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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port Byron, IL
Posts: 502
Terrible at decisions

So, here's the story,

I live in small country town about 3 hrs from Chicago. I'm 28 years old and I haven't done much with my life. Worked mostly retail and I've grown tired of it. So this past year I went back to school to get an associates for a Computer Specialist degree with an emphasis on Desktop support.

Met some awesome people at a vai show last year and they just offered a room for me to live in so I can transfer up to a school in the burbs. Im seriously contemplating doing this cause I think I would do a lot better in a bigger city. What do you guys think?

Looking back at my life I feel rather unachomplished with things and rather embarrassed. However, I'm trying hard to change things. I feel that with an education it will give me better chances but more importantly a big confidence boost. I don't know if I will stay in Chicago for ever because after this crappy winter Arizona has been calling my name too.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 08:56 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
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Re: Terrible at decisions

do they know you will be blasting guitar riffs from your room at all hrs ? : )
+1 on this winter. I have a friend who is moving his family b/c of this horrible winter.
Moving to a bigger city will def give you more opportunity in every aspect of your life.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 10:06 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Re: Terrible at decisions

You are still very young in the context of a usual 40-60 year work life.

Small country town here, and about 2 1/2 hours from San Francisco.

I too was a guitarist, primarily, and had retail jobs and didn't get my associates until I was 28 and bachelor's at 30. But I got to do other stuff many more accomplished kids in their 20s missed out on like play guitar, gig, record, and develop my skills beyond just teenage jams in bedroom and then selling off guitar at college like some of my friends did because mommy said so. The good thing about college, and where it's mostly different from high school, is that you can do it right after high school, ten years later, or forty years later.

After years as a computer tech which I did after my bachelor's degree and grad school, I am 50 now going in as a first year social worker student at the community college. I am not even close to the oldest person in the class, nor the most educated so I fit in the middle somewhere. I am starting from square 1 like the eighteen year old kids in the class and it's all good. As a social worker, on any level, I won't make anything close to what any computer tech or programmer could make, but that's just fine, too. On the other hand, there's a minister in the class and becoming a social worker would be a step up financially so that's good, too.

It's never too late to change careers, and realize that retail was your first career as was mine, but from the perspective of this forum, don't lose your perspective and try and gain happiness from playing guitar. I hope this helps.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 02-06-2014 at 10:17 AM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 10:09 AM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

Do it! You can always go back, you will not get the same chance again.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 12:26 PM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Euphor View Post
Do it! You can always go back, you will not get the same chance again.
Why do I agree with this?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port Byron, IL
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Re: Terrible at decisions

Thank you everyone. Things have been a little discouraging lately. Seeing classmates moving, getting better jobs and doing things what I feel people my age should be doing.

Oh, I don't have to worry about the guitar thing. Her husband plays as well so we won't have a problem. Things aren't that well here at home and I'm really aching for a change.

It almost feels that once you get into that retail gig it's kinda a vicious cycle. I try to get out but I don't have enough outside experience so all I can do is jump around from retail job to Another.

It's funny cause I have lost a lot of friends this past year or so but have been making more up in the chicago area. I think totally different then people here. I tend to think more realistic.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 02:52 PM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

It doesn't sound like you're giving anything up if you stay in school once move.
Don't go nuts but be open to new things that might inspire you!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port Byron, IL
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Re: Terrible at decisions

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Originally Posted by sebastian View Post
It doesn't sound like you're giving anything up if you stay in school once move.
Don't go nuts but be open to new things that might inspire you!
I'm only thinking of changing schools because it might be better for me if I have a bigger name behind my degree. Great thing is this school won't cost me an arm and a leg.
Only $105 a credit.

I'm looking into getting a full time job in the area and go to school part time. In this case I can get financial aid and use part of that to pay for R&B. I have a car payment to keep and all that jazz.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

definitely stick with your schooling...education is becoming increasingly important. The days are gone when you could get a good paying job that you can stay in for years without an education. As for moving to the big city, I'm from a smaller seaside town 1 hour outside of Vancouver and I don't like big cities but there is certainly no doubt that there will be more opportunities for you in a bigger city, which is unfortunate but it's a fact of life. It's probably even more important in the US where the economy took an even harder hit than here but even up here it's very hard to get good work in small towns. ...and yes Arizona sounds nice...there's a reason the place is crawling with Canadians every winter...lol
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Re: Terrible at decisions

trust in possibility. Vai has some great videos on this.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 07:46 PM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

Do it and pursue a bachelor's with emphasis on network security. Just keep your eye on the prize and put aside anything else that might get on the way (girlfriend, hobbies, etc.). Do what you have to do, get it done and then get yourself a decent job in a large city (Chicago, DC, Dallas, LA, NY, etc.). There is no telling how far you can go if you set your mind to it.

Two things that you also need to seriously consider are:

1. Staying clean -- if you currently have an affinity for grass or any other type of drug (be it hardcore or recreational). Ensuring that you can pass a random drug exam is essential these days and employers will not let you slide.

2. Maintaining a good credit report -- make sure you're paying your bills on time and you don't have blemishes on your credit report. Some employers and mostly the Federal Government (if you choose to apply there), will check your credit report to see if you're a responsible individual.

