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Teaching, midwifery, nursing or accountancy?

(34 Posts)
nikki1978 Wed 26-Aug-09 13:53:48

I don't know what to do?!

I decided a few months ago that now my dd is starting school next month and my DS starts nursery (2 mornings until April then 5 mornings until he starts school in Sept 2011) I wanted to retrain. I was a admin/PA for about 7 years then when I had the kids I did book keeping part time which I am still doing now.

My husband and I want to emigrate to Australia in about 7 years too so this is a factor in deciding what to do as I would be the person whose skills would get us residency.

At first I was going to do a Primary Teaching degree as it would fit well round having kids as a degree and a profession. However it seems that the market is saturated with primary school teachers and I don't want to study for a career with few job prospects.

I also looked at an English Lit degree with a secondary teacher PGCE (secondary school teachers are currently very much in demand in Aus and here). However I don't think Eng Lit is a very sought after subject and if we did end up staying in this country I don't think I would want to be a secondary school teacher here particularly as I live near London and the teenagers are awful.

Midwifery appeals to me but it seems that the hours for the degree are long and unpredictable and you wouldn't know what kind of financial help you could get until the last minute. DH has his own company but contracts his services out and has to work shifts and nights a few times a month (don't know these rotas until the month before often). We only earn just over £30k between us and all that is allocated to pay bills, debt, etc. Also midwifery seems to be very very competitive. However you do not have to pay to do a midwifery degree as I understand it so I would not be lumbered with a huge student loan at the end of it.

Nursing would be my second choice to midwifery but I presume it would have the same problems as the midwifery course.

Accountancy is another option although tbh I would prefer not to have to sit in front of a desk for the rest of my life but the wages would be much higher. However the traning would take ages as it seems you need to geta degree then do lots of years of training to become a chartered accountant.

Any ideas or tips on what to do with the rest of my life ladies?

All advice gratefully received grin!

nikki1978 Wed 26-Aug-09 13:56:43

Oh I forgot to say I have two A Levels already (fine art and eng lit) and I am retaking one of these (Eng Lit) and also doing maths both part time over the next two years so I can start uni in Sept 2011 when both kids are at school.

cherrylips Wed 26-Aug-09 14:18:24

I would do primary school teaching! I'm a nurse and even the hours during training are anti - social and don't fit in with family life. I think you would need *A LOT* of very kind, reliable family help to do the late shifts, early shifts and night shifts that you have to do.

supersalstrawberry Wed 26-Aug-09 14:36:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

belgo Wed 26-Aug-09 14:42:23

Accountancy: very academic and quite a lot of competition.

Teaching english and primary school: like you say, not too many vacancies. Could be very stressful.

Nursing and midwifery: almost guaranteed a job, but can be physically and mentally very demanding, and shifts difficult, and pay not great.

What about teaching science? Or another health care profession, such as occupational therapy, which generally has better hours and better pay then nursing?

supersalstrawberry Wed 26-Aug-09 14:45:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nikki1978 Wed 26-Aug-09 15:01:25

Hmmm well I am rubbish at science - C for single award GSCE and not passionate about it so probably not the way to go.

I quite like the idea of occupational therapy and it is needed in Australia. I would have to change my alevels now as they usually want Human Biology A Level. So should I do maths and human biology which will give me 4 alevels (inc the art and eng lit one) or human biology and eng lit and improve my eng lit grade which is currently a D.

Just worried that if I change my mind at any point I won't be doing the right A Levels.

Arrgghhh!!

nikki1978 Wed 26-Aug-09 15:03:04

Ummm btw what exactly is occupational therapy and why is it so good supersal?

belgo Wed 26-Aug-09 15:05:36

If you're doing maths a-level, what about becoming a maths teacher? They are always needed.

Maybe you can somehow arrange to spend a day at a hospital, with an occupational therapist, or nurse or midwife, to give yourself a better idea of those jobs?

itchyandscratchy Wed 26-Aug-09 15:09:34

I would say that although I find teaching very rewarding and creative, it's not a career that you choose as if you're putting pins in a target blindfold. All of the careers are somewhat of a vocation (ok, maybe not accountancy...) and you would need a real passion for whichever you pursue to make it worth your while.

It's bloody hard work but can be immensely rewarding. If you really want to get a taste for it, I would advise trying to get some days observing in both primary and secondary schools in the subjects/age groups you are ideally interested in. It's may not be conclusive but it will give you a good idea about whether it's the career choice for you. And make sure you stay for whole days, not just a morning or afternoon session, if that's possible. It will give you a small idea of the stamina involved.

Good luck.

itchyandscratchy Wed 26-Aug-09 15:10:34

blindfolded

Sidge Wed 26-Aug-09 15:11:57

If you're rubbush at science you might want to think again about nursing or midwifery - both need a good understanding and grounding in biology. Also even if your children are at school the course is intense and placements won't be school hours, term time only. Most women manage a nursing degree/career with a huge amount of family support. You will be doing a mixture of shifts and placements could be miles away, at hospitals/community bases in towns and hospitals a fair way from home.

I can't comment on accountancy and teaching as I know little about them.

myredcardigan Wed 26-Aug-09 15:12:39

Have you done any volunteer work in either health care or a school? If not, I think that both would be a good idea to gauge a feel for the working environment. Also, many courses will look for this and have expected you to have done this.

