age one starts career?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by eddyphobia, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. eddyphobia

    eddyphobia New Member

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    I'm 19 and I'll be applying to uni (most likely to UK) soon for entry in 2012, and I am still not sure whether I should opt for 3 years or 4 years degree courses. I am just wondering, would 24 be a bit late to start your career? (assuming I'm going to uni for four years.) 23 just sounds like a better age to begin working, and 24 with zero work experience doesn't sound quite right. What do you guys think? And some of the unis I'm really interested in offers only 4 year courses!

    P/s I'm new so I'm not sure whether this thread fits 'et cetera'? I hope so.

    Anyways, what do you guys think? Would a year make a difference?
     
  2. ManlyBanisters

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    Would a year make a difference? No.

    Really I do not think so - Doing what you really want to do and getting the most out of is important. Come 2016 prospective employers will see a young man who went to college at 20 (good age to start) and did a 4 year course. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Also - let's say your first hiring manager is most likely to be in his/her 40s - 24 and 23 are not going to really register as that fundamentally different, age-wise. I know at 19 years old 23 seems so far away and 24 is practically out of sight (I remember being 19 and thinking that 25 sounded old :lmao:) - but really, from the point of view of someone in their late 30s or older hiring you it will make no difference whatsoever.

    Good luck in your studies.
     
  3. eddyphobia

    eddyphobia New Member

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    Thank you, that made me feel better! Probably what I need is someone telling me that it's okay to start slightly later -- I have friends of the same age who started uni at 17/18 so the thought of them having a headstart, perhaps them already working for 3-4 years, while I am still a fresh graduate looking for a first job made me insecure, thus unsure on making this decision.
     
  4. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    My uni has more 'mature age' (defined as 21+ :rolleyes:) students than it has straight-from-school students. I'll be finishing my degree when I'm 32. Post grad is also required in my field, so I'll be 34-36 when I can finally start work. A number of the students in my degree are older than me. Some are significantly older.

    Do I think you should care too much about the age you are when you finish your degree? No! Just make sure you choose to do something you are interested in (and preferably that you love).
     
  5. tbrguy

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    Okay, sound advice so far, but let me play devils advocate.

    Do you have a career in mind?

    If yes, does it require a degree or other academic qualification?

    If yes, then so be it - I agree with previous posters.

    However, if your chosen vocation can be learnt in the workplace - and is an accepted career path in your field - I would give serious thought to skipping Uni and getting on the ladder right now.

    You'll save yourself a ton of debt, and instead of being the older new boy, you'll be the guy with three or four years experience (and earnings) when your contempories join you.

    BUT - this is a serious decision and I must stress that I add this point of view for completeness sake.

    I am now well advanced in my second career, but neither required academic qualifications when I got into them.

    I'm sure things are very different now; although as an employer I certainly consider any applicant regardless of formal qualifications.
     
  6. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    I went back to college to start a new career in Nursing at the age of 36 and graduated when I was 40. I had three job offers BEFORE I finished my senior year.
     
  7. erratic

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    eddy, Manly gave you great advice, but if I can add to it: There is a tension between (and I hate saying this) being old enough to seem capable and having experience under your belt. That is to say, given the chance to hire someone who is 28 vs. someone who is 24, some employers may go with the older one in the hopes that he's more mature. This isn't always the case (especially for people 50+, who get screwed out of work sometimes because people think they're too old), but I certainly experienced it myself. Even now, at 30, I get blowback from people saying "how old are you, 23?" suggesting that I'm not old enough to "get it." Part of me is happy that I look youthful, but a greater part of me is pissed off that even now people are treating me like that. The last time it happened to me was Wednesday, actually. It's unfair, no matter what age you are. But it happens.

    Meanwhile, if you're any age and have no experience that will hurt you - regardless of your credentials, in my experience. It looks worse and worse the older you get, though I suspect that's changing with so many people changing careers later in life these days, like Industrialsize's experience shows.

