Author Topic: Going back to school, Moving to OZ - What major?  (Read 1852 times)

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
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Going back to school, Moving to OZ - What major?
« on: March 25, 2014, 09:53:42 AM »
I have a bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology, which has a focus on 3D modeling in AutoCAD, Solidworks, and Revit.  I've worked in a manufacturing industry using all of the above software for the last 5 years.  It's ok work, but doesn't pay very well for having a degree in an engineering field.  I make $49,500/yr and am 30 yrs old.

My wife on the other hand has a degree in OMIS (Operations Management and Information Systems) from the same school as I went to. It's a business degree with a strong focus on Computer Science.  She currently makes $125k/yr and is also 30. 
Her company has an opening in Sydney right now and her boss asked if she'd be interested.  It's an 18-24 month commitment and would come with a salary increase for her.  We've decided to take it.

On to my question.. I'm going to talk to my company to see if I can work remotely.  If they agree, great!  If they don't agree, we're still going to go, but I'll either look for work there (I'll be dependent on her 457 Visa) or else I'll go back to school.

I'd like to know what good options there are for going back to school.  What major would be a good ROI?  What field is good to get into in the US right now?  After 18-24 months in Sydney we'll be going back to Chicago to live near family again.

I've heard that there are lots of jobs in the IT field.. do you need to specialize in something like coding?  I dont think I'd be happy with a masters in Computer Science if I'm going to be the IT helpdesk guy making what I make now.

Any advice is appreciated!

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
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Re: Going back to school, Moving to OZ - What major?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 12:41:59 PM »
bumpity bump


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Going back to school, Moving to OZ - What major?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 01:00:12 PM »
Grab the Sunday Chicago papers and study the classifieds every week to determine what is in demand.  If you are in Chicago talk to some higher salary range headhunters for their views.

Yeah, you may be in an engineering field, but your degree is engineering technology rather than engineering -- hence the big pay difference.

Coding is only a minor part of computer science.  You'll need to learn a lot more math, statistics & probability -- probably pick a university and look online at their curriculum for computer science.

What will be good in two years?  If I knew that I'd become richer than MMM (Buffett, anyway).


  • Stubble
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    • January Girl
Re: Going back to school, Moving to OZ - What major?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 02:19:56 PM »
My husband is in IT for a big company and although I don't know exactly what he does (seriously, I really don't), he always tells me it has to do with "messaging hygiene".  He works a lot with emails and phone and remote access and things like that.   He makes 6-figures doing it. 

Other area I would say are big are Messaging Security (this is huge at my husband's company because it's a healthcare company and there is all that patient information that requires high security) and SAP is a big area too. 

That is all I can think of from my limited married-to-someone-in-IT knowledge, but they all have the potential to make six-figures.  But, maybe will give you some areas to investigate.

Plus, my husband got his IT degree in Australia.  Personally, I think they train/teach better at the University level in Australia than they do in the U.S.  I worked for the University of QLD in Brisbane when we lived there.

Awesome opportunity.  You will not regret taking it!!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Going back to school, Moving to OZ - What major?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 05:34:15 PM »
I direct you to this Forbes article for the 10 highest paying college degrees in 2013.

Not surprisingly, petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, and computer engineering are among the topmost for highest paying starting salaries. As someone within one of these aforementioned fields, I have to strongly recommend them not only for the solid pay, but also for the intellectual stimulation (often times).