How to get anywhere without qualifications

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by PotteryWalrus, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    Basically what the title says.

    It looks like I'm about to fail yet another course - all I ever seem to do is fail them

    If anyone can tell me that there might be other ways to get into my chosen field (animal care, animal husbandry, zoology, mostly) with getting the stupid fucking bits of paper I'm so fucking hopeless at obtaining

    That would help me massively right now
  2. seebs' mom

    seebs' mom Yes, really!

    I have no experience in any of those fields, but I know it must be disappointing to get no replies, so I hope you'll accept some very general comments.

    Those three areas are likely to have very different entry requirements and possible alternative paths. States (or countries, you don't say where you're from) have varying licensing laws, and different kinds of jobs have varying expectations of formal requirements. (You don't need a journalism degree to work as a journalist, or even a college degree, though in practice most journalists have one.) You might try, if you aren't doing it now, collecting separate dossiers on jobs in each of those fields; what are the formal requirements, what can you find out about the informal requirements, can you identify people working in those fields who don't meet what are (or are now) the formal requirements for the jobs they are doing , and find out how they got there? Those are narrower questions, and so perhaps easier to answer than the broad one you asked in your thread title.

    You can think about broader questions, too. I don't know what courses you are failing, or why, but is there a way to get help with that? Is there counseling or tutoring help available? Can you identify other stresses in your life that make studying harder?

    If you don't (yet) have the credentials for a particular field, can you come at it obliquely? I know someone who was a zoo volunteer for a while, got to know people, and so had a shot at a job when an entry-level position came open. When I take my cat to the vet, the people at the desk aren't vets, and I'm pretty sure the technicians aren't either although they may need some relevant experience.

    Maybe it's possible to get a day job doing something else and follow your interests in these fields outside of work. Alexander Borodin was a chemist, Wallace Stevens was an insurance executive, and so was Charles Ives.

    [My alternative path . . . I went to grad school in math after I graduated from college, expecting to be a college professor. I taught for a few years and then lost my job because I failed to get a Ph.D. Then my husband spent a sabbatical year at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, and while we were there I had a baby -- that would be Seebs. When we got back, I was disinclined to become one of the overqualified faculty wives who were working as department secretaries and the like, so I started a small printing business that catered to the antique car hobby. I sold that business before a sabbatical year in Shanghai, and when we got back from there and Seebs started college, I went back to grad school (in linguistics) and, on a whim, applied for a job on the university newspaper. I fell in love with that, and when the university closed the linguistics department in a fit of budget-cutting, I took a job as an editorial writer and kept doing that until I retired. It was a much better choice for me than anything I ever planned for. ]

    Good luck!
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  3. keltka

    keltka the green and brown one

    I have a relative who's dyslexic, and failed a required course to study veterinary medicine three times
    like seebs' mom suggested, coming at it from another angle was their in
    they volunteered at shelters, worked entry level positions at vet clinics, and so on—being a vet tech was vet adjacent, and it got them part of the way to the place they wanted!
    oblique angles work—sorry this isn't more new info, but I thought anecdata might help

    FAKE EDIT: also I think at one point this relative decided to get a business degree so that they could run their own clinic. a business degree was more feasible for a variety of reasons and the idea was "well if I can't be a vet I'll hire the vets and saunter on in to learn from them"
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