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disciplepaul
6 December 2010, 13:08
Hi,

I am small arms armorer working for The Department of The Army. I have an associates on General Studies. I want to continue my education, but not sure on what. I like to get into something that will help me find a better opportunity with the federal government. Any ideas????

Soot
6 December 2010, 14:27
In my opinion:

It really all depends on what you want to do in the future. There are a lot of different career tracks in the federal government and the requirements for being an FBI agent are going to be different from those for a librarian.

That said:

There are very few undergrad concentrations that will actually prepare you for a specific career or for post grad studies on a 1:1 basis.

If you eventually want an MBA you might want to think about a school with a good undergrad business program. If you want to be a nurse you'll need a nursing degree. Medical schools have mandatory undergrad course requirements (natural sciences), engineering degrees require advanced math, aspiring police officers seem to gravitate toward criminal justice programs (though I don't bvelieve a CJ degree is required for a career in law enforcement - a police will have to chime in on that).

I'm sure there are more examples of these kinds of exceptions, and where the exceptions occur they are very important (even essential) but in most career fields having the degree is infinitely more important than the degree's concentration.

Before anyone can even begin to help you though you'll have to narrow your focus:

What are some jobs in the gov that interest you as potential career options?

What interests you accedemically?

Further note that you can change your major as an undergrad at pretty much any time you want, within reason. Your school and/or acedemic department will lay out the minimum standards required for a degree which usually include a certain number of credits (36 or so) and maybe a thesis or something. As long as you can meet those requirements, you can change your major.

One last thing before I shut up. Sometimes schools are particular about granting credit for transfer courses. I don't know where you got your AA, or what Texas requires (it's probably school-sepcific) in respect to transfering credit. Just do your homework and see where your degree, and the work you've already done, fits in. If one school is only going to give you credit for 40 hours of your AA work you might be able to find other schools that are friendlier to transfer students.

The Fat Guy
6 December 2010, 19:15
Soot, no more crystal meth for you before logging in.

Paul, two words: Information Security

Edge
6 December 2010, 19:27
I'm still in college so my experience in the job world is null. However, the feedback I've received from recently graduated students and professors is graduates with a management information systems, MIS degree are in great need. An MIS degree is like a computer science in that you will have to write code for programming but it also focuses on people and information technology and how they fit together in future. It gives you a big enough technological base to be in an tech-driven field such as a systems analyst but also focuses on a broad enough scope that you have the people skill and professional understanding for more person-driven field such as a project manager. Some schools, like mine, offer it through the business school and therefore has a more business focus while some other schools keep it in a different department which allows an individual to develop an even wider skill set. Like I said my work experience is null but I am pretty up to date on what skills people are looking for so I figured this might help if it doesn't I apologize.

I also am presenting this to be used in conjunction with Soot's advice...decide what you want first.

Trig
6 December 2010, 20:58
Hi,

I am small arms armorer working for The Department of The Army. I have an associates on General Studies. I want to continue my education, but not sure on what. I like to get into something that will help me find a better opportunity with the federal government. Any ideas????


disciplepaul, remain forward-thinking with your decision and choose something that interests you. Choose a degree that you can take to a variety of different employers just in case the Feds shut the door on you.

Guy
7 December 2010, 05:54
I'm still in college so my experience in the job world is null. However, the feedback I've received from recently graduated students and professors is graduates with a management information systems, MIS degree are in great need. An MIS degree is like a computer science in that you will have to write code for programming but it also focuses on people and information technology and how they fit together in future. It gives you a big enough technological base to be in an tech-driven field such as a systems analyst but also focuses on a broad enough scope that you have the people skill and professional understanding for more person-driven field such as a project manager. Some schools, like mine, offer it through the business school and therefore has a more business focus while some other schools keep it in a different department which allows an individual to develop an even wider skill set. Like I said my work experience is null but I am pretty up to date on what skills people are looking for so I figured this might help if it doesn't I apologize.

