Help me choose a career + how tough is it to work and go to school?

I never have just one question to ask on this board for some reason, and this post will be no different. :wink:

I’m 26 years old and completed highschool and technical school (web dev and programming). Unfortunately I haven’t had much luck with either of those two professions and have decided that I want to try my hands at a new career. Something that’s not going to have me sliding from job to job, but rather, a stable career with job security decent pay, etc. Somethign I can be happy doing until I’m old, and will take care of my and my family’s financial needs.

I would really like and apreciate your opinions on the possible paths I could follow.

I would prefer something that I could get started in with 2 years of school, even if I have to continue school for another 2 after that, I want to be able to atleast get my foot in the door with an associates degree.

Some things I’ve thought about range from computer or electronic engineering and computer science to medical radiology and chemistry.

I find that I just can’t make up my mind, and almost everytime I hear of a new possible career, I end up adding it to my list. The decision seems so monumental, so important that I’m tempted to put it off, but I’ve been doing that for 6 years, enough is enough, I’m already assuming I’m going to have a hard time finding a job and competing at the age I’ll be when I finish school (28-29 after two years 30-31+ if going for bachelors or masters). Will I be looking at good prospects at that age with only schooling under my belt, no actual industry experience?

So I’m asking, what do you think are good, growing career opportunities now? What could I get started in after only 2 years of school? What career are you in, and how do you like it?

Lots of questions, I know, and I have one more: For those of you going back to school while working, how difficult is it? Do you find enough time to sped with your partner/family?

P.S: I plan on starting school as early as this fall, as late as next fall.

I have posted this before but I’ll do it again:
At 24 married and w/ two young kids, I went to college. Working 2nd or 3rd shift full time at a factory, I went 3/4-full time to school. It was a struggle at times. I started as a Business major and then for some wild-ass reason I decided I should switch to Electrical Engineering.

My math background was a little,uh lax, so I had to take high school algebra before I could take college algebra. And calculus was ROUGH, all four sections. I turned a four-year degree into six, but goddammed iffen I didn’t grajeate.

I went to a small engineering school, about 1200 students total, in Angola IN. All my prof’s knew what I was trying to do. And while I didn’t get special treatment, they helped alot. I also think the prof’s appreciate older students who are a bit more serious about school work. Not your average student whose goals are getting laid, getting drunk, and not having a Friday class.

I am now a product engineer and do very little with my EE background, but it sure beats the HELL out of that factory.

What field to study? I recommend you study one you LIKE. If you do it for the money, you’re a monkey. You will get out and hate your job IMHO. I would pick one of the engineering discliplines only because of MY experience. Although, I mostly see medical jobs being advertised.

I’ve never had a problem getting a job, especially because now that I can tag Product Engineer to my resume. I think part of it was because I was older, mature (as far as they knew anyway) and could see what I had accomplished. I was thirty when I started looking for engineering jobs.

All I can say is I went from a factory rat working forty for the man to being an enginerd working fifty for the man, but damned if I don’t get paid more :slight_smile:

O.K. seriously, my job prospects are better than before, and people think I’m fooken brilliant for being an engineer.

In six years, you will be six years older. You can be six years older with degree or just six years older. Anyway, I say the sooner you start, the better.

Gooooood luck.

Thanks Suburb, your story is inspiring and soothes my ever worrying soul :wink:

I have heard that medical and healthcare careers is where it’s at, so I am looking into all the possibilities there. Problem there is that I almost fainted last time the doc told me I needed a shot, so my choices will indeed be limited in that particular field.

I’ve always liked computers and enjoy learning about them so that most people that know me sort of expect me to go in that direction. I’m a little ambivolent about it though…

Thanks again for taking the time to tell me your story Suburb! :slight_smile: