If not Med School

MarinaHighTennis

Professional
Hey guys so I've come to a dilemma...

I'm a fourth year biology major and I'm afraid my GPA isn't high enough for medical school. Even now, I look back and wished I had gone into engineering, comp sci, or biomedical engineering. I realized I've gone into a path due to my parents dreams when I had grown up building circuits, lightbulbs, models, things to do with creativity and imagination with the hands on aspect.

Anyways med school GPA is 3.7 at least. My GPA is only 3.5 and with so much units (200+) its impssoble to raise it to a 3.7 by application. Also, there's the MCAT and going off past experience with test taking skills: I'm bad at standardized tests.

I've come to a point where I know dreaming for medical school isn't logical but its too late to change career path or major. What is the other alternatives to med school. Even dental school is 3.7. I don't want to be a physical therapist, etc but I'm asking what are my options in life. I've known bio majors with 3.2 go nowhere in life as there isn't any solid jobs in the bio related field besides med. One person I know ended up working at a bakery for min wage...
 

President

Legend
Hey guys so I've come to a dilemma...

I'm a fourth year biology major and I'm afraid my GPA isn't high enough for medical school. Even now, I look back and wished I had gone into engineering, comp sci, or biomedical engineering. I realized I've gone into a path due to my parents dreams when I had grown up building circuits, lightbulbs, models, things to do with creativity and imagination with the hands on aspect.

Anyways med school GPA is 3.7 at least. My GPA is only 3.5 and with so much units (200+) its impssoble to raise it to a 3.7 by application. Also, there's the MCAT and going off past experience with test taking skills: I'm bad at standardized tests.

I've come to a point where I know dreaming for medical school isn't logical but its too late to change career path or major. What is the other alternatives to med school. Even dental school is 3.7. I don't want to be a physical therapist, etc but I'm asking what are my options in life. I've known bio majors with 3.2 go nowhere in life as there isn't any solid jobs in the bio related field besides med. One person I know ended up working at a bakery for min wage...
If you do pretty well on the MCAT, I think you could definitely get into either an MD or DO school, so don't write yourself off yet. Your GPA isn't terrible, even if its not totally stellar. Just study hard for the MCAT/DAT, depending on what field you want to go into. What are your other interests? Would it be possible for you to complete another major without staying at school too long? That's what I did.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
Sorry to hear about your situation.

GPA and MCAT scores are important, but not a sole criteria for meds school admission - research experience, work, and life experiences matter as well. You can find ton of current med school students online (youtube, blog, linkedin) who share their application experience and provide tips. So, I suggest you reach out to them.

Just curious, do you still want to go to medical school? Or, are you doing this because you imagine no other options?

Also, there are other career options for biology major. Go into your school's career counseling office and look up any alumni with similar background on linkedin. Career is really about actively looking for opportunities and connecting with the right people, and one experience leads to other opportunities. You will be surprised at the number of people with unconventional career routes.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
What is your Science GPA ? that is what really matters. Overall GPA really is inconsequential from the perspective of medical schools.
Also if you Science GPA is 3.5 or above, you have a chance, Outside chance but a chance but you will need HIGH score on MCAT. It can be done.

Also if you don't want to struggle getting a high score on MCAT for next few years, you can consider pharmacy school. money is pretty good but you will never be a leader like Physicians are which is ok. it is not a bad thing.

Also it isn't too late to get into Engineering school since most of the pre-requisite is same as medical school. with exception of Calculus. it believe you need at least 6 semesters of calculus for engineering school.

My point is this. You are still Young and it is NOT too late to pursue your dreams if you wish to be a Engineer. It is fun and rewarding field.
Plus, you can pursue your dreams of being a physicians as well and try to get a high score in MCAT and see what happens.
Right now, Medical school isn't as hard as it used to be to get in. Because the Demand for primary care physicians which is in massive shortage. and demand will be even higher in near future because of Obama care and change in health care.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Do a Masters in Biomedical Engineering or Bioinformatics. You don't know much engineering but know Biology and engineers are the other way around and you will complement them
 

mikeler

Moderator
Do a Masters in Biomedical Engineering or Bioinformatics. You don't know much engineering but know Biology and engineers are the other way around and you will complement them
This is a path I think you should seriously consider.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Wondering if you can go to pharmacy school. If you can transfer some of those credits but sureshs' suggestion is probably best.
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
^^^Do you guys even know what Biomedical engineers do ?? lol.

