Author Topic: Looking for a new career!  (Read 4379 times)

ThePhilosopher

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Looking for a new career!
« on: April 21, 2015, 05:30:17 PM »
Hello MMM,

I have a bachelors in education and I am currently a mathematics teacher at the high school level. I dislike my job and I am not paid that well (40k with little to no raises). So I have decided that I want to move onto another career. In particular, I do not like being "on" for the entire day in front of people. By nature, I am a introvert. I am wondering whether there are any decent careers that I would be able to pickup without getting another bachelors degree.

I was considering trying to get into the IT field and computer programming through taking certifications. Does anyone have any suggestion for next steps or possible careers that could suit me? What should I expect while changing careers?

Things I am looking for:
  • A job where I have my own time alone, but also work with people
  • Make at least 40k
  • Promotions where I can earn more
  • ~40 hour work week (no weekend)
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • A job that requires challenges and keeps me busy

Thank you!

ThePhilosopher
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 05:56:09 PM by ThePhilosopher »

vagon

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2015, 06:42:26 PM »
The IT field is very broad. Do you have a particular passion about one area?
Have you tried programming before? What languages?

I would assume it is fairly unlikely that you would get a job programming without either a substantial portfolio of work, a good profile on something like TopCoder or a degree in computer science.

You may be able to get an entry level job (tech support, junior sysadmin etc) and study with a mind to transitioning to a developer role in the same company.

HeCreates

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2015, 07:03:42 PM »
With a degree in Mathematics Education have you thought about doing something like cost estimating? It often only requires basic excel skill, some presentation (powerpoint) and interpersonal skill. It can be more lucrative than teaching, especially if you move up to management (100k+). I suggest this because I am good friends with a cost estimator (government contractor) who told me a few of his company's employees are former math teachers

I am a teacher. I'm just wondering how many years you've taught? What is the pay scale like in your district or county? Would you be reasonably rewarded if you got your masters degree? I teach in a title I school and it has its challenges, especially with behavior and classroom management, but I do enjoy it overall.

ThePhilosopher

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 04:36:00 AM »
The IT field is very broad. Do you have a particular passion about one area?
Have you tried programming before? What languages?

I would assume it is fairly unlikely that you would get a job programming without either a substantial portfolio of work, a good profile on something like TopCoder or a degree in computer science.

You may be able to get an entry level job (tech support, junior sysadmin etc) and study with a mind to transitioning to a developer role in the same company.

I realize the IT field is broad, and I am not very familiar with the different areas. I do like technology, and I have taken a programming class online (Python) and enjoyed it as well. Do you have any recommendations for specific companies that may be good to work for?

With a degree in Mathematics Education have you thought about doing something like cost estimating? It often only requires basic excel skill, some presentation (powerpoint) and interpersonal skill. It can be more lucrative than teaching, especially if you move up to management (100k+). I suggest this because I am good friends with a cost estimator (government contractor) who told me a few of his company's employees are former math teachers

I am a teacher. I'm just wondering how many years you've taught? What is the pay scale like in your district or county? Would you be reasonably rewarded if you got your masters degree? I teach in a title I school and it has its challenges, especially with behavior and classroom management, but I do enjoy it overall.

This is my first full year as a teacher (I had a year long internship as well). I realize it is early to be bailing ship, but I honestly just don't feel that the position fits my personality. I get extremely bored teaching the same subject over and over, do not like being "on" all day, and generally have students who don't want to be there which results in a ton of classroom management issues. To be honest, classroom management just isn't my thing. I can do it well enough and have an orderly class (for the most part haha), but it exhausts me. I get extremely stressed and tired dealing with behavioral issues. I teach in Florida, which pays 40k starting, however, teachers have not received a raise in 8 years (funding). When they do get raises, they range from $300 to a little under $1k.

I haven't heard of cost estimating before, but it sounds intriguing. I really enjoy mathematics. I will look into it!

fammo

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 07:15:37 AM »
if you've got math skills you should consider a gig as a statistician or a research/data analyst for a large corporation.  folks that can take chunks of data and use it to tell a meaningful story and help business leaders and teams make decisions are pretty valuable.  making $40k would be entry level for something like that.

