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Old 04-15-2010, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
470 posts, read 967,095 times
Reputation: 278

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So since I last posted about my job search frustrations I've bounced around a few companies here in Spokane. It seems like I've had pretty good luck finding jobs since October. I'm still not finding anything I really enjoy doing and $36 K a year seems to be a celing I'm hitting as far as jobs go.

I'm currently working downtown at a M-F sales job selling to large well known companies around the nation. I've got a nice base salary for the area but that's probably because two sales a month is considered being a performer. It's a nice firm but there might be two out of the eighteen members of the sales staff that have been here longer than 6 months. It makes me think it's not that different than any other high turn over sales job. I would really like to get out of being a peddler/pusher and be a manager/leader like I am as an officer in the United States Army.

Short of going back on active duty or taking a contract overseas I'm trying to figure out how I might be able to get into that $50 K and up a year salary range and get into that salary range in 15 to 18 months here in Spokane, WA. I'm pondering going to back to school and have thought that an MBA was the way to go. Now I'm tossing around that I might have better luck going to school for a couple of more semesters to get a Bachelors in Accounting in addition to my Bachelors in Business Administration instead of pursuing my MBA right now. I've seen a lot of controller and accounting manager positions opening up but I don't feel like I have the experience or education to apply for them and I don't necessarily think an MBA would qualify me for those jobs either nor do I think it would it necessarily propel me ahead any further than I am now.

My personal opinion right now is that I'm not going to see much of an ROI on a MBA here in Spokane for quite sometime. Do those on this forum agree or disagree.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:28 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,397 posts, read 44,188,758 times
Reputation: 30098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokanejobseeker View Post
...
My personal opinion right now is that I'm not going to see much of an ROI on a MBA here in Spokane for quite sometime. Do those on this forum agree or disagree.
I agree.

Not knowing your age / # yrs in workforce / experience in leadership (beyond supervisor), makes it tough to say, but MBA really just AUGMENTS real life experience and exposure. It really is short on academics and high on strategy, thus much more relevant if you have had various experience and are 'leadership' bound.

I would do the Accounting or Finance Analysis route, get some serious exposure to the broad business management positions, then decide whether you need or want an MBA.

High $$, and high value Jobs are gonna be really lacking for several yrs. (employers market). I would take an international military assignment and get my training paid for while getting some diverse experience. Then I would work for US AID or similar for awhile. I think that is one direction to fill your toolbag for future income / demand of talent.
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
470 posts, read 967,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I agree.

Not knowing your age / # yrs in workforce / experience in leadership (beyond supervisor), makes it tough to say, but MBA really just AUGMENTS real life experience and exposure. It really is short on academics and high on strategy, thus much more relevant if you have had various experience and are 'leadership' bound.

I would do the Accounting or Finance Analysis route, get some serious exposure to the broad business management positions, then decide whether you need or want an MBA.

High $$, and high value Jobs are gonna be really lacking for several yrs. (employers market). I would take an international military assignment and get my training paid for while getting some diverse experience. Then I would work for US AID or similar for awhile. I think that is one direction to fill your toolbag for future income / demand of talent.
I'm still under 30. I've been in the Army for the past ten years and I have been an officer for almost half of that time. I would say I've been in charge of far larger numbers of personnel and assets than most of my civilian counterparts regardless of age. I also am fairly confident that I have more organizational management and leadership skills than even some of the most seasoned management teams that have not gone through the world's greatest leadership program. What I lack is a particular industry skill set. I did own my own business prior to a previous deployment which forced me close up shop. I would love to launch another venture but finding a job that pays well so that I can obtain working capital has been the challenge.

The one thing I'm hanging onto is the first large percentage of the Baby Boomers leaving the workforce in 5 years. If you read the article on Yahoo companies like UPS are already getting ready. Now I doubt Spokane is thinking that progressive yet, but it will be a Millenials market when that happens with more jobs than employees to fill them. Really now is the time to invest in a younger employee for companies but long range forecasting I think is something that is a bit out of reach for most civilians.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
470 posts, read 967,095 times
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Next question would be do you think it matters where you get your degree from all that much? I just got off the phone with Whitworth which is where I got my Bachelors and they don't have an evening program for Accounting. WSU downtown extension is the same as well. I'm probably only six class away at most from getting a Bachelors in Accounting. I've been in contact with Phoenix University for sometime and just haven't been sold on the idea of a diploma mill. It would be much more cost effective and faster going there. They are regionally accredited so they are the same accreditation as the "name brand" schools. At the very least it could get me a job that would lead to a better job. I still think it's a better idea all and all than investing the money and time in an MBA that still isn't propeling me ahead any faster.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Northwest Limbo
438 posts, read 1,666,673 times
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I think that opinions are changing about how important it is to go to a "good" school. I was reading the other day how people aren't seeing the return on their education investments when they payed throught the nose. They may have been better off going to a community college(at least initially) and online schools are gaining acceptance as more people are continueing their education and working at the same time.
Okay, so I'm hardly a company executive, but I don't see why taking a few more classes from a place like Phoenix would be a big deal when you've already got your initial degree from Whitworth. I think if a prospective employer asked about it, you'd just have to tell them what you just told us and it would show that you had good judgement and made sound choices for your future. :~) D
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
470 posts, read 967,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deena160 View Post
I think that opinions are changing about how important it is to go to a "good" school. I was reading the other day how people aren't seeing the return on their education investments when they payed throught the nose. They may have been better off going to a community college(at least initially) and online schools are gaining acceptance as more people are continueing their education and working at the same time.
Okay, so I'm hardly a company executive, but I don't see why taking a few more classes from a place like Phoenix would be a big deal when you've already got your initial degree from Whitworth. I think if a prospective employer asked about it, you'd just have to tell them what you just told us and it would show that you had good judgement and made sound choices for your future. :~) D

