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#1 Old 06-04-2006, 01:07 AM
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Maybe some of you can assist me.



My dilemma has, and still seems to be, I have no idea what I want to do as a career. It seems to be sort of opposite, as it is not that I don't know what I want to do, or I don't feel skilled to do anything. It is that I have too many interests, and too many skills (or potential for skills).



I currently am enrolled in a University for Electronic Engineering. But it is like I have no passion for it... if that makes sence. I've considered lately, everything from Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Teaching; Engineering; to being a Professional Writer; a Science Magazine Journalist; Photographer; Game Designer; Game Programmer; to starting a vegan restaurant; an art studio/tea bar; and more.



I think I would enjoy any of those things, but I just cannot seem to pick a path and follow it. And so I sit here, not moving, watching people pass me by. I desire to start moving down a path, I... It's like I'm afraid I will pick the wrong path or something.



I took a Career placement survey and It listed my top three interest areas as:

Art

Writing

Science



and my top three uninterested things as (things I would most likely not like)

Administration

Repetition

Managerial





I'm not sure what I'm asking for people to do, perhaps if any of you could suggest careers or jobs or degrees(majors) maybe I haven't thought of? Perhaps I just needed to write this out, I don't know.





Maybe things that incorporate those three top interests?



I love philosophy and thought, but I am not sure of career paths that could utilize those.





I just know I want to be a scholar, and get a PH.D. one day. I just don't know the path.





I want to step off the starting platform, I just do not know in which direction to run.
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#2 Old 06-04-2006, 01:08 AM
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thanks, by the way, to those that read and respond to this long post.
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#3 Old 06-04-2006, 05:21 AM
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What was your initial interest in Electrical Engineering? As I am assuming you are veg*n, I am also going to make the assumption that you're interested in making some positive changes to this severely f'ed up world we currently live in. As a teacher or an engineer you will have plenty of opportunities to contribute to fixing many of our race's problems. Also, there is no rule saying you cannot be a writer, photographer, or game designer even if you also have a career doing something else. Those are all great things too.



You will have to develop your own plan for what you want to do and what you think is right for you. What you like to do, what you're good at doing, what you think you can make the most money doing, how important money is to you in the overall scheme of things, and the importance you place on a sense of satisfaction from effects of your work you are all questions that should be considered by you and reconciled in order to make the proper decision of what to study and what to choose as a future career.



Hope that helps a little bit.
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#4 Old 06-04-2006, 08:44 AM
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Regarding art, what kind of art interests you the most?



(I'm a professional artist, btw)
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#5 Old 06-04-2006, 09:00 AM
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Yeah, there are a lot of potential careers in art. I'm an art student finishing up my last semester of my BFA.. I'm planning to go into illustration, concept art(as design for the entertainment industry) and maybe professional portraiture if I can swing it.



If you want a good place to check out a few potential artistic careers, I'd go see www.conceptart.org/forums. I'm not sure your level of skill, but a career in art demands a whole lot of passion and hard work. It ain't a walk in the park, but if you love it it'll love you back.
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#6 Old 06-04-2006, 10:29 AM
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Well, in my opinion, if you want to do a Phd, Philosophy is a great choice - or maybe PPE if you want a slightly broader field.

Or perhaps a joint Philosophy and English degree? That could open up paths to a Phd and/or teaching (school/college or uni). The pay won't be great but it could give you room to teach and do further research.



I do empathise.I am in a similar situation myself and it is both depressing and frustrating! I sometimes wish there was merely one thing I wanted to do, and that I was also brilliant at it!



But, remember, that if you do pick the 'wrong' path it doesn't have to be forever - If you get it wrong, work for a bit..get your head straight, make some money.. then go back in. It is getting easier and easier to take second degrees or even first ones as a mature student. (In fact, in the UK, more funding is available for mature students than those straight out of school).



Are there any night or summer courses (either at a college or a uni) that give tasters of the subjects you're interested in? THat might be a start
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#7 Old 06-04-2006, 11:56 AM
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Here's an exercise for you:



Pretend you've just won the lottery. You now have more than enough money to support yourself in style for life.



But how will you fill your days?



What would you choose to do day in day out just for the enjoyment of doing it?



