Career Ideas
February 19, 2013 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I am finishing my associate of arts degree. I am trying to think of possible career paths. The careers I am thinking of are related to librarian work, academia, reading/literacy teacher, speech language pathologist. Some of my interests/strengths are clerical work, very creative, research/writing, counseling/teaching, art layout, health, the outdoors. I like working with children. Are there any careers along these paths that I should consider ?
posted by Lillian7 to Work & Money (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am open about different fields to work in, so what are possible jobs as well.
posted by Lillian7 at 9:50 AM on February 19, 2013

Keep in mind that most of the fields you list require a lot more education than an Associates degree.

If you're just looking for a job to make money in the shorter term while you continue your education towards becoming a librarian or speech/language pathologist or the like, clerical skills are a great way to do that. Especially if you have any bookkeeping or accounting skills.

If you have experience working with kids and like the outdoors, there are all kinds of camp counselor/tour guide type jobs out there.
posted by Sara C. at 9:56 AM on February 19, 2013

Copywriting, technical writing, advertising, marketing; these would suit some of your skills and jobs exist in the private, government and non-profit sectors.
posted by plonkee at 9:59 AM on February 19, 2013

There are very few jobs for librarians. However, the profession is being deprofessionalized, so your associate's degree may work in your favor -- you will not be seen as "overqualified." That said, I repeat: There are very few jobs for librarians. Very few.
posted by scratch at 10:21 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Your school has a career councilor. They could be an excellent resource for helping you focus and gain experiences needed to do so. Make an appointment now rather than a week before graduation so you can really work with them and develope a relationship.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:33 AM on February 19, 2013

You sound pretty perfect for early childhood education. IF you really want to be profitable / independant you should look into taking some business classes with your eventual goal to be running a preschool or certified child care center in your house.
posted by WeekendJen at 12:49 PM on February 19, 2013

Scratch is right about the employment outlook for librarians, but if you just want to work in a library, your AA will qualify you for paraprofessional jobs (page, clerk, tech, etc.). These pay $8-14/hour, are often part-time, and generally offer no opportunity for advancement. It's not a career per se unless you're okay with making $15,000-30,000/year on a permanent basis.

To become a librarian, you would need to complete your BA/BS and an MLIS. Experience in a library will certainly make you more employable, but many degreed librarians still get stuck in paraprofessional jobs for a few years after graduation.

In my opinion, the smart way to do this is to find a paraprofessional job in an academic library which offers some kind of tuition reimbursement, so you at least won't be on the hook for the cost of a bachelor's degree (and your MLIS, if you decide to become a librarian)--because, realistically, as a librarian you won't earn enough to comfortably pay off the $30,000+ loan that this education will require.

Luckily, there are well-regarded online/distance MLIS programs, so if you find a local job you won't necessarily need to move to go to library school. You can check out job prospects in your state for both degreed and non-degreed positions at INALJ (I Need a Library Job).
posted by pullayup at 12:53 PM on February 19, 2013

You mention speech language pathologist -- my kid sister recently got a degree/certificate as a speech language pathology assistant. She really loves the work and apparently there are ways to continue her education to get the additional degrees. She's had some difficulty finding work (having moved from where she got the degree), it sounds like it's mostly schools that hire the assistants and budgets are not in great shape. But she's working as a sub and likes what she's doing and the chance to see lots of different schools.
posted by epersonae at 3:35 PM on February 19, 2013

In order to work as an SLPA, you should look into regulations in the area where you live, and certainly at what ASHA has to say about it. E.g. I live in the US and in Massachusetts, and to be an SLP-A you must take a certain number of courses, observe a certain number of hours of treatment sessions, and register with the state (I don't recall if you need a bachelor's or not...) Other states might be different.

As an SLP-A, you will be limited to working in schools because skilled nursing facilities and hospitals cannot bill for SLP-A services. So if that's ok by you, it's a good way to get a feel for working in schools and what being an SLP is like. It's important to remember, though, that you cannot diagnose and you cannot treat without the supervision of an SLP, no matter how long you end up doing it. Personally I would find that stifling, but some people really like it.

If you want to be an SLP, you must have a master's in order to practice.

All this to say that an associate's degree doesn't let you work as an SLP or an SLP-A. But you can take additional courses (or get a bachelors) to be an SLP-A. If you want more details, feel free to MeMail me (IAMASLP).
posted by absquatulate at 6:12 PM on February 19, 2013

Thanks for the answers. I am open to more education if needed. I am not necessarily thinking of the traditional librarian job but using those skills in a related field.
posted by Lillian7 at 2:36 PM on February 20, 2013

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