Jimmy

Last edited by jb4674; 02-07-2014 at 07:52 PM.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 07:56 PM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

If they pull out the gimp mask run.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 09:53 PM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

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Originally Posted by jb4674 View Post
Do it and pursue a bachelor's with emphasis on network security. Just keep your eye on the prize and put aside anything else that might get on the way (girlfriend, hobbies, etc.). Do what you have to do, get it done and then get yourself a decent job in a large city (Chicago, DC, Dallas, LA, NY, etc.). There is no telling how far you can go if you set your mind to it.

Two things that you also need to seriously consider are:

1. Staying clean -- if you currently have an affinity for grass or any other type of drug (be it hardcore or recreational). Ensuring that you can pass a random drug exam is essential these days and employers will not let you slide.

2. Maintaining a good credit report -- make sure you're paying your bills on time and you don't have blemishes on your credit report. Some employers and mostly the Federal Government (if you choose to apply there), will check your credit report to see if you're a responsible individual.

Jimmy
That is all terrible stuff, but very, very true. Above post ^^^ is one of the best things I have read here on Jemsite when it comes to advice.

One of the things I learned first in law school was how illegal it was ask for credit report or to pursue drug testing on employees. Even the conservative justices were libertarian on the subject, but the reality is:

1) employers will look at your financials whether they obtain it legally or not
2) they will drug test you
3) when you do get the job if you are a woman, don't expect to have a career, in same job, that gets even 80% percent of that of a man (I just wanted to add that in as it was featured prominently in state of the union address)

Things are not fair of course or legal as from both rulings and dissensions of the high court, but what you say about single focus and getting all drugs/alcohol out, and getting credit report is a good start to getting hired. Learn the rules but also learn where the employer breaks them and keep an eye out and don't get blindsided. There are many ways to radically change your credit score and it takes a small life adjustment. As for drug tests, the hospital I worked at part time didn't even tolerate ANY alcohol in the system at the time of the drug screening. It wasn't that way when I started but they raised the bar since the recession as well as longer hours and less pay.

If it was a different time, you could consider a non-city job, but in the second biggest downturn in the last 100 years, the city thing is an absolute necessity. Many job titles simply don't exist outside a large city and some large cities simply have only some industries but not others.

All that being said, as a person in this field, IT/high tech is one place where a degree may not always help and in every case from what I have seen in 30 years in norcal/silicon valley, it's been the high school grad, whether it's SJ, MD, or BG, PA or LE, or any of these CEO founders, where the college grad never ran the department or the company which indicates that at the end of the day merit and skill is all that counts. So for high tech and IT, do get that degree and certification(s), but also be as good as the non degreed person who got into high tech and got that position for a reason (which is usually because they are far better than anybody some college/university can produce). It's a rat race in high tech, but especially for San Jose, then Texas, then Boston loop, but LIVE the IT world like you would as a musician living it like you were in the music industry and then you should be OK.

Where business doesn't keep up with what is legal, the IT/high tech industry is even more strange and idiosyncratic but you will learn quickly once you are there.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 02-07-2014 at 10:10 PM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

So I've been thinking. Here is another possibility. The curriculum is slightly different between each school. I may not know if they would accept any of my credits. Especially the IT courses I have taken. Also, this school requires a intern where as the other don't.

The school that I am currently taking just open up a new apartment complex for students. It's $550 a month with everything included and completely furnished. Nice thing is it's right on campus, I can stay here and finish school here. If I really want to move out I can just move into the student housing. I can still visit Chicago.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 12:26 AM
 
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Re: Terrible at decisions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarmattms View Post
So I've been thinking. Here is another possibility. The curriculum is slightly different between each school. I may not know if they would accept any of my credits. Especially the IT courses I have taken. Also, this school requires a intern where as the other don't.

The school that I am currently taking just open up a new apartment complex for students. It's $550 a month with everything included and completely furnished. Nice thing is it's right on campus, I can stay here and finish school here. If I really want to move out I can just move into the student housing. I can still visit Chicago.
IT courses, even in the best schools and thus probably the most transferable, are literally obsolete by the time the class is put out there. Unlike any field I can think of the HR person (which I was briefly before I got into IT) will only consider your bachelor's in CS or IT as a bachelors for about five years because IT and computer science are so fast moving. After about five years, your BS degree in computer science or IT simply does not count. But if you had a math degree, it's a math degree forever, as is a business, engineering, English, or art degree.

But on the bright side, you can never get bored easily since, I guess just like being a chart topping rock star, you can get outdated so fast so you have to constantly reinvent yourself.

Finish your education, get your foot in the door, and as soon as you are settled in job and housing after college, find a master's and/or certification course of study. When that's done, move onto another certification, and doing this of course while you are learning on the job.

Also if you do end up in San Jose, then get that second master's degree, like business, so you could add management of people to managing networks and servers.

It all sounds like almost too much education, but if you are not the teenage genius type guys like a young Paul Allen, or Gates, Dell, or Jobs, then the next best thing is to rack up years of work experience and too many degrees and certifications to make you easily dispensable.

While this field is very competitive with nobody being too educated or knowledgeable, the super high burnout rate does help you keep your job if you stay when many more fare more talented than you simply walk away forever. These jobs cannot be done by robots/software completely, so if you hang in there, work the big hours, and don't burn out, you should be able to find a job somewhere so long as you are in a big city.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 02-09-2014 at 09:38 AM.
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