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Non-Technical Entry Level Jobs These Days.

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by bluemagic, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Modern Day Adonis

    Modern Day Adonis Well-Known Member

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    Farming is definitely something I'd avoid, the entry costs are ridiculous. However, if I were going to farm I'd definitely farm organically. That is where the market is going and the potential to make a lot of money is much higher there. The downside is that it costs more to farm, the yield is lower, and you have to have the field clear of pesticides/herbicides for 3 years in order to be certified organic. It's definitely hard work and isn't something you're likely going to make much money from. The equipment, land, and labor are going to cost you some serious money. Getting a job on a farm would/should be relatively easy. If you just want to work as a farmhand there are plenty of farms who'd take you. You'll work hard and long hours and you won't end up making much money, maybe $10+ an hour depending on who you work for. I made $10 an hour when I worked on the farm.
    You people all sound like upwardly mobile young professionals.
    Glad you've noticed, but I'm only upwardly mobile when I'm on my Deere.
     
  2. gnatty8

    gnatty8 Senior member

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    Quants (math/physics/engineering undergrads) can get risk analysis and quantitative trading jobs at firms with some ease.


    Speaking from personal experience, most engineers make very lousy quants. There are a number of reasons I believe this to be true.
     
  3. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    Speaking from personal experience, most engineers make very lousy quants. There are a number of reasons I believe this to be true.

    Feel free to elaborate.
     
  4. gnatty8

    gnatty8 Senior member

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    Feel free to elaborate.

    Engineering tends to be about the certain, risk and quantitative finance tends to be about the uncertain. The engineers I have encountered in the space tend to be most comfortable thinking inside the box, within the confines of rules and proven relationships, whereas success in the area of quantitative finance requires a great deal of unconventional thinking.
     
  5. L.R.

    L.R. Senior member

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    In Canada, the military is rather difficult to get into these days. Infantry (non-officer) has a huge wait.
     
  6. fathergll

    fathergll Well-Known Member

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    Downsides are that there's no real barrier to entry (licensing, certs, degrees, etc) so the industry is a free-for-all. It's highly dependent on reputation and experience (that quickly becomes obsolete). You're only as good as your last project.
    Thats a HUGE problem with the tech industry. Theres no protection and no standards. Its a complete and utter mess. Thats where something like the Health Care industry excels at. It keeps guys from foreign countries from coming over and taking jobs without any effort. For example(I read this) a guy who was a doctor in China ended up becoming a DBA when he moved to the U.S. because it was much easier and faster to buy books and exams for that then to go through the process of trying to meet the requirements of practicing Medicine in the U.S.(This is when the IT boom was still going). You can't just come over from a foreign country and practice medicine. However you can come over and do anything in the Tech field. Thats a big problem. Thats why there is a ridiculous amount of Indians over in the U.S. right now with H1B visas taking tons of tech positions. These visas allow U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Basically a Computer Science degree from India holds the same weight as one from the U.S. A Nursing degree from India is worthless here unless the international RN’s training program at least meets the US‘s minimum educational requirement for registered nursing.
    Another reason to get out. IT is viewed as purely an expense by management and they want to outsource it as much as can be. I sure as hell would be wary of trying to make a career as a programmer in this day and age when those jobs are going to be outbid by some hot shot programmer kid in eastern Europe making virtually nothing. Anything that can be done remotely will be in danger of being outsourced. DBAs, System Analysts, some Networking, Programmers...etc I would highly caution anyone thinking about going into IT now(Unless you truly have a love for it). It is an unforgiving field filled with a lot of burnt out programmers that can't find work because they couldn't keep up with the times. Unless you get into a management position you are essentially doomed as you age. A Lawyer who's 60 years old is respected because of the knowledge hes gained over the years. A 60 year old programmer is usually looked down on as some outdated old guy who should have moved on to something else. Also lets not forget the sheer problem as you will always have to be learning new programs whereas in other fields you actually build upon you knowledge. Most jobs in IT they want 5+ years in a multiple applications. And every job has some variation with some odd ball application you never even heard.
     
