Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Thinking About Grad School Because of the Economy?

I loved this post from Penelope Trunk about why grad school might not be the right option. Although I don't agree with everything here, it's fun to read her thoughts.

4. Law school is a factory for depressives.
It used to be that if you had a law degree it was a ticket to a high salary and a safe career. Today many people go to law school and cannot find a job. This is, in a large part, because law school selects for people who are good with details and pass tests and law firms select for people who are good at marketing themselves and can drum up business. Law firms are in a transition phase, and they have many unfair labor practices leftover from older generations, for example, hourly billing and making young lawyers pay dues for what is, today, a largely uncertain future. Which might explain why the American Bar Association reports that the majority of lawyers would recommend that people not to go into law.

I have quite a few friends who are lawyers. Most of them love it, but there are a few who have had a hard time finding the right job after grad school. The ones who are doing well typically went to really good schools and work insane hours in corporate law, but make a ton of money. I'm not sure how sustainable it will be in the long run, but they love it for now.

If I were a freshman in college, I would seriously consider becoming a pharmacist or optometrist. Both are high paying with good hours and the ability to have a flexible schedule. I think both would be excellent careers for working mothers, but that's just my opinion.


Anonymous said...

Just a thought about pharmacists because I know quite a few of them. Most of the ones I know work 3 days a week but they have to work in 12 hour shifts! That's true for hospitals and the chain stores like CVS. So most of the moms I know work the night shift at a CVS since they are open 24 hours a day.

calgirlfinance said...

I would actually prefer to work those 12 hour shifts and get to work less days!

K-money said...

Nursing is also extremely flexible. Many nurses work less than full time. For example, in my last job I was .75FTE (Full Time Equivalent), meaning I worked 60 hours per pay period. That meant I worked two 12-hour shifts one week and three 12-hour shifts the next. I had a 7 days off in a row at least once a month. The downside is I had to work every other weekend and holidays every other year. I now work 8-hour shifts three or four days a week but no weekends or holidays. The jobs are variable. It is possible to work part time, full time, standard M-F hours, nights, evenings, at the bedside, in an office, teaching, and more. I have a 4 year degree but I make the same now as someone with a 2 year degree (but I can advance more). The main stumbling block is getting the degree. Schools are badly impacted. Lots of people have figured out that nursing is a good job and are trying to get in. People don't want to teach nursing because it pays poorly compared to working as a nurse. I went to school in the 90s and I had to leave California to find a school I could get into in less than a year. People wait several years in the Bay Area. There is a nursing shortage as the Baby Boomer population ages and lots of nurses get out of the profession. It can be a good, steady, flexible job but it also tends to be physically intense (on your feet 12 hours, lifting people), emotionally draining and sometimes just plain gross.

calgirlfinance said...

K-Money, Have you ever thought about transitioning into teaching nursing? It's a great career where you can work and teach at the same time due to the different schedules available.