• GachiGachi December 2012
    I know not many people read these forums anymore, but for those who do, feel free to offer some insight.

    Here's a general run down of where I am...

    Currently hold an associates degree in Criminal Justice from 2006. (Wanted to become a police officer, but due to vision requirements, it's not something possible for me at this time)

    Finished up four years in the Marine Corps recently. The job I had there as a radio operator doesn't translate to well to the civilian sector.

    I'm thinking about going back to school but really can't decide on what to do... Try to become a lawyer? a doctor? something in Computer Science? I have a family and am dreading doing any full time school while doing full time work (did this for my associates and it sucked, but I had no children back then). I'd like a school that's closer to me here in California, unfortunately, the one school offering Comp Sci is about 50 minutes away (Cal State). Then there's JFK University close by, but they don't offer Comp Sci. They do have a law school though.


    Quite frankly, in the end, I'd like to have a solid job that pays me well for what I do. I've worked many years of retail sales and it's not something I enjoy doing and definitely not something I can make a decent living off of. I really just want to scream right now, lol.
  • KPKP December 2012
    my quick two cents while on a phone.

    dont just try to become a lawyer, doctor, or a computer dude for the sake of making a lot of money. Becoming a lawyer takes a lot of money and time and the job market sucks. My brother is a doctor amd unless you really love medicine and habe had a life long passion I would say dont do it. The amount of time and sacrifice needed is far too great just to have a paycheck.

    all the jobs you listed are quite different. i myself dont know what my ideal job is so i dont have an answer either but perhaps take some more time and analyze what you would like to do.

    Do you still want to be a police officer ? they dont accept lasik surgeries ? I have a friend that was allowed in the air force flying planes after getting lasik.

    Will the military pay for college ?
  • JonobonoJonobono December 2012
    I posted this in the other thread as well, but it probably applies to this topic more:

    Gachi - I worked in the education finance dept. (student loans) at the last bank I worked for. I'm about 1 year removed from knowing current lending rates in addition to changes in regulation, but I would be glad to offer any advise or insight I gained during my time there. Let meh know.
  • GachiGachi December 2012
    KP, Lasik won't fix my situation. Basically, there is no technology to fix the vision in my right eye (something to do with the communication between the brain and eye). The military will pay for schooling yes.. up to 80,000 with the GI Bill.

    Thanks Jono, but seeing I have the funding coming to me for my time in the military, it shouldn't be a problem.

    In all, I'd like a job that means something. I don't want to grow up and have my kids answer where their father works as "retail". I'd like it to be a respected job with good pay. I know about the schooling for both a doctor and lawyer. I don't think I'd become doctor because I don't have the passion for science. I don't know if I could see myself as a criminal trial attorney, but maybe perhaps a corporate attorney.

    I also don't know if I could see myself writing code as a Software Engineer or administering networks. I do enjoy computers though, so that's a plus.
  • BlackLightBlackLight December 2012
    I go to law school in Los Angeles (Loyola) and it's tough but pretty fulfilling so far. Professors in particular there are amazing. Doesn't really matter where you go to undergrad if you're planning on doing law school so long as you get a great GPA and LSAT score wherever you are
  • GachiGachi December 2012
    Black light, how was the LSAT for you? What kind of lawyer do you plan on being and what undergrad did you receive before applying to law school?
  • BlackLightBlackLight December 2012
    It was decent, I took it twice and finished with a 165 which is good but not enough to get into really top-tier schools. I took a test preparation course before the second one (Blueprint) and it raised my score by 4 which seems insignificant but was a pretty big jump in regards to me qualifying for scholarships, so that was helpful. Those will run you about 1k tho. I didn't practice as much as I should have for it but I definitely recommend doing so as it's a test where you can really see yourself improve if you really buckle down and work on it every day.

    I went to USC for undergrad and was a music industry major (odd major but USC has a great program for it being in LA) focusing on business affairs. I want to do entertainment law but that's a tough arena to jump into fresh out of law school even when the job market was better so I will probably go wherever I can for my first couple of years. Want to end up doing music law eventually though
  • GachiGachi December 2012
    Isn't the LSAT score out of a 180... so a 165 is pretty decent since 150 is the average?

  • BlackLightBlackLight December 2012
    yeah i got a half scholarship at loyola
  • BlackLightBlackLight December 2012
    But once you get high 160s 170+ you can pretty much choose where you go. My GPA didn't do me any favors either (3.45)
  • GachiGachi December 2012
    3.45 out of 4 I'd think was good. I hold a 3.46 with my Associates degree.

