Advice for Further Education for ERE

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Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Hello everyone,

My name is Jimmy. I'm 19 years old, currently living with parents. I am the oldest of many children, so I want to avoid asking my parents for money to fund any further education. I'd like some advice regarding further education in order to get to FI as quickly as possible. I'll list some of what I've considered, plus some of the pros and cons.

1) Nursing. My local community college has a 3+1 program for nursing, meaning I can get a BSN degree with 3 years of community college prices and 1 year of university prices.
Pros: I can probably get the entire thing paid for with scholarships.
Cons: I have a lot of AP credit from high school, but not a ton of STEM credits. This means I would have to spend a lot more time in school before I could get out and earn money.

2) Teaching. I had a lot of inspiring high school teachers, and if cost of schooling and finances and money were no issue, I'd love to be a history teacher. There are no teacher certification programs through my community college. However, I did apply to a university that tends to give good scholarships, and depending on the financial aid offer it might be viable to study there.
Pros: Lots of AP credit would transfer and I could get a degree relatively quickly. It's probably my ideal job. Even if it took me longer to reach FI, I would still have summers off to pursue other moneymaking gigs or personal projects.
Cons: Cost of getting the degree is currently unknown. I am pretty determined never to borrow money for school, so yeah.

3) Trades. I've strongly and seriously considered the trades for a long time. I respect tradespeople a ton.
Pros: Good pay, no student loans, etc etc
Cons: A friend of mine is a carpenter, and everything he has said about the local trades culture sounds like it would drive me insane. He says the unions in the area have a near-military culture to them. Very authoritarian from what he tells me. This would make me want to punch someone in the face every day, so I'm leaning towards a no there.

Thanks everyone. I hope I can get some useful advice from you folks here.


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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by Adamski »

Hi there, my view is that you choose a career which suits your personality and which you find interesting.

The important thing to me to get ahead, is to set the savings habit up early, so when you start employment to join a company pension scheme (employer match, US equiv.) and to start some regular saving/investing (however small).

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Knowing what I know now, I would probably have gone with nursing. Male nurses are in high demand, the skills are portable, and you can earn very high income with a part time schedule. That checks a LOT of boxes for someone who wants the freedom of an ERE lifestyle. Here in NY a BSN with 5 years of experience pulls in $100k+, and contract nursing seems like a great way to work part of the year. Paging c_L for more insight.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by ZAFCorrection »

Actuarial science is a pretty good fire-and-forget career if you are ok with numbers, looking through regs, and being a spreadsheet jockey (95% of the work is done in excel and sql). It may not get you FI faster than everything else, but there is a stupidly clear path towards promotions and raises. Also fairly low stress except at certain times of the year. My old roomy is something like 6 years in after getting his BS, makes over 100k, has like 5 weeks of vacation, and he has the freedom to dick off at work a lot of the time.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Thanks for the replies. I'm considering all of what you said.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by ZAFCorrection »

Another aspect to consider is placing your job and the skills you will learn in the broader context of the rest of your life. Maybe it's worth it to consider the 8-year plan over the 5-year plan if the training/job can be used to develop useful skills for FI or to cross things off the bucket list.

To go explicitly autobiographical, doing a PhD was an incredibly stupid idea in terms of time to FI (and also horrible for other reasons), but I don't think I would make a different decision if I had it to do over again. The work scratched an itch, the skills will be very useful in the future, and it is not something I could have easily come back to in the future.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

My advice, you shouldn't be focusing in on FI. Rather, at your stage in life, you should focus in on how to become a happy, productive adult. If you absolutely need to think of future FI, fine, here's the secret. Avoid lifestyle inflation and avoid educational debt. That's it. If you become happily productive at some point in your early 20's, you'll be FI by 30 in almost any career if you do those two things.

The kicker is that you have to stick out any job/career path you choose long enough to know if you are good at it and/or like it. Which means, at a very minimum, 1-2 years in the field with an open mind. This is a huge mistake most younger people make these days, IMO. They make a decision they don't like a job in the first three months and never get out of that mindset.

As far as what to choose. Follow a mix of practicality (education requirements and job outlook), personal preference (something you may enjoy), and talent (something you could be good at). Avoid the common mistakes of "following my passion", "I want to change the world ". You can potentially do both (that's the beauty of youth and I miss it), but those things won't depend on what you do for your first real job.

Also, realize with absolute certainty, what you think you want now will not be what you want in 10 years or 30 years from now. Try to avoid overly boxing yourself into a certain life too early. That kind-of goes hand in hand with my FI advice.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by Lemur »

I'd go with 1 or even consider another option (computer science). Personality permitting on the latter.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by Matt3121 »

Hey that's great you are thinking of doing FI as fast as possible, I wish I did the same as you when I was your age.