  7. fathergll

    fathergll Well-Known Member

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    Healthcare: One of my clients is a very large hospital chain. They are turning record profits, never stopped hiring and are continuing to expand. They're not particularly worried about healthcare reform (which looks like it's stalled for a few years anyway). Ground level medical (nursing, techs, etc) market is flooded thanks to for-profit diploma mills, but marketing/admin side of things seems to be going great. Usual path is to enter as a marketing rep (see account exec above) and climb the ladder. Healthcare marketing is definitely a specialized industry.


    Its definitely a regional thing. RNs are in huge demand in certain areas.

    The big thing now is nurse anesthetists. I was reading an article of Doctors complaining because nurse anesthetists are making more money than they are. Basically you need a B.S. in nursing, be a licensed registered nurse (RN), and have at least one year of critical-care nursing experience. Then the program is 2-3 years.

    I sure as hell don't know of any Oracle certs that are going to get me close to $200,000 a year. Maybe if Im a superstar contractor with 10+ years in every technology under the sun than I might bank around $120,000. You would have to have years and years of experience in a high level management type of roll in IT to even dream of getting that salary and I personally know someone under 30 whos already completed the anesthetist program. That same guy doesn't have a the slighest clue about how to go about running a clean install of Windows, but I guess he doesnt need to


     
  8. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    Nobody seems to want to get into the sciences.
     
  9. bluemagic

    bluemagic Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    on a more serious note, any young person not acquiring programming skills by the time they leave school is doing themselves a serious disservice and/or potentially self-selecting out of the job market for this century. as far as i can tell, programming remains by the best risk/reward career path. if you're good at sales, that is potentially more valuable but higher risk


    I regret not learning some programming in college.

    Merrill did it for a friend of mine (about 8 years ago). I also can't stress internships enough. That's how I ended up with my job, and I probably wouldn't have had a shot at getting if I wasn't in the right place at the right time when the internship was available.

    The problem is that I know what's important, but that I can't get achieve it.

    I can only speak for military - officer candidate school - and it's more difficult than it ever has been. They weren't having problems meeting quotas before this whole thing, now they are in the cat bird seat even more. 3.5+ GAP, documented leadership experience, excellent test scores, excellent interviews/appraisals, no trouble with the law. The quality of applicant is stunning. HOWEVER, 3.0 types STILL do get in. I went to Navy OCS with a pilot contract with less than a 3.5(although I had top 5% test scores).

    As for enlisting..if you're a decent student and no law problems you wont have trouble enlisting. Again, HOWEVER, the more desirable problems are increasingly competitive. These are the ones that will offer you 100k check after 5 years to resign(read: language, some intel, NUKE!) Not everyone gets what they want anymore.


    Sucks how hard it is.

    OP are you in college now? Finishing high school and working out what next? Have a kid of that age? Where you at boy?

    I am a law student with middling grades at a "top" law school who is "exploring his options" (I have paid summer work, but do not have the traditional 2L summer job that would lead to permanent work). I am very open-minded, probably too open-minded.

    My work is in web development so it's an odd mix of advertising, software development and business. It's flexible in that I can work for a Fortune 500 company, a small agency where everyone wears flipflops to work, freelance for small businesses, consult for large ones, build a product/app, etc.

    Downsides are that there's no real barrier to entry (licensing, certs, degrees, etc) so the industry is a free-for-all. It's highly dependent on reputation and experience (that quickly becomes obsolete). You're only as good as your last project.

    On the plus side you can earn as much as you have the balls to ask for/sell, and you can practically write your own job description (provided you can find a client who needs your combination of services).

    On the industries above:

    IT: Low level is drying up (outsourcing, shift to the cloud, automation) but the mid and upper ends are doing great. People skills and communication are way more valuable than implementation skills. There's major shortages of highly skilled people (both on the tech and management sides). Most of the knowledge is self-taught (as the industry moves so fast) but my compsci-related degree is definitely useful for getting a foot in the door, and the fundamentals help you learn and adapt very quickly. In some ways technology is getting easier, in many ways it's getting way more complex. Certs are OK for entry level jobs and for entry level clients but won't help with management positions or teach you anything you can't learn yourself. Certain high-end certs are highly valuable (SQL DBA ones and Cisco ones) but I'm guessing you're talking more about A+/MCSE.

