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28, useless degree and no idea what to do still.

(14 Posts)
cojmum Wed 11-May-16 13:41:44

Hi all,
Like I said, I am 28. 3 children 5, 9 and 12, I dropped out of school early but gained a degree in Social Sciences with Geography and Politics with the Open University.

I am currently studying again with the OU for a degree in Computing and IT, but I am really not enjoying it and I am wondering if I could make my first degree work somehow but I am going around in circles. So far the options I have come up with are:

Apply for the Probation Officer training scheme, this is something that I would really like to do but I don't currently have the work experience to apply so I would need to do some volunteering first. This is not a problem I am currently a SAHM so financially we would still be ok as dp is supporting us at the minute.

My second option is to train as a Citizens Advice advisor again I could do this through a voluntary role but I am worried about how many paid opportunities come up and how long I would need to volunteer with no real security at the end.

Thirdly secondary teaching in one of my subjects, probably Social Sciences. There is a school based training programme at a school not far from where I live. I would need to do some volunteering first as again, no work experience in the area. I also worry about how many people seem to be coming out of teaching at the moment, there is a lot of negativity around the profession at the moment.

Does anyone have any thoughts on any of these or even any suggestions for anything that I haven't thought of?

MadBannersAndCopPorn Wed 11-May-16 18:41:19

I just wanted to say that I think its fab that you have gained a degree and are studying with 3 children and only being 28!! I'm looking to do one myself and also have 3, so am putting it off! I'm sorry I can't offer any actual advice but just wanted to say I think you've done really well to achieve all that with 3 children and I'm sure you'll find something suitable for you

Scabetty Wed 11-May-16 18:49:22

What about doing a learning support role in a secondary school first to see if teaching is for you. You would get paid rather than volunteer. Often the school offers graduates a role into teaching if they want to proceed down that path. Good luck with whatever you choose.

cojmum Thu 12-May-16 11:09:02

Mad - It has been difficult, but I love learning. Strangely I used it as my me time!

Scabetty - I like the idea of a learning support role, I will look into that too.

TomTomKitten Sun 15-May-16 17:44:58

I would say your best bet would be to dip your toe into all of those areas by volunteering first. Have a go at everything that interests you and see where it takes you. You've nothing to lose.

ImperialBlether Sun 15-May-16 17:58:28

I would look at the Staffroom threads on here before making a decision about teaching.

Perhaps start a thread asking for probation officers to tell you about their jobs? I imagine they're a lot harder than they used to be (I used to work in probation years ago and loved it) because of prison overcrowding.

I think it's fantastic what you've done over the last twelve years. You must be a really determined person.

I wonder why you are limiting yourself to lower paid professional jobs. Given you enjoy studying and have the time to do it, have you thought of reading the thread where someone asked about jobs that were paid over £100,000 pa? It was really eye-opening how many MNetters or their partners earned that level of money - some of the jobs were fascinating.

Also, do you enjoy creative writing? You would be really well placed to write Young Adult fiction, given your own background.

Mishaps Sun 15-May-16 18:03:12

I have a degree in social science and worked for SSD for many years. I then decided that enough was enough and went down the photography/music route - got some training at college in one and the other was my hobby. A whole new career opened up for me as people recognised that I had skills with people after my SSD experience and asked me to do many things that combined both - e.g. running photography workshops for people with learning difficulties or for the elderly; running singing/music sessions for elderly people or those with MH problems.

I do not think you should play down your degree (you are after all probably still paying for it!) - you have a breadth there that might be appreciated.

TEFL might be an option for you.

Do you have a hobby/interest that might be turned to good advantage?

CABs are struggling financially in the main, so might not take you where you wish to go if paid work is your objective.

Teaching is very stressful at present, but supply gives you the job satisfaction without all the paperwork. Also, with your spread of skills, it might be worth contacting local home education groups (try Education Otherwise as a first step) - home educators often get together with others doing the same and pay tutors to cover topics that they have no expertise in.

Further ed is a route that I took as a part-timer and it was well paid then on an hourly rate - not sure what the pay rules are now. I used to lecture in social science to trainee nursery nurses and also some foundation courses for students with poor academic skills - how to get a mortgage, register with a GP etc. etc. - all very basic stuff. I also had experience in hospitals (where my SW was based) so lectured P/T to students on the medical secretaries course - what is an MRI/how health service funded etc. etc. To be honest a lot of the time I found a good book and just kept a chapter ahead each week! Look at the website for your local tech college and see if there are any courses that you think you might be able to do some teaching on.

One other tip - every job I went for after having the children looked at the black hole in my career - I talked this up and it worked - think about all the skills that are involved in parenting.

Also get your disclosure and barring cert so you are ready for anything.

Lots of good luck!

ImperialBlether Sun 15-May-16 18:48:44

I think you'll find employers respond very well to your degree. OU degrees have to be the hardest to take, given you work so much on your own.

jclm Sun 22-May-16 15:40:16

Yes to volunteering, as it allows you to experience different types of work etc.

Have you had a careers chat yet ? (You can get these for free and are very helpful)

Also you should read a career change book as they are also very helpful. Good luck!

Pollaidh Sun 22-May-16 15:44:37

Town planning, sustainable housing officer and similar roles, Environment Agency...

MrsFlorrick Sun 22-May-16 15:49:37

Geography could open up areas such a general practise surveying? Good field with a huge amount of specialisms you can pursue.

Plenty of people join the surveying industry after having done other things or later as a second career.

Clearly you need to find out if you enjoy buildings and real estate. There would be investment, asset management, leasing, property management, rent review and lots more specialism within. And you could work for a services firm, a pension fund, a large corporate or a small private company.

It's clearly not social work related but something else to look at.

You'd need to complete on the job professional assessment (all surveyors do no matter what their degree).

NiceCardigan Wed 25-May-16 21:54:27

I was a paid debt adviser with citizens advice. I volunteered for just over a year before I moved into a paid role. Whether or not there are paid roles depends on the area you live in and the projects that are funded. I hugely enjoyed volunteering and it gave me lots of confidence after being a SAHM for quite a while. I moved into a new job last summer whiich is much "bigger" but the experience I got at CAB has been invaluable.

H3adach3 Fri 27-May-16 20:38:15

No degree is useless, it proves that you have studied and completed courses up to a certain level

It should not matter what your degree is in, unless you are applying for a specific degree related job

However, what you seem to be lacking is "in work experience", so suggest volunteering and get any type of job
Getting a job is about mixing with people, networking, opportunities and it is easier to get another job while you are already working

There are lots of people who start courses, but do not finish them

A degree sometimes opens doors, but you will probably have to start at the bottom in a job and work upwards. Enthusiasm, willing to learn, living local are positive facts and could lead to bigger and better job
opportunities.

Alot of us would love to do an ideal job of our dreams, but sometimes we have to get an every day job that pays the bills

BonerSibary Sat 28-May-16 15:10:03

CABs are struggling financially, but there are other CAB adviser type jobs outside the CAB. Various charities recruit welfare rights and debt advisers. It's not well paid, as a pp said, but comparable to a teacher's salary in the first few years with nothing like the hours.

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