I also am presenting this to be used in conjunction with Soot's advice...decide what you want first.I'd suggest that you choose something that you can feed, clothe, pay rent, etc. first & for-most!;):cool:

Edge
8 December 2010, 14:58
I'd suggest that you choose something that you can feed, clothe, pay rent, etc. first & for-most!;):cool:

Sir? I'm not sure I follow. Did I step on my dick with that post? If so I apologize I'll keep my posts to things I'm more qualified to speak on in the future.

Massgrunt
8 December 2010, 17:27
Sir? I'm not sure I follow. Did I step on my dick with that post? If so I apologize I'll keep my posts to things I'm more qualified to speak on in the future.

Not to speak for Guy but I think he meant whatever you spend your time and money on, make sure it has a direct impact on your ability to make money. No liberal arts, English or philosophy degrees.

Dark Helmet
8 December 2010, 17:52
No liberal arts, English or philosophy degrees.

Amen. Avoid Art History, too....

My son is 14 and extremely bright with a measured IQ of 145. He's disciplined and does very well in school. He wants to be a rock star just like every other 14 year old kid. I told him I would fully 100% support his musical endeavors as long as he put his back into academics and pursued a course of study that gives him a paycheck.

Want to have a garage band whilst you major in engineering? Keep above a 3.5 and I'll pay for it all. Amps, guitars, etc etc....

Want to drop your education and go cross-country, living out of a van to follow Phish for a year? You're on your fucking own. Have fun and make sure you take a camera, because although I won't be paying for it, I sure want to hear about the trip!

Massgrunt
8 December 2010, 18:31
Dark Helmet, that's a great approach. I'm sure he's somewhat pissed off at you now but he'll come around. My mother frequently says that no parent should pay for a liberal arts degree. My brother has an English degree from a very good school. He's an accountant. I have a bunch of liberal arts credits under my belt and am well aware I need to veer off into a path that will actually pay me money.

The world always needs ditch diggers... it doesn't need art history majors.

Stretch
8 December 2010, 18:37
The world always needs ditch diggers...

Yes we do. And I still have to pay those fuckers $10/hr plus cover their workman's comp, general liability, etc...

Soot
9 December 2010, 13:28
The world always needs ditch diggers... it doesn't need art history majors.

I wouldn't say that.

You'd be surprised how many jobs that require advanced degrees are looking for people with backgrounds in art history.

Just about any museum that's hiring is looking for art historians (doesn't have to be an art museum).

A lot of libraries and archives want folks with art backgrounds.

There are a lot of opportunities in preservation (of books, documents, paintings, tapestries, etc...)

Someone always needs a curator - not just museums but big corporations, hospitals, universities...

Insurance apraisers can come from a background in art history, as can appraisers for auction houses, collectible or antiquities dealers, pawn shops...

The FBI has an Art Crime team that requires an undergrad degree in art history (as well as a JD).

Speaking of JDs, there are lawyers who specialize in art conservation, art restoration, artists' rights, art and antiquities shipping and insurance...

Art is BIG money, and anywhere there's big money there will be good careers for the right people with the right skills.

The way I see this issue is, if you're going to invest the time, money, and effort in getting an education it may as well be in a field that you think you're going to love.

If you love business, study business. If you love math, study engineering.

But if you love art, or poetry, or music, or any of those other fag things, don't discount them as career fields just because there doesn't seem to be an obvious demand.

Dig into a career field and think unconventionally. As you can see above there are plenty of different ways to approach the art specialty and I'm sure I missed many options in my little list.

You can make money doing damn near anything.

You can also remain broke doing damn near anything.

Any opportunity is what you make of it.

CV
9 December 2010, 13:58
Want to have a garage band whilst you major in engineering? Keep above a 3.5 and I'll pay for it all. Amps, guitars, etc etc....

That's good shit right there. Had my parents done that for me when I was 16, I would be a rocket scientist right now ;)

Trig
9 December 2010, 15:03
IMO if a person has the drive, determination, motivation, and discipline, they will make a 6 figure salary no matter what they major in. Heck they will probably make a 6 figure salary without any degree. The important thing is to keep moving forward - never be stagnant, constantly invest in yourself.....and NETWORK!

