Plans for the Future: Advice?

I am currently trying to make plans for the near future and would like to ask some advice from the diverse population of people I have observed on the SDMB. Pardon me if this sounds rather wierd as I have never actually used the board in this capacity before.

A little background before I begin.

Almost immediately out of High School, I went to college. I went to an Accrediated Technical/Business School, got fairly good grades (My GPA over the course of the entire was a 3.97) and walked away with an Associates Degree in Computer Technology. I also took a subsequent clas in networking with empahsis is Cisco System, but due to complications, do not yet have CCNA that the class was meant to prepare me for (The Comlication was that the test costs $120 per attempt and after 2 attempts (the 2nd of which came withen .01% of passing), I decided to study harder before attempt #3).

Now that I’ve emberrassed myself, my job history. Had problems getting jobs before college, got and held one during college, worked for a year or so, and left when I graduated.

I got my A+ cert, and then spent some time after leaving the Networking class, relaxing (I was slightly burnt out after 15 straight years of school), improving my physical fitness(Losing roughly 50-60 lbs since I began in the spring of 2002 to the present day), working on other projects of my own, and looking for a job in the technical field.

This pretty much sums up my situation so far. As things stand now:

-I have several thousand dollars in Student Loan Debt, however, I can keep defering that for a while. I am rather uncomfortable with that much debt hanging over my head with no way to pay for it.

-I have noticed that the job market is not exactly…um…good, at the moment (Stupid Economy) and thus my job hunting is just about as sucessful as it usually is, despite my degree, certification and job experience. I am also registered with an agency, which doesn’t seem to be helping much.

  • I am not in any danger of ending up on the street, because fortunatly I get along well with my parents and they don’t mind supporting me through my unemploment, particulary since in return, I act as cook for evening meals (which everyone seems to appreciate) and use what money I have saved from my college job to pay any debts I may personally accure ( I hate asking for money from others).

Hey, Quit laughing!

I am looking for work, but have recently made backup plans in case my job hunting remains as fruitless as ever.

Plan A: Earn my CCNA, as to hopefully improve my employability and help me aquire a job (and preferable one that doesn’t invovle me saying one the following phrases “Do want fries with that?” “Would you like to switch long-distance carriers/life insurance/etc?” “Shop Smart! Shop S-mart!”).

Plan Ba: Go back to college and earn my Bacholers in something Tech related. I live near Portland, OR, so I have a decent choice of colleges withen driving distance of home.

Advantage: Meet new people(“Network”), increase my employability(again,in theory), and give me something to do for 2 years until the Job Market hypothically improves, as well as allowing me to suspend payment on my loans for that time.

Disadvantage: Several thousand more in loans, No real gurentees.

Plan Bb: Join the Military. Very likely the Air Force or the Navy.

Advantages: Enlistment bonus will likely pay for my student loans, possible entry at a higher enlisted rank or as an officer (need to look into that), possibly get uncle sam to pay for more college, a steady paycheck, free lodging(on base), free/cheap food, free travel via military hop.

Disadvantages: Boot Camp, Possibility of being killed if a big war occurs (NK more then Iraq I’m thinking), have to move every few years, 4 or so years minumum commitment and needing to drop at least 30 more lbs to enter).

Just to note, I haven’t actually decided on either plan Ba or Bb and I plan to research both extensivly before making an actual choice(assuming Plan A doesn’t suceed in it’s full facet). I’m hoping to commit to a final decision in or around July of this year.

So far, reactions have been somewhat mixed. My family(Immediate and extended) is generally supportive of either decision as long as I think it through clearly and make what decision I feel is best for me.

My friends tend to point me towards the college decision, with reaction to the military ranging from

  1. Respectfully disagree with that choice if I should make it but wouldn’t think less of me either, and that I should make the best decision as I see it

and

  1. “If you join the military, I’ll fucking kill you.”(Actual qoute uttered by a likely soon to be ex-friend, as the tone sounded very serious and not joking).

So, having outlined my plan for the somewhat near future, I am asking for honest opinions and advice as to what I may have ignored or be mistaken on as well as what would likely seem to be the most prudent course of action given the information I have provided.

Thank you.

This is just my personal opinion, but i would go into the military and learn some trade that isn’t tech related. Based on the tech people i know and their stories, the field isn’t very good anymore.

What do you really want to do?