    So, to add to what others have said, I would encourage you that any age is fine to start your career - just make sure you've done as much volunteering, networking, and odd-jobing in the field as you can. That's how you meet the people who will want to hire you into your career - the people who will know, no matter how old or young you are, what you look like, what your gender is (or any of the other things that can be obstacles to getting a job), how capable, smart, and good of a co-worker you are. Because that will get you hired over anything else. (As I'm sure others can attest, most jobs aren't advertised. Most jobs go to people who know people.) Also, that gives you the real-world experience to decide if the career you think you want is the one you really want. I know I did a four-year degree at uni (actually, I did five years' worth of credits before my graduate degree started) and it gave me just enough time to research all the different paths there are within my chosen career and then settle on the one that fit best with me.

    Also, welcome to the forums, mate - and good luck with uni. It's a shitload of fun, if you let it be :)
     
    #7 erratic, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  8. eddyphobia

    eddyphobia New Member

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    Let's say, a scholarship is being offered to me right now in exchange of five year service in the company that sponsors me. I can study whatever I like as long as it's related to the company's operations but once I finish my degree I have to work with them for five years. Do you think it's a good deal?

    This is where I'm concerned with the extra one year in uni, where I could've start working a year faster (23 with zero work experience, maybe better than 24 with zero work experience?) and finish my five year 'contract' faster by 28 instead of 29. And I feel that five years could be a bit long too.

    I know it's still a long way (I'm 19) but this has been bothering me so much I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask here. Thank you everyone for all your kind advices as well.
     
  9. eddyphobia

    eddyphobia New Member

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    erratic, technically you are saying that gaining as much experience/networking as fast as one can is the way to go in today's path in career success? That is my main concern when it comes to the extra one year, instead of being in uni, the year if spent working could add up to those precious 'working experience' - one of the most highlighted part of any job adverts. Anyhow, cheers for the lengthy response and the welcome. :)
     
  10. erratic

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    True, or you could be spending that extra year working part-time or contracts - or volunteering. That would put you in a better position to get a job than you would be in if you left school after three years.

    Anyway, in the end I think that Manly's advice is really spot on. The difference between 23 and 24 isn't going to amount to much for your future employers. You may want to enjoy your early 20s and stay in university until then anyway. I know I look back very fondly on that time of my life. For me, three years would have been disappointingly little.
     
  11. tbrguy

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    I would say that all depends on the company you're thinking of joining and what they do; are they in the business you want to be in - long term? I don't think you should commit to that sort of deal if the reason is because they'll sponsor you - those five years could seem like a life sentence if you're unhappy doing what they require of you. (Military?).

    Assuming you "need" to go to Uni for your chosen career (a point you haven't really answered), then I wouldn't worry about whether you're 23 or 24 when you graduate, what will matter to an employwer is how good your degree is. In other words how smart you are, and did you go there to study or just to piss it up for three or four years?
     
  12. ManlyBanisters

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    Whether you need the course you want to do for the career you have in mind or not I advise you to take the opportunity to go to college. College is so much more than learning academic shit, it is a life experience. Sound like one of 'those things' people say? Yeah, probably - but in this case it is totally true. Go to university, it's the dogz. :smile:
     
  13. monel

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    I've been on my own since age 18. Went back to college a later, 22 and graduated at 25. Started law school at 26 and graduated at 29. At no time did my late start and completion become an issue. Be confident in who you are and competent in your field of study and no employer will concern himself with such trivialities as your age.
     
  14. Russ311

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    Dude, don't freak! I was 23 when i started working and 8 years later I'm still at the same school because the economy is so bad. I've applied multiple places over those 8 years. Now that I'm in grad school I think I can expand my oppertunities, and I will not finish that for 5 more years. So it looks like I will be 35 when I really start doing what I want. I'm fine with it, a lot of friends aren't even working.
     
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