Both teaching and midwifery are full-on, emotionally draining careers and you need to be sure you are choosing the right path.

I teach, and have come across so many graduates who have done a PGCE because they thought teaching offered stability or they weren't sure what to do. Many hate it and leave after a couple of years. Teaching really isn't something you should choose unless it's what you want to do because unless you love teaching, you will be miserable. I expect nursing and midwifery are similar.

The school hols are a great benefit but you must remember that it's not quite as family friendly as everybody thinks. There's work to do in the evenings and at weekends and you never get to see your own kids at sports day or their afternoon nativity play. You can't just take leave as and when needed and you obviously can only go away during school hols.

Oh and with a degree in English lit you could teach English across the secondary phase. You do not need to have done lit/lang.

I have two friends who are chartered accountants and neither particularly enjoy it. One is considering becoming a maths teacher! grin

Good luck.

myredcardigan Wed 26-Aug-09 15:12:53

Have you done any volunteer work in either health care or a school? If not, I think that both would be a good idea to gauge a feel for the working environment. Also, many courses will look for this and have expected you to have done this.

Both teaching and midwifery are full-on, emotionally draining careers and you need to be sure you are choosing the right path.

I teach, and have come across so many graduates who have done a PGCE because they thought teaching offered stability or they weren't sure what to do. Many hate it and leave after a couple of years. Teaching really isn't something you should choose unless it's what you want to do because unless you love teaching, you will be miserable. I expect nursing and midwifery are similar.

The school hols are a great benefit but you must remember that it's not quite as family friendly as everybody thinks. There's work to do in the evenings and at weekends and you never get to see your own kids at sports day or their afternoon nativity play. You can't just take leave as and when needed and you obviously can only go away during school hols.

Oh and with a degree in English lit you could teach English across the secondary phase. You do not need to have done lit/lang.

I have two friends who are chartered accountants and neither particularly enjoy it. One is considering becoming a maths teacher! grin

Good luck.

belgo Wed 26-Aug-09 15:13:52

Agree about biology and scinece being very useful for nursing and midwifery. I know one OT who has a good scientific knowledge and she's an excellent OT because she understands all of the diseases and the way they afffect the body. I know another OT who is far less scientific and works mainly with elderly people.

ClaireDeLoon Wed 26-Aug-09 15:18:18

I only know about accountancy, so can't comment on the other options.

Chartered Accountant isn't the only option - in fact the training for it is (I think) quite horrible being based on being an audit trainee for 3 years.

Do you want to be an accountant in a company? If so then I would recommened the certified accountant route - ACCA, it's an equivalent qualification but the training doesn't necessarily invlove auditing.

Nor do you necessarily need a degree to do either, you can do an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) course while working (and hence bringing in money) which takes, I think, 2 years, then do your ACCA/Chartered Accountant after.

But if you really don't want to sit at a desk then I would say don't do it. You are taking on a big commitment whichever option you do and you need it to be enjoyable in addition to be well paid.

myredcardigan Wed 26-Aug-09 15:20:20

Sorry for double post. I'd agree about not going into nursing if science is not your thing. I think the nursing degree at Manchester University wanted 3 A-levels ABB with one being biology or human biology (last time I looked for a parent of one of my students)

nikki1978 Wed 26-Aug-09 15:36:04

When I said I am rubbish at science I more meant physics and chemistry. I did enjoy and was pretty good at biology so an alevel in human biology would be ok as long as they let me do it with my low GCSE grade.

I sound like I am feeling my way in the dark here but I really want to do a job where I can make a bit of a difference to peoples lives and where I am interacting with people not just staring at a pc all day.

The australia thing is very important to me too so I am basing a fair bit of my decision on whether my career will help get my family in there.

I think I would be great at the nursing/midwifery side more than the teaching tbh....

The problem is I have to decide which A-levels to do in the next week. If I go for teaching I would do maths and english lit, if I go for occupational therapy I would need to change english lit to human biology. I guess if I go for midwifery nursing it would also be better to have the human biology....

Decisions...

Thanks for your thoughts so far ladies

ClaireDeLoon Wed 26-Aug-09 15:39:30

Do all of those options give you the skills needed to emigrate?

belgo Wed 26-Aug-09 15:39:32

How many a-levels are you going to do? I would go for all three biology, maths and english, and if you are going to do just two, then biology and maths are the most useful imo.

belgo Wed 26-Aug-09 15:41:39

You don't need human biology for nursing /midwifery, the general biology a-level is fine.

nikki1978 Wed 26-Aug-09 15:48:29

I am going to do two alevels part time over the next two years. I already have fine art alevel at a c grade and english lit at a d grade which I was going to redo to improve my grade.

Maybe it would be better to do maths and human biology (not sure that I can do basic biology part time at my local college) so I have 4 alevels....

When I was looking at teaching I wanted to major in english and need an english lit alevel of c or above which is why I was going to redo it.

Tres confused.

nikki1978 Wed 26-Aug-09 15:49:31

I don't think I am allowed to do more than 2 part time belgo - the college thinks it is too much.

bloss Wed 26-Aug-09 15:57:48

Message withdrawn

belgo Wed 26-Aug-09 15:58:03

can you do maths and biology and retake the english lit maybe? Ask if that's a possibility.

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