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TENOR4COUNTS SparkPoints: (80,954)
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1/1/13 9:37 P

Worked for 29 yrs. with no degree and loved my job. The family business closed because the brothers wanted to retire and all of their offspring had better jobs than the parent's business. I could not find a job and finally went to a 2 year college and got an associates degree in a field I already had been working so I could get my resume read. It was definitely worth it.

GRANDMABABA SparkPoints: (304,636)
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1/1/13 9:11 P


LEARNINGWITHLIZ SparkPoints: (20,646)
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1/1/13 9:10 P


SNORTH100 Posts: 7
1/1/13 7:26 P

Whether you ultimately spend your career in the field that you major in is less relevant (and less likely) than just having a bachelor's degree, IMHO. I have changed careers 3x's since I graduated from college (a LOOOONG time ago!), and acquired an MBA and a MS along the way. Both the MBA and MS were done part-time while I worked a full-time job.

These days with electronic scanning of submitted resumes, someone without a bachelor's degree could get rejected before you have a chance of speaking with someone about your capabilities. A lot of jobs require a bachelor's.

My suggestion to you would be to decide on a focus that you are interested in and go part time, while you work to minimize your loans. Depending on your school, you may be able to take classes on-line. I did my entire MS program on-line and it worked great with my work schedule (I travel a lot).

Good luck and don't give up!!

GAYLEP67 Posts: 757
1/1/13 7:22 P

I worked in the field where I earned my degree for about 12 years but then switched fields. My BComm was in Hospitality and Tourism Mgmt but the BComm certainly carries over into the business that I'm working in now. A Bachelor's degree is required for most entry level positions at the last 3 companies I've worked for. It probably all depends upon what you want to do when you finish school...

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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1/1/13 7:14 P

Yes, I have used my college degrees--I have four of them. I was very lucky to have most of my education paid for with academic scholarships.

That having been said, college is not for everybody. It doesn't make a lot of sense to go into tons of debt unless you have some clear goals that you are able to stick with over time.

Have you been to the career center at your current institution? Generally there are resources for students who are unsure about how to focus their studies and career goals. You might want to look at other health occupations that are not counseling-related, such as phlebotomy, x-ray technician, etc. An Associate's degree in a highly-focused, technical field can be very useful, but an AA in a very general field is not worth much unless you are going to transfer to a 4-year school.

PARKERB2 SparkPoints: (0)
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1/1/13 5:48 P

I worked my way thru college but I have not used my degree. I am doing as well financially but I sometimes wished I had used the degree. I trained to be a teacher.

MUFFINSANDMOCHA SparkPoints: (378)
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1/1/13 5:39 P

Its wonderful to hear so many inspirational stories!!! Congrats to all of you who have accomplished getting a degree. And for those struggling in a job you are unhappy with even after you got your degree, I truly believe your time will come. Sometimes the best jobs take the longest to find it seems. The crappiest jobs ive ever had were practically handed to me!

I appreciate someone mentioning that with counseling they will train me to keep myself seperate from the emotions of clients. I would definitely need training in that. Special props the the nurse that posted. I did CNA training and thought that was the route I was going. NOT. It's hard work, very emotional, and long hours. You also deal with so many different heavy circumstances. It was just not for me.

I will take some time to think about all of this because I agree debt is NOT worth it if I am not sure which way im going. I will end up screwing myself into the ground!

CUSH1932 SparkPoints: (82,353)
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1/1/13 7:18 A


REGILIEH SparkPoints: (566,958)
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1/1/13 7:12 A


DENRNAJ SparkPoints: (117,223)
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1/1/13 6:24 A


BLUBEL1 Posts: 1,003
1/1/13 4:19 A

Don't worry about your age. I was in my 30' s when I got my masters and have used it ever since.
In the end pick what you love to do for a job. Too many people in their 40' s hate their jobs.
Also don't forget that if you choose something like counseling they
Will train you to keep yourself separate and leave your job at the door.
Consider online courses and be VERY careful about getting into too much debt.

