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Unsure of career-2nd Bachelor's degree

  1. Sep 19, 2010 #1
    Hi all,

    So I graduated from a small liberal arts school in Minnesota with my B.A. in Biology last year (2009). I'm not really sure why, but I decided on Plant Pathology for graduate school, which landed me in a PhD program at NDSU in Fargo, ND.

    Now, what I really wanted to do was live in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St Paul, MN) So I am back at home with my parents, going to school part time. (I am taking Calculus and Physics-for Science and Engineering-different than the versions of those classes I took during my first undergrad career) and working part-time. *Originally, I was planning on working full-time, but haven't been able to find a job.

    Here's what I know: I want to get my next degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Nowhere else. I regret not going there in the first place, and I want to remain in the Twin Cities for the rest of my life. (Although I would consider: San Diego, LA, San Fran, Chicago, New York, or Boston...all big cities).

    I'm looking at Engineering as a career path, but don't necessarily know what kind of engineering I want to do, or what my options are, let alone what my daily life would be like.

    I'm almost certain I wouldn't make a good physics major, but I haven't given up on the idea of Mathematics either which I think might open doors for me, too.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2010 #2
    why do you not want to do plant pathology anymore? its a good subject to study, I think? lots of plant diseases in the world to be treated - the crop ones will make loads of money, and benefit millions of starving people.
  4. Sep 19, 2010 #3
    I left Plant Pathology because most, if not all, of the jobs I would be eligible for are in places I don't want to live.
  5. Sep 20, 2010 #4
    oh, why are you so concerned with where you want to live? There are loads of great places to live! I usually choose what I want to do by what I am interested in, not by where I want to live... thats just me tho.
  6. Sep 20, 2010 #5
    If your primary concern is staying where you are, a second degree might not be a solution as there is no guarantee you can land a job where u want to be.
  7. Sep 20, 2010 #6
    I want to live in near family, and in a large city. Just my personal preference.

    Another degree in a more technical field will help land me a job in this area.

    EDIT: I thought I would add more to better explain myself:

    -Is it worth being alone every night, and every weekend for a career you're not even sure you like? Is it worth eating dinner in solitude? Is it worth going to the store just so you have someone to speak to? Or is it better to live somewhere that you have friends and family to share meals with, spend time with, and live your life-rather than waiting for your life to start?

    -There are plenty of nice communities out there, but what if ammenities you enjoy are just not present? (Lakes, beaches, art museums, extensive bike trails, good public transportation, etc) Are you just supposed to suck it up and live for work?

    -What if you don't "jive" politically with the locals? What if your neighbor hates you because you're more enlightened than they are? What if your city constantly makes headlines for anti-semitic graffiti being found every other week?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  8. Sep 20, 2010 #7
    I'm in a pretty similar situation, I know where I want to live but don't know exactly what career I want. Although, I'm slowly figuring it out. What I've been doing is researching the types of industries that are big in the area(s) I want to live. City websites and the BLS OOH have a lot of statistics about this kind of information. Just doing a quick search I've found these sites:



    http://data.bls.gov:8080/oes/search.jsp?data_tool=OES - this is a fun tool where you can search the occupation for the city or state you want.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  9. Sep 20, 2010 #8
    Why not join, or set up, a landscape gardening firm? That should combine engineering, plant science, big cities, and big money from rich people wanting big gardens...
  10. Sep 20, 2010 #9
    To the first question: Who says you have to be alone? Start a family, get a nice group of friends, live it up! You can do this anywhere.

    To the second question: I admit you have a point.

    To the third question: I am used to living in a place where my political views differ from those around me. It's not as bad as you would think. First off, it's not like left and right wingers cant be good friends. Some of my best friends have radically opposing viewpoints. As for the neighbors thing, there is a saying that 90%+ of the population is stupid. Mainly, wherever you go there will be the possibility of annoying neighbors. And with the graffiti thing, I am not quite sure how you want to live in a big city yet cant accept there being graffiti that is sometimes racist, sexist, or anti-semitic. It's just kinda a fact of life that you have to accept when living in a big city. (I was raised Jewish myself, so I know about the whole anti-semite thing. When I hear about it I just think that whoever said it must be an ignorant schmuck)
  11. Sep 20, 2010 #10
    I can't start a family just "anywhere". I'm gay, so there aren't opportunities to meet people to date in a lot of places. That brings me to the 3rd point-I cannot be friends with people who don't support equal rights. I could care less about any other political issue, but at least in large cities I get respect.
  12. Sep 20, 2010 #11
    Oh, gotcha. Whatever you decide to do, best of luck to ya. [proceeds to put foot in mouth]
  13. Sep 20, 2010 #12
    hm... places where people are more educated are usually more open-minded. so I'd suggest cities with good univeristies? unis usually attract a variety of people of different backgrounds, so thats good too.
  14. Sep 20, 2010 #13
    yeah... it might mean you'll have to consider a few more things before deciding on a place, but I think you can totally do what you want to do AND find a good place to live! I dunno, you sound kind of like you are changing careers cos you think it would allow you to live in the biger cities? I think big cities have plant sciences departments too! if you are actually interested in plants,then you should stick to it! it doesnt mean working in a farm all your life! more like working in a lab and travelling to Asia/Africa... I think... not sure tho, so check yourself too.

    And I dont know about your own experiences, but from my experiences, people are quite open minded about these things! People are generally quite inclusive, and will treat you no different to anyone else.
  15. Sep 20, 2010 #14
  16. Sep 20, 2010 #15
    I don't know if I want to work with plants...I just kind of randomly picked that area of focus and ran with it. It didn't "pick me" which would be a completely different scenario.

    As for travel, I'm much more interested in going to Europe and S America more so than Africa..Not that that has much to do with anything, mind you, since travel is probably infrequent enough to make it not matter.

    Another advantage of big cities is that if you decide to change jobs, there are other employers in your city, so you don't need to uproot yourself-which is nice when you're paying off a house.

    I'm stuck. The reason for grad school was to be a professor. But my advisor told me that since he wasn't actually a professor (he was just a research scientist) no one would hire me as a professor.. And I don't want to do academic research. I knew that from the start. My plan was to be a professor at a small teaching university, not at a state school.

    I'm considering engineering because I think I would enjoy the collaborative aspect of it.
  17. Oct 11, 2010 #16
    Definitely get into engineering. you will have at least 2 years from when you start engineering school to decide what specific kind. I recommend Mechanical, of course ;)
    Come live in boston. It's the best place on earth!
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