Think about what you'd really like to do, or accomplish, or how you like to spend your day, not a career path.
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#8 Old 06-04-2006, 09:19 PM
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I think you would make an excellent philosophy major. You could get a doctorate and teach it at the university level, and while doing that you could publish on the side. Or do anything you want on the side. There is a prof at my college who writes romance novels on the side. she just shed her pseudonym last year. And philosophy seems like a good degree that can get you into a good grad program of your choice. You learn to write as well as form a coherent argument. I also read it is a very good thing to major in as an undergrad and then to get into law with.
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#9 Old 06-05-2006, 06:15 AM
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I disagree with all the "follow your heart" people. Electrical engineering is a good trade and you can earn a decent living doing it. Not everyone can be an artist (and not every artist can be an artist full-time), write novels and support themselves, etc. Work is work. They pay you money, does it have to be thrillingly fun too? No.



I'm a chemical engineer and I work closely with a lot of EE's and Comp E's on a daily basis. Is my job thrilling? It certainly has its up's and downs, and I certainly wouldn't call it a joyride. But I'm well paid, I have good friends there, my work is ethical, and with the money I make at work, I'm able to support my family so that my husband can be a lawyer for the poor. I live a great lifestyle, am looking to buy a house in the Boston area, to have kids soon, and guess what? I can afford it. We go on vacations, we are able to help out our parents and siblings when they need it, we donate to causes we believe in, and we are able to afford to buy the organic food we believe in. I'm pretty happy with my life -even if I don't love my job! Who'd have thought it??? :-) My husband and I run a punk rock website. Do we make money on that? Nope. Just a lot of free CDs, DVDs and concert tickets. We certainly earn those too, for the amount of work we put into our CD reviews, interviews, etc. But its something we probably wouldn't be able to do if we didn't have a good source of income from my job.



My sister went to school for film editing - she's very good, she's been featured in several film festivals. Does she make any money doing that? Not a dime yet. She works in food service and lives with our parents, and is miserable. There just aren't jobs doing what she wants to do, where she wants to live. She's thinking of going back to school to be a medical assistant, but doesn't have the money since she's still paying off her other student loans.



My other sister studied psych, and is now working in retail. She's doing relatively well though because she now has a management posistion, but the pay is still pretty low.



My brother wanted to do computer graphic design, but that's a ridiculously hard field to get into. He works at a movie rental store and also lives with our parents.



Do what you want, but make sure you'll have a good job when you're done paying for your education. I also love writing and would love to be a teacher, and I plan to go into teaching later on in my life. I'd be very qualified to teach science or math one day, if I so choose :-) I'm VERY happy I stuck with my degree. I work hard and play hard, and that's the life I love. Your job is an important part of your life, but not the most important.
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#10 Old 06-05-2006, 12:00 PM
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Why do you want to get a PhD? What is the motivation there? It seems that if you don't have any particular goal or direction there isn't any particular reason to have one other than to say you have one. Does getting a PhD prove that you are scholar? Sorry if that sounds a bit judgemental, but I don't understand the motivation if there isn't a particular goal.



What are you passions? What do you enjoy doing even if it isn't job related? What level of existence do you want to have? How comfortable do you want to be in life? Do you think you want to be a home owner? Do you want to be a father someday?



Maybe what you need to do is to take some time off from school (if you can) and do a little more exploring to find out what you do and don't like in life. Then you can have an idea of where you want to be and possibly more information on how to get there.



I think that enjoying your career is a huge win. When you love what you do, even if it is difficult and frustrating at times it can be very rewarding. Sometimes mixing the things you do well helps you come upon an enjoyable career. Also life has a way of giving you opportunities to explore new things to do and to move in new directions.



I got my degree in computer science because it was easy for me to do and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed my first jobs, but don't enjoy the long project times I find in software engineering. I like quick gratification and I'm good with people so I moved from programming into technical support. I usually solve problems within minutes or hours, but sometimes that stretches to days. I also get a chance to develop relationships with my customers. I love technical support, although I'm not enjoying my current position that much. I'm building some new skills to get back to supporting products I enjoy.
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#11 Old 06-05-2006, 12:10 PM
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i do believe in 'do what you love and money will follow.' but i also believe that one shouldn't do what bstuzma's sister is doing--living off her parents. With a degree in anything, she can get any manner of 'office jobs' that pay enough to support her while she strives to get her 'career' underway.



my husband works as a technical writer and editor as he is working to break into screenwriting. this is what he wants to do--but he's using his skills to do something else that supports him so that he can do this 'on the side' until it takes off. he's making incredible progress toward his goals.