2BDYNAMIC SparkPoints: (331,257)
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12/31/12 11:20 P

Happily ...... Yes ........... over 30yrs. in nursing. emoticon

KARENCRANER Posts: 3,425
12/31/12 11:19 P

Yup, I'm a teacher.

RUBENB2003 Posts: 14,837
12/31/12 7:49 P

Yes mostly. There is the occasional "I need you to work on this special project..."

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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12/31/12 7:48 P

Yes -- I have a degree in Business and a Degree in Construction Engineering -- used both together very successfully == I retired at 45. Don't give up just keep plugging away but remember sometimes you have to have a couple of degrees that are used in combination

SKINNYMISSKASEY SparkPoints: (114,139)
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Posts: 3,941
12/31/12 7:40 P

Very little

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
12/31/12 6:30 P

Oh yeah! I couldn't have made a 6 figure income without it. Now taking a break from work and in the Spring will be going back for my Masters. It has opened doors that would not have been possible without it.

JASTAMPER11 SparkPoints: (57,593)
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Posts: 2,323
12/31/12 6:26 P

Not yet. I have a 4 yr degree and am working as a crew person at Subway making $7.50 an hr...whoo hoo. It was all that i could get after 9 months of looking

PEACEGRANNY Posts: 2,070
12/31/12 6:18 P

I did use my college degree (Music/Organ Performance) in my work, but I was self-employed my entire career and did not make a whole lot of money. I did love my work, though. Very labor intensive. Long hours.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
12/31/12 6:11 P

I have not "used my college degree" for employment in the field my degree was in.
I did have a good experience in college and feel that it was valuable part of my development as a person.

I do not feel college is the only path to fulfillment or even a good idea for everyone.

I spent years paying off loans and I do regret the financial aspects. It made it very difficult to start out on my own in life with that large debt.

I think going to college without a definite goal in mind is a bad idea these days when you start taking out loans.

MANDRINORANGE17 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/31/12 5:48 P

Not yet (Bachelors of social work with a minor in crim justice) but I'm hoping and trying....

LACEBOT Posts: 734
12/31/12 3:21 P


MORTIZ8234 Posts: 742
12/31/12 3:06 P

Somewhat, I have an BBA and MBA and work in the insurance industry.

12/31/12 3:06 P

Just got my BA in psychology on Christmas Eve and do not use it.

TIG123GER SparkPoints: (77,547)
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12/31/12 2:11 P

I do. I have both a marketing and English major and did marketing work my first 10 years or so and then went back to grad school and got a Masters and am working on a PhD and work for a university right now.

BAMAROSE Posts: 699
12/31/12 2:07 P

I did for a while, I taught elementary school. Then I stayed home with my son for eight years and couldn't return to the field without a master's degree (and didn't want to) so I am not currently using it. I would not reccommend going inot debt without a very clear plan and a backup plan on what you want to do with it. And a backup to the backup,lol!

SONICB Posts: 4,381
12/31/12 2:05 P

Having a college degree will likely increase your income potential, regardless of what you major in.

WARMSTRONG2 SparkPoints: (422,594)
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12/31/12 2:02 P

For forty years.

12/31/12 1:59 P

I studied through the Open University in the UK while working full time as a graphic designer and it was tough but at least I had no debt when I graduated (Bachelor of Arts). None of the subjects I studied were really of any use to me in my work but in a way I was doing the degree to prove to myself that I could do it. By the time I had finished, my life had changed so completely - I moved to another country, don't have a job and am an over-qualified gardener (working to grow food to be as self-sufficient as possible). I wish I had been able to see into the future because I would have done some courses at the local agricultural college instead, it would have been of more use to me now! However, my mum is incredibly proud of me (I'm the only one in our family to have a degree) and never fails to write 'BA' after my name on anything she sends me and that's enough of a reward for me!

