Looking for some advice, any help is appreciated.

GubzsGubzs Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey fellas.

I just found these forums today and decided after some browsing that this would likely be a good place to relay my situation in hopes to find some genuine assistance.

So here's the deal. I'm 21, roughly two years into getting a degree in Information Systems at my local university, but there's been a bit of a snag where money in concerned. My father was paying for my degree outright up until now, for which I'm very grateful, but as a result I've been dealing with a large amount of mental and emotional abuse from him and I simply can't have that in my life any longer. I won't go into any details, but I can assure you that my remaining $20,000 cost of college is not worth the way I am being treated. Let's just say that he doesn't approve of me making less than 100k a year and leave it at that.

...and beyond that I just don't like feeling like my college degree is anything other than my own. I want to get out in the world and genuinely achieve something. I'm done with my life being controlled, and I want an anchor so that I can get there.

Fortunately I've been lucky enough to be able to live at home with my mother and stepfather while I'm at school, and have very few expenses currently. I've given it some thought and I think that, rather than going roughly $20,000 in debt over the next two years, that I would be better off obtaining some certifications and attempting to get not only some work experience in an IT or similar field, but also pocket enough money to pay for the remainder of my degree outright over the course of the next year, give or take.

I currently work part time at a retail position where I've held my job for well over a year. I have references that will say that I'm a solid worker and an excellent employee, but unfortunately all of my work experience thus far has been hourly retail work. Three jobs on the resume, one for a year, one for two months, and my current one for 20 months.

I say all that to say that this is my situation, and I really want to move forward, but continuing my degree is currently a non -option until I can come up with the money. Massive debt is a no-can-do, I've seen what it does to lives.

What I am considering doing currently is getting an A+ certification and seeing where my interests are afterwards, or if I could land a job that pays better than my garbage 8.25/hour position that would definitely be a start.

I would be okay with not finishing my degree until later in life if I can get a comfortable paycheck. My girlfriend and I have discussed marriage, and mutually agree that it's going to happen once our lives settle down a bit, but neither of us want children until our thirties. She's getting the same degree that I am, so any reasonable amount of money is probably going to work out fine for me right now. (in terms of not finishing my degree of course)

So, here's a summary if that was too much explanation:
-My goals for the current are to get into an IT related position as soon as I possibly can
-I have references and a good deal of work experience in retail, but nothing in IT
-I am currently thinking that an A+ cert is the place to start...?
-I have two years of an Information Systems degree complete, but most of that has been non-major-specific coursework
-I have minor recreational coding experience in java and c++, but I'd prefer to keep coding on the recreation side of my life
-I need to make $20,000 before I can finish my degree at UAB in Birmingham. I don't want to drown in debt.
-I currently have very few expenses, as I'm lucky enough to be able to stay with my family
-I would be okay with not finishing my degree until later in life if I can get a comfortable paycheck.

-...aaand I'm looking for advice. Anything is appreciated, and I'd like to preemptively thank you for your time. :)

Comments

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Only you can decide whats right for you. However you are young and still have the option to live at home and take advantage of financial support from the family.

    I think you should suck it up and finish school. The money sounds crazy at this point in your life but I don' think leaving college is right best choice.

    Good Luck!
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GXPN GPEN GWAPT GCIH GCFE GICSP GSEC eJPT Sec+ Posts: 1,260Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Hello there and welcome to the forum! You've come to a great place for advice.

    I am sorry to hear about your current situation. You sound like a very bright and talented individual who was dealt a difficult situation. No one deserves that kind of abuse and I can only imagine how difficult of decision it is for you to drop out of a program you enjoy.

    I think starting with the CompTia A+ and applying for entry level IT position is a great idea. Getting your first IT is always the hardest part. Post your resume with your personal details removed so we can critique it and improve your chances of getting hired.

    Check out the A+ sub forum for the best materials to use like Professor Messer videos and Mike Meyers books.

    Keep your head up and don't give up, you'll get through this difficult patch in your life.