    Most tech people seem to start in tech support or freelance, then climb the ranks as an implementer before making a jump to management around the middle of their career. You can choose to stick at the implementation end if you enjoy it, but there's definitely a ceiling and it's tougher to make the big $$. Changing company every 2-3 years is a good way to jump up the ranks/pay grades.

    Advertising: I work with a couple of agencies and they're always doing well. Again, low level is tough, high level (conceptual thinking, branding etc) is hard to find and very well compensated. Account exec is a good way of getting into the industry; you handle the communication with the client and pass it on to the internal team. It's a good way of getting to learn the processes. I know a number of account execs who have gone on to start their own agencies. Agencies tend to scale up and down with the economy (ie. if you're not essential you get cut at the first sign of trouble), they're the first to cut (as their clients stop spending) but the first to recover (as clients want to ride the wave back up).

    Healthcare: One of my clients is a very large hospital chain. They are turning record profits, never stopped hiring and are continuing to expand. They're not particularly worried about healthcare reform (which looks like it's stalled for a few years anyway). Ground level medical (nursing, techs, etc) market is flooded thanks to for-profit diploma mills, but marketing/admin side of things seems to be going great. Usual path is to enter as a marketing rep (see account exec above) and climb the ladder. Healthcare marketing is definitely a specialized industry.

    Once America completely stops manufacturing anything all that's going to be left is selling things to each other, and making sure we are well enough to consume them... from that perspective, healthcare marketing is a winner [​IMG]


    Interesting. Thanks.

    You people all sound like upwardly mobile young professionals.

    I would kill to be a downwardly mobile fallen aristocrat.

    Farming is definitely something I'd avoid, the entry costs are ridiculous. However, if I were going to farm I'd definitely farm organically. That is where the market is going and the potential to make a lot of money is much higher there. The downside is that it costs more to farm, the yield is lower, and you have to have the field clear of pesticides/herbicides for 3 years in order to be certified organic.

    It's definitely hard work and isn't something you're likely going to make much money from. The equipment, land, and labor are going to cost you some serious money. Getting a job on a farm would/should be relatively easy. If you just want to work as a farmhand there are plenty of farms who'd take you. You'll work hard and long hours and you won't end up making much money, maybe $10+ an hour depending on who you work for. I made $10 an hour when I worked on the farm.



    Glad you've noticed, but I'm only upwardly mobile when I'm on my Deere.


    Interesting. Thanks.

    Thats a HUGE problem with the tech industry. Theres no protection and no standards. Its a complete and utter mess.

    Thats where something like the Health Care industry excels at. It keeps guys from foreign countries from coming over and taking jobs without any effort. For example(I read this) a guy who was a doctor in China ended up becoming a DBA when he moved to the U.S. because it was much easier and faster to buy books and exams for that then to go through the process of trying to meet the requirements of practicing Medicine in the U.S.(This is when the IT boom was still going).

    You can't just come over from a foreign country and practice medicine. However you can come over and do anything in the Tech field. Thats a big problem. Thats why there is a ridiculous amount of Indians over in the U.S. right now with H1B visas taking tons of tech positions. These visas allow U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.

    Basically a Computer Science degree from India holds the same weight as one from the U.S. A Nursing degree from India is worthless here unless the international RN's training program at least meets the US"˜s minimum educational requirement for registered nursing.




