Thursday, April 21, 2011


I had someone ask what I was looking at, and the field is health care. I don't know exactly what in that field, though right now I've gotten information for the training needed to be a CMA - certified medical assistant. The job market outlook for that position is projected to grow at least 18% between now and 2018 - even with the economic collapse.

I came down this evening since my TA (who doesn't do much) is taking care of the students tomorrow. We spent about an hour and a half talking about this. I have estimates on time/money required for two different programs. One of them is around $5000, but we don't know what that actually covers (if anything) other than tuition.  One is $13,000, all fees included - we're talking texts, labs, uniforms, etc. At this point, we don't know why there is such disparity between them. I'm not sure if one is that much better (or worse), or if it's because one is a community college and the other isn't... I'd have to figure that out.

But I have a dilemma. If we decide together that this is the best thing for us as a couple and for me as an individual, I would have to be in class 4-5 days a week, 4-6 hours per day - longer when you get to the clinical externship. This would take about 9 months.  If we did this, I'm not at all sure what kind of part time job I could get that would allow me to still do the classes and study. The one school is a bit closer - maybe a 25 minute drive from the house; the other is the center of town, and would probably take an hour to 90 minutes in morning traffic. That means probably leaving the house by 6:30 a.m., 5 days a week, and not getting home until 1 or 1:30 p.m., then trying to study and earn money? I don't know... There's another program that I found as well, but it is literally about as far away as you can get from the house and still be in the valley.  It would take me a good 90 minutes, perhaps up to 2.5 hours to get there each day.  I don't know if that's even in the realm of possibility. I love my fiance and his house, but it is as far away from the actual city as you can get. My country boy...

One the one hand, if I could get through the training and pass the certification exam, I would have a much greater possibility of finding a job, and the certification is good for 5 years before you have to renew. On the other hand, doing this means giving up the possibility of my earning a decent wage, which means we might not be able to pay all the bills this first year of marriage without loans, credit card debt, or some other means of help.

There are days that I really wish God would just set up a huge flashing billboard saying, "This is my plan - now do it!" I just want to know what it is I'm supposed to do. Right now, from what I've seen of the job market here, there is almost no chance I'll end up with a job teaching history at the college level. There just aren't any openings. The community college system is losing 50% of their budget (thanks to our ridiculous legislators), the state university is still under a hiring freeze (thanks, also, to our legislators).  I'm not credentialed to teach high school - and any history jobs that we've seen require you to be a coach, because it's really to get a good coach, not a good teacher. I've seen some tutoring jobs, but they require you to meet at the person's home, and I'm seriously distrustful that everyone requesting a tutor is safe to enter their homes, alone, as a woman. (That's what happens when you grow up watching the news from Philly every day.)

But can we really afford for me to spend 9 months of our first year of marriage not earning a decent salary? If I could find a part time job, it would have to be either for the afternoon, evenings, or weekends - the only times my husband would actually be home. So what do we do? He keeps saying that he's sure I'd be great at it, and he just wants me to be happy. I keep saying that we are no longer making decisions based on "I," but we need to make decisions based on "we."  What do we think is best? What is a good situation for both of us?

My mom is supportive, and didn't seem to think the tuition would be that difficult to handle. His mom is signing me up for job alerts for "teaching," despite the fact that 100% of the job postings are in things I'm not qualified for at all. For most jobs that I do find, I am seriously over-educated and seriously under-experienced. 

So what do we do? I have NO. IDEA. AT. ALL. Other than to pray for wisdom. And, since I'm me, think about things constantly.

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