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Making Money

Making Money
October 15, 2011, 12:19:33 AM
Seeing all of these losers in the "99 percent" who went to college and "did everything they were supposed to," but only ended up with a giant amount of debt to pay off has got me thinking about how I'm going to have a steady source of income after college. I am currently a music performance major (classical guitar) and think I will need to learn how to do something else as well in order to make a decent living, especially with the way the world is heading. I haven't taken out any loans at this point, though.

I've thought about double majoring, but I'm not sure which majors would be useful in the job market (obviously nothing in liberal arts). Any recommendations? Also, I know that a lot of you have expressed that college is a waste of time in preparing for a career, so what alternatives are there for young, Hessian Warriors of Death like myself? How do you guys make (or plan on making) money?

Re: Making Money
October 15, 2011, 02:12:42 AM
Whether a degree is required depends on the career that you are aiming for. Nothing is a waste of time if you are able to learn something from it.

If you are the kind of person for it then you might consider Computer Science/Software Engineering. Some pros and cons from personal experience:
- can be very rewarding as programming is an art that takes decades to master
- you will run into and work with people much brighter than yourself
- the pay is good
- relatively few female co-workers
- you can leverage the skills which you hone at work every day to create Skynet in your free time
- it is not physical work, so you will need to exercise your body in your free time

Interestingly, a lot of the computer programmers that I know are also into musical theory and create their own music.

Re: Making Money
October 15, 2011, 03:46:35 AM
Whether a degree is required depends on the career that you are aiming for. Nothing is a waste of time if you are able to learn something from it.

If you are the kind of person for it then you might consider Computer Science/Software Engineering. Some pros and cons from personal experience:
- can be very rewarding as programming is an art that takes decades to master
- you will run into and work with people much brighter than yourself
- the pay is good
- relatively few female co-workers
- you can leverage the skills which you hone at work every day to create Skynet in your free time
- it is not physical work, so you will need to exercise your body in your free time

Interestingly, a lot of the computer programmers that I know are also into musical theory and create their own music.

I am actually going into that direction.

Re: Making Money
October 15, 2011, 04:29:51 AM
You'll want maximum income for minimum specific education. I assume you can get computing and engineering work with only a bachelor's, so these are good areas. Economics and business should be excellent money wise, and can be worked into with a variety of skill sets.

Re: Making Money
October 15, 2011, 11:30:24 AM
You'll want maximum income for minimum specific education. I assume you can get computing and engineering work with only a bachelor's, so these are good areas. Economics and business should be excellent money wise, and can be worked into with a variety of skill sets.

And if you do go into a economics/business related profession, there's a better chance of meeting a decent female (two birds with one stone and all...). It really is true that female co-workers are pretty scant in the IT industry. However you may prefer not to Shit Where You Eat (SWYE). In which case go for computing: pay's good, and you'll mostly find geeky girls with self-esteem issues (or worse, nerd-power mania...) :-)

Alternatively, you may consider starting a non-degenerate business. There are always opportunities if you have, or are willing to gain, some entrepreneurial know-how. Examples are organic/local food stores/restaurants, book/music stores, or even something in computer service, if it's done with integrity (and ain't complete garbage, like being an Apple reseller). Admittedly it is quite tough to get a business going, especially in competitive industries like food, computing etc, but on a smaller, local scale, there are opportunities for those who wish to go that direction (and aren't concerned with making enormous profits off morons).

Re: Making Money
October 16, 2011, 04:14:58 AM
I have two degrees and I am a teacher now. Although completing both degrees was intellectually and spiritually painful , teaching itself has been great. I get to positively influence students and I am having an impact on the future. Teaching is also a great way to furtively subdue the system.......

Customer service is also okay- serving at a fine dinning restaurant can certainly pay the bills while leaving ample oppurtunity for more important pursuits.