He has to like what the profession involves. Also you have to consider the job market. and biomedical engineering job market has not been optimal exactly.

Like I said, it is not too late to follow what you really want to do.
If you interest really lie with engineering like chemical or electrical engineering or computer engineering, you should follow this path. You will be fine. Don't restrict yourself this early or you will regret it later
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Also it isn't too late to get into Engineering school since most of the pre-requisite is same as medical school. with exception of Calculus. it believe you need at least 6 semesters of calculus for engineering school.
6 semesters?

Calc 1 - differential calculus
Calc 2 - integral calculus
Calc 3 - multivariable calculus
Linear Algebra
Differential Calculus

That typically comprises the undergraduate curriculum for engineering majors (other stuff may be required for specialized areas).
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Do a Masters in Biomedical Engineering or Bioinformatics. You don't know much engineering but know Biology and engineers are the other way around and you will complement them
I know a kid that went to RPI for BME. Good grades and internships. Couldn't find a job after graduation for a year so he's working on a Masters in BioStats. I do think that the prospects are better there.

A BME undergrad degree is a tough way to go because companies typically want someone with at least an MS. Or they will take someone with a traditional engineering degree and train them on the BM aspect themselves.

Bioinformatics is a good area but a lot of the jobs want a Phd. Less if you have a strong Computer Science background. There's a huge amount of work being done on the genetic side these days and there are jobs, both applied and research in the field.

Can you get a lab tech job at a well-known research hospital? My son has told me that there's been a lot of turnover at his organization with lab techs as demand and wages have improved (this is the Boston area where a lot of biotechs have been moving to). Some of the lab tech left to go into medical school. Most of the researchers and practitioners where he works also teach at a well-known medical school in the area and their recommendations probably carry a lot of weight on applications.

A former coworker's spouse got her Phd (Biology) from one of the Ivies in the depths of the recession and couldn't find any work other than reviewing journal articles part-time. The spouse is doing moderately better now with work but it's not anything to write home about. It's still tough out there today but quite a bit better than it was back in 2008-2009.

The son of another co-worker graduated a few years ago with a bio degree and he took a job as an EMT. He later got a job as a lab tech. He is somewhat learning disabled so his dad is pretty happy with him.

The Bio degree is one of the lesser marketable STEM degrees around but there are places where you'd do better than others.

I have a niece that has a dual-major degree in CS and something else from an Ivy and she worked for a year at a research institution and was then accepted into multiple Med School programs and accepted a free-ride at an Ivy (dad breathes a huge sigh of relief). It may help to work for a little while and then consider further education.

You sound like you'd be a good fit for robotics but you'd ideally want a mix of EE, ME and CS. Robotics is quite a good area right now and it's pretty amazing what you can put together with off-the-shelf components these days.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
^^^Do you guys even know what Biomedical engineers do ?? lol.

He has to like what the profession involves. Also you have to consider the job market. and biomedical engineering job market has not been optimal exactly.

Like I said, it is not too late to follow what you really want to do.
If you interest really lie with engineering like chemical or electrical engineering or computer engineering, you should follow this path. You will be fine. Don't restrict yourself this early or you will regret it later
I agree that if he has the energy, it is better to switch to a fundamental engineering field rather than biomedical which is a mixture of many things (but every engineering field started out that way). I knew someone who had a BS in Chemistry and then did a MS in Electrical Engineering. But you will feel like a moron taking the same courses as a freshman. The school may also require you to take undergrad courses first, and that can add a year. If they don't, that is not a good thing either, because you will miss many labs which others have taken.