MELLYDIVA Posts: 1,049
12/31/12 11:21 A


MUFFINSANDMOCHA SparkPoints: (378)
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12/31/12 11:04 A

thank you for the many tips and input on this topic. It sounds like the majority of you have been happy that you went to college, even if you did not end up studying in the exact field you went to college for. I appreciated the question of what I WANT to do versus what I am actually GOOD at. I have seriously considered being a counselor, however, personally I have a hard time leaving my work at the door. I'm extremely compassionate and sensitive. This works against me GREATLY because when you listen to peoples problems you must be able to seperate yourself to an extent from them and realize you cannot fix everything. On the other hand, im GOOD at teaching. I've always been an assistant teacher or a nanny. I know this is a field I would excell in but it's not one that makes me happy. I've done it for so long that I am entirely burned out. I've thought of Photography but lets be honest.... few and far between photographers support themselves (at least in the beginning) soley off their work!!!! :( I was in school for a short time to be a personal trainer when i was younger. I had a lot of stress going on in my life though and ended up relocating a few weeks into school. That was the end of that.

I just feel really lost. I'm the type of person that changes their opinion all the time. I have a hard time sitting still, agreeing, and sticking to something. I've forced myself to STOP switching my major. Getting an Associated of Science in Social Sciences degree summer 2013. It's transferable so that I am not stuck in one field. I will be moving to FL next year. It takes 1 year to become in state. That gives me times to work A LOT and try to figure this out. Im panicking though because I feel older to not have a 4 year degree :(

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
12/31/12 9:29 A

wish I had one to use.
They're making cutbacks at work, and I'm afraid that my on-the-job experience will not be enough

I have a certificate, but not a degree

12/31/12 9:25 A

Yes, I used my degree as a Speech Pathologist in different settings my whole career. I am retired, but still do contract work with a couple of young children. I love my career because it changed and I grew in so many ways and in so many different areas the past forty years!


THINJIM1 Posts: 3,030
12/31/12 9:01 A

The first three years i did, then was offered a job outside and worked outside my major for the rest of my working days

JIACOLO SparkPoints: (554,001)
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12/31/12 8:51 A

I have several degrees and use them all as a special education teacher.

UPBEAT551 SparkPoints: (28,516)
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Posts: 986
12/31/12 8:19 A

I have a degree as an instructional assistant. I work in a hospital assisting patients. I love it.

MLAN613 Posts: 18,849
12/31/12 7:43 A

Nope, not at all. I have a Master's in Education, which I could use for training but can never get a job. Basically, I can barely afford to pay my loans. I honestly feel like school was a HUGE waste of time because I have a crappy job.

BLUBEL1 Posts: 1,003
12/31/12 7:07 A

I have a master's degree and have used it well.
BUT it depends on what job you would ultimately get with the degree. It would have to pay enough to enable you to pay off any loans you take out. Student loans never go away.

I'm not sure that an Associate's degree alone will be useful. Believe it or not some jobs require a masters degree for an entry level position.

I did not know what I wanted to do when I was your age and had no real guidance but I figured college was my avenue to be a professional and it was.

There are good jobs in the health care field where you only go to technical school like to be an x- ray tech. Before you invest more money go online and do an indepth search on various jobs, how long you have to train for them and the salaries.

GOOD LUCK. !!! emoticon emoticon

12/31/12 7:01 A

@OP: To answer the topic question, yes, I got my degree in music and that's my career for life.

RE: what you want to do. For me, I was fortunate in that I knew the difference between what I WANTED to do with my life and what I COULD do with my life.
I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, I wanted to be a pro hockey player, I wanted to be a lot of things that I SUCKED at in school. My mom sat me down and showed me my bad grades in the basic academics and tried to help me but none of them were my "thing". Band/Music however, I accelerated in. I hated it, I hated being a band geek but she was right, I was seriously good at it even though I was considered to be good at playing all of the band instruments but master of none. In other words, I was gonna be a good band director but NEVER a pro hockey player or astronaut.

