Need advice for my girlfriend regarding jobs

DBReedDBReed Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
My girlfriend and I are living in San Francisco. We both finished grad school in December of 2010, and we moved out here because I got a job here. My girlfriend is 36, has a Bachelor's in Art History and a Master's in Education. In between her ungrad and grad work, she worked in retail as a manager of a toy store. Currently, she works as a core para-professional substitute for the San Francisco Unified School District, as well as taking some after school jobs babysitting children with autism. She enjoys the work, but the pay is shit, especially for this city. She's been trying to get a job as a full time teacher with the district, but it hasn't been going well. In our entire time here, she's only been to two interviews for teaching positions, both of which went nowhere. She's been exploring going back to school to get a special education certification to try to improve her employment prospects, but that looks like it might not happen for another year because she dragged her feet on the admissions process. I'm of the opinion that another two and a half years of school and another $20,000 of debt is not worth it, especially since public education in California seems to be on its last legs.

I really don't know what to suggest to help her. I'm a musician in an orchestra, and I have no clue about finding employment outside of my field. I was hoping someone here would have a suggestion about another field that might be well suited for her background, because I'm at a loss. I really want to help her and give her advice, because it seems like she's close to the point of giving up and I don't know what to do.

DBReed on


  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    She should either look outside of education or move. Getting into teaching in CA right now is nigh fucking impossible.

  • DBReedDBReed Registered User regular
    Moving isn't an option, because then we wouldn't be together anymore. I'm not going to leave my job, I just got tenure back in March.

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    If you're looking to save money, I'd investigate moving out of the city. Over the long term that might help just as much as getting a better-paying job. Real estate prices there have become ridiculous over the past 2 years or so, and show no signs of slowing down. I live in Oakland now, and can tell you that prices outside of the city are also starting to go higher as people continue to get priced out of SF and look elsewhere.

    Regarding the job hunt advice, see if she can figure out what skills she has beyond her academic credentials and write those down. You'll be surprised the kinds of jobs you can at least get an interview for based on work experience and actual skills, rather than just the subject that shows up in your degree.

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    What about museums? I assume an Art History major would be applicable there. Art galleries, libraries too.

  • DBReedDBReed Registered User regular
    We've considered a move, but one of the things that we like about living in the city is not needing a car. BART makes it easy to get into the city for work, but a bigger concern for us is getting around the city we live in. If we have to get a car just to get around, a lot of the money we save on rent gets eaten up by gas, insurance, etc. I like the list idea, I think I'll suggest that to her tomorrow. I was also thinking she should consider a career counselor. Would that be worth her time or just a waste of money?

    She's tried for a few museum jobs. There was a job opening in Education Outreach at the De Young that was perfect for her, but they advertised it as an internal posting only. She sent in an application anyway, but she's not holding her breath.

  • Continental_OpContinental_Op Registered User regular
    If she wants to stay in education the Special Education credential is probably the best bet and it shouldn't cost 20 grand unless she is getting it from Stanford. It probably won't take two years either depending on if any of her Masters of Ed courses counts toward the credential. Does she already have a teaching credential? Because that should cut down on the time as well. Otherwise it is exceedingly rough trying to find teaching jobs in almost any field or grade level. She might need to extend her search radius (but if you don't have a car that might not be tenable).

    XBL - TeenageHead
  • Brian KrakowBrian Krakow Registered User regular
    I'm not sure of the exact term, but she could probably work as a coach/consultant in the private sector for people on the autistic spectrum. Probably wouldn't pay as well as a teacher, though.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    it would pay better than a teacher. Cali teachers make jack shit for salary.

  • DBReedDBReed Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Turns out the 20 grand figure she quoted me was high. It'll be more like $12,000 for her to get the spec ed credential at SFSU. The reason it would take so long is she would still be working during the day and taking classes in the evening, so it ends up being spread out over a couple of years, plus one summer semester. This is all according to an advisor she spoke to yesterday. This is all moot, though, since we talked about this last night and she's decided she's not going to pursue the credential. Too much time, money and stress to improve her employment prospects in a field that doesn't like it's getting any better. It's really hard on her because she loves working with kids, especially kids with special needs.

    Brian, do you have any more info about these consultant jobs? I've never heard of that before.

    DBReed on
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Also she could try to leverage her management position and move laterally to a company that pays more money for a manager. Or try to move up to district management, another avenue is to try to move to working for the supplier, that usually pays better and has better working hours.

  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    From what I understand, all the good money is in administration

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    She should look into tutoring or homeschooling opportunities, as I'm sure there's a ton in the bay area given the money around here, and I seem to recall autism is correlated with math/quant types, who we tend to have plenty of.

  • Brian KrakowBrian Krakow Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Looking into it the title is generally Autism Support Specialist. Most of them work in the public sector (maybe she's already doing something similar as a paraprofessional?), but I know people who do it in the private sector too. Pay generally isn't good from what I can tell, though.

    Has she considered becoming a Behavior Analyst? In special ed it seems to be similar to the above with more pay, prestige, and I would assume responsibilities. There's also a lot of demand for it in other fields if she ever needs to leave the field. She'd need a credential for that one, though, either a BCBA or a BCaBAs.

    Brian Krakow on
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