i can't really be one to speak to 'path' though. i got a degree in english, nonfiction writing emphasis, with a minor in women's studies (and 3 credits shy of a minor in religious studies, which i would have had had they not cancelled the class!); i then got a law degree. I'm currently at the point where i'd have to return to school again to become a lawyer because i decided while in law school that i didn't want to be a lawyer.



i now teach yoga.



but, if i needed a 'day job'--lawyers who do not take the bar have lots of opportunities to run nonprofit organizations or find any manner of work in any number of capacities. so, whatever my degree is, i can use it to get any manner of job--not just the ones i think 'fit' an area.



that being said, i don't know how 'flexible' engineering degrees are, and therefore i would recommend a more flexible one if you see yourself heading into other areas of life that wouldn't involve EE (etc) for a day job until that took off. you know what i mean?



anyway, you have time to figure it out. i know lots of philosophy majors, film majors, and art majors who have any number of 'regular jobs' while they work to get their other stuff off the ground or simply do it on the side.
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#12 Old 06-05-2006, 12:17 PM
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There's nothing wrong with wanting a Phd. I want one. That way is you end up having to teach long term you can teach at the college level, and have students that actually want to be there. Even if you don't teach, it is a fine academic goal to have.
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#13 Old 06-05-2006, 12:57 PM
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I have a Ph.D. in philosophy. The advice I give my students regarding graduate school is to make sure you really LOVE what you're doing because graduate school will try to kill that love. Not to take any of the glamour out of a graduate degree, but a Ph.D. program in philosophy expects you to write 3 to 4 PUBLISHABLE papers per semester. No one will ever expect that of you after graduate school. Plus, in the U.S., there's a glut of Ph.D.s in philosophy and the job market for teaching (what most people do) is really tight. I did it because I love philosophy and I can't imagine not doing philosophical research (at least, once I got through the Ph.D. process). I work in higher education administration full-time and teach the occasional philosophy course on my campus. Undergraduates with degrees in philosophy are well educated, but they have a difficult time selling themselves to future employers. The question of "What do you do with a degree in philosophy?" is often interpreted as "You aren't qualified to do anything." I find this is very unfortunate, but also very much what happens in the real world. Sorry I'm not being very cheerful about the philosophy route.



It sounds to me that you would enjoy a job where you could be creative, but work for someone else (so you don't have to worry about the managerial side of things). With science and writing, you could probably do something with technical writing (it's a gift if you can explain technical stuff to techno-phobes).
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#14 Old 06-05-2006, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

i do believe in 'do what you love and money will follow.' but i also believe that one shouldn't do what bstuzma's sister is doing--living off her parents. With a degree in anything, she can get any manner of 'office jobs' that pay enough to support her while she strives to get her 'career' underway.



That would be true if she didn't live in the sticks in Maine. No office jobs where there are no offices. She doesn't want to move, either. I agree they shouldn't be living off my parents, but without a degree in something useful, she's stuck. I personally think my parents should throw my sister and brother out, they can get an apartment together with some friends, live poor for a while, and that would be the motivation they need to figure out their lives. But apparently there's a whole generation of parents with 20-something kids which disagrees with me.
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#15 Old 06-06-2006, 12:07 PM
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There's nothing wrong with wanting a Phd. I want one. That way is you end up having to teach long term you can teach at the college level, and have students that actually want to be there. Even if you don't teach, it is a fine academic goal to have.



I didn't say that wanting a Phd was wrong, I just questioned troub's reasons behind wanting one. I think that having a reason behind getting a Phd is important. You provided an excellent example with teaching. If you get a Phd, you can teach at the college and university level. Another excellent reason would be getting one because you want to do research in a particular field.



A Phd will definitely open doors for someone. However I also think that getting life experiences outside of the academic world might be better for people who don't associate a clear goal or direction with the Phd.
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#16 Old 06-06-2006, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
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A Phd will definitely open doors for someone. However I also think that getting life experiences outside of the academic world might be better for people who don't associate a clear goal or direction with the Phd.



That is right. But even if you do got a Phd, it is still good to have other experience as well. Do both.
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#17 Old 06-06-2006, 01:50 PM
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I'm a prisioner of an ugly cubicle serving a life sentence for not choosing a career that I can put my heart into. I should have been a vet or a nurse or a doctor. Something making a difference.