    Best of luck to you!
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,592Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    As iBrokeIT said, welcome and sorry about your situation. A+ is definitely a good idea. You will find, though, quite a few different opinions about any/all of the CompTIA certs. Suffice to say, your mileage will vary depending on where you live, which company you try to get hired on at, etc. Now, one way to leverage the A+, once you get it, is to try to get a job at Geek Squad (if there is one near you). Even though many consumers are wary of Geek Squad, many employers will see experience from working with them as a positive thing (at least Apple Store, a large Telecom, a state IT department, etc has said that having them on my resume is a positive...again, your mileage will vary). It is any "easy" way to get your foot in the IT door. It won't make you rich, but the experience dealing with customers and fixing a multitude of computer issues will be great.

    As for school, take it from this 40+ year old, get your degree as soon as you can. I understand the parent related "I own you since I'm paying for college" deal, so don't think I am saying stick with him paying for the rest of the schooling. You need to be mentally/emotionally healthy and that type of situation can be quite toxic. Now, there are many affordable options when it comes to finishing your schooling, so poke around here and you will be introduced to many of them.

    Lastly, good luck and please keep us posted. We will be your cheerleaders, mentors, and ball-busters...we truly do wish you all the best.

    Cheers
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • TalonizeTalonize Posts: 56Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sounds like a tough spot. Just keep in mind that it could always be worse than it is. That's what always keeps me going. You have a clear goal set in mind and routes to achieve your goal. Some people don't know what they wanna do and have almost no chances to get out of their predicament.

    As the above poster said, finish school while you can without work. You won't have the opportunity to focus on school alone forever. Eventually you will have to find a job, like me, and have to do work, school, and study for certs. So finish school while you have this luxury. Then focus on certs/work. Financial loans for school aren't even too bad. You get low interest rates and at 20k you'll be done in 6 years tops.

    You can do it man, don't give up. We're both gonna be working our butts off so don't slack off.
  • GubzsGubzs Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for all of the (very prompt!) advice, I very much appreciate it.

    Unfortunately it's too late for me to come up with the money to go to school this next semester, as the ~$5000 bill would be due this Thursday and the deadline for student aid has long since passed. That's how I ended up in this crisis to being with...my father has intentionally left me hanging and still is to this moment; I'm going to have to have a difficult conversation with him shortly about how I've decided that I don't want his money any longer. That said however, I could potentially continue my degree with loans in the Spring.

    As for now, I'm looking in to getting the CompTIA A+ as soon as I possibly can, and I'll definitely fire off an application at the local Geek Squad immediately afterward, that does sound like a good way to get my foot in the door. Once I've gotten my A+, I'll construct an anonymous resume and link to it here.

    Thank you all!
  • colemiccolemic Posts: 1,568Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    If you are amenable to all possibilities, (and are eligible) you should consider joined the armed forces as well... That'll give you a change of scenery. :)
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Gubzs wrote: »
    Thank you for all of the (very prompt!) advice, I very much appreciate it.

    Unfortunately it's too late for me to come up with the money to go to school this next semester, as the ~$5000 bill would be due this Thursday and the deadline for student aid has long since passed. That's how I ended up in this crisis to being with...my father has intentionally left me hanging and still is to this moment; I'm going to have to have a difficult conversation with him shortly about how I've decided that I don't want his money any longer. That said however, I could potentially continue my degree with loans in the Spring.

    As for now, I'm looking in to getting the CompTIA A+ as soon as I possibly can, and I'll definitely fire off an application at the local Geek Squad immediately afterward, that does sound like a good way to get my foot in the door. Once I've gotten my A+, I'll construct an anonymous resume and link to it here.

    Thank you all!

    Do you have to have a degree from UAB? If not why not look at WGU? You will still get a BS in IT and will get certs at the same time. It is regionally accredited just like all major universities are, and since you have pretty much taken care of all the filler classes you would more or less be focusing on the certs. In the end you would come out with some good certs and a Bachelors degree. It is also going to cost you a lot less as it is only $3k for 6 months. If you can finish your degree in 6 months then you are only out $3k. If you haven't already, check out wgu.edu and look in the forums here as many members have gone or are still going to WGU.
  • jeffgibbsjeffgibbs Posts: 25Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I second the military recommendation. Look into an ROTC Scholarship this way you can finish up school and have a job waiting for you when you graduate. Think about it.
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAPosts: 368Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    If you are not pulled to join by your own interest or desire, then you may find the military to be the wrong fit. Its not something you should join for the money. There are a lot of options out there, try to explore and think about all of them.

    Good luck!
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
Sign In or Register to comment.