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Thread: I switched majors

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    Is it a marketable degree?
    Probably not so much at the bachelor's level. Forbes just released a report talking about the 10 most undesirable jobs. Anthropology / Archaeology was number one on the list. Most of what I've read states a person isn't marketable until they have at least a Masters, which is what I'm at least going for.

    An anthropology PhD student explained the reason that undergrads are not marketable is because they don't really have a specialty. For instance, the undergrad program at my school has you taking classes on archaeology, linguistics, culture, and animal behavior. This is nice and all, but you really can't use any of this in the real world. It is only when you go onto grad school and chose a focus that you become attractive. Since I'm going to focus on physical anthropology with an emphasis on primates, I could get work as an animal researcher, a field researcher, an animal keeper or behaviorist at a noted zoo, or even a teacher.

  2. #17
    Law school, that great American babysitter for directionless postgrads. - John Grisham

    I'm working on a Bach of Science. Electro-Mechanical engineering to be exact. I was/am and Electrician and that got boring, so I stepped it up a few notches. Now I make robots!

    These days I'm working on a rapable combat oriented android for Bawang. He placed a rather large order. I just hope we meet his deadline. So far I'm having problems coding the yellow dragon counter techniques. But the droid just keeps raping the interns!!!

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ghostexorcist View Post
    Probably not so much at the bachelor's level. Forbes just released a report talking about the 10 most undesirable jobs. Anthropology / Archaeology was number one on the list. Most of what I've read states a person isn't marketable until they have at least a Masters, which is what I'm at least going for.
    I was so pissed off when I finally learned that archaeologists don't get to carry six shooters and a whip. Weak sauce!!! If I can't melt Nazi's, I don't wanna play....!!!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostexorcist View Post
    Probably not so much at the bachelor's level. Forbes just released a report talking about the 10 most undesirable jobs. Anthropology / Archaeology was number one on the list. Most of what I've read states a person isn't marketable until they have at least a Masters, which is what I'm at least going for.

    An anthropology PhD student explained the reason that undergrads are not marketable is because they don't really have a specialty. For instance, the undergrad program at my school has you taking classes on archaeology, linguistics, culture, and animal behavior. This is nice and all, but you really can't use any of this in the real world. It is only when you go onto grad school and chose a focus that you become attractive. Since I'm going to focus on physical anthropology with an emphasis on primates, I could get work as an animal researcher, a field researcher, an animal keeper or behaviorist at a noted zoo, or even a teacher.
    If you're set on going into anthropology, and it is indeed interesting (it was my major at Univ of Maryland before I transferred and switched to biology) I would strongly urge you to consider going the whole way to PhD. This especially if you're going into a research field like primatology. Additionally,what is your minor? You may want to consider switching that to biology or something related to the research you wish to do. Or at least maybe a collateral. Its no longer about just observing outward behavior and such. Primatology now incorporates genetic analysis, physiology and hormonal studies. In areas of applied primatology like in a zoo, you may be required to have some background in conservation biology or some such. I don't know all your goals, but this is a thought. Of course, if you get into a MS or PhD program on whatever your BS currently holds, then this really doesn't matter as you'll then be judged based on your graduate work.

    Which brings my next point. Have you interned yet? If you're looking into grad work, ESP if you're looking into graduate research, you absolutely must have some undergrad research experience to put on your CV. Its not uncommon for people to spend a year or two after undergrad just interning to gain competitive experience. As a non-traditional, with bills and crap to pay, that's probably not an option. So you need to get into zoos or whatever you can, now.

    Lastly, on the PhD, if you want to have any sort of job security, you'll be in the academic world, or forensics but that's not in your area of interest. Those zoo positions are hard to come by in pretty much any science. Anthropology outside of those mainly rests in archaeology or paleontology, and you struggle to eat. Most take contract jobs surveying land for construction and such. Most I know are borderline poverty. I would consider research, esp if its primates you're interested in, and that would likely mean an academic position. And that would mean a PhD.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    I'm working on a Bach of Science. Electro-Mechanical engineering to be exact. I was/am and Electrician and that got boring, so I stepped it up a few notches. Now I make robots!
    That's great, dude. I came back from the sandbox last year and they were looking for EOD robot repair guys. Robots used to locate, detonate roadway IED so that is a growth industry in the 'stan!
    As long as you can find a niche, regardless of degree ten a good match

  6. #21
    Find a job you love, and you never work a day in your life. Right!

    I'm doing some cool stuff with smart automation. Automated recognition and response systems. Most of that is microchips and code tho. What I really have a passion for is the mechanical side. Getting something to stand up, take a step and not fall over takes a TON of work. Not even running jumping etc. Just one step. And having that awareness to know when it has fallen over, what position it is in, how that relates to its environment and lastly, how to correct the problem to achieve its objectives. So much fucking code! lol

    I've seen quite a few new and very unique detection bots lately. They are doing some amazing stuff in the ocean these days. Autonomous bots that can collect data on their own at very inhospitable depths. They surface to recharge and transmit data, receive coordinates to readjust any disorientation etc etc. Really cool stuff.