I made the dean's list every semester at school and am now a successful band director in my area. I didn't WANT to be band director *sigh* but it was what I was good at.

@OP: What are YOU good at?

BANKER-CHUCK Posts: 6,714
12/31/12 4:02 A

Yes I did and now retired.

JUNIAAGAIN Posts: 4,169
12/31/12 2:50 A

Yes, I am working in the line of my training - although, I think I could do just about anything these days and be good at it (well, may be not astrophysics or such... I'm in humanities)

LDANELIS Posts: 3,501
12/31/12 2:13 A

Briefly, yes. I have a teaching degree, and moved abroad to teach. Unfortunately, where I live, teaching jobs are few and far between. I have not used my other degrees, and am presently back in school attempting to find a marketable education. The job market has changed drastically, and when I started university, I was more concerned about the initials after my name, than about the employability of the degree. I would have to say that a post secondary education is important - depending on what you major in. Trades are definitely more employable (where I live) and a Masters degree is the new BA/BSc.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,592
12/31/12 1:08 A

Online Now  • ))
i used my degree for the first 20 years of work. ended with no money, no pension, lots of overtime. spent the next 27 years not using my degree. ended with some money, pension, good retirement. circumstances may differ.

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,617)
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12/31/12 12:45 A

I hear you on that one...the book fees are atrocious !! Our son-in-law got his Master's and our son got his Bachelors...but with a lot of scholarships and hard work $$$ over the summers. Yes, they both use their degrees.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (578,213)
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12/31/12 12:32 A

Definitely!! I am a retired teacher. I taught school for 29 years.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 26,456
12/30/12 10:46 P

My kids are 28 and 26, and they are both employed in the fields they majored in.
Their spouses and their friends are too!

If you do not know what you want to major in, don't go to school right now. Work, and save as much as you can so that you take out less loans.

Oh, and I know of no one my kids ages who just have an associates degree. They all have at least a bachelors; some have masters.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (81,670)
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12/30/12 9:39 P

I've kind of used May I got my BA in Fine Arts and got a job as a seasonal graphic designer at a museum (in Cooperstown, NY - big tourist area May through August with baseball camps, ghost town in the fall, winter and early spring) and while I love it, it's not something I can do forever.

Now I really, REALLY wish I pursued a degree in the health/fitness related field. In the fall I'm gonna start taking classes (at the same school where I got my degree) and become a certified personal trainer. I'm passionate about art, specifically photography and graphic design, but I'm much more passionate about fitness, health and helping people who were just like me reach their weight loss goals. I'm kicking myself for not taking the classes when I was already in school, but they always interfered with classes I needed for my art degree. So the classes will set me back about $2,500, but I'd rather do that than pay $500 for a few books and online materials from ACE. I was considering going back to school for an entire four years and get a degree in Fitness Development or Kinesiology but I don't want the debt or be in school for another four years.

Sorry, I'm rambling haha. Anyway, if you're going to college because you feel like you "should" and don't know what you want to do, maybe you should take some time off and figure out what you really DO want to do.

KARALEAM Posts: 4,946
12/30/12 9:33 P

absolutely for 19 years, proud registered nurse with a a bachelor's degree in nursing from University of Missouri-Columiba!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MUFFINSANDMOCHA SparkPoints: (378)
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Posts: 72
12/30/12 9:06 P

Like so many of us, I am a struggling college student. I feel like SO much has to be sacrificed to get even an Associates degree including money, time, mental well being, and life in general. I've always been a huge promoter of college but feel with book prices and tuition prices it's almost turned into a scam. I had to drop two of my classes this semester because I could not afford the USED book price on amazon. :(

I guess im looking for either inspiration or just plain honesty. Have you used your degree? Would you recommend going for your Bachelors or sticking with an Associates. Please keep in mind I would have to take out thousands of dollars in loans to try and get the bachelors.

Also, im 25 years old and have no idea what I want to do! :( this is incredibly frustrating

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