Stretch
9 December 2010, 15:31
your post

My average ditch digger is un or under educated and these days most likely an immigrant. The average art history major is smart, but not too bright and picked the path of least resistance...

There is a place in the world for anyone that can read or look through a stack of whatever and communicate a reasonable account of what they have seen/read...

There is also a place for a person that can do the task at hand, regardless of any other conditions.

The question that disciplepaul asked, whether anyone knows it or not, is should he go to school to continue learn to think or should he go to school to learn a skill.

Soot, as you stated both are valid.

As hard as it is for me to find skilled tradesman, I think he should expand on his Small Arms Repairman background...

Guy
10 December 2010, 03:00
Your post...

Worst-Paying College Degrees in 2010
College Degree Starting Pay Mid-Career Pay
1. Child and Family Studies $29,500 $38,400
2. Elementary Education $31,600 $44,400
3. Social Work $31,800 $44,900
4. Athletic Training $32,800 $45,700
5. Culinary Arts $35,900 $50,600
6. Horticulture $35,000 $50,800
7. Paralegal Studies/Law $35,100 $51,300
8. Theology $34,700 $51,300
9. Recreation & Leisure $33,300 $53,200
10. Special Education $36,000 $53,800
11. Dietetics $40,400 $54,200
12. Religious Studies $34,700 $54,400
13. Art $33,500 $54,800
14. Education $35,100 $54,900
15. Interdisciplinary Studies $35,600 $55,700
16. Interior Design $34,400 $56,600
17. Nutrition $42,200 $56,700
18. Graphic Design $35,400 $56,800
19. Music $36,700 $57,000
20. Art History $39,400 $57,100

Stay safe.

BOFH
10 December 2010, 03:43
IMO if a person has the drive, determination, motivation, and discipline, they will make a 6 figure salary no matter what they major in. Heck they will probably make a 6 figure salary without any degree. The important thing is to keep moving forward - never be stagnant, constantly invest in yourself.....and NETWORK!


I don't know that I would agree with that. There are some cases of this being true...I'm one of them...no degree and I make very high in the 5 figure range, in South-Central Texas...that said, that's because I still chose a productive and lucrative course of study...may not have been in college, but I assure you, I studied my ass off. I would NOT be making good money if I had instead chosen to pursue, for instance, a music career. (I'm a bassist)

No matter how hard you work, some professions just ain't going to pay you for your effort. So yeah...it's not so much that the degree is important, but the chosen profession certainly is.

wandering_idiot
10 December 2010, 03:47
My best friend had two very successful galleries in LA... which he has sold.

His degree?

Masters in Art History from NYU. He had changed from a JD and said that it was even harder than studying law.

However, during that time, he was making six digits/year-close to seven.

But he does admit that he had to be a socialite in order to make several sales and promote his own business/artists.

Now, he never leaves the house unless he has to.

Gray Rhyno
10 December 2010, 09:00
I'm helping to pay for a degree in educational theatre right now. Not my idea, but it's her dream...

My degree is in history, but I was already pretty well established in my career, so I decided to get a degree in what I enjoy, not what I thought would get me a job.

My advice would be to get a degree in a field that you find personally satisfying. Almost all degrees can lead to a job that makes you happy. I put personal enjoyment before the big money. I could probably do better for myself if I was willing to take a high-paying cubicle job, but I like waking up in the morning and looking forward to work. You might make more money, but who wants to spend 1/3 of every week at a job that sucks the life out of you? (See Massgrunt's signature line...) If you like your chosen profession, you'll be more likely to stick with the program, and stay with that career long-term. I saw many Marines dropping out of college classes because they had no interest in what they were learning and school was only a way to make money.

BOFH
10 December 2010, 11:25
Your post...

Heh...I've always taken the opposite approach. I don't want a job I love...I like looking forward to the end of the day. I find my job satisfying, but certainly not enjoyable. I'm also a greedy capitalist, so my job satisfaction comes on payday. Then again, I'm still young, and it may be that my attitude will change with time.

mdavid
10 December 2010, 13:41
I realized that college was necessary when facing child support payments after ets.
At first i thought that mba/business was the trick because of the money.
I was bored to death first semester and almost dropped out.
Then changed to programming/IT and really enjoyed the classes, just no brainer fun times and barely had to study.
Go with what you enjoy doing, as long as you can make a living at it.

