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What do/did you do for a living and are you happy?

My son is a senior in High School. Has no idea what he wants to do, or where he wants to go. He is doing his reseach (talking to counselors (ehhh...) and web research). I said I would help by asking others (you are all "others").

So - career advice for the youth of America? Please no "do what you love". He would love to have a family and be able to support it. He knows he will probably need to leave Long Island. He is smart, Ok grades from a decent school. Like building crap and is fairly handy. He is decent with carpentry, electrical, painting, and some skill with tech. He likes to "help people" - but I pointed out the Peace Cores is not paying like it used to (ever...).

Going the route of "do Nassau Community College for two years till he decides on something" seems like a cop out. I push vocational schools with the thought that a job then awaits, but I have little proof that that is really so.

I have had my own business, and know the work that involves - I would not wish it on him. He likes engineering (mechanical), but I'm not sure what kind of work he will find. I mentioned going for PA school, bot not sure he currently has the discipline for loads more school.

So here is your opportunity to give advice and direction. I really want to give him "real world" advice - like "crane operator is a cool gig, but it's a union gig, and you'll never get in without a hook." Better he hears reality now, then 2 or 4 years from now
 

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My advise, especially of late, stay in school and get a degree in something he is passionate it about. Manual labor sucks! I love doing what I do but I hate winters and are prone to injuries!

Eta- it's awesome having a trade to fall back on in my field, you'll need 7-10 years experience to be comfortable calling yourself an electrician.
 

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If you go to a "right-to-work" state, union isn't an issue. What are his hobbies? People are usually drawn to things they have a gift for. Helping people can be anything from an PT, EMT, MD or biomechanical engineer just to name a few. Some jobs are more physically demanding than others. Sometimes the best thing to do is enlist in the military and see where your tests place you. If he's a techno-geek I'd stick with the Air Force or Navy. They have more toys to learn about.
 

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What's he interested in?

I'm almost 24 (graduated last year from Stony Brook University with honors) and have been trying to go the Law Enforcement route for 2 years now. Takes a ridiculous amount of time in this hell hole to get a job in that field.

My advice is to try things out. Hopefully he'll be able to take some classes in a field he finds interesting and make a determination based on that. If he's still conflicted go for a business degree. Although, these days that doesn't seem to help much at all.
 

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What's he interested in?

I'm almost 24 (graduated last year from Stony Brook University with honors) and have been trying to go the Law Enforcement route for 2 years now. Takes a ridiculous amount of time in this hell hole to get a job in that field.
Too many young adults are drawn to NYC for jobs. What they don't realize is how damned expensive it is to exist here or how many of those jobs are crap. People make very good livings in other states too.
It's not what you make that counts, it's what you get to keep.
 

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If you are in business for yourself, can I ask why you wouldn't want that for your son? Perhaps not in the same field, but in the current economic environment, high paying jobs are on the decline. I'm not saying they don't exist, but good jobs that yield disposable income are slowly diminishing, although I have no doubt they will crop up in another arena.
I also am a business owner and to succeed in this economic climate, I think starting or buying a failing business that you have good solid experience in that area, is a great way to make a living and build wealth.
I would have him go to college, get a business/engineering degree, stay with the technical side as it can yield more diversity in job applications, have him go work for a company for a few years, put away his earnings as best he can and give it a go and start up something when he is ready. If his job within the company continues to yield promotion and financial advance to, that option to stay always exists.
I always knew I wanted to be my own boss, it just took about 10 years after college to have the opportunity.
 

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Biomedical engineering

Cyber Security

By the way, I think the Labor Department probably has a study on the jobs that will need people in the near future. You might suggest that to him.

I'm a technical writer for 30+ years and I love it. I became a TW by accident, really, but have been doing it ever since. Worked defense, software, transportation, insurance industries.

Engineering did not interest me, but I like techie things and can understand them. I also have a gift for writing, so that fit in pretty well. My background in school is electronics and computer programming.
 
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Just zis guy, you know?
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Software engineer/team lead here. Happy as a pig in excrement. I work from home most of the week, and my hours are flexible. Usually I work mornings, then take the afternoon off and come back and work in the evening when our team in the Philippines comes online.

If he's good with math and logic, it's definitely worth it. It's definitely a competitive field, but it's one of the few that's pretty much guaranteed to not go away anytime soon. Whatever you do, DO NOT overspend on a degree unless it's from a top level school(MIT, Harvard, etc). Both my B.S. and M.S. are from SUNY schools, and they're just as goon on a resume as any other mid range school. The difference is I got both without a single student loan.
 

