Author Topic: College Edition Case Study  (Read 3407 times)

NoMoreTwist

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College Edition Case Study
« on: September 12, 2015, 07:49:13 AM »
Hello everyone! After lurking for months I finally decided to take the plunge and make an account, mostly because I need some good advice.

Here's the deal. 21 y/o, senior at flagship university majoring in zoology/psychology (I know...not the best choice) with no debt thanks to wonderful parents so I have 20K in the bank. Most of my core classes focus on endocrinology (actually great overlap between zoo and psych at my school for classes in that) and infectious diseases. At this point I think I would really enjoy focusing my career on infectious diseases, and from what I can tell the best pathways for that would be to either go to nursing school and get an RN, or obtain a Masters in Public Health.

If I went back to my hometown and got an associates in nursing it would cost me about 8K, but the nursing market is currently saturated and infection prevention positions seem to require at least a bachelors, preferably a masters. That being said, I'm currently working in our healthcare network as a CNA and have good connections at the hospital.

On the other hand, a masters of public health seems like the natural progression, but even at my school would probably be 30K a year! Not to mention that the average pay for public health seems to be depressingly low...many jobs seem to only pay 30K for a masters, which quite frankly doesn't seem worth it given that full time I could make 23K as a CNA.

Folks, I have one main goal in life, which is to get out of the city and go back to the country and raise a farm filled with heritage breeds. I've wanted a farm since my grubby toddler hands could turn the crumpled pages of The Big Red Barn, and so while I'd like to be FI, I'm okay with not retiring early provided I find a fulfilling job. Of course, that limits me to jobs that are available in rural areas.

I'm at a crossroads. I'd like to have a stable job that pays decently, but still is fulfilling and can be done rurally. I'm probably not going to make all of those categories, but I'm trying my best to get there. I'm just not sure what's the best path. Not to mention I rather enjoy working right now, but who knows how I'll feel in 10 years...gah!

Advice, comments, even facepunches? Goodness knows I need whatever I can get.

Falke401

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 12:42:41 PM »
Since nobody has replied...  It is hard to give an answer, but I would try to find a job that you can tolerate for a while that has tuition assistance.  Some employers hire solely on having a BA and dont care what it is in.  Once you get your foot in the door, get some experience, tuition reimbursement...you will be ok. 

Maybe join the military as an officer?? 

wordnerd

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2015, 12:51:40 PM »
An MPH shouldn't cost $30K a year at a public university, but you may be counting living costs. Scholarships and working can defray a lot of the cost. Pay for MPHs varies significantly by whether you are working at the local, state, or federal level. If you want to live in a rural area, you probably won't make much as an MPH, though there may be some very interesting (and sorely needed) public health work. Certain federal agencies (CDC, IHS) might be able to place you in a rural area (so you'd get federal pay with LCOL), but obviously there's no guarantee that you'd get a job like that.

It sounds like your true passion is farming (I think that's what raising heritage breeds means?), though. If that's the case, use the freedom of being debt-free to pursue that for awhile. You can always get an MPH (or other advanced degree) later.

Tom Bri

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 04:39:37 PM »
I am an RN student right now, last semester of a 2-year program. It looks like jobs are plentiful, the folks I took classes with who graduated last spring all have jobs. Wants ads are everywhere I look for new RNs.
Since you already will have a relevant degree, getting a ADN RN would be a snap, no pre-reqs, and if you wanted go past that for the BSN you'd already be halfway done.
By the way, my daughter started college this fall, she hustled scholarships and got all but $960 of a $35000 bill paid. We are basically paying for her college out of pocket change. Just start googling scholarships and apply for every one that even looks somewhat relevant.
Good luck, whichever way you go!

FreedomInc

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2015, 09:20:20 PM »
I don't think nursing is a shrinking field at all.

http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-1141.00?redir=29-1111.00

"Growing faster than average, 15-25% forecasted growth, ~60k average a year."