Something like Biomedical boosts the ego (not doing the same circuits class as a EE major), fits your bio background, and if the courses are good, you should pick up some basic ideas of Electrical and Mechanical Engg on the way (remember EEs don't know any ME, and vice versa, so everyone is kind of in the same boat in Biomedical),

Bioinformatics option is great. No engineer knows it either, so there is no feeling of lost time. I recently saw an ad which required a PhD in Biology and further experience in Bioinformatics. Software types don't know about proteins and genes, classical engineers don't know software or biology, and software is easy to pick up. It has the major advantage of not requiring labs. As long as you learn programming and data structures and have a laptop, you are ready.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
You sound like you'd be a good fit for robotics but you'd ideally want a mix of EE, ME and CS. Robotics is quite a good area right now and it's pretty amazing what you can put together with off-the-shelf components these days.
And biomedical is one field where robotics is coming in. I know someone who is working on robots to assist open-heart surgery.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Bioinformatics option is great. No engineer knows it either, so there is no feeling of lost time. I recently saw an ad which required a PhD in Biology and further experience in Bioinformatics. Software types don't know about proteins and genes, classical engineers don't know software or biology, and software is easy to pick up. It has the major advantage of not requiring labs. As long as you learn programming and data structures and have a laptop, you are ready.
Well, some software types know about proteins and genes.

Those that take a few biology courses and actually pay attention.

Biology majors in bioinformatics typically do a lot of script programming. It's terribly inefficient and they don't really have any computer science theory.

Software is easy to pick up but it's hard to pick up to do well.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
And biomedical is one field where robotics is coming in. I know someone who is working on robots to assist open-heart surgery.
Using robots isn't the same as doing BME.

It's still a rough road to get through a robotics program. WPI has a program with some ME, EE and CS. A coworker told me about a student that completed this program with a dual-major in CS and walked straight into a six-figure job working for Amazon.

Spouse is a BME at a local company and I wouldn't exactly say that things are great. Decent but not great. They have a daughter graduating next year with a Bio degree and it looks likely that she has a job lined up in a Boston pharma company.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
What is it with parents imposing their med school dreams on their children? Are you Vietnamese?

It's not too late to invest in YOUR dream. The path may be long and hard, but if it's truly your dream, then you'll find all the energy needed to pursue it.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
What is it with parents imposing their med school dreams on their children? Are you Vietnamese?

It's not too late to invest in YOUR dream. The path may be long and hard, but if it's truly your dream, then you'll find all the energy needed to pursue it.
I had a look at his hit with Djokovic and he doesn't look Vietnamese to me.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
I think the suggestions from suresh (wow) heninfan are good. Biomedical engineering and related fields has lots of options, and pharmacy may also be viable.

I also agree with what Rubens said in that it's not too late to change a path and follow your own dream. We humans have a very strong bias towards loss aversion, so doing stuff like changing fields is very hard for us to do—we feel like we have wasted our previous years and so on. But in reality, your future life will be better off by pursuing something you really want, even if that means you'll feel you have wasted some previous opportunities.

Good luck! I hope you find the right track for yourself.
 

LuckyR

Legend
Options:

Overseas Med school
Nursing school (to get the CNRA or somesuch)
Pharm school
Office job, especially sales
You could get a Bio Masters or Doctorate but you've got to LOVE Biology and I am not getting that vibe.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
What is it with parents imposing their med school dreams on their children? Are you Vietnamese?
Well, I also did a little bit of that, but I made sure my son's dreams did not involve me shelling out money for med school. Luckily, he did not like Biology much so it helped.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I heard there are med schools desperately looking for students who will sign a contract to work in inner cities for a few years after their MD. It seems they are giving out full scholarships.
 

MarinaHighTennis

Professional
Pharmacy seems like something solid to do and since you don't require a PCAT to got to Pharm school in CA, it seems simple and I think the GPA requirement is 3.2?