Re: Making Money
October 18, 2011, 03:12:59 PM

And if you do go into a economics/business related profession, there's a better chance of meeting a decent female (two birds with one stone and all...). It really is true that female co-workers are pretty scant in the IT industry. However you may prefer not to Shit Where You Eat (SWYE). In which case go for computing: pay's good, and you'll mostly find geeky girls with self-esteem issues (or worse, nerd-power mania...) :-)

Not to mention, there are less NT's in computing (ESPECIALLY software, e.g., Comp. Sci, Comp, Eng.), so spergin' out is totally acceptable.

In all seriousness, if you are an introvert (or to a more extreme, schizoid), someone who dislikes going to school for long, and one who seeks a bit of self-sacrifice in the present for better prospective future income, then computing is the way to go; also, the average IQ of those who go into computer science and such fields are just as high as those of doctors (even though doctors spend way more time in school; drown in more debt; and work harder -- haha, suckers). You are more than likely going to find other compatible folk within that field. And if you don't, it's not so much a problem, because you don't need great social skills for such a profession.

Re: Making Money
October 18, 2011, 04:00:04 PM
And for those who do not wish to upstart yet another needless business or piss away hours staring at a computer screen forskaing the beauty of the world, there remains little options. Working in the engineering field has me "enjoying" 9 hours of white walls and CAD models. Let's not forget documents documents documents. The work is challenging and rewarding at times, however it's hard to shake the feeling that I am pissing away the remainder of my youth. Despite the excellent pay and high standard of living I enjoy as a result.

Re: Making Money
October 18, 2011, 04:43:07 PM
And for those who do not wish to upstart yet another needless business or piss away hours staring at a computer screen forsaking the beauty of the world, there remains little options.

This is my biggest concern with heading in the computer-based direction. For this reason, I hope to work nearby a notable wilderness destination so that I'll be able to have outdoor excursions on the weekends.

Another positive aspect of computing is that the freedom to put on headphones and listen to music often accompanies this type of work environment, at least from what I've heard. Perhaps this may alleviate the issue of being so cooped up and immobile. A little Slayer to keep our sanity.

Re: Making Money
October 18, 2011, 08:07:29 PM
And for those who do not wish to upstart yet another needless business or piss away hours staring at a computer screen forsaking the beauty of the world, there remains little options.

This is my biggest concern with heading in the computer-based direction. For this reason, I hope to work nearby a notable wilderness destination so that I'll be able to have outdoor excursions on the weekends.

Another positive aspect of computing is that the freedom to put on headphones and listen to music often accompanies this type of work environment, at least from what I've heard. Perhaps this may alleviate the issue of being so cooped up and immobile. A little Slayer to keep our sanity.

It doesn't help. If anything, listening to slayer or brahms motivated me to get up and leave more than anything else. I stopped bringing headphones to the office. I live near mountains and a plateau/nature reserve. True woods are about a good hours drive from where I live. There are plenty of small forests, but they are surrounded by homes.

Re: Making Money
October 18, 2011, 08:29:25 PM

My personal experience (from 3 years on software dev ) :

Everything said here is pretty much correct: I can listen to music almost all day, i also have to work out a lot ( its very sedentary), pay is good, very few females coworkers  and i have crossed paths with a lot of smart people.
Also , its very bussines oriented , you become a code slave and work lots of hours, even thought i love the job, sometimes i wish i have a work that would make a real positive impact on the world around me, not all bussiness/office.

Hope this is usefull somehow.

JTA

Re: Making Money
October 18, 2011, 10:37:59 PM
And for those who do not wish to upstart yet another needless business or piss away hours staring at a computer screen forsaking the beauty of the world, there remains little options.

This is my biggest concern with heading in the computer-based direction. For this reason, I hope to work nearby a notable wilderness destination so that I'll be able to have outdoor excursions on the weekends.

Another positive aspect of computing is that the freedom to put on headphones and listen to music often accompanies this type of work environment, at least from what I've heard. Perhaps this may alleviate the issue of being so cooped up and immobile. A little Slayer to keep our sanity.