    Another reason to get out. IT is viewed as purely an expense by management and they want to outsource it as much as can be. I sure as hell would be wary of trying to make a career as a programmer in this day and age when those jobs are going to be outbid by some hot shot programmer kid in eastern Europe making virtually nothing. Anything that can be done remotely will be in danger of being outsourced. DBAs, System Analysts, some Networking, Programmers...etc

    I would highly caution anyone thinking about going into IT now(Unless you truly have a love for it). It is an unforgiving field filled with a lot of burnt out programmers that can't find work because they couldn't keep up with the times. Unless you get into a management position you are essentially doomed as you age. A Lawyer who's 60 years old is respected because of the knowledge hes gained over the years. A 60 year old programmer is usually looked down on as some outdated old guy who should have moved on to something else. Also lets not forget the sheer problem as you will always have to be learning new programs whereas in other fields you actually build upon you knowledge. Most jobs in IT they want 5+ years in a multiple applications. And every job has some variation with some odd ball application you never even heard.


    Thanks. I think you idealize law too much, though! It only *used* to be that way.

    Nobody seems to want to get into the sciences.

    I wasn't good enough then. Is it too late now?
     
  10. bluemagic

    bluemagic Senior member

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    Add to the list:

    Actuary
    HR
    Foreign Service Officer
    Sales
     
  11. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    Sunny Saigon
    I am a law student with middling grades at a "top" law school who is "exploring his options" (I have paid summer work, but do not have the traditional 2L summer job that would lead to permanent work).
    ok...a few thoughts. I work in PR...which I am not saying is for everyone. In fact, some days, I am pretty sure it is not for anyone...but I will say that one of the things that has happened in my industry is that the competitive nature of the agencies has led to them looking toward forming dedicated practice groups. Essentially looking for doctors and pharmacologists and biology grads to work in health care practices (for example) because they speak the language of the client. I recently had lunch with the GM of a very large company in the milk industry, and learned that almost all of his marketing team were ex-doctors. I found this interesting. Anyhow, I don't know of PR firms with a legal practice, but there surely are. Probably a matter of where in the world you live, but the point isn't 'go work in PR' it's 'go find companies that sell services to law firms' so your legal training is an asset to them. You will find this training to be a key differentiator on your CV from the typical applicants that these firms get. Go look in the what did you study for thread at my post there, and you will see that this is basically what I did myself as a grad. Tweaked my study to the needs of the market, and sold it to the agencies as a differentiating factor from the legions of comms grads they were getting. Ponder that, but more importantly, on to this....
    ya, no offence intended at all here mate, but I agree with this. If you are mid way through a law degree and pondering nursing, engineering, geology, and accounting, there is clearly an issue you face with direction. I know this is exactly not what you want to answer in this thread, given that you are just throwing the net out wide and seeing what comes in, but what do you actually enjoy doing? May be a good idea to start this dialogue with what's in you rather than what's out there. What would you do on the weekend even if it didn't pay you? As a borderline related side note, everyone should watch this video on human motivations by the way...the 'even if it didn't pay you thing reminded me of it. Watch it. Now...
    IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later. I AGREE

    TIP: to embed Youtube clips, put only the encoded part of the Youtube URL, e.g. eBGIQ7ZuuiU between the tags.
     
  12. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I think being a luxury magazine editor could be a fun position for a young person these days.
     
  13. v0rtex

    v0rtex Senior member

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    Orlando, FL
    Thats a HUGE problem with the tech industry. Theres no protection and no standards. Its a complete and utter mess.

    Agree there.

    But is that just because IT is the only major industry to have started during the first wave of globalization? The IT/tech industry is barely 30 years old - medicine, accounting, law have hundreds or thousands of years of precedent to build on, from a time where protectionism was not only acceptable but practical (no way to build an international standard for nursing when the only communication is via telegram).

    Other professions are going to start looking more like IT, not the other way around.

    There is no such thing as the "default middle class" option any more, where you can get a degree, show up to some office for 40 hours a week every 40 years, support a family and retire with a pension. That idea worked for maybe 2 generations during a huge post-war boom (with marginal tax rates of up to 90%), now it's gone forever. The boomers are freaking out about it because it was what they were promised, but the upcoming generation has never even considered it to be an option. If you want that, you need to work your ass off to create that position for yourself and maintain it. We are all entrepreneurs now, whether we like it or not.

    Agree about programming. But then you wouldn't want to become a TV repairman either. Both are becoming more abstract and the low-level tech is becoming a black box (quite literally, there are no repairable components on a smartphone or netbook and the DMCA means it's now illegal to decompile software to figure out how it works).