Sounds like BME isn't a good idea but looking at the jobs these days: computer science seems like the top bet in a stable future as there is always opportunity and jobs within that sector.

I do like biology, but I THINK I like engineering more as I have friends and roommates who are building drones and airplanes and their teams got first place in the nation and 2nd place in the world for their projects and I was thinking "this sounds really fun, engaging, challenging, creative and I could've been a part of this project with them"
Now they have offers from Boeing, Raytheon, Aerospace for great job opportunities.

Btw I am Vietnamese, and my parents initially wanted me to be an engineer as they worked for Boeing and Raytheon but looking at my parent who worked at Raytheon --> Aerospace --> Navy, he hates his job and I think that deterred me from going into engineering bc I didn't want to experience the same things.

I've also been hearing about the UC PHD program where they PAY YOU go GO TO SCHOOL vs Med school where you PAY THEM and ending up with (on average for most med school graduates) 200-250k in loans. Which takes them 20 years to pay off ( no buying a house for 10 years - I just talked to a doctor today at a Career panel)


Life seems intense...
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
It's a great choice. You can work in your pick of cities and employers will probably recruit you.

Americans love taking drugs and docs love prescribing them so job security is high.

Pharmacy seems like something solid to do and since you don't require a PCAT to got to Pharm school in CA, it seems simple and I think the GPA requirement is 3.2?

Sounds like BME isn't a good idea but looking at the jobs these days: computer science seems like the top bet in a stable future as there is always opportunity and jobs within that sector.

I do like biology, but I THINK I like engineering more as I have friends and roommates who are building drones and airplanes and their teams got first place in the nation and 2nd place in the world for their projects and I was thinking "this sounds really fun, engaging, challenging, creative and I could've been a part of this project with them"
Now they have offers from Boeing, Raytheon, Aerospace for great job opportunities.

Btw I am Vietnamese, and my parents initially wanted me to be an engineer as they worked for Boeing and Raytheon but looking at my parent who worked at Raytheon --> Aerospace --> Navy, he hates his job and I think that deterred me from going into engineering bc I didn't want to experience the same things.

I've also been hearing about the UC PHD program where they PAY YOU go GO TO SCHOOL vs Med school where you PAY THEM and ending up with (on average for most med school graduates) 200-250k in loans. Which takes them 20 years to pay off ( no buying a house for 10 years - I just talked to a doctor today at a Career panel)


Life seems intense...
 

millicurie999

Semi-Pro
If you are considering PhD in Biology, you should definitely tech for a couple of years to see (i) if you like it, and (ii) build a better research credentials for grad school. In addition, if you ended up a co-author in 1-2 papers, you will look good if/when you decide to then apply to med school. Your research experience will make your med school application looks quite a bit better despite the lower grade.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I heard there are med schools desperately looking for students who will sign a contract to work in inner cities for a few years after their MD. It seems they are giving out full scholarships.
More likely with state university systems.

My niece is doing a Dr./Dr. degree and the research side is paying for both at an Ivy. Else dad would be shelling out a few hundred K.
 
I am glad you found out early. I graduated with computer science and got a job in silicon valley for 1 year and I quit. It wasn't for me. I worked something different for few years and then, I went back to school got another degree. I am glad I did.
To tell you the truth, no matter what you do, you have to like it and COMPENSATION have to match as well.
You don't have to make a lot of money to be happy but it have to be decent job to support your future family.
Already other people mentioned great occupations in previous post. But I will reiterate one thing I know. The best jobs in the world are health care related jobs other than oil and government/military contract.
Nursing is always safe choice and pays far more than average jobs in California. Nursing jobs are very different by state in terms of compensation and patient-nurse ratio.
You need to pray to Lord Jesus our savior and ask Him to guide you to find the best one for you.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Pharmacy seems like something solid to do and since you don't require a PCAT to got to Pharm school in CA, it seems simple and I think the GPA requirement is 3.2?

Sounds like BME isn't a good idea but looking at the jobs these days: computer science seems like the top bet in a stable future as there is always opportunity and jobs within that sector.