Follow your heart and not the money whatever you do.
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#18 Old 06-06-2006, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

That would be true if she didn't live in the sticks in Maine. No office jobs where there are no offices. She doesn't want to move, either. I agree they shouldn't be living off my parents, but without a degree in something useful, she's stuck. I personally think my parents should throw my sister and brother out, they can get an apartment together with some friends, live poor for a while, and that would be the motivation they need to figure out their lives. But apparently there's a whole generation of parents with 20-something kids which disagrees with me.



B:



circumstances generally dictate everything. i was just using your experience as an example too, no judgement on your sister or brother or extended family at all.



lots of people have 'sweet deals' like this with parents. no question there. I'm with you on the 'treatment' of these folks--have them support themselves until they figure out how to do it, and what they want to do, to do it.



but, to beg the question, if office jobs aren't available in general, then wouldn't they be up a creek anyway with engineering degrees if they want to live in their home town? similarly, if office jobs aren't available, how many film editing jobs are?



in this instance, she either wants to be a film editor and do that work--and finds a way to make it happen, which likely requires a move--or she finds another trade or job that she likes that is available in her area. That may nto be engineering. it may be running a B and B or something. I don't know.



but it's all just begging the question.
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#19 Old 06-06-2006, 03:53 PM
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there's always the opportunity to change paths. you may have to 'work two jobs' to make it happen, but ti can work. I was in law school and worked at the law clinic while getting my yoga biz off the ground. my husband works in a cubicle while he's prepping to transition into screenwriting. one of our friends goes to school at nite to become a lawyer--working a day job in a cubicle.



so, it's never too late.
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#20 Old 06-06-2006, 08:50 PM
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I like Mr.Falafel's idea...if you could spend your day any old way you'd like..what would you do?



<<pictures a world involving cute toddlers, movies, lots of chocolate and yummy Norwegian fellow.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#21 Old 06-06-2006, 09:09 PM
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get a degree in something. anything. that stupid piece of paper will basically double your earning potential.



<< realized this 15 years AFTER dropping out of college with one semester left...

Nec Aspera Terrent
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#22 Old 06-06-2006, 09:31 PM
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get a degree in something. anything. that stupid piece of paper will basically double your earning potential.





There is truth to that. And there's no rule saying you can't get a BA in X and then get into a grad program in Q or something totally different.
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#23 Old 06-07-2006, 11:05 AM
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When I was little people used to ask "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and I would say I wanted to be a pilot. Now that I am a pilot people ask "When are you going to grow up?"
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#24 Old 06-08-2006, 08:55 AM
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i do what i love too. it's a great lifestyle. people ask me when i'm going to 'grow up' and 'get a job' as well. i tell them i have a job--and i'm happy with it.



and then i tell them to 'grow down!'
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#25 Old 06-22-2006, 06:15 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replys.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IAteMyVeggies View Post

What was your initial interest in Electrical Engineering?



I loved shows like Bill Nye The Science Guy when I was younger, and currently really get into shows like Mythbusters and Brainiac. I love technical science. I always wanted to build things, create things. I think the major interest that stretches over all my interests is creation. Whether its creating a cool new gadget, an art piece, or poem, I just love to create. This time last year my plan was finishing gen' ed's at EMU, then transfer to the University of Michigan to get my BS, and off to MIT to get a masters. I would love to do something in robotics, and think it would be really fun, or work on some sort of "green technologies". I like thermodynamics and quantum mechanics and regardless of whatever i do i still want to take classes in those subjects.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludi View Post

Regarding art, what kind of art interests you the most?



I've dabbled in alot of areas. Painting; pencil; digital. I did all the advertisment work for my church for a couple years, and for a while I thought I wanted to get into advertising with a company. I have interest in being a Music Video Director. I get great ideas about things like that.



My skill I would say isn't amazing but I have potential. When I did a self-assessment with someone, I pretty much said that I have potential in many areas, but have low motivation. My art is good, but looks as if I have no professional formal training, because I don't lol.



In highschool all my electives were art and computer classes. Pascal, C++, CNA, IndSt; Painting; Sculpture; Drawing; Digital, etc.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

Pretend you've just won the lottery. You now have more than enough money to support yourself in style for life.



But how will you fill your days?



I've thought about this here and there ever since I saw Office Space and they mentioned it lol. .