At my university, a flagship state school, the nursing program is competitive and virtually guarantees placement. It's one of the best fields to go into that only require a minimal amount of education. So if you're inclined to do nursing, I would seriously consider it.


soccerluvof4

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2015, 09:45:55 AM »
I don't have a link to support this but in my area it seems there are alot of young ladies I know becoming RNs because there is a huge demand around here as well. Perhaps this is just in your area? idk the answer but as many have said if its what you want to do I would go for it. If you want to be on a farm and raise animals maybe look more into something in the Veterinarian field.

StacheInAFlash

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 02:55:35 PM »
If it were me in your situation, knowing what I know now, I would finish out your existing degrees while planning for a Master of Nursing program for those without a BSN. Your educational background sounds like you could get into that pretty slick like, and 16-18 months later, you'd be ready to rock as an RN with an awesome background. A couple of years on the floor (no issue if you're already doing CNA work), and then jump ship to the Infectious Disease type nursing jobs that definitely exist and will always pay more than similar sounding jobs that require a MPH. Those with an RN have a friggin' golden ticket in life to plentiful high-paying work in any town...while I know some pockets of the country might be saturated with new grads, most areas are not, and definitely not rural areas! You'll be able to cash a nice paycheck, save up quickly for FIRE, and never need to really worry about unemployment, and plus everyone loves nurses. Honestly, for all young people, I tell them to go for something in either the computer programming realm or nursing if they want a nice solid, reliable, well-paid working career. Another bonus of nursing (and computer programming) is it sets you up with a great potential side gig in early retirement where you can work as little or as much as you need to, and in many cases can be done via computer or telephone from your home. Bottom line, a nursing degree that is BSN, MN, MSN, DNP, or anything other than LPN or ADN will put you on a faster, easier, and far more flexible track to early retirement than an MPH or Zoology or Psych!

yuka

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 03:17:04 PM »
If it were me in your situation, knowing what I know now, I would finish out your existing degrees while planning for a Master of Nursing program for those without a BSN. Your educational background sounds like you could get into that pretty slick like, and 16-18 months later, you'd be ready to rock as an RN with an awesome background. A couple of years on the floor (no issue if you're already doing CNA work), and then jump ship to the Infectious Disease type nursing jobs that definitely exist and will always pay more than similar sounding jobs that require a MPH. Those with an RN have a friggin' golden ticket in life to plentiful high-paying work in any town...while I know some pockets of the country might be saturated with new grads, most areas are not, and definitely not rural areas! You'll be able to cash a nice paycheck, save up quickly for FIRE, and never need to really worry about unemployment, and plus everyone loves nurses. Honestly, for all young people, I tell them to go for something in either the computer programming realm or nursing if they want a nice solid, reliable, well-paid working career. Another bonus of nursing (and computer programming) is it sets you up with a great potential side gig in early retirement where you can work as little or as much as you need to, and in many cases can be done via computer or telephone from your home. Bottom line, a nursing degree that is BSN, MN, MSN, DNP, or anything other than LPN or ADN will put you on a faster, easier, and far more flexible track to early retirement than an MPH or Zoology or Psych!

Another option to consider might be a physician assistant. It's a 24-to-27 month program that puts you somewhere in between a doctor and a nurse (largely autonomous function, but administratively have to be working below a doctor). There would be a fair number of pre-requisite courses that you'd need to take in undergrad (or at a CC while you work), but the pay and demand seem to be pretty good.

Retired To Win

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 06:15:30 PM »
I too was surprised to hear the OP say that nursing jobs are hard to find, or poorly paid.  Around here, hospital want ads for nurses all project a "we'll bend over backwards to recruit you" attitude.

The farming goal does not have to require a huge piece of land, or having to live way out in the boondocks.  I live in a small town area that's "small farm heaven" AND is just 20 miles away from a cosmopolitan university/hospital town.  So, lots of job opportunities over there and lots of small farm choices over here.  (And a small farm can be 10 acres or even less, you know.)