I do like biology, but I THINK I like engineering more as I have friends and roommates who are building drones and airplanes and their teams got first place in the nation and 2nd place in the world for their projects and I was thinking "this sounds really fun, engaging, challenging, creative and I could've been a part of this project with them"
Now they have offers from Boeing, Raytheon, Aerospace for great job opportunities.

Btw I am Vietnamese, and my parents initially wanted me to be an engineer as they worked for Boeing and Raytheon but looking at my parent who worked at Raytheon --> Aerospace --> Navy, he hates his job and I think that deterred me from going into engineering bc I didn't want to experience the same things.

I've also been hearing about the UC PHD program where they PAY YOU go GO TO SCHOOL vs Med school where you PAY THEM and ending up with (on average for most med school graduates) 200-250k in loans. Which takes them 20 years to pay off ( no buying a house for 10 years - I just talked to a doctor today at a Career panel)


Life seems intense...
What is Matt going to do for his career when he is done at UCLA ?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
The best jobs in the world are health care related jobs other than oil and government/military contract.
Nursing is always safe choice and pays far more than average jobs in California. Nursing jobs are very different by state in terms of compensation and patient-nurse ratio.
I think that there are a lot of good jobs in health-care but you have to decide what kind of jobs that you'd like based on interests, personality and aptitude.

My mother, and one of my sisters were/are nurses and I've worked on Med-Surg wards and you have to be good with people and willing to do a lot of physically demanding work with people. Hospitals are trying to spread nurses out pretty thin on a ward of patients due to cost pressures in the healthcare system.

The hours are often weekend-on/weekend-off and sometimes you have to work second or third shift. You have to be able to deal with crap from patients and administrators as well.

It's something that really can't be outsourced though.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
I think that there are a lot of good jobs in health-care but you have to decide what kind of jobs that you'd like based on interests, personality and aptitude.

My mother, and one of my sisters were/are nurses and I've worked on Med-Surg wards and you have to be good with people and willing to do a lot of physically demanding work with people. Hospitals are trying to spread nurses out pretty thin on a ward of patients due to cost pressures in the healthcare system.

The hours are often weekend-on/weekend-off and sometimes you have to work second or third shift. You have to be able to deal with crap from patients and administrators as well.

It's something that really can't be outsourced though.
Couldn't agree more.

I think there is some myth about job security with healthcare jobs. Healthcare jobs are just about as much susceptible to economics and industry saturation. Despite "nursing shortage" in US, nursing jobs were on hiring freeze (it still might be) nationwide until a couple of years ago. In fact, CA was one of the worst states. Pharmacy schools couldn't fill their spots until 2000 and new grads had jobs waiting for them. Now, pharmacy schools are as competitive as ever as increasing number of people want to enter the profession.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I think there is some myth about job security with healthcare jobs. Healthcare jobs are just about as much susceptible to economics and industry saturation. Despite "nursing shortage" in US, nursing jobs were on hiring freeze (it still might be) nationwide until a couple of years ago. In fact, CA was one of the worst states. Pharmacy schools couldn't fill their spots until 2000 and new grads had jobs waiting for them. Now, pharmacy schools are as competitive as ever as increasing number of people want to enter the profession.
One other thing about healthcare jobs, at least in hospitals: a lot of them still do have pensions and better than average vacation policies due to the physical nature of the jobs and those things might be considerations.

Admissions for Computer Science has gone up over the years but I suspect that the number of graduates may not have gone up as much as CS is really, really tough.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
Pharmacy seems like something solid to do and since you don't require a PCAT to got to Pharm school in CA, it seems simple and I think the GPA requirement is 3.2?

Sounds like BME isn't a good idea but looking at the jobs these days: computer science seems like the top bet in a stable future as there is always opportunity and jobs within that sector.

I do like biology, but I THINK I like engineering more as I have friends and roommates who are building drones and airplanes and their teams got first place in the nation and 2nd place in the world for their projects and I was thinking "this sounds really fun, engaging, challenging, creative and I could've been a part of this project with them"
Now they have offers from Boeing, Raytheon, Aerospace for great job opportunities.