I bought a lotto ticket the other day, and got to really thinking what would I do if I somehow won $12million. And this was what I came up with:



-Pay off my bills and debt.

-Help my mother fix her house/pay bills. (I don't think I mentioned it, but no one in my family has graduated college)

-Pay off the rest of the money needed for my church to buy land/build a building.

-Start a vegan restaurant

-Start a tea/coffee house/art gallery

-Start a sanctuary type thing; homeless shelter, orphanage, animal shelter; where homeless people could come and stay for a week or whatever, and if they wanted to stay long term they could get into a commune type thing, where they help tend fields of organic foods (which would support the restaurant above) and earn their stay/meals. The orphanage would have quality care, not like the horror stories you see on TV. They would be fed quality vegan meals, get a quality education, and the older ones could help feed the animals in the animal sanctuary.

-write a childrens book series

-write a few other books (already have ideas for them)

-and go to school to learn. yes, even if I had millions of dollars I still want to learn. My mind craves knowledge. I like to know everything I can about everything I can.













I think my problem is that I'm trying to narrow my interests into one single area when they are so varied. Maybe I'm looking at life as a destination, that I'm trying to reach, when it is a journey.



A thing I fear is I wont be able to get into a different college. My GPA is horrible at the one I'm currently at, and I blame it on my lack of motivation I guess. (and full time school/full time job; work till 11, wake up at 6 for school). My highschool GPA was bad too, but because I hated busy work, so much busy work. Highschool was so boring. I hated homework too. I barely scraped by by ace'ing tests. And even college now, its the same way. My grade in a class is dependant on how much worth they give tests.

This year there was a class that gave no tests, it was homework, every night, nothing but. I had to drop out. There was a class that gave nothing but tests, and I got an A.



I have a 150 IQ, and only a 2.0 GPA... why must higher education institutions place so much emphasis on how much busy work a student does... sigh...



I think if I found something that I had a passion for I would be more interested in actualy doing my class work.



I think of Leonardo, how he did so many things, from art to invention, I would love to do that. Painting something one day, and inventing a flying machine the next... talk about fun lol.









...still searching
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#26 Old 06-22-2006, 07:49 PM
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I watched Bill Nye the Science Guy! Although you would never know it now...
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#27 Old 06-22-2006, 11:01 PM
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I have a 150 IQ, and only a 2.0 GPA... why must higher education institutions place so much emphasis on how much busy work a student does... sigh...



Math classes have very little busy work.
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#28 Old 06-22-2006, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

I have a 150 IQ,



are you sure about that? Is that score from an online test?



Quote:
and only a 2.0 GPA... why must higher education institutions place so much emphasis on how much busy work a student does... sigh...



Because doing something isn't just about the final act - it's about working hard to accomplish something and deepen your understanding. Testing doesn't prove intelligence or understanding; often, it tests memorization.



I question whether you're really being forced to do "busy work" or if you're really taking your assignments and pushing yourself to excel at the details of your courses.



Quote:
I think if I found something that I had a passion for I would be more interested in actualy doing my class work.



likely true.



However, RAndy has a point. Get a degree in something, anything. And spend your spare time doing all the various things that sound fun to you.



Passion is great & all, but I don't think that it's so black & white. Get your degree, find a career that suits & challenges you, and pursue your varied interests/skills in your spare time.
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#29 Old 06-23-2006, 07:23 AM
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Just because you get your undergrad degree in one thing doesn't mean you're stuck there forever. You can change fields for your next one. And again for the next if you really want. Maybe you might consider business school as an idea too, MBA maybe. I still think you'd do great majoring in philosophy though. Or you could start over completely with something different, like classical languages! lol
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#30 Old 06-23-2006, 08:27 AM
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Just because you get your undergrad degree in one thing doesn't mean you're stuck there forever. You can change fields for your next one. And again for the next if you really want. Maybe you might consider business school as an idea too, MBA maybe. I still think you'd do great majoring in philosophy though. Or you could start over completely with something different, like classical languages! lol



An MBA from a school that would take someone with a 2.0 GPA isn't worth much. I'm not sure you could even get in a PhD program with that kind of GPA and, if you can, it isn't the kind of program that tenure track faculty are hired from and I'm not sure what a PhD Philosophy is worth if you can't get a tenure track position. What do Philosophy lecturers at community colleges make?
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