This is just my personal advice and it depends on where you live obviously, but I'd suggest don't do any of the above if you don't want to go to school.
If you are reasonably intelligent I'd highly suggest being a software developer. The tools to learn are cheap/free and the pay is pretty ridiculous. I taught 2 of my friends who had zero background in this field and one got a job after 2 1/2 months of training, he makes 90k. Another guy I taught, he just turned 21 though he was 18 when I was teaching him, he had a harder road to get a job but he got 2 jobs back to back 1 for 60k then 80k.

He lives at home and is spending his money on getting his BMW wrapped the same color as the car is already(!?!???!!?!). But if you put in the effort you can just use the money more wisely and save a bunch. If you want more info I'm glad to point you in the right direction.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by ertyu »

Imo nursing. Reasons:

1. nurses are paid much better than teachers. If you determine 10 yrs down the road you do actually want to be a teacher, you can have a stash saved and make your transition to teaching easier.

2. it is easy to switch from nursing to teaching but not from teaching to nursing (or from teaching to anything for that matter). It is not uncommon for people to want to switch to teaching from other career occupations so the tracks are well-established.

(2.5) --> thus if you go with nursing you're limiting your future options less.

3. Nursing offers greater work flexibility. You can decide to work at your nursing job two days a week. You cannot decide to just be a teacher on tuesdays and fridays (unless you're a substitute i guess, but in that case the pay will be crap and some of what you seem to value in teaching - be able to develop a relationship with students and inspire them - won't be there.)

4. Nursing is likely to be in higher demand in the years ahead as population ages. Also, see point about male nurses raised above.

5. Finishing the nursing degree might take longer, but the time to FI will be shorter because the higher salary will allow for higher savings. The difference in pay can be quite substantial. I've read posts by nurses on this forum and others. I have also read about teacher salaries. It is possible to earn 2x as a nurse than it would be as a teacher. 1.5x is certainly common and doable.

6. It is easier to transition from nursing to IT, too, imo. E.g.: you graduate university at 21. At 28, you determine you don't want to work as a nurse anymore. Demand for IT professionals still appears strong. You have at least 200k saved by this point, because you have been frugal. You decide to work your nursing job only 2 or 3 days a week and devote the rest of the time to studying IT. You get an IT job at 30.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by BMF1102 »

Roaming Francis - I am in a Union Millwright and have worked in Chicago's jurisdiction, PM if you'd like more information.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by Frita »

A few thoughts about K-12 education work:
* Just because you had inspiring teachers and most likely enjoyed school does not mean you would like teaching. Consider applying for a para or sub job if you have enough AP credits. See if you like the atmosphere.
* History is notoriously difficult to secure employment, right up there with PE. Often coaches teach one of these subjects. If you go this route, combine with math or science.
* Teaching is not portable. Often you have more experience, additional degrees, or have been in an administrative role; you may struggle to find a position if you move.
* Often a nice, cheap Teach for America candidate will get a job over a trained teacher. I have seen the latter subbing for years to get in while TFA folks churn every two years.
* Schools do hire nurses (BSN is required in my state.). The calendar and pay are the same as teachers. The work can be dull (Think talking temperatures, bandaids, vision/hearing screenings, etc.). If you worked in a school with many students with severe special needs, you could do g-tube feeding, trac suctions, diapering, emergency care while waiting for ambulance, etc. Often these school nurses worked shiftwork, saved money, and transitioned to school nursing.
* Some inner-city and reservation schools will pay off your debt over several years. Note that these are typically undesirable jobs, that you’ll be working with a churn of staff (the worst), and may be to pay back the money if you don’t complete all the years. There is no guarantee ahead of time that you can get such a deal.
* I would not recommend teaching careers to anyone. I think that learning is important, that teaching can be noble work, but the BS isn’t worth it.

An option for nursing is to become a CNA to see if you like it. My niece did that at a nursing home that paid for her BSN because they liked her so much. Now she’s the director. Even if she didn’t like the work, she has a portable education with no debt.

I echo the others on not focusing on FI or following your passion. Stay out of debt. Avoid consumerism. Do your research.

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Re: Advice for Further Education for ERE

Post by IlliniDave »

I might consider 1+3, or just 3. Both are in demand and give you a lot of geographic flexibility. Depending on the trade, you learn a lot that can help you avoid costs in your own living arrangements (though it sounds like you might want to look outside your present location if unions have a stranglehold, they can be nepotistic and tough to crack into without connections). You might consider looking into Mike Rowe's program if money's tight and you want to pick up some of the trade qualifications via community college or trade school. (caveat, I don't know much about the program, just that it exists). I would especially consider trades if you think you want to eventually have your own business. Having two sets of qualifications builds in some redundancy. Actually, as I think about it maybe 2+3 would be better--several of the guys who were on the faculty with my dad had trade businesses they worked on weekends and over summers (carpenter, house painting, landscaping, etc.). People I know in nursing associated with hospitals often have long hours and somewhat unpredictable schedules. Maybe it's different if you land a job with a 9-5 practice versus hospitals. But teaching seems like it might have the biggest up front investment.

It's awesome you are thinking ahead so early.

I'm a very bad example, but ERE is not all about piling up money in isolation

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