Haven't been blogging around these parts for awhile. Might try to change that, what with the launch of the whole new spiffy season coming up here. (The Season 10 trailer is really damned impressive. It's amazing how far the Rvb animation has come in the past decade. Those combat scenes are as impressive, if not more so, as anything that has come from the Halo franchise proper. Good on you, RT crew.)
I'm currently back in school (local community colleges, Cuyamaca and Grossmont, which operate as one joint facility). About a year ago, I realized that the legal field sucks. There are too many law school graduates, and too many paralegal program graduates (the latter including yours truly). For lawyers, students are graduating with six figure student loan debt, and, er, can't find jobs. For paralegals, it means no entry-level jobs, and those that do come along once in a blue moon offer what I make ($11 an hour). The good paying jobs, such as they are for people who are not bilingual, all require five to seven years of experience, specifically in one particular area of law. So, for someone like me, who has spent the last two years working in bankruptcy, I can look forward to three more years at this same bullshit salary (especially with this company) before I can get my foot in the door for something modestly better (but only in bankruptcy). Found a good site echoing the same frustrations. I went through the paralegal program at USD because I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself (and my B.A. in Music Technology from UCSD), and I thought it would be a good tryout for the legal field to see if law school would be right for me. Well, even though it has brought me nowhere near the career or income opportunities I thought it would, it's pretty much answered the law school question for me. I don't want the debt (you can't get rid of student loans through bankruptcy, by the way), and I probably wouldn't be happy as a lawyer. While I have no doubt in my legal analysis skills (my criminal law teacher was impressed to the point that he urged me to take the law school plunge), as a lawyer, you are, by your very nature, opposing something else, winning some cases, losing others. I never have been great at taking a loss, and I think I would be happier in a field where I am involved in processes that create things, as opposed to opposing something. Plus, I've spent two years in the emotional sinkhole that is bankruptcy law ( as I've no doubt family law is as well). I'll bet dollars to donuts that those two areas are where most of the work is, and will be for some time. (This is totally me speaking anecdotally, but how many bankruptcy lawyer billboards do you see around your town? How many "keep your home and your car" bankruptcy law firm ads do you hear on the radio? Yeah, that's where the work is. Not the money, mind you, but the work.) So, color me a firm believer that if you're going to go to law school, you'd better hit near the top of your class at a top school, or you'd better really want to be a lawyer. Otherwise, don't bother. I think, like the higher education bubble in general, the law school bubble has no choice but to pop in the next few years. The costs have risen far beyond what is reasonable, and until the courts or Congress decide to create some leniency on student loan dischargeability (or repayment terms), more and more people are going to come to the conclusion that I have: it's not worth it.
So, I'm trying something new. I was looking around for local computer schools at this time last year. At first, I was thinking about a place called Coleman University. But, the cost was too high for my liking and, more critically, it's one of those ITT Tech-like places where the units won't transfer anywhere. Don't finish out your degree with them for some reason? Tough. Those classes that you took won't be honored at any other school.
(I had a good friend of mine have this happen to him. He was in the Videogame Design program at ITT Tech, and all he had left was his final capstone. The school then announced that his group would be the last class to which they'd be offering that program. Something went awry with his funding, he couldn't finish out the final course, and he ended up on the hook for the tuition with no degree to show for it....and no way to finish out what he had started. Between watching that happen to him and my experience with USD Paralegal, I am a firm believer that there is a circle of hell devoted specifically for admins to higher education programs who promise the moon and the stars to would-be applicants, when they know damned well that the reality is something quite different. And may there be a special place for the owner of this school, a place that shut down and left a whole lot of attending students holding the bag. I'm not dismissing personal responsibility here, nor the need to carefully consider one's school, field of study, corresponding debt, and the likelihood of repaying said debt. But, when students need to pretty much dismiss what schools advertise about their programs (minus the cover-their-ass fine print), and look elsewhere for the truth, something has gone wrong with the system. My generation was sold on the idea that we'd be employable with a college education, any such education, and that's simply not the case anymore with this economy. I hope more and more families are realizing this fact, and counselling their high school grads to plan accordingly. A degree is one thing. Experience is quite the other, and it's far far more valuable.) [to be continued]