More debt please!
June 17, 2009 3:50 PM Subscribe
I don't want to pursue a career in the field for which I received my degree. Help guide my search for a grad school field.
posted by Team of Scientists to Education (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just finished an undergrad electrical engineering degree. Recently I came to the realization that I'm just not that interested in EE (well, at the very least I'm not interested in DSP). I'd like to choose a new career path and start prepping for grad school.
Here are the paths that I have considered so far:
Pros: AskMeFi actually sparked my interest in planning in a question I read a while ago. Someone said something about being interested in data/statistics and maps, which are things that interest me. As does the notion that I can work toward effecting change in an area socially, economically or environmentally. I understand that this is probably the mindset of many bright-eyed planning students for whom reality gradually sets in. Regardless, I think this is a career choice that could leave me very fulfilled.
Cons: It seems that the pay is modest. I currently owe about $40k in student loans, and I'm concerned that a planner's salary wouldn't afford me the ability to live comfortably while I'm paying off my loans. The job market is also apparently rather bleak for planning right now, although it's difficult to see what the economy will be like after two years of grad school.
Pros: I have the requisite engineering degree already. I can attend a less competitive school that is well known for Intellectual Property/Patent Law. I have confidence in my intellectual ability, and I think I could be a very successful law student if I was willing to put in the hours. Also, this profession has potential for better pay.
Cons: Law school is notoriously difficult, and I don't think I'd want to put in the hours necessary for success. Ambition is not a character trait of mine, and I think that the profession is loaded with ambitious people.
Engineering related to Green Energy -
Pros: This is another profession that could be very fulfilling for me in the sense that I could be bettering the world around me (pardon my naivete again). I already have an EE degree. I haven't done enough research to say, but I imagine that a Masters in a technical field would attract a somewhat generous salary. Please enlighten me if I am wrong about this.
Cons: Just a lack of information. I don't really know what kind of options are out there in Green Energy. Would I go get a masters in EE? Mechanical? Chemical? Are there any engineering programs that are specifically tailored to green energy production? Also, as mentioned above, I just didn't have that much interest in DSP engineering during school (I realized this rather late when my peers were all excited about their senior projects and I was filled with dread). However, the main turnoff for me in my EE program was...well, the digitalness of digital signal processing. I don't particularly enjoy programming or working with discrete time signals. As power engineering is focused primarily (entirely?) on analog signals, I believe this won't be a problem. Again, enlighten me if I'm wrong.
I've all but ruled out law school, but I decided to leave it in here in case any IP/Patent zealots could make a compelling case for the profession. The main purpose of this post is fact-finding. Specifically, what type of person would be a strong candidate for each of these careers? Are there any related fields that you think might spark my interest?