The Fat Guy
24 December 2010, 10:57
I wouldn't say that.

You'd be surprised how many jobs that require advanced degrees are looking for people with backgrounds in art history.

Just about any museum that's hiring is looking for art historians (doesn't have to be an art museum).

A lot of libraries and archives want folks with art backgrounds.

There are a lot of opportunities in preservation (of books, documents, paintings, tapestries, etc...)

Someone always needs a curator - not just museums but big corporations, hospitals, universities...

Insurance apraisers can come from a background in art history, as can appraisers for auction houses, collectible or antiquities dealers, pawn shops...

The FBI has an Art Crime team that requires an undergrad degree in art history (as well as a JD).

Speaking of JDs, there are lawyers who specialize in art conservation, art restoration, artists' rights, art and antiquities shipping and insurance...

Art is BIG money, and anywhere there's big money there will be good careers for the right people with the right skills.

The way I see this issue is, if you're going to invest the time, money, and effort in getting an education it may as well be in a field that you think you're going to love.

If you love business, study business. If you love math, study engineering.

But if you love art, or poetry, or music, or any of those other fag things, don't discount them as career fields just because there doesn't seem to be an obvious demand.

Dig into a career field and think unconventionally. As you can see above there are plenty of different ways to approach the art specialty and I'm sure I missed many options in my little list.

You can make money doing damn near anything.

You can also remain broke doing damn near anything.

Any opportunity is what you make of it.

Have you ever made good money as an Art History major? Know of anyone who has? Then refer to my original post to you, above.

The Fat Guy
24 December 2010, 11:00
I realized that college was necessary when facing child support payments after ets.
At first i thought that mba/business was the trick because of the money.
I was bored to death first semester and almost dropped out.
Then changed to programming/IT and really enjoyed the classes, just no brainer fun times and barely had to study.
Go with what you enjoy doing, as long as you can make a living at it.

There is some truth in this, especially the caveat of as long as you can make a living at it" (unless you love art history). I had the same experience when getting my Master's degree in computer information systems. I was buying my time to learn about those things that interested me.

Luckily, you (we) selected a subject that is in demand and can command a decent wage.

Art History, not so much.

The Fat Guy
24 December 2010, 11:07
Amen. Avoid Art History, too....

My son is 14 and extremely bright with a measured IQ of 145. He's disciplined and does very well in school. He wants to be a rock star just like every other 14 year old kid. I told him I would fully 100% support his musical endeavors as long as he put his back into academics and pursued a course of study that gives him a paycheck.

Want to have a garage band whilst you major in engineering? Keep above a 3.5 and I'll pay for it all. Amps, guitars, etc etc....

Want to drop your education and go cross-country, living out of a van to follow Phish for a year? You're on your fucking own. Have fun and make sure you take a camera, because although I won't be paying for it, I sure want to hear about the trip!

Holiness,

I have done the same thing with my 13 year old. I pulled her from public school into home schooling so she can ride (horses) competitively. She rides everyday to include training horses for which she receives a commission when they are sold. She competes in events that support her resume to win a scholarship to a college with an NCAA equestrian program. I pay for all of this provided the GPA stays above 3.5.

Actions have consequences and they can be god or bad.

Lannister
25 December 2010, 03:10
Education is a business...
The education business has become not much different than the sub-prime mortgage business in regards to predatory lending. Those schools have NO problem selling you a un-marketable piece of paper and sticking you with a $80-100k loan that you will have no way of paying off. They don't care because ~%86 of the money comes from Uncle Sugar (taxes/YOU & ME)...

If you are going to go into debt... do it for something that you can service that debt with... and keep the lights on/food on the table with. Your second degree can be for joy and fun...

As for my children...
They each have college accounts that I require them to put 25% of any money I give them into it.

This money is to pay for their initial college classes. They pay for these classes, attend them, and if they pass them, I reimburse them. I don't pay for failing grades.