Btw I am Vietnamese, and my parents initially wanted me to be an engineer as they worked for Boeing and Raytheon but looking at my parent who worked at Raytheon --> Aerospace --> Navy, he hates his job and I think that deterred me from going into engineering bc I didn't want to experience the same things.

I've also been hearing about the UC PHD program where they PAY YOU go GO TO SCHOOL vs Med school where you PAY THEM and ending up with (on average for most med school graduates) 200-250k in loans. Which takes them 20 years to pay off ( no buying a house for 10 years - I just talked to a doctor today at a Career panel)


Life seems intense...
The grass is always greener on the other side.

Med school loans are obviously extremely high to put it mildly. I'd imagine most med school students successfully pay them off, although some physicians' practice do go out of business unfortunately.

Look up physician's average salary, and subtract the amount of loan you have to pay every year. I am simplifying the math, but you are probably left with more than 80,000 per year (or a lot more depending on your speciality)

If you earn Ph.D in biology and become faculty. You will probably start around 70~80k, but with a lot of professional autonomy. You would make more with an industry job.

My point is that all the options you listed are excellent occupations, and you WILL make ends meet (most likely with above average salary) barring any unexpected events.
 

Talker

Hall of Fame
You got some good background and courses that match engineering in general.
If your school has it then petroleum engineering might be good for you, you'll like the pay they get for starters and later on in your career too.
 

Anaconda

Hall of Fame
I agree that if he has the energy, it is better to switch to a fundamental engineering field rather than biomedical which is a mixture of many things (but every engineering field started out that way). I knew someone who had a BS in Chemistry and then did a MS in Electrical Engineering. But you will feel like a moron taking the same courses as a freshman. The school may also require you to take undergrad courses first, and that can add a year. If they don't, that is not a good thing either, because you will miss many labs which others have taken.

Something like Biomedical boosts the ego (not doing the same circuits class as a EE major), fits your bio background, and if the courses are good, you should pick up some basic ideas of Electrical and Mechanical Engg on the way (remember EEs don't know any ME, and vice versa, so everyone is kind of in the same boat in Biomedical),

Bioinformatics option is great. No engineer knows it either, so there is no feeling of lost time. I recently saw an ad which required a PhD in Biology and further experience in Bioinformatics. Software types don't know about proteins and genes, classical engineers don't know software or biology, and software is easy to pick up. It has the major advantage of not requiring labs. As long as you learn programming and data structures and have a laptop, you are ready.



As an IT professional, you need to know a lot more to have a great career. Currently, I work in IT infrastructure, have a great insight into computer networking, IT security, decent at programming, competent with windows server and maybe in 10-15 years study quantum cryptography. Sure, the OP could make decent coin with just programming on it's own, but to get a 6 figure salary, you need to know literally everything about a lot of things, have a degree, work experience and a few certifications. If the OP is willing to spend countless nights studying something new (he will get brain cramps studying about SSH, SSL, MD5, Cipher block chaining, IP subnetting, 4b/5b mapping, MPLS implementations,SQL) then go for it, it might put your life on hold for a few years or so, but when you get your first job, you're in for life.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I think that there are a lot of good jobs in health-care but you have to decide what kind of jobs that you'd like based on interests, personality and aptitude.

My mother, and one of my sisters were/are nurses and I've worked on Med-Surg wards and you have to be good with people and willing to do a lot of physically demanding work with people. Hospitals are trying to spread nurses out pretty thin on a ward of patients due to cost pressures in the healthcare system.

The hours are often weekend-on/weekend-off and sometimes you have to work second or third shift. You have to be able to deal with crap from patients and administrators as well.