    My thinking was, if I went the lawyer route, I could turn my Associates into a Bachelors (though it's in Criminal Justice, and I'd like to switch my major to something useful such as Business, IT, etc) so I don't know if I'd have to start over for the most part and do a full 3 years for a Bachelors and 3 for the JD.

    I took some sample LSAT questions last night and surprisingly the ones I tried, I got some correct and some wrong. Just don't know what type of lawyer I'd like to be if I went that route... but I don't see myself being a prosecutor... I think.
  • BlackLightBlackLight December 2012
    It's good but again you're limited with where you want to go. Then again it really doesn't matter where you go to law school (so long as its accredited) if you kill it when you're there. I think you'd only have to do 2 years in undergrad to get a bachelor's though, right?

    LSAT is just like any other test, the more you practice the better you'll do. Good thing is most people don't know what type of lawyer they want to be when they go so you'll figure it out if you do it
  • GovernorGovernor December 2012
    Tough call, man. A couple of things about comp sci/programming/etc:

    A lot of people tend to disregard the field of software development because they think being a programmer means you hardly interact with other people and you stare at your computer screen all day. The amount of time a programmer sits in front of a computer is really no more than most other white collar workers. A programmer interacts with people a lot, on a regular basis, and that is usually their least favorite part of the job (because in any profession, you tend to be surrounded by people that aren't as good as you, or aren't as dedicated as you, etc, etc.).

    Like in most other white collared position, a programmer's primary means of professional progression is becoming a manager of some kind. Depending on who you talk to, this can be a sad truth, but in general, if your goal is to advance professionally (i.e. manage multiple people or teams, make a lot more money, etc.), then managing people is the best route. This is why, in most companies, the programmers tend to be young. It's not that older people aren't interested in programming, its just that the older guys simply advanced into management positions.

    There are different levels of a software engineering. At my company, for example, in addition to specializations (platform engineer, ux developer, database admin, etc), there are three primary "types" of technical developers.

    • Some of our technical types work on a team that interacts with our customers every day. Their job is to help customers onboard onto our products, and that includes giving our customers technical feedback for how to better build their own software and manage their systems architecture. They also play a big part in shaping our product development as they are most familiar with our customers' needs and experience. They are not technical support (we have that, too).
    • We also have application support engineers who also interact directly with the customers a lot. They work primarily on building and maintaining our apps and tools that directly impact the customer's experience.
    • We have more standard engineer types who's job it is to build and maintain our products from the ground up. They interact directly with customers infrequently in comparison to the other two, but that doesn't mean they work in isolation. They wouldn't be doing their jobs if they were not constantly collaborating with other engineers, product managers, project managers, executives, etc. They tend to be some of the most outgoing and personable people in the entire company, and they have the most significant impact on all of our products.

    You do not need to have a degree of any kind to get into programming, and having a degree likely will not net you anymore money as a programmer. Don't get me wrong, there are jobs available where they require a degree, but it isn't the norm. The job market for programmers is on fire at the moment, so any company that is serious about acquiring talent can't exactly be picky. That said, you should get a degree. It's essentially free in your case, and it is a great investment anyway. No matter what happens in life, you will *always* have the degree.
  • redboneredbone December 2012
    Damn, instead of dicking around the past 2 years, I wish I taught myself some programming. I'm also working in retail, and am pretty sick of it.

    My 2 cents, would be what Gov said, but also leverage your passions and experience. Doing something you enjoy is going to be crucial to making it fulfilling instead of just a job. And as for having to juggle work, school, and family, its better to get your degree sooner rather than later. You aren't getting any younger, and its only going to get harder, so might as well bite the bullet now. Even if the degree isn't in exactly what you wind up doing, its still important to have, just to show you're capable of getting one.
  • GachiGachi December 2012
    Well, I'm looking at online type degree programs as it'd be more feasible since I could log on at anytime. I'm not looking into the type you see all the time, like Phoenix. I'm actually looking at the University of Maryland University College (Accredited and is part of the Maryland school district). It's a college that many Active Duty military do course work through and I've heard good things about.

    I need to check into Cal State to see if they do an online option also.

    Link here:

    They do offer a Computer Science program or a Computer and Informations Science program.
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