    The problem with outsourcing is communication. IT is already a highly technical field that most execs do not understand. Most of the execs I work with do not even know what it is they want and there's a long requirements eliciting process to figure that out. Just as important as finding out what execs really need is finding out what they think they want want that is unnecessary.

    Add to that a large cultural/language barrier and successful outsourcing becomes very difficult. Where it does work is when there is someone in the middle who can speak to both worlds; the ability to elicit requirements from the executive level, communicate them to the technical team and then review the technical work to make sure it's not a total cock up.

    In the long run, wages will reach parity - arbitrage is always temporary. This is already happening with India, where the wage gap is closing every year. Globalization is not the big issue in the long run. The big long term issues are that workers are becoming disposable short-term contractors across all industries, and that the bulk of the old middle class is being automated out of existence (file clerks? secretaries? typists?).

    IT/tech's drawbacks are also it's strengths. If you're self-motivated, entrepreneurial and can sell yourself then there's almost unlimited potential.

    You can potentially start a company in your garage and have it become the next Google or Facebook. Hard to do that with medicine unless you want to get arrested or have a few million in capital. Those may be the outliers but there are a large number of niche software businesses/web apps that make their owners a very livable income.

    It is not difficult to make over six figures in IT/tech if you put in the same number of hours it takes to make that much in similar fields. I can't think of any industries with a lower barrier to entry where those earnings are possible.
     
  14. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    I think being a luxury magazine editor could be a fun position for a young person these days.

    Those jobs are just SO easy to come by.
     
  15. fathergll

    fathergll Well-Known Member

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    But is that just because IT is the only major industry to have started during the first wave of globalization? The IT/tech industry is barely 30 years old - medicine, accounting, law have hundreds or thousands of years of precedent to build on, from a time where protectionism was not only acceptable but practical (no way to build an international standard for nursing when the only communication is via telegram).
    Well that exactly is the reason, theres no history to it. Its evolving at a incredible rate with no boundaries. As you pointed out it has its pros and cons. Theres a lot of cons for the typical kid who was brainwashed into thinking "I go to college, earn Bachelors in tech field and everything will fall into place for me neatly" Not the case. Biggest problem is simply "Temporary nature of knowledge capital" "It’s temporary because the powers that be keep changing the languages and tools that programmers need to do their jobs. In nearly all other professions, knowledge capital increases as you grow older because you keep learning more about your field. But in computer programming, the old knowledge becomes completely obsolete and useless. No one cares if you know how to program in COBOL for example. It’s completely useless knowledge. Because of the temporary nature of the knowledge capital, computer programmers quickly reach a stage in their career when their old knowledge capital becomes worthless at the same rate as they acquire knew knowledge capital. Their total knowledge capital is no longer increasing, so neither does their salary increase. They have reached the dead end plateau of their career, and it happens after less than ten years in the field. " http://www.halfsigma.com/2007/03/why_a_career_in.html
    Agreed. Thats typical as the world becomes a smaller place and the mighty U.S. empire continues to fall back down on par with the rest of the planet. But unfortunately for those in the tech industry they are experiencing this pretty hard now.
     
  16. mkarim

    mkarim Senior member

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    IT (get a certification at the local community college/state u?)

    IT is a constantly evolving field. It is important to get a bachelor's degree in CS, get an entry-level job and then keep upgrading your skills and getting certifications. Your certifications will become outdated almost as fast as the technologies they addressed. Unless you enjoy learning new things regularly, this is the wrong field for you. If you do enjoy regular upgrading of skills, this field offers almost unparalled opportunities to earn a very good living.
     
  17. mkarim

    mkarim Senior member

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    There is no such thing as the "default middle class" option any more, where you can get a degree, show up to some office for 40 hours a week every 40 years, support a family and retire with a pension. That idea worked for maybe 2 generations during a huge post-war boom (with marginal tax rates of up to 90%), now it's gone forever. The boomers are freaking out about it because it was what they were promised, but the upcoming generation has never even considered it to be an option. If you want that, you need to work your ass off to create that position for yourself and maintain it. We are all entrepreneurs now, whether we like it or not.

