OT: Educational choices, pressure from family. Need advice - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Sounds as if you have not had a specific direction in life, and have decided it is time to settle down and be productive. Go for something with a degree that has potential for a good income. With a door opening degree, like ME, you can make serious money. You can satisfy your machine urges with a home workshop, so quit messing around and get with it.

    Jim

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    Sounds like some good comments out of life experiences.

    One other angle would be maybe ask that school benefactor if they could please buy you a HAAS or Mazak VMC and Autodesk Inventor to work on while you go to school. THAT would be very educational and hands on, you would learn valuable skills owning it and having free use all the time. More than tuition.

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    One factor I have watched over the years is that employees come and go but the owner continues to own. A study I saw recently says that the much reviled job loss and wage stagnation is only partially due to offshoring and is mostly caused by automation. People who make a lot of money don't do it by going out in the wilderness and producing something they can sell. They do it by hiring others to do the work and giving them only part of the revenue they generate, keeping the remainder themselves. Then they use some of it to buy machinery to replace the workers, usually doing the job faster and more accurately. Additionally, they no longer have to deal with personal relations with the laid off people. This has been going on for a long time. Windmills and water wheels grinding grain and John Henry's steam drill nemesis are part of the process. All that seems to be obvious, but it isn't to some folks. This process is proceeding rapidly in the machining world. A few people have to make the prototypes and one offs, but even there things like coated carbide end mills have shortened those activities, reducing the number of machinists needed. Besides, additive machining is roaring down the pike. In a few decades there won't be much left of manual machining.

    Bill

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    You have to do something YOU like to do. Otherwise, YOU'LL be the one needing an addiction counselor.
    If you are turned such that you like to make things, hands on hew them out of metal, I can't see the addiction counselor thing working. The two fields would take SUCH a drastic personality shift. If your elitist family is pushing for something a bit more "white collar", I would think possibly something in engineering, IF you feel you MUST placate them. From what you say, they aren't the ones paying for it, so I don't see their leverage. But I'm not in your shoes.

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    Reading through this thread, it is pretty clear that you would likely excel in an engineering or technical job. My co-worker's son grew up wanting to be an EMT. He went through all of the classes and became an EMT. A few months later he just couldn't handle the stress of life and death. Your situation likely wouldn't be that severe, but it sounds like psychology stuff is more of a hobby/interest than the right career path for you.

    I am also a college student right now, majoring in electrical engineering technology. If my school offered a machining program I would have switched right away. I love being in the shop and making parts. I currently work for a major manufacturing company assembling and testing products. My bosses offered an engineering internship in the same department but I turned it down.My previous experience at another job taught me that I don't want an engineering desk job, even if that means being a general worker, it is what makes me happy.

    So, you really need to think of what makes YOU happy. Do you want to have an office where you try to solve people's addiction problems or do you want to work in a production environment designing or making products?

    One of the most valuable things I did in high school was enroll in the CO-OP program where I went to work and got school credit. It taught me a lot about work ethic and the professional world. We had mandatory job shadows every semester where we had to find someone that had a job that we thought of as a potential career path and just follow them around for a day. Maybe help them out if they wanted your help, and just ask questions as they came up. It really gives you a good idea of what the job is like day to day. I found out that I really didn't want to be an IT guy and my best friend found out that she would absolutely hate being an elementary school teacher.

    You probably won't be able to find a way to shadow an addiction counselor due to doctor/patient confidentiality, but I bet any of them would be able to answer questions about their day to day lives. You absolutely should be able to find some sort of engineering/manufacturing place where you can shadow someone for a few hours.

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    Personally I would never consider counseling for a job. On the plus side you can make a solid 6-figure income doing counseling. On the down side:

    * you work with drug addicts every day

    * some of your clients will be crazy... and violent... and form illogical ideas about who is responsible for their misfortunes

    * clients will be calling you day and night... it's 3am and Nicky is comitting suicide again

    * your salary is not very scalable; all counselors get paid about the same thing

    * the head honchoes in the business are psychiatrists and every psychiatrist I have every known is a completely arrogant asshole, even more than I am

    Manufacturing is a lot more scalable. You can work for $12 an hour doing second operations, or own a factory and make $1 million a year. You write your own ticket. There are no "clients" to get along with unless you are a job shop and like that kind of thing. The people are salt of the earth, assholes are relatively rare and they tend to get fired and go away. Making something with your hands is satisfying because you are producing real things. With psychology, you are just putting out fires, not building anything.

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    I know a psychologist, who graduated, gave it up and makes more money owning a lawn maintenance company...

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    Always good to remind ourselves that we don't get the opportunity to pick our family.

    Follow your heart, do what you enjoy doing and don't listen to your family.

    I walked away from a family business when I was younger as I didn't like the type of business, and didn't want to sell it and hurt my Grandparent's feelings, so I passed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post
    Always good to remind ourselves that we don't get the opportunity to pick our family.
    NO SHIT!

    Seriously...ignore whatever your family is pushing you in to, and go the direction YOU want to go. Even with machining and manufacturing dying off, there will ALWAYS be a niche for those who LOVE what they are doing, and do it better than those who don't. You won't be the best in the field unless you love what you do.

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  13. #30
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    The whole dirty job thing - attitude pisses me right off, why take a shower if you can't see dirt in the water coming off!!! IMHO you have not done a physical days work till you need to wash your hands BEFORE you go to the loo!

    The whole additive manufacturing thing is interesting, but its well worth remembering most of the best - highest performing materials - products that endure the most stress whilst weighing the least are still forged, a process mankind has been doing for several millennia now. Just like digital printing has changed the print world, its still very much not replaced the older techniques in all applications. Would be a dumb thing to consider that additive manufacturing will take over all machining, because if history teaches us anything, few technologies totally replace previous ones. Instead its normally a incremental advancement with the new technology opening up new things but very much complementing the old not out-rightly replacing it in a hell of a lot of things.

    Same with automation, it will never be a sensible or logical choice for everything.

  14. #31
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    This may sound rough....but I think its accurate....
    Time to make sure no one is watching, take a peek in your shorts and decide of those nuts are there just for decoration or not. Make your decision for you. To me the blue collar comment says a lot more about the person making it than the subject at hand. I am not one who thinks a college education is required to be successful financially or emotionally. But there are careers that require it. Have you considered engineering (you like math).
    Obviously a career choice has a lot of emotion involved...what we like...what we dislike....I could not imagine anything worse than sitting around listening to a bunch of would be former drunks piss and moan...."my Dad didn't hug me enough....Mom was too mean....No one ever loved me....Its not my fault..." Pass me a rope, I would hang myself. That being said one of your comments is stuck in my head...."I'm tasked with restoring the sanity of bottom barrel alcoholics and addicts who may die if I can't get through to them"...THIS IS MY OPINION...They may die even if you do get through to them...you may be able to help them "restore their sanity"...but you aren't gonna do it for them....not meaning to nit-pick....but that sort of attitude could set you up for quite a bit of frustration ...just my 2 cents...
    On the other hand....get the Psycho schooling, if you become uninterested you can always fall back and go to tech school later (cheaper and less time) besides...have you read some of the shit here???? a little psycho schooling could go a long way in most of the shops I have been in.


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