It's something that really can't be outsourced though.
I play with a guy who must be close to 70 who works as a respiratory technician. He earns his money working fixed hours which nicely complements his retired income, and plays tennis rest of the time. Can you imagine any engineer who will be in demand when he is close to 70? Most software engineers are not in demand even close to 50 and are trying to survive as a bureaucrat in the company they have worked at for long, or moving from small firm to firm to fill urgent positions and hiding details on their resume (not putting real dates of jobs which will show how old they really are).
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
As an IT professional, you need to know a lot more to have a great career. Currently, I work in IT infrastructure, have a great insight into computer networking, IT security, decent at programming, competent with windows server and maybe in 10-15 years study quantum cryptography. Sure, the OP could make decent coin with just programming on it's own, but to get a 6 figure salary, you need to know literally everything about a lot of things, have a degree, work experience and a few certifications. If the OP is willing to spend countless nights studying something new (he will get brain cramps studying about SSH, SSL, MD5, Cipher block chaining, IP subnetting, 4b/5b mapping, MPLS implementations,SQL) then go for it, it might put your life on hold for a few years or so, but when you get your first job, you're in for life.
Many many guys doing that here with a 2 year AS degree from a community college (same time it takes to get certified as an auto repair guy). What you do to be successful later is quite different from the low barrier to entry. No career in traditional science or engineering has such a low barrier to entry. I can claim that it is all very difficult to boost our collective ego, but what is the point of that?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
You got some good background and courses that match engineering in general.
If your school has it then petroleum engineering might be good for you, you'll like the pay they get for starters and later on in your career too.
Where are you getting than info from this thread? I see nothing other than the fact he is majoring in Bio. Are you saying Petroleum engg is a good choice because it is based on dead animals and animals are studied in Biology???
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I play with a guy who must be close to 70 who works as a respiratory technician. He earns his money working fixed hours which nicely complements his retired income, and plays tennis rest of the time. Can you imagine any engineer who will be in demand when he is close to 70? Most software engineers are not in demand even close to 50 and are trying to survive as a bureaucrat in the company they have worked at for long, or moving from small firm to firm to fill urgent positions and hiding details on their resume (not putting real dates of jobs which will show how old they really are).
My previous manager is past retirement age. He works three days a week.

Everyone in my group in the US is in their 50s or older. We have a few people in India that are in their 20s.

I know one lady that's in her 70s (mid, I think) that is working in another group and another guy that's in his 70s. We're actually losing a fair number of people to retirements and it's a problem because many of these jobs require experience.

Which age group has done the best lately?

 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
Many many guys doing that here with a 2 year AS degree from a community college (same time it takes to get certified as an auto repair guy). What you do to be successful later is quite different from the low barrier to entry. No career in traditional science or engineering has such a low barrier to entry. I can claim that it is all very difficult to boost our collective ego, but what is the point of that?
Anancoda is just informing the op on what IT career entails - that there are several different moving blocks that one needs to keep up with to advance in IT industry, although the information he gave is a little overwhelming. Just as you go into med school knowing that you will be asked to remember a lot of information and put in many studying hours.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
I play with a guy who must be close to 70 who works as a respiratory technician. He earns his money working fixed hours which nicely complements his retired income, and plays tennis rest of the time. Can you imagine any engineer who will be in demand when he is close to 70? Most software engineers are not in demand even close to 50 and are trying to survive as a bureaucrat in the company they have worked at for long, or moving from small firm to firm to fill urgent positions and hiding details on their resume (not putting real dates of jobs which will show how old they really are).

And, I know of very few (if any) engineers who work 12 hour night shifts. And, no RT who makes as much as engineers.

No two careers are the same, you have to actively manage it. Once you start nit-picking every details and compare them to other professions, you will never be satisfied.
 

Anaconda

Hall of Fame
Many many guys doing that here with a 2 year AS degree from a community college (same time it takes to get certified as an auto repair guy). What you do to be successful later is quite different from the low barrier to entry. No career in traditional science or engineering has such a low barrier to entry. I can claim that it is all very difficult to boost our collective ego, but what is the point of that?
Community college? Isn't that the thing where anyone can actually attend? A degree in IT security would be pointless without A) experience in IT and B) A degree from a university where not anyone could literally get in. in fact, I've never even heard of an IT security degree which lasts 2 years.


