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Need some vocational advice!

October 29th, 2004, 09:39 PM
OK, long story short, I found out just as my mat leave was ending that my job has been end-dated. Not a heartbreaker for me at all - I've been offered a lovely severence package!

Anyhow, I'm wondering if anyone here does any freelance work in the following fields. If so, do you enjoy it? I'm looking for something to supplement hubby's income while staying home with the kiddies.
- web design
- database design (ie. MSAccess)
- writing (magazines/newspapers)
- data entry/coding
- transcription

Does anyone else do any other job on a freelance basis? Any Microsoft Certified people out there? Are those titles (eg. MOUS) worth anything in the "real world"?

Thanks, folks!

October 29th, 2004, 10:41 PM
Do you already have credentials in any of these areas? I always tell my students to obtain as many degrees as they can!! (and even some community college courses are fairly good but you did not hear that from a university prof, lol)

The certifications are good only if they are backed up with education first as well as experience. Alas, the IT boom is over and there are many IT workers out there looking for work. That said, anyone with a degree in computer science will still find work and there are freelance opportunities available. MS Access is typically not considered database design in the IT world (It being part of the MS Office program) but if you have any SQL courses and experience, have knowledge advanced MS Access procedures (dare I use that word as someone who teaches Java, lol), that would be helpful.

The web design world is more complicated and competitive than it used to be and companies now want someone who can program (and HTML - because it does not compute - is not a programming language) in some scripting language, has some background in graphic design and has good communication and technical writing skills. Of course one can specialize in one of those areas but I would not advise it. The only real constant these days is change. (oxymoron intended, lol)

Back in the heady days of the high tech boom, I was offered an incredible salary simply because I was certified in Oracle and this company needed someone proficient in Cold Fusion. Now of course Cold Fusion is owned by Macromedia and many of its concepts are translatable to any SQL script. Not to mention that any good editor will allow you to insert the various scripts of VBScript, JavaScript (NOT to be confused with the OOP Java) or perl.

There are definitely opportunities out there tho. Send me a PM if you need more info. And good luck in your search!!

October 30th, 2004, 09:00 AM
My friend Jennifer is an author for children's books. She loves the work, and she gets paid well for it. She is only 19 years old, and she has a job where she is able to stay home with her dogs and keep up the house while her hubby is working, and it will be great for when they have a baby too.

October 30th, 2004, 10:12 AM
LOL! Gee, Professor. Guess I'll be taking those options off my list! :eek: No, I don't have any official schooling in those areas, and at the age of 30++, I don't have the time or the energy (or the money!) to go back to school full time. A lot of the schooling I do have is through my former employer, or self-taught. Thanks for the info, though!

To clarify, I'm not looking to be hired on by a major corporation to create masterpieces and rake in bucketsful of cash. What I had in mind was to create some basic sites or tracking databases for local small businesses. I'd love to get my hands on a used copy of Dreamweaver, just to see what I can do with it (I've never met a piece of software I didn't like!).

Lilith, your friend is 19, married, and being paid to write children's novels? She's my hero!! :D If it's not too much to ask, could you find out who her publisher is and PM me? Does she work with an agent as well?

Again, thanks for the input, folks. I'd love to hear about others who work at home or run their own businesses. I'm still in the dicsovery stages, so anything that might spark an idea is welcome. :thumbs up

October 30th, 2004, 12:39 PM

I did not mean to discourage you! Sorry!!! It's hard to reply when I do not know your exact background and I was just trying to be helpful! :)

You can always volunteer with some group and build up a repetoire of works (I am thinking web development and database design here) and if you have experience in those areas and combine it with communications skills (clearly you like to write) :p

I was in my 30's when I went back to do my PhD in computer science so it IS doable. (It was a second career for me) Last year I had a student who is 50 and starting out to do her BSc in comp sci. Now that is truly heroic!!

These days, many students are in their 30's and this is probably more true in community colleges than in universities. And you can also take courses online. There are even free courses available from MIT!!!

I like to write to and serve on an editorial board - write a weekly column - but it is a hobby and avocation more than a vocation. I'd love to write a novel though some day - just need to find the time, lol Look at JK Rowling. She had her classics degree and was a mom on welfare and she wrote what she wanted to write about and the rest is history!!

Good luck!!!!

October 30th, 2004, 06:18 PM
Thanks, Professor. :) No need to apologize. Your info was very helpful. It is difficult to answer these types of questions without really knowing a person - a little unfair of me to ask. I'm just trying to get a feel for what's out there. After 14 years with the same company, I'm finding it a little daunting to be standing on a threshold with the world laid open before me, so to speak.

Getting your PhD in your 30's. That is remarkable. You must have had some foundation to build on, though. Or was this right from scratch? And going for a BSc in her 50's. Wow! I can say for certain that I don't have that kind of - um - ambition.

I'd like to look into some on-line or distance learning. Of course, I first have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. :p Hence this posting.

Oh, and Ms. Rowling is truly my hero. She says that Harry just walked into her brain one day, fully formed. Can you imagine it? What a stroke of brilliance that was! What genre would you like to write, if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks again! And if you have any more advice, it's more than welcome! :thumbs up

October 30th, 2004, 07:03 PM
many of my girlfriends at uni were over 40 yrs, they are everywhere esp in the sciences here. and they loved it and said it was a bit daunting but they had better understanding of things and wernt distracted like when younger. one of my beautiful friends who is single mum is about to graduate after 7yrs part time, she just turned 40yrs and has a whole life ahead of her yet. now thats an excuse for a party. :party:

but community college is also a great place to learn, i have done plenty of their courses and in some learnt more skills in certain aspects than i did at uni (learnt wonderful botanical skills at community college, picked up hardly anything at uni about this skill) so both are great with one jsut being a hell of alot cheaper.

oh you will have so much fun, how exciting a new phase has just begun, you lucky ducky. :D :crazy:

October 30th, 2004, 10:48 PM

Yep, I already had a couple of degrees, in the sciences but not specifically computer sci tho I had undergrad courses in the field. I had to talk my way into grad school tho and the first weeks I asked myself what on earth was I doing there. But I loved it!! I love school so much I am still there. :D

And yes, I think older students are more serious and are more mature than recent hs grads. I dare not say fewer distractions since often they are parents, have PT jobs and sometimes FT jobs and other concerns. But they are not going to the frat parties on the w/e, <g>

These are the open courses I talked about at MIT.

It does not get any better than free from an Ivy League school!

I vowed a couple years ago that the next courses I would take would be purely for fun. So I studied Gaelic while I was teaching in Ireland last summer and am continuing it. I have a sister who is completing her PhD in Business Admin at the age of 49 tho she already has degrees in engineering, biology and business and a great job! Sometimes learning for the sake of learning is the most fun of all. And if you can find a job that is your hobby, what more can you ask!!!