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Uriah

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PostSubject: Grad School   Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:56 am

I am asking for anyone's perspective on this. It is time for me to decide what I'm going to be when I grow up, what direction I want to specialize in, and I know this site is full of educated people so I'm hoping you all will share some insight into Grad School, and maybe even into the specifics of your chosen field so that I can better make up my own mind.

This is simply an open request - any and all advice will be appreciated. Thanks
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:13 am

My degree is in Architecture. I started grad school but never finished. I got a job in lighting fixture design and engineering and the money was too good turn down. Plus I was already up to my ears in dept and frankly I was burnt out.

I'm not sure what field most interests you. I would suggest going into something that you enjoy doing ideally at both the mundane and spiritual levels as well as something that allows you to pay the bills and will work with you and your family's lifestyle.

That probably wasn't much help but it's the best I've got right now. Smile

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michael1111

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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:41 pm

in one way or another, you should teach people because you seem to really enjoy doing that...and people seem to appreciate you for it.

at least i do!
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:07 pm

Gosh, I didn't attend grad school.

Haven't grown up.

And, futhermore, don't know what I will do when I grow up.

Okay I'm joking.

Well half joking! Cheers!

Actually I quite like my job as a community newspaper reporter-editor. I'm not going to get rich off it, but between me and my wife's salaries we have to consider ourselves fortunate, notwithstanding that it seems everyone is in danger of layoff these days. And I like all the knowledge I gain reading newspapers and books. My wife often wonders why I don't start taking university courses but I'm pretty self directed in my areas of interest, mainly history and music.
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:27 pm

Uriah wrote:
I am asking for anyone's perspective on this. It is time for me to decide what I'm going to be when I grow up, what direction I want to specialize in, and I know this site is full of educated people so I'm hoping you all will share some insight into Grad School, and maybe even into the specifics of your chosen field so that I can better make up my own mind.

In college I couldn't decide what I wanted to specialize in, so I took an unusually broad range of courses, especially in the sciences. Eventually, I decided that I was, by nature, a generalist, and returned to my Architecture major as one of the least pigeon-holed professions. One of my professors responded to my seemingly-aimless search with, "John, you can't be a dilettante". But that's when I realized that a dabbler is exactly what I am. confused scratch Think

I bring that up because Grad school is where you narrow your intellectual focus down to a pinhead. You are expected to know more and more about less and less, until eventually you will know everything about nothing. So the question you need to ask yourself is, "do you feel lucky, punk?" . . . . I mean, do you really want to be a highly-paid expert, in such a narrow niche that job slots are few and fur between? I understand that McDonald's has a special managerial re-training program for overqualified, unemployed academic Phds. Wink

If you haven't found your calling in life yet, it may be because you are deaf, or just not paying attention. Or maybe you are, like me, lacking in motivation, or again like me, motivated so broadly that any narrow niche feels claustrophobic.

PS___As Joseph Campbell advised, "Follow your biss." Whatever that means. Very Happy

PPS___You didn't mention your background or interests, so we can't judge what kind of future trajectory has already been mapped-out for you. The inertia of the past is hard to break away from. It takes a lot of motivational thrust to break the pull of gravity.
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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:46 pm

Yeah, the fear of being pigeon-holed is what makes me very leery. But I would eventually like to teach, and having at least a Masters is a necessity these days, especially if I want to teach at the college level.

I am actually leaning toward an MBA just because it is a very generalized degree.

My BA is in Humanities, minor in History.

I haven't ruled out Law School either though, because one can go a lot of directions with a law degree.

But I am lot like you Gnomon, in that I am intersted in so many things that I don't want to tie myself to any one subject. That's why the MBA appeals to me, because it's an 18month program with no specialization, and with that degree I'll be able to get more bang for my buck in the job market.

We'll see

Thanks for all your advice peoples!
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Paul Anthony

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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:30 pm

Uriah wrote:
I am asking for anyone's perspective on this. It is time for me to decide what I'm going to be when I grow up, what direction I want to specialize in, and I know this site is full of educated people so I'm hoping you all will share some insight into Grad School, and maybe even into the specifics of your chosen field so that I can better make up my own mind.


After reading the responses that have already posted, I can't help but think we may have disillusioned you! It seems we are not as educated as you imagined!

But I'm not surprised. The most interesting, broadminded people I've met - both on and off the Internet - have been those who were primarily self-educated. As one's formal education increases, one's focus necessarily becomes narrower. While that may increase your earning potential, it may also make you a boring conversationalist at cocktail parties and on Internet forums.

The purpose of Universities and Colleges is really not that different from the purpose of a Trade School. All are designed to provide marketable skills that one can list on a resume. The business of all educational institutions (and they are businesses) is to crank out drones for the Corporate Machine.

Getting a degree should not be confused with becoming educated. Smile DO NOT stop questioning everything! DO NOT stop learning!

But, we all have to earn a living, to pay for life's necessities like food shelter and an Internet connection.

IMO, the best way to become successful is to work in the field that interests you, while picking the brain of a mentor who has the expertise you wish to acquire. All the great minds we study in those diploma mills learned from the Masters of their time! Likewise, it used to be that the only way to learn a trade was to be accepted as an apprentice by a Master Craftsman who was willing to teach you. Under that system, the only people who learned were those who were willing to work for an education. Then, about a hundred years ago or so, some liberal fools decided that everyone should get an education - whether they want one or not. Now, everyone has to buy an education before they can get a job.

Unfortunately, some fields prevent entrance without a degree. If you want to teach, you must acquire a piece of paper that attests to your ability to teach. Sadly, that degree doesn't ensure that you are knowledgeable in the subject you will be teaching - just that you have mastered the skills of teaching. So, we have math teachers who have studied more psychology than math! A mediocre educational system churns out mediocre students - but their degrees make them employable, and some of them are employed as...teachers!

As you attempt to grow up, ask yourself what you want your life to be like.

Warren Buffet doesn't have an MBA.

Bill gates dropped out of college.

Do you want to earn a living, or do you want to make a life?
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:46 pm

Quote :
Then, about a hundred years ago or so, some liberal fools decided that everyone should get an education - whether they want one or not. Now, everyone has to buy an education before they can get a job.

That's also why the value of a Bachelor's degree has been watered-down to the point that it's more like a high school diploma years ago. As our technological society gets more complex, a college degree is now more like a trade school certificate than a sign of a broad, liberal education. A Masters degree is probably about where a Bachelor's degree was around the turn of the 20th century---in terms of resumé respect.

So if you have aspirations to reach the higher levels of Education or Business, a Masters degree is probably the minimum entrance requirement. Good teachers are sorely needed in 21st century society. But their professional status and earning power have also been eroded by the mass production of higher education. An MBA will probably earn you more money and public esteem. But if you are really motivated and talented, an MEd could earn you more intangible rewards and self-respect.

One more consideration: the MBA is your ticket into the freewheeling world of Capitalism, while a MEd will most likely gain you admission into the starchy world of Socialism. Do you work best in a highly-competitive environment, or in a more structured hierarchy?
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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Grad School   Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:04 am

Well - I meant the "what do I want to be when I grow up" comment rather facetiously. I didn't start college until I was 30 - and I was kicked out of HS. I've lived a pretty wild life in my younger years, and I've definitely got a degree from the school of hard knocks.

That being said, I enjoy higher education and I feel more at home in that environment than anywhere else. So, continuing my education - for me - is not really the debate.

But still, thank you all for your perspectives - real life experience is always worth more than anything that comes out of a book.
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