EAL

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2015, 08:33:57 AM »
Are you willing to go back to school? If so, accounting.  There are lots of areas of accounting where you would be required to work some late nights and weekends but I think if you worked at a bank or a similar setting you could have more traditional hours. I also have a friend who is an accountant for an oil field company and is allowed to work from home a few days a week. I too was unhappy with my degree, so I am currently going back to school for accounting. I just did an internship this tax season and was working (after my traditional 8-5 M-F job) from about 5pm to 7:30 or 8:00pm and on Saturdays for about 9 or 10 hours and some Sundays. So it really depends on what type of accounting you want to do.

The nice thing is you do deal with people but definitely not to the extent of teaching. 

James!

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2015, 09:10:28 AM »
You should check out some online learning options for programming, like Treehouse ( https://teamtreehouse.com/ )  It's an easy/fun way to try some coding and see if you like it, and they also have a job board to connect you with potential employers. You could try a few courses while still working and see if it's a direction you're interested in.

Cheers,
James

Exflyboy

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2015, 09:12:59 AM »
I was thinking statistician as well but I suspect you'd need to go back to school. The two stats I knew in my old job both had Phd's. the stats I saw them use on a daily basis was not at that level however, in fact the stats I knew from my engineering education easily covered what they did.

pbkmaine

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2015, 09:19:08 AM »
Actuarial work is a good fit for math majors. Google "society of actuaries".

JLee

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2015, 09:30:06 AM »
You can pull over $40k doing desktop support in IT, and then go up from there - just have to get your foot in the door somewhere. I hate desktop support, but I did it long enough to move up.

Mr. FI

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2015, 09:30:35 AM »
You should check out some online learning options for programming, like Treehouse ( https://teamtreehouse.com/ )  It's an easy/fun way to try some coding and see if you like it, and they also have a job board to connect you with potential employers. You could try a few courses while still working and see if it's a direction you're interested in.

Cheers,
James

I second TreeHouse. They're committed to getting people placed in jobs starting at $40,000. It's flexible and only costs $25/mo to do. They teach everything and I've enjoyed using it.

James!

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2015, 10:32:36 AM »
The major plus to learning programming is that it is common and acceptable to be successful in the industry without a degree. I know multiple people without bachelors who are talented in Ruby and make over 100k.

Actuaries make a ton of money but it also requires a ton of school and is super boring.

Jouer

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2015, 10:34:27 AM »
I agree that statistician, data analyst, research analyst is a great way to go. Companies are really ramping up their in-house analytics capabilities these days. There are also lots of opportunities at boutique analytics shops that do data/research work for companies that don't have the resources in-house.

And no need for a Ph.D. in most cases. I've carved out a nice little career with my BSc. (Statistics); I develop advanced predictive models. You won't do that starting off, of course. You'll likely start off doing boring work....but at least there is room to grow into the fun stuff.

vagon

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2015, 05:13:15 PM »
I realize the IT field is broad, and I am not very familiar with the different areas. I do like technology, and I have taken a programming class online (Python) and enjoyed it as well. Do you have any recommendations for specific companies that may be good to work for?

The company at this stage doesn't matter so much. You most likely do not have the skills to get a graduate role at any of the "rockstar" companies, but that's not a big deal. Right now your focus should be on an entry level role where you can learn more about IT. While figuring the environment out, you should be using your spare time to learn more computer science:
  • Build up a portfolio of code on git hub, while you're learning upload your code here.
  • Learn a database language SQL and noSQL
  • Learn a front-end language
  • Understand algorithms.
  • Learn design patterns
  • Learn networking
Introversion aside you should make time to socialise with any in house developers at the company you land at. In terms of languages, starting with Python is a perfectly good choice, but be open to the language of least resistance. That is if your company codes in C# you should look into learning that and leveraging the know-how and opportunities around you. this way you will know when you are ready to be a junior programmer as opposed to trying to learn everything before starting.

I'd also mention that IT and development in general is not a silver bullet. You will find that instead of children annoying you with their behavioural issues, the people generating your requirments/user stories will annoy you with their behaivour. That said the big upside is a significantly higher top salary band if you do well and the favourable market keeps up.

mozar

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Re: Looking for a new career!
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2015, 06:28:48 PM »
With accounting there are a lot of options. Federal/ State/ Tax/ Forensics/ Corporate/ Compliance...I think it's best to start out as an auditor and then you can go into corporate accounting or stay in audit. In my first two years I was an external auditor I had to be on 10 hours a day 6 days a week because we were in a tiny conference room together. This is typical. I'm an introvert and it was exhausting. Fortunately I am now in audit consulting with 9-5 M-F hours and mostly work by myself. I find that the higher I move up in pay the more people leave me alone. But that took a few years.