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Love my job. Software Developer. Plenty of work. Find something where there is a shortage & you have a passion for the work & he'll have work for years to come. Or, be freaking awesome in whatever he likes & then he'll probably still find plenty of work. You get in trouble if there's nothing distinguishing you from the crowd & labor supply meets or exceeds demand. There will be work in tech for many, many years.
 

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Institutional facilities management . Depending on where you land the pay scale can be average to excellent . The benefits can also be top notch. Smart facilities wish to retain qualified personnel so offering competitive salaries and benefits packages is the way to retain employees. Some also offer tuition reimbursement for employees who wish to pursue degrees . Pretty much every trade is represented . Plumbing, carpentry , paint , refrigeration/ air conditioning , operating engineers, electrical. Year round . Opportunity for advancement to supervisory and management positions. Also can transition to project management , design , upper management . Once in a while apprenticeships and internships also open up which can lead to permanent positions .
 

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If his school offers it, have him try a bookkeeping or Accounting class. I took bookkeeping in HS and it led me to major in Accounting in college. First,before everyone starts in with the "I hate math" nonsense, Accounting is much more about the classification of information that just adding up numbers. Second, a background in accounting can lead to a number of different career paths. The FBI often looks for accountants, I started with my current job as an accountant and because I had some proficiency with computers and networks I transitioned to IT and am now in charge of back office IT for a terrific real estate developer. Among my college classmates and other friends from the profession there are people who work for software developers, financial planners, and one who is a telecom project manager and none of those are doing accounting, though a couple of us are still responsible for accounting software systems.

Accounting gives you a strong foundation in business that lets you move around to other parts of a company. If he's so inclined he can also do side work at tax time, even if he leaves accounting as his career. There's always someone who wants you to do their taxes and I know more than one person who has built their own business as a tax practitioner. Accounting offers versatility.

More important than doing something you love, like everyone always says, try to find a job where you work with people you love. Many of my co-workers are like family to me. I've been here 20 years and have watched as many of them have gotten married, had kids, have had their kids work here. They're going to have to drag me out of here kicking and screaming because I like these people. The work, meh. The people? Pretty damn good and that makes all the difference.

Send him to Nassau then 2 years at a school with a good accounting program. Other then the early 90s when tehre was a glut there is always a demand for people with accounting backgrounds.
 

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stay out of teaching. if i can go back to college, i would chose something else. loved teaching, but the politics made me hate it.

i would also do what i did. stay away from private schools. go to community, city, or SUNY schools. private just costs more. when i hear people complain about student loans, i have ZERO sympathy when they said they went to private and their loans are too high.
 

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Civil service is a good option.
This
I am a supervisor in a school district I love it
I hate to say it
BUT
in 16 years that I have been here I have put in maybe 15 Extremely Hard days worked 2 different 96 hr shifts trying to make sure the schools open on time
1 was because of mold the other was because of a fire
plenty of down time
paid sick personal and vacation + a stupid amount of payed holidays off
 

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Unfortunately I have to somewhat disagree with the stay in school and get a degree in something you're passionate about. Yes, it is great to have a passion for doing what you are going to be doing for the rest of your life BUT that sentiment has to be coupled with the reality of having skills that are in demand now and will continue to be in demand later. When I hear the status regarding college grads that can't get a job then next question has to be what was their major. If your number one passion doesn't pay a living wage find a number two or three that provides economic rewards and will give you time and opportunity to be involved in number one as an avocation.
 

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If he's smart, he should go to med school. Good money, help people, job security.
Not so much for to much longer, Obama haha

I personally like working for me do it as a contractor, fence primarily, the work is terrible and miserable but I always like being my own boss I have trouble with being lead by idiots. I like be the head idiot, no one else to blame.

That said I went back to school for a law degree and will be sworn in next week in ny and hopefully in Texas as of November.

Having gone both routes my only true advise is:
Avoid student loans it's the new slavery.
A degree in business, English teaching is a waste if you plan to stay here they are a dime a dozen and there are thousand way ahead of you in line for all those positions.
A degree in liberal arts, poetry, and any art are worthless everywhere.
Engineers always have job opportunities usually out of state.
Holes always got to be dug, pipes wiring and cars always need to be fixed. Even here in ny

I don't think the trick is to find out what you love and do it the trick is to find out what your good (better then everyone else) at and get paid for it.

If you want to make real money be the best at something. Whatever it is
 
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