Post # 1
I have been stressing over this situation for a while. I’m 20 years old and if I return to university this coming fall then I will be in my senior year as an English major. I left early this past year due to incredible stress. I was in a large city hours away from home where I was not making friends very easily and I was HATING my major classes, which is sad because I’ve always hoped to be a teacher in the field of English.
During my time off I applied to some jobs because I did not consider going straight back to finish up my BA and now I am in the process of being hired for a police dispatcher job with my city. I have not yet heard back from how my background check went but seeing as how I have nothing tarnishing my record, I am still expecting to be offered a position.
Now, I have seem to have forgotten all the stress that I was under this last year as my desire to become a high school English teacher has resurfaced. I am just unsure because I don’t know how I would do in the profession and if I would even be able to find a job, especially one that pays as much as the dispatcher job would right away. The police dispatcher job pays about $50,000.00 a year which is more than the average starting pay for a teacher in my state of California. I know I could try the job out for a year and two and return to school since I can sort of “save my spot” at my university.
I am just so confused and constantly worried about which choice is the right one. Any advice would be very helpful and thank you for reading. 🙂
Post # 3
@caliberry: Hi! OK, so I have a lot of friends that went to school for teaching, and very few of them could get jobs, even 3 years after graduating.
On the other hand, working as a police dispatcher sounds like a great job. The pay is good, and since it’s a government job, you will (most likely) have excellent benefits and a pension. You wouldn’t be a dispatcher forever. You can go to a different job iou can go to almost any state government job in CA and take your pension with you.
Plus, there are CSU’s all over CA. You could totally finish your degree at night, so you could pursue it once there are teaching jobs again. 🙂
Post # 4
I’m in the camp of just grin and bearing it and getting through your undergrad. Yes – you can always go back … but, will you want to go back? You are a year away from finishing and if I were in your shoes, I would just finish.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll actually be an English teacher when you are finished up with school – but, you will have your degree – which will help you with job opportunities in the long run.
Could you do both? Take the job and finish your remaining credits (albeit at a slower pace) at the same time?
Post # 5
@caliberry: like Oracle said, I would grin and bear it through your degree. The longer you wait to finish it, the harder it gets and honestly, most people don’t go back. If you can’t find a teaching job after you graduate, you can fall back on the police dispatcher job.
Post # 6
I would finish your degree. It’s so hard to go back once you leave, and since you’re so close, you wouldn’t want to waste all the time and money you’ve already invested. Finish the degree, then use the dispatcher job as a fall back. Just having a degree opens up multiple avenues to you, even if it’s not in the field you wanted.
Post # 7
Personally, I would take the job. I’m a senior in a special education program (so please know that I’m speaking from a logical standpoint and not with a distaste for teaching), but I still couldn’t justify turning down a job that makes more than the starting teacher salary. IMO, the best thing to do is what oracle suggested and do both simultaneously (even if that means finishing your degree at a slower pace). I know many people who feel that degrees are very important, and I don’t necessarily disagree (obviously since I’m getting mine). However that does not guarantee you a job, and I know many college grads who have not found employment (even though so many doors should have supposedly opened just because they graduated). In this economy more than ever, I feel a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, or, in this case, a current job offer (for more money), is worth more than multiple potential future offers (for less money).
Post # 8
Finish your degree. Being a dispatcher is not a fun job. My Maid/Matron of Honor is a dispatcher and she hates it–a lot of that has to do with the way her department is run, but it’s a very emotionally taxing job. She works nights AND goes to school (and has to work doubles sometimes).
I will say that yes, it does pay well. She bought her own house at 20 and completely renovated it. She’s purchased a couple of cars, as well. However, she and her Fiance postponed their wedding because they couldn’t afford it.
Post # 9
Thank you all for your responses! I guess what worries me most is that I have a very high GPA at one of the best public schools in California where I have yet to pay and will not have to pay for any of my education thanks to financial aid. If I finish my schooling while dispatching then I will have to go to a local CSU instead and pay for 2 years of school since not all of my credits would transfer. (I got to a UC now). I am grateful that I was able to hear about experiences regarding both teaching and dispatching. Thank you all for your advice!
Post # 10
For what it’s worth, I’m sort of in the “take the job” camp. I have a degree in something that I loved, and had/have a lot of interest in, but jobs (at least in my state) are non-existant. Now I’m stuck in a dead end job with a useless degree, trying to pay off my student loans. Almost none of my story is relevant to you, BUT,
I feel like maybe you left school and applied for that job for a reason. Finishing school is a huge accomplishement, and you may regret not doing it and giving it a shot, but if you go back to school and then can’t find a decent paying job, you may regret not taking this opportunity. Then again, you could finish your degree, and get a job in a totally different field. Fates a funny and fickle thing. It’s late, and I’m confusing myself.
I guess what I’m really getting at, is that 50,000 sounds like an impossibly large amount of money to me, because you live in California, and I live in Ohio, and I’m completely jealous that you’re 20 and have this choice and I’m edging towards 30 and had to work 2 back breaking jobs last year to make 17,000.
God, I’m getting bitter, and Its very late, and I need to go to bed.
But for what it’s worth, If I were you, I’d take the job Lol. That’s all I’m trying to say >_<
Post # 11
@caliberry: FREE school?! – stop there! Keep going and rocking the GPA! You are almost done and you can find a job (in any field) next year! The time will fly and you’ll have that degree in your corner!
Post # 12
@caliberry: I understand completely. 🙂 May I ask which city you would take the job in? There are no UC’s nearby? Usually credits are interchangable between CSU and UC. Did you talk to your academic advisor?
Also, is it possible to put your financial aid on hold for a year? Taking the job for a year would enable you to get a pretty nice nest egg! Definitely talk to a financial aid advisor! If you did this, and took some classes at a CSU, you could transfer them over to the UC, and that could be a benefit!
50K jobs just don’t come around easily, especially if you are a liberal arts major! I was a history major, and I left college to take a 45K job at a utilities company. (I now work at a UC for a little less pay, but I have awesome benefits and I’ll get a pension.) I don’t regret it in the least. Sure, I want to finish my degree within the next couple years, but I knew it was going to be difficult getting a job in “the real world,” since there are no teaching jobs. So I took the best opportunity that came along.
I’m sure you’ll make the best decision! Let us know what you decide!