    The problem with outsourcing is communication. IT is already a highly technical field that most execs do not understand. Most of the execs I work with do not even know what it is they want and there's a long requirements eliciting process to figure that out. Just as important as finding out what execs really need is finding out what they think they want want that is unnecessary.

    Add to that a large cultural/language barrier and successful outsourcing becomes very difficult. Where it does work is when there is someone in the middle who can speak to both worlds; the ability to elicit requirements from the executive level, communicate them to the technical team and then review the technical work to make sure it's not a total cock up.

    IT/tech's drawbacks are also it's strengths. If you're self-motivated, entrepreneurial and can sell yourself then there's almost unlimited potential.

    You can potentially start a company in your garage and have it become the next Google or Facebook. Hard to do that with medicine unless you want to get arrested or have a few million in capital. Those may be the outliers but there are a large number of niche software businesses/web apps that make their owners a very livable income.

    It is not difficult to make over six figures in IT/tech if you put in the same number of hours it takes to make that much in similar fields. I can't think of any industries with a lower barrier to entry where those earnings are possible.


    +100. Well put.
     
  18. NH_Clark

    NH_Clark Senior member

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    High-tech Sales

    out of college you can start an inside sales position with a large company: IBM, Oracle, Xerox, Pitney-Bowes and work your way up. Nowadays, depending on the company, ISS entry positions can pay $50K base with commission-able upside to $100K/yr. Once you've proven yourself you can work your way up to Acct Exec, etc.. and typical annual base salaries are in the $85K-$100K and with commissions your on-target earnings (OTE) can be $200K+/yr [​IMG]
     
  19. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    There's a very large nursing shortage in the Twin Cities... nurses I know are getting just about anything they want... at the same time they say the hospitals cannot come close to filling the demand because they cannot afford to and there aren't enough applicants.
     
  20. fathergll

    fathergll Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely agree. The U.S. prospered as a result of the other superpowers being destroyed from war. The blue pill mentality of you have to go to college and everything will be fine has been exposed. People need to think for themselves and create their own path for life.





    Communication is a problem but executives will at the end of the day will always focus on the $$$$. There is going to be a need for a middleman manager type to obvious coordinate everything. But at the end of the day it means entire teams being laid off(I personally know a Systems Analyst at a major company is facing this problem as we speak). He's training a team of Indians over the phone on their system.




    Yeah for obvious cost reasons I as well see the issue with contracting being spread to every industry. Its already plagued IT.





    Agreed skys the limit with IT. The problem is the rules changed since the dot com bust and people in general weren't really aware of it. If you came out of college with a degree in Computer Science prior to 2000 you were on a golden parachute. As everything started to go to crap, a lot of people were under the assumption(still are, ive read other forums) that they do the typical college route that they are going to be fine. Basically handed a job. Its a rude awakening for some. Unless you actually truly love it, you're going to get eaten alive.

    Just like skys the limit with going into say acting.. Difference is people were always under the impression of the fact it is a self-motivated, entrepreneurial type of living as is anything in the entertainment industry. Obviously thats an extreme example but the point is the same. The obvious inherent problem is very few people actually love programming whereas a lot of people love to act or play music. So when one comes out of college thinking this piece of paper will grant him safety in a guaranteed job, they are in for a rude awakening. Then they come to the realization "Oh crap, I don't even like programming. I only majored in it because I heard I would be guaranteed a job starting at $55,000 year with great benefits. How the hell I am going to fake this?"

    You have to have a certain mindset with it now as you said, though its the same mindset with a lot of jobs future in general(entrepreneurial). At the end of the day majority of people are not self-motivated, thinking outside the box, entrepreneurials. Just a fact. The majority of humans have always historically had the factory worker type mentality. It will be those few who do find a way that prosper, the majority of middle class will just be wiped out. Hell even during the great depression their were people living great lifestyles.
     

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