    In the sandbox, I think patrol should have satellite rovers with specific proximity specs to the vehicle. They can detect IED's, jam RF, break hardwire etc all without being told. Just do it the second it needs to be done. If need be they can sacrifice themselves for you. Send realtime data to the vehicle. Locate targets, tag em, send back the data for confirmation or abortion etc. It sounds like a lot but it's totally doable today.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake View Post
    Regardless of majors, kudos to you for taking advantage of your benefits. I earned my BS downrange in Iraq, got my MS while an intelligence officer, and finished most of my PhD work while deployed. Not a dime owed in student loan debt.

    It irritates me when soldiers never take college while on active duty. They are throwing away free money, and an advantage most college students would give their right arm for.

    So, yeah... good job!
    I had always heard veterans saying that the amount they got for college in like the GI bill and other programs only paid a small amount for their college. It seems like you just explained what they should be doing. Do you know if college while on active duty is fully paid for in all 4 branches of the armed services? Also, like how much weight do those degrees carry compared to a college like Harvard or maybe a University of Arizona? I mean where do the active duty degrees rank?
    I was on the metro earlier, deep in meditation, when a ruffian came over and started causing trouble. He started pushing me with his bag, steadily increasing the force until it became very annoying. When I turned to him, before I could ask him to stop, he immediately started hurling abuse like a scoundrel. I performed a basic chin na - carotid artery strike combination and sent him to sleep. The rest of my journey was very peaceful, and passersby hailed me as a hero - Warrior Man

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faruq View Post
    I had always heard veterans saying that the amount they got for college in like the GI bill and other programs only paid a small amount for their college. It seems like you just explained what they should be doing. Do you know if college while on active duty is fully paid for in all 4 branches of the armed services? Also, like how much weight do those degrees carry compared to a college like Harvard or maybe a University of Arizona? I mean where do the active duty degrees rank?
    GI Bill is not a set monetary amount. Its advertised on TV as XXX money for college, but in reality its adjusted every year as tuition costs increase. The actual amount is equivalent to the hour costs of the highest IN-STATE tuition for a PUBLIC university for the state in which you are attending college. So for example, I went to college in my state of residence after I separated. My university has a lower cost of tuition than the highest in my state, so I actually pocketed a bit more of that money (because its all just sent to the university and overage was calculated into my change check every semester as with grants and such). Also its important to note that college tuition is billed by the semester hour. So the GI Bill is funded accordingly, you are covered for the time it would take to obtain a 4 year degree (not 4 years total, the hours) so 120 hours. This is important because tuition is capped at full time, if you are initiated and are willing to take overage on hours, you can get classes basically for free (whether I took 12, 14 or 16+ the tuition was the same). So you can get classes in that do not count against your pot of funds. This is great because now that money can also be applied to graduate or professional school.

    Combine that with the fact that classes taken on active duty are free and you can make out with money left over for further schooling. And they float you too, if you have even just 1 semester hour left in your budget, they will extend it to the whole semester in which that money is allocated. So really, you can make out ahead if you have some stray hours that didn't get in there. There's no reason anyone should be complaining because they didn't get enough for school.

    Degree authority is really something that people think too much of. Yeah, the Harvards and Yales are great, but you don't need that on your record. That said, it depends on what you're studying. I can't speak for Drake and the IT stuff, not my area. I will say with my degree (Biology with minor in Chem) an online degree or satellite school common for bases is not comparable to a traditional "brick and mortar" education. But that is because there is just too much of a hands on component to my degree. You can learn the principles, but you'll be half retarded without lab experience. Nor will you be marketable to anyone. In fact, most post positions in graduate, professional (med, dental, vet) or careers in the hard sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) require that you take core classes in a traditional setting and require practical experience. So for me, it wasn't even an option. I had to get out to get my degree.
    Last edited by SoCo KungFu; 01-09-2013 at 03:28 PM.

  9. #24
    So how does it work when you're deployed? Do you do an online thing or what? Or is it like an apprenticeship considering people with those skills are most likely already there with you. Do you go thru an institution you plan to go back to? Or do you do it directly thru the military transfer program or whatever? If online, was it just correspondence before???

  10. #25
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    It is better to take advantage of Tuition Assistance while on active duty since you get most, if not all, paid for. I am not up on the Montgomery GI Bill

    I was at BAF in 2010-2011 and there were quite a few active duty personnel taking advantage of tuition asistance but it was still a low percentage who actually finish to get a degree. It also depends on how long you stay where you are because your next duty station will not have the same university presence.

