I am set to graduate in december of 2006 (for some reason all the major events that have affected me in life over the last 10 years have happened in december). I will have a B.S. in chemistry. What I am planning to do is try to find a job (obviously). I will probably either move back with family while I look for a job, or I will find a menial 25/hr week job here, continue to sell plasma and the money I make from those 2 ventures (roughly $800/month after taxes) should be almost enough to pay for rent/food/gasoline/misc/utilities/insurance.
Should I not be able to find a job I may either join some organization I want to join like the peace corps, or the military. Actually I want to join the peace corps or military anyway (I wish I had before I started college so I could’ve at least had some of the financial benefits and life experience, but if I had i’d be in Iraq right now), but fear if I join them that that means I will not find a job related to chemistry for 2, 3, 4+ years after I graduate from college since i’d have the year or so of not finding a job plus the year(s) spent in these organizations. Doing that may make it 10x harder to get a job once i’m back to civilian life.
So I figure maybe grad school is another option. I have thought of a MLIS degree, but since finding a job with that is hard i’d just end up back at step one where I was in december of 2006. I have also considered a quick 1 year technical school degree (medical technician, pharmacy technician, HVAC technician, etc) that pays about $10-14/hr. But then i’d feel like I wasted all those college years. And I don’t want to end up like some of my working poor friends who have two or three 1 and 2 year degrees and never use them. I suppose I could also try for a medical technologist BS addendum to my BS in chemistry over at IUPUI, there is alot of demand in that field.
As far as what I should do while i’m still in college to improve my chances of finding gainful employment, I think trying to get research assistant positions will help me find a job after I graduate. Also I want to do an internship in summer of 2006 to help me find a job. And getting a few letters of recommendation from professors I help with their research should help.
I can live poor and don’t mind it, and I hope this will open up new options to me than I would have if I were obsessed with being well off. I can work a chemical technicians job or a regular chemists job as well as various jobs that only require ‘some’ college IMO, I wouldn’t ‘need’ to hold off for a regular chemist job (there are only about 90-100k in the US) but i’d prefer once since its less mind numbing than a technicians job.
I guess what i’m asking for is ‘what did you do after college’ and ‘what options helped you/do you think will help you get where you want to go’?
I figure my goals with my career are
- Secure income (30k or higher is preferable, but not necessary and I don’t need to start at this income. I only support myself in the midwest so 30k is fine)
- A job I do not dislike too much
- Freedom to try something new (this is largely why i’m not going to try for grad school in chemistry. A M.S. is near worthless and a Ph.D. is a 5 year investment. I’d rather have the option of tons of M.S./M.A. programs not related to chemistry should I decide to change careers someday.
I have seriously considered buying a Class B mobile home and living on the streets. I think that would be a good life experience and it would be fun, albeit boring as hell. It would also cut living expenses down to $500 a month, but I don’t know if the saving of $200-400/month (which is how much extra it costs for rent & utilities in the midwest) is worth the intense lifestyle change that this would provide.
So what did you do.