Look at the jobs going that pay 100k +, they require you have have a wide range of skills - from SQL, to basic troubleshooting, experience in an obscure programming language, fibre optic implementation experience (or any combination really). I've worked hard to learn a wide range of skills, and look to be on 100k when I hit 30 years old maybe in around 10 years or so.




I wasn't trying to brag or trying to boost my ego by using technical terms, it was merely a rundown of some difficult, mindnumbing things the OP would have to learn. It's never too late to change career. IT is the present and future. Age isn't so much a factor anymore, as anyone with the latest cert or qualification could get your foot in the door.





I'm guessing you have an IT job, what do you do?
 
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movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I think that you usually get a relatively generic AS IT/CS and then do certificate programs for specific areas.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Community college? Isn't that the thing where anyone can actually attend? A degree in IT security would be pointless without A) experience in IT and B) A degree from a university where not anyone could literally get in. in fact, I've never even heard of an IT security degree which lasts 2 years.
Usually the AS degree is followed by certification courses in networking, servers, security etc. but some AS degrees already prepare you for one or the other. In others, it is done later.

Don't get me wrong. I am working closely now with one of our Linux support guys and without him I would not be able to do anything. His work is more challenging than any programmer's. But he is where he is because he is very bright. In Biology, a bright guy like him would be hampered by the high barrier to entry.
 

Anaconda

Hall of Fame
Usually the AS degree is followed by certification courses in networking, servers, security etc. but some AS degrees already prepare you for one or the other. In others, it is done later.

Don't get me wrong. I am working closely now with one of our Linux support guys and without him I would not be able to do anything. His work is more challenging than any programmer's. But he is where he is because he is very bright. In Biology, a bright guy like him would be hampered by the high barrier to entry.
You probably live in a different country to me, in the US, get a CCIE and you can get a job in networking, maybe not a CCIE salary but you'd be earning a decent wage, India too. England, where I'm at, not so much. Biology, and sciences in general are tough, although I never really did Science in school or anything, too boring, I wouldn't know what the field is like. I've heard anything less than a 1.1 and it's hard to get a job. Doable, but tough.


You can't even compare the two anyway. Although what I can say with absolute certainty is that anyone with IT skills at this level was employed yesterday, employed today, and will be employed next year.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
And I've said that with IT, if you want a great career, you need to know a lot about a lot of different aspects.
Yes IT and software require constant updating of skills and frankly, more intelligence (of the street-smarts kind). Many a dumb guy can make a career in science by carrying out routine experiments once he has crossed the barrier to entry (cramming for the Organic Chemistry final).
 

Kevin T

Hall of Fame
I play with a guy who must be close to 70 who works as a respiratory technician. He earns his money working fixed hours which nicely complements his retired income, and plays tennis rest of the time. Can you imagine any engineer who will be in demand when he is close to 70? Most software engineers are not in demand even close to 50 and are trying to survive as a bureaucrat in the company they have worked at for long, or moving from small firm to firm to fill urgent positions and hiding details on their resume (not putting real dates of jobs which will show how old they really are).
This is one of the many benefits of working in healthcare. My wife had ~ 7 years experience working in OB/GYN, decided she wanted off the floors and to go part-time after having our kids. She now works Thursday and Friday (no holidays or weekends) as an advice nurse in an outpatient OB/GYN office, teaches two classes per week, maybe gives an injection or two but mostly time on the phone. She makes $65/hr and is eligible for free healthcare for the entire family, though we're covered under my similar plan. If you live within 2-3 hours of the Bay Area and benefit from their pay scale and the strong healthcare unions, you can do very well. RTs and physical, occupational and speech therapist are always in demand. I know a ton of med/surg and other hospital RNs that make even more (well >$70/hr) and choose to work part-time because they have:
1. union protection
2. free or greatly reduced healthcare
 
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