Nousdefions794
25 December 2010, 20:35
Education is expensive. If you're looking at an affordable way to send your kids to college try this: http://www.military.com/Recruiting/Home/

My kid isn't getting a dime from me. He's going to earn his citizenship and college money.

leopardprey
1 January 2011, 21:15
Agriculture or Food Science fields are good fields to go into. Population is getting larger and people are not going to stop eating any time soon. Always lots of jobs available, domestically and internationally, especially if you go on and get a Masters.

Plus, I can say at my Alma Mater, Purdue University, the Ag Professors were the most down to earth Profs around. Most were good ole farm boys that just went on to get PhDs, liked to hunt, many were military vets, and drove trucks. And probably some of the most internationally traveled Profs in the University as well. Thoroughly enjoyed my undergrad studies in Ag, and a lot of diversity in the field to choose from. Many good paying job offers with various Ag companies such as Cargill, ADM, Monsanto, NGOs, etc.. when I graduated. (I worked for Cargill for awhile).

JumpCut
2 January 2011, 11:15
To the OP:

My company has an internship program that employees roughly a dozen college kids every semester. Most are pursuing film/media studies, a few are on a business track.

I require all of them to create a LinkedIn account and attend 'traditional' networking events. (Chamber mixers, etc.)

I also require them to order generic business cards with name, cell number and email address; not for use with my company, but as a means to network after college.

In short, I encourage them to build their 'human capital' rather than fretting over film theory classes. The most successful people I know are prolific networkers who surround themselves with smart people, regardless of the industry. One friend, who has a high eight-figure net worth, has over 3,000 Facebook friends, nearly all of them employed in the industry in which he built his fortune.

To answer your question directly: If you aspire to take an entrepreneurial track, then take basic accounting and finance courses. Trust me, you will need them.

If you plan to work for an employer, then take investment courses that will teach you how to invest your earnings outside of the employer's retirement plan. The employer's plan may be fine, but you should have the skillset to determine how your money best serves you over the long haul.

Good luck.

GreenToBlue
23 January 2011, 02:44
I would second what's already been said.

The most important part about education is not necessarily "what to think", but "how to think". There are a lot of bull shit degrees out there, but if you find an institution that is challenging-- it will give you the problem solving skills to suceed in any venture.

Of my direct family, very few are doing jobs directly related to their academic degrees. My grandfather got a PhD in statistics from Texas A&M back when they were still using slide rules for that crap. He farms 1,000 acres of wheat and soybeans today. He probably couldn't tell you the first thing about distribution curves anymore. If you ask him, he'll tell you that as 90% of what you learn, you forget. But, what he walked away with was problem solving ability. In short, he learned how to learn-- and when you know that you can do just about anything. (The degree does help though)

Like it was said earlier, the federal government is very diverse and what to study is really only limited to what you think you want to do. For me, I have found International Relations and Political Science to be a very interesting field of study. It is directly applicable and relevant to what I will be doing in the Army-- and we spend a lot of time talking about Afghanistan, Iraq, American Foreign Policy, and National Security. It has given me a tremendous understanding of the "big picture" and I think (hope) this understanding will make me a more effective junior leader. Especially given the complex operating environments our Army finds itself in today.

Lastly, the network is also very important. I have had a great opportunity to meet a lot of people through my coursework-- my terrorism teacher is former IDF, my mass media and politcs is COL Jacobs (Vietnam Vet, MoH recipient, and MSNBC Analyst), my arabic teachers was from Lebanon, South Asia studies class was a Army M.I. Officer who was born in India, etc. etc. Additionally, I have gotten to sit down and talk to people from the whole gambit of national security-- from advisors in the West Wing to NCOs fresh off deployment from the 'stan. (Just 2 days ago I got a chance to meet and talk to all the old Delta boys and Rangers from Eagle One, on the failed hostage rescue attempt in Iran) All of them are extremely dedicated to their job and bring a lot of experience into the classroom. Simply put, it's a damn cool subject.

That's me, though. Different strokes for different folks. Find something that interest you, and pursue it relentlessly.