So, in the OP's shoes, I would take $8K out of that $20K stash, wrap up a nursing degree and then relocate to a place that offers that bigger town / smaller town combination of factors I referred to above.

Good luck!

yuka

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 06:22:13 PM »
I too was surprised to hear the OP say that nursing jobs are hard to find, or poorly paid.  Around here, hospital want ads for nurses all project a "we'll bend over backwards to recruit you" attitude.

The farming goal does not have to require a huge piece of land, or having to live way out in the boondocks.  I live in a small town area that's "small farm heaven" AND is just 20 miles away from a cosmopolitan university/hospital town.  So, lots of job opportunities over there and lots of small farm choices over here.  (And a small farm can be 10 acres or even less, you know.)

So, in the OP's shoes, I would take $8K out of that $20K stash, wrap up a nursing degree and then relocate to a place that offers that bigger town / smaller town combination of factors I referred to above.

Good luck!

To tag along on what I think is a great idea, OP may really want livestock more than an entire farm. Chickens are a pretty good way to get into this, and can go just about anywhere where you have a yard and aren't forbidden by local ordinance from having them.

mozar

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 07:38:07 PM »
Or take the 20k and start the heritage breeding farm you are dreaming of. I'm a risk averse person so I would more likely get the nursing degree and find a job in a hospital in a rural area but you can also try your dream while you're young and have the energy to do whatever it takes.

MrsPete

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2015, 08:40:48 PM »
I'm echoing what others have said, but nurses in my area are thriving!  Nurses are forced to work mandatory overtime because hospitals can't fill their positions.  My daughter will graduate in the spring with a nursing degree, and she's already received one offer.  Some of the big hospitals are paying sign-on bonuses. 

blueflipflop

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2015, 07:49:09 AM »
I don't think I saw this mentioned. Look at USAJobs look for jobs that are labeled Pathways. These jobs are for juniors/seniors allows them to transition into the Federal Gov. and might be your foot in the door to higher paying jobs in Public Health/infectious disease. Some of these jobs can be in rural locations as well. 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2015, 08:08:46 AM »
Well hello Past Self! I got my degree in Zoology, and then got a second BS in nursing.

Re: job availability. SUPER dependent on your area. Depends a lot on retirement rates of nurses in your area and the number of nursing schools around. Ex, where I live, there are more than 10 nursing schools within 1 hour of the metro area. Very very competitive for new graduates. That being said, nearly everyone I know has a job now, less than 6 months out of school. Just not what they wanted, and primarily night shifts.

Re: farming dreams. Nursing has the great advantage of being primarily 12 hour shifts. (if you're in a hospital- but only about 50% of nurses work in a hospital setting. There are many possible settings). This means you can live just about anywhere, commute in for a stretch of 3 12's (stay with a friend or rent a cheap room), and be golden. I know several nurses that do this.

Re: passion about work. I went into nursing for really pragmatic reasons- ability to enter and exit workforce easily around kids, ability to work part time, ability to switch job setting easily. But you know what? I fell in love with the work itself. Healthcare jobs are some of the few jobs that exists in today's technology and content driven world where you still get a tangible sense of accomplishment and immediate feedback. So you may surprise yourself and find something you really love. This sense of tangibility is why one of the women in my nursing cohort had a previous MPH and went back for nursing.

Best of luck.

clarkfan1979

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Re: College Edition Case Study
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2015, 10:49:13 AM »
I think Nursing and a job with a Masters Degree in Public Health are going to be two very different jobs. Nursing is going to be more hands on. A job with MPH is going to be a lot of administrative paperwork.

Get a BA in Nursing or MPH and look for a job in a rural area. I don't think rural jobs would be as competitive. Many nursing jobs are only 3-4 days a week with longer shifts so you might be able to do a longer commute. You can still buy a small farm and have a full-time job. Learn the ropes. After 5 years come up with a plan on how to do the farming thing full-time. You could create multiple streams of income on a farm with animals and produce.