Luckily my company offers twenty five days PTO per year in addition to the ten holidays we have off, so that makes sitting in an office all day much more bearable. Living in upstate SC means I'm less than an hours drive to the blue ridge mountains which allows me to take frequent hiking/backpacking trips literally almost every weekend during the spring and summer. The cost of living is relatively cheap around here so earning the salary of a software developer is another substantial plus.

Re: Making Money
October 20, 2011, 10:16:14 AM
The fact is that most jobs are a waste of time, particularly those that pay good money. I worked as an attorney at a commercial law firm for 4 years and although the money was good and the work challenging, I hated it and most of my colleagues by the time I left.

In case Law was something you were considering, here are the reasons that it sucks:-

1. Lawyers are parasites. I remember that there is a passage in William Gibson's Neuromancer where Case states that the purpose of all middle men is to make themselves a necessary evil - this describes lawyers perfectly. No one likes them or wants to have them around - you seek their advice because you know that the cunt on the other side has done the same. They feed off businesses by navigating clients through all the minefields that lawyers themselves have created. You get to settle a big deal for your clients - yay! They probably feel that they could have done it twice as quickly had the lawyers not started poking their fingers into it.

2. It suits people with a wary, risk averse attitude. It's no surprise that women are gradually taking over the profession. We would prepare massive due diligence reports for clients, filling it with stuff they will never read but we have to put in there because it could potentially cause a problem by some infinitesimally small quirk of fate (did I mention that most lawyer's #1 priority is to cover their own ass?). I have literally spent days compiling due diligence reports that the client read maybe 5% of at most.

3. You get to surround yourself with other lawyers which generally means people consumed by ambition, greed, fear and self loathing.

I don't really have much meaningful advice to offer you to be honest but just make sure that whatever you choose to do, it provides you with some meaningful goals and some scope for personal development (and not the B.S. kind HR gets you to write about in your annual review).

Re: Making Money
October 20, 2011, 02:26:41 PM
My parents were both programmers at one point, though what they do now could best be described as project management. Tedious work with vacuous, self-possessed drones and an occasional sense of satisfaction with the outcomes after having completed a large project. But my father is at home all the time (ie. miserable) because he hated dealing with people and my mother comes home drained from the negativity of other miserable office drones and aggressive bosses. Of course, there is a certain degree of perspective involved in not allowing yourself to succumb to negativity and depression when you are around incompetence and greed, but nonetheless it makes one pause for thought and consider not going the same route.

At first, I had set my eye on jazz guitar (a short and cursory phase that I outgrew after I had been rejected from university, rediscovered my love for classical and then had to figure out what I really could do), and then I did a general year of Liberal Arts courses (mostly). I would have avoided this, but it turns out that a certain amount of Liberal Arts credits are mandatory for graduation. It put a new perspective on the state of the education system for me, as I could neither relate to the material most of the time, or when I did, it was fleeting and returned to drudgery and boredom. It wasn't entirely useless, but might as well have been for the amount of money that I paid for courses that I could have easily taught myself had I scoured the internet or read a book about the subjects. In my 2nd year, I decided I'd attempt to major in Anthropology, but let myself resort to pleasures and self-pity, which eventually resulted in a lack of motivation to do anything for long periods of time which then turned into depression. And since then I've recommitted to a field that I find will be both stimulating, productive and lucrative: Biotechnology. Conservation Ecology sounded nice and fuzzy too (which is a branch off specialty from Biology rather than the Liberal alternative of Environmental 'Science'), but Biotechnology seems all around more pertinent to modernity.

Just my 2 cents. I presume after I've finished the degree and start looking for real work, I'll have a more thorough perspective.

Re: Making Money
October 22, 2011, 05:22:56 AM
I majored in education, taught and found it depressing and stressful. Now I'm teaching myself web programming and taking some related coursework in the evenings. I think the freelance, work-from-home lifestyle of a web developer is much more suited to my personality.