    Webster University, more than most, is well known but it may not have the programme one may be interested in at last duty station

    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7
    So how does it work when you're deployed? Do you do an online thing or what? Or is it like an apprenticeship considering people with those skills are most likely already there with you. Do you go thru an institution you plan to go back to? Or do you do it directly thru the military transfer program or whatever? If online, was it just correspondence before???
    1. You CLEP all you can
    2. DANTES (They conduct most all level of testing for DOD and military personnel)
    3. I worked with alot of USAF personnel and quite a few of them were c-130/AIrframe/Power plant mechanics so since Embry Riddle was at BAF. some credit would be transferable. If in doubt, then CLEP, then specific certificate designation per level of MOS/job position.
    4. If the same person went to Turkey and Embry Riddle was not there, then if applicable, an online course if available. If not, then they will have to wait until they got to an Embry Riddle campus. I know of one person who took 9 years to get a BS degree in electrical engineering but he enetred the Air Force at 18 so that wasn't bad. He just had to skip a few years because his duty station did not have a university presence.
    5. With the new online presence, it would seem to be an improvement but the more technical the equipment, the presence of the educational facility would be mandatory.
    Last edited by mawali; 01-09-2013 at 08:29 PM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    So how does it work when you're deployed? Do you do an online thing or what? Or is it like an apprenticeship considering people with those skills are most likely already there with you. Do you go thru an institution you plan to go back to? Or do you do it directly thru the military transfer program or whatever? If online, was it just correspondence before???
    I was aircrew. Deployment for me meant I was always on the go. I could never take classes. Drake will have to weigh in on that. But basically online through places like Phoenix University would be likely.
    Last edited by SoCo KungFu; 01-09-2013 at 09:25 PM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mawali View Post
    It is better to take advantage of Tuition Assistance while on active duty since you get most, if not all, paid for. I am not up on the Montgomery GI Bill

    I was at BAF in 2010-2011 and there were quite a few active duty personnel taking advantage of tuition asistance but it was still a low percentage who actually finish to get a degree. It also depends on how long you stay where you are because your next duty station will not have the same university presence.

    Webster University, more than most, is well known but it may not have the programme one may be interested in at last duty station


    1. You CLEP all you can
    2. DANTES (They conduct most all level of testing for DOD and military personnel)
    3. I worked with alot of USAF personnel and quite a few of them were c-130/AIrframe/Power plant mechanics so since Embry Riddle was at BAF. some credit would be transferable. If in doubt, then CLEP, then specific certificate designation per level of MOS/job position.
    4. If the same person went to Turkey and Embry Riddle was not there, then if applicable, an online course if available. If not, then they will have to wait until they got to an Embry Riddle campus. I know of one person who took 9 years to get a BS degree in electrical engineering but he enetred the Air Force at 18 so that wasn't bad. He just had to skip a few years because his duty station did not have a university presence.
    5. With the new online presence, it would seem to be an improvement but the more technical the equipment, the presence of the educational facility would be mandatory.
    This is only for certain degrees. Honestly, for anything science related CLEP and DANTES are the absolute worst thing you can do. Med schools don't even accept CLEP hours. Graduate schools couldn't care less unless you have some documented research experience to go with your coursework, and even that's a stretch. If you're one of the 9 million going into the cookie cutter business management degrees that soldiers seem to think is worth something, then maybe. For anything more rigorous, your best bet is to avoid CLEP as much as possible because higher education doesn't care about tests that let you skip coursework and practical experience, and doesn't count toward your GPA. Even the military's med school disregards CLEP.

    Honestly, I find these online degrees to be somewhat predatory. Military personnel jump on them for job progression but frankly, most mean next to nothing in the civilian world. The better programs like bootstrap, which used to let you apply to be pulled from duty to go to school full time while receiving rank pay, still required you to have a certain majority of hours in a traditional setting. These online gigs seem mostly for people that want to do their 20 years then retire, unless you're in something like computer technology or some such.
    Last edited by SoCo KungFu; 01-09-2013 at 09:35 PM.

  13. #28
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    You seem to be aware of various tools available but my comments were not meant to be a reflection of every possible major. It is highly improbable that someone would be going through medical school during a deployment!

    With airframe mechanics, power plant, etc one could get a certificate per the area of specialty but again completing most of not all during a deployemnt is just not feasible. It would definately be MOS specific.
    I personally used to tell personnel to stay away from online institutions because as you indicate, they are predatory. A DoD report recently stated this.
    Webster University, Embry Riddle Aeronatical University, Loyola University, (NOLA), Tulane (NOLA) Delgado Communnty College (NOLA-just outside the gate of Naval Support Activity, Algiers, LA-stationed there 20 years ago

    It makes sense that if you are going to be an engineer, you go the traditional route. I woul dbe skeptical of any online MD stated programme!

  14. #29
    I would not recommend any engineer take online courses. Ever. I'm not into medicine, but I feel comfortable saying the same thing for it. As far as things directly military or completely covered in the skills used in the military, why not? The whole exercise is somewhat of an apprenticeship anyways. May as well get as much credit in your field as you can.

    thanx for the info, interesting. As I suspected it's very subjective and some weird piecemeal structure. Which I totally understand. I would have been genuinely surprised if it wasn't. Ofcourse that's just for deployment, at home would be something else, no doubt. So are there any or many military universities on the homeland? When stationed in places like Germany can you go to their schools for credit? If so, how but in Qatar, they have at least one GREAT school that I know of?

  15. #30
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    I am aware that Northwestern University has a Qatari campus and more US universities are taking advantage of the New Spring.

    I am not familiar with Germany but since Belgium is Hq for SHAPE, they have excellent local military friendly universities. The better strategy for Europe is to check to see if and what percentage of credits will be accepted but you will have to also know the school you intend to transfer to since each school has their own criteria of what to accept.

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