There isn't much time left before i graduate with my BA in Political Science, yet I still have no idea what's in store for me, where I'm headed, or what plans God has for me.
I'm curious to hear some of your stories. What did you do when you graduated? Is your career today what you thought it would be when you completed your degree? What advice would you give a young man fresh out of college?
Also, did anyone here go the route of applying for officers candidate school with either the Navy or Air Force? I'd be particularly interested in hearing your story, as it is something I'm seriously considering.
I went out and got a civilian, non-gvernment job.
After floundering a bit, I went to grad school in another discipline, got a PhD., and now I'm a prof.
Almost all my majors (computer science) do computer science after graduation.
I spent 3 months building houses, spent another year working in an ice factory, then the next 13-15ish working in IT and have spent the last year in Grad School for my MBA. I use the PoliSci degree to argue online or in bars.
I Graduated last december with a B.S in Psychology with a minor in statistics. A month after I graduated I got a job designing graphs,etc. for a network security software company. The past 2 years I had been freaking out about whether or not to go to graduate school for clinical psychology and teach/practice or whether or not to do something else. I went through what seemed like hundreds of careers. I eventually decided I liked my job and the general career path of 'computers' and as of last Friday I was accepted to a master's program in Information Technology.
So to answer your question - Not what I originally thought when I first started college, but it worked out pretty well.
My part-time job became a full-time one, luckily in my career.
I stayed in my college apartment; my roommates did the same because it was so cheap.
Lot's of people I knew were still going to school, so it was a few years of being in a college environment without having to study; just put in my hours at work and go home.
A weird but very fun time.
My first BS was in Psychology. I was fully aware it was a go-nowhere degree unless advanced degrees were obtained. So I went to grad school and achieved an MSSW. My area of specialty was pediatric clinical counseling. The health care market, esp. psychiatry, promptly went crap and I couldn't find work, at least none I was willing to do or my family could afford me to languish in. Back to school I went!
My second BS was in CSE. Immediately after graduation I went to work for a weapons design and manufacturing company. For 6 years I worked in one division that was a model of professional engineering. The last three I worked in a different division of the company that was the exact opposite from which I was eventually fired. That group has subsequently been shut down by the corporate HQ but not before they screwed myself and dozens of other employees.
Where am I now and did I ever think I'd end up here? I am a stay-at-home dad who homeschools two kids, (12 and 10 years old) and hell no! I had serious reservations initially, but now I love every minute of it and the positives I'm seeing in my kids is definitely worth the sacrifices.
As I did my final year of my first degree (B.Sc. in biology) I saw no work on the horizon for my field and even the guys I saw who did find work (some with a masters or Ph.D), it was with Stats Canada (they do the census work for the Canadian Government). Basically, it seems the only thing people wanted from my skill set was my statistical knowledge. So I went for pharmacy school and went right into that as soon as I finished biology.
Got my BS in physics with a minor in Math and CS. Went on for my MBA where I concentrated in MIS and Marketing. I'm doing no marketing and not much IS right now as I work for the federal government in Emergency Management (non-FEMA). At my present position I do pretty much everything from program management, to building management and finance (which is my major function).
I started college in the fine arts department on a scholarship (private school, private scholarship) - Finished my scholarship requirements in two years, then left the art department and was (briefly) a triple major in English literature and writing, eastern religions, and philosophy. Ended up only taking a final degree in English (I didn't relish the idea of comprehensive exams and thesis work for the three simultaneously). So English with minors in easter rel, philosophy, visual art, and biology.
I toyed with the idea of a masters in english, or architecture school - decided against both (didn't get into the *one* program I'd set my heart on on the one hand, and decided I didn't really want to be a teacher on the other).
As a result of some work I did for the english department designing posters for a lecture series (hand painting posters - digital design was new, and not at my small school), I decided to move into a career in graphic design. Self taught as a freelancer (making lots of mistakes), and eventually building a reasonable portfolio and getting full time jobs in it. 15 years later - it's a pretty nice career, and allows a side business of an architectural photography studio.
My only advice is to get out there and do something - anything, even if not directly related to your degree. If you can't find anything - make your own job - opportunities are everywhere for the enterprising and hardworking, even if not always obvious. Make mistakes (by the heapload) but always learn from them. Be open to changes in direction, but you will find your path.
Have you considered flight school as an Army warrant officer? http://www.goarmy.com/about/service-options/enlisted-soldiers-and-o... If this sounds vaguely interesting you might want to visit your nearest Army Aviation National Guard unit to talk with folks about it.
I made some stupid choices about not having a GPA when getting my computer engineering degree. I went back to school for an MBA in another state and got a GA position doing web development. I got picked up by the school and have a career doing web development. The interesting thing is how a lot of the courses apply when dealing with mobile application development and such.
I'm now working full time and going to school part time to get a MS Information Systems degree.
I have found a good work life balance, careers for my wife and I along with a decent place to raise a son.
It is not where we expected to be, but it is what worked out.