Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Best College Moves

There's another meme going around. This time, bloggers are sharing their best financial moves in college. Here's my story!

When I was a child, I wanted to be a veterinarian when I "grew up". Once the high school teen years hit, so did the hormones and some reality. I realized two things: 1) I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom someday and 2) veterinarians have about 8 years of schooling! Because of a love of organizing things, I settled on becoming an administrative assistant.

The first thing I did right in college was to go to the local technical college instead of a traditional 4-year college. I was near the top of my high school class, so many people thought I should go to a 4-year school and get a degree, even though I just wanted to be a secretary. I stuck to my guns and went into the administrative assistant program at the tech. I'm confident I would have ended up getting a job as a secretary in the end, anyway, so I'm glad I didn't waste my time and money on a college degree. Lesson #1: Go With Your Gut

The second thing I did right was to switch from a 2-year associates degree program to a 1-year technical diploma program after my first semester. At the time I was in college, the economy was booming. Jobs were easy to come by, and I already had a part time secretarial job in the evenings while I was in school. I quickly noticed that secretarial job postings cared just as much, if not more, about experience as education. My evening job was interested in taking me on full time, so I'd have no problem getting experience under my belt. I realized I could do just one year of schooling and very quickly have the 2-year minimum of experience that most employers wanted. That's what I did, and it has worked very well for me. Lesson #2: More schooling doesn't always mean more money and better jobs.

Obviously, a path of little post-high school education doesn't work for everyone. If your career interest only requires a technical school education, though, don't feel like you have to go to a 4-year college. Do what's right for you!

Also check out:
Mrs. Micah's meme
Cash Money Life's meme

1 comment:

Mrs. Micah said...

Sounds brilliant. I think a basic degree and experience is the right career move for that line of work. I was planning to be a librarian, but now I don't know what I want to be.

Also, congrats on knowing what you want. I don't have high aspirations, but sometimes I get a lot of pressure to become something "great" or high-ranking. One aunt was extremely high in the IBM food chain before she retired and I think she'd like to see me do the same. But that's not me.