reputable distance learning college recommendations, whether or not they offer the librarian classes, would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I dunno. I don't remember how I came to the decision, actually.
It happened sort of suddenly. I had a bad bad bad rip-your-heart-out-while-it's-still-beating-and-set-it-on-fire breakup (lol...descriptive enough for ya?) in soph. year of college, and changed my major from theatre to nursing in flurry of "change everything so you don't have to feel like dying 24/7" decisions. LOL. I'm surprised nothing ended up pierced or dyed that week...but I digress.

It's a good job, though, esp. for having a family. I do remember that being a definite part of the decision process, that I wanted a job where I could still stay home (sort of) and raise a family.
 

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I also took a pretty squiggly route to my career. I think I changed my major 4 times and ultimately went to law school. I have sort of the opposite family of everyone else I know. My dad spent his life as a professional jazz musician, and he and my mom actually met in a music shop. So it was expected that my sister and I would do something artistic. I always loved writing, so I thought I'd become a journalist and work on the great american novel at the same time or something. Then I realized I hated the actual reporting--once I had the story, writing it was a piece of cake, but interviews made me ill. I figured I was more comfortable behind the camera than the reporter's notebook, so I transferred schools and majored in photojournalism. Well, the journalism programs in my new school required a double major. So at first I took up graphic arts, but I can't draw a straight line and my GPA was actually going down because of b's in my drawing classes. Lol. I figured I'd choose something I knew I liked and that I could get A's in, so I went with political science. I ended up taking a bunch of undergrad law classes and LOVED them. I was a good photographer, but I knew enough to know I'd never be great. I thought I could be a great lawyer. So at the last minute I took the LSAT, got into the one school I applied to, and went to law school. I ended up graduating first in my class, and I've never regretted the decision. The funny part was that EVERYONE was trying to discourage me from going. Only my now DH (then bf) thought it was a good idea. My parents, my professors; everyone was so disappointed! I kept saying, "Aren't parents supposed to be happy when their kid decides to be a lawyer?" Lol.

Anyway, I ended up with a BS in photography and poly sci, and I was half a credit shy of an art minor. Plus my JD, of course. I had a ton of credits upon graduation with my BS that I never even needed. But that was what I needed to do to get to where I am now, so I'm not sorry. Some people know what they want to do when they're very young, but I don't know very many of them.
 

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I knew I wanted to work in international development even as a young child - my mom worked for Unicef, and her stories about children in poorer countries profoundly affected me.

However, I also always liked tcchnology and computers. I was always the "techie" in the office - the one who figured out how to fix the printer, or make MS Word behalf, etc. I taught myself HTML (and later PHP) and got my first email account in Senegal in 1994.

So I decided to marry the two loves together - and I work developing websites for USAID/non-profits, with a specialization in information and communcation technology for development.

However, there are many aspects of this work that call on different skill sets. I have an anthropology degree - which helps greatly in figuring out how people interact with an application. It also helps figure out what information people are looking for, who holds that information, and how people think about it.

I have run into some amazing information architects who have librarian backgrounds. Some of the best database developers I know have that librarian/classification type of brain.

I NEVER would have thought I'd been writing code. I figured I was not good at that b/c I never did well in math. It turns out I am actually very very good at user interface/workflow and at relational database design. Go figure!

So even if you are studying to become one thing, don't worry that you are stuck - there will be opportunities to use what you know in other ways.

Siobhan
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by G&B'sMama
I say that no education is wasted- follow your interest or desire at the time and it will lead you in the right direction. Keep in mind that you can change directions at any time. I have another friend who got an undergrad degree in accounting, got a PhD in geography, and then went to law school. Sometimes the best path isn't always well lit, and sometimes it meanders.
I completely agree. In my job, I work with doctors who now write medical information. One of them used to be a priest. This really helped me when I decided on my master's program. I was in your same boat. I liked what the program offered but wasn't totally passionate about it. I looked into what else I could with the degree plus my skills plus my passions. They worked together pretty well.
 
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