That's exactly my thoughts. My gf has a two year degree in a health field and makes a little over $50 K a year. I know I can make more than that in the military right now but I do appreciate having my feet planted firmly on US soil. I really just want to start moving forward in my career. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels in these sales positions.
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:54 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,397 posts, read 44,188,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokanejobseeker View Post
.. I really just want to start moving forward in my career. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels in these sales positions.
I think a lot of folks are doing a lot of spinning of their wheels in JOBS at the moment, but some are making positive strides, and yes I agree that companies SHOULD be building their 'replacement' workers during this key opportunity. Unfortunately, companies seem to have the USA 'short-term' memory problem, and are lapping up the cheap labor at the moment, and being jerks to employees. I would either find that 'ideal job', or head back to military. I DO feel it is MORE important to get a masters at a good school, and I don't recommend a diploma mill (tho that is what all universities are...). I had several friends utilize Univ of Phoenix and it was not good or even part good. Many times adjunct props 'blow-off' showing up to a class or being 'engaged' in the education process. They are usually trying to pick up some extra cash for vacation or to pay child support and could care less about YOUR education (not that profs are much better... but usually more interested in transferring knowledge). I feel it is imperative in the financial industry to go to a good school, as hiring managers and interview teams tend to go for alumni. Do some research on companies you want to work for and plan a strategy to fill their positions. Go for several 'informational interviews' and get school recommendations from recent GRADS and folks at the end of their edu program.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
470 posts, read 967,095 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I think a lot of folks are doing a lot of spinning of their wheels in JOBS at the moment, but some are making positive strides, and yes I agree that companies SHOULD be building their 'replacement' workers during this key opportunity. Unfortunately, companies seem to have the USA 'short-term' memory problem, and are lapping up the cheap labor at the moment, and being jerks to employees. I would either find that 'ideal job', or head back to military. I DO feel it is MORE important to get a masters at a good school, and I don't recommend a diploma mill (tho that is what all universities are...). I had several friends utilize Univ of Phoenix and it was not good or even part good. Many times adjunct props 'blow-off' showing up to a class or being 'engaged' in the education process. They are usually trying to pick up some extra cash for vacation or to pay child support and could care less about YOUR education (not that profs are much better... but usually more interested in transferring knowledge). I feel it is imperative in the financial industry to go to a good school, as hiring managers and interview teams tend to go for alumni. Do some research on companies you want to work for and plan a strategy to fill their positions. Go for several 'informational interviews' and get school recommendations from recent GRADS and folks at the end of their edu program.

I've heard mixed reviews about U. of Phoenix. I know a guy at Microsoft that has his Masters from U. of Phoenix and his Bachelors from Gonzaga. They at least have the regional accreditation. I'm kind of sold on their Masters of Accounting program at the moment.

I'm at least employed at the moment which is better than a lot can say. I've found it's been easier to find another job once you have one in hand. I'm getting a list of places to cold call next week. It doesn't make it any easier that a lot of places have axed their human resources department to cut costs. So finding someone willing to take the time to talk to you since they are doing 10 other jobs at their organization seems to take a bit more time these days.

I've give myself a deadline of my 29th birthday to either have a civilian career together or go back to the Army full-time. I do get civilian contract offers to go to various places. They get more and more tempting every week they hit my inbox.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:07 PM
 
2,685 posts, read 5,390,976 times
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I say go for the accounting. I went back to school for accounting when I felt I wasn't growing in my career and it led to a decent job once I finished, its a good field to be in even though every industry has seen layoffs in the last year.

That said you won't be moving up to a manager or controller overnight as its a more technical field at those levels then some general management positions. And if you plan on staying in Spokane that will limit your options for maximizing your pay. If you are willing to relocate to say Seattle or another big city and do well you could probably start in the mid to high 40's to low 50's if your a top student and maybe a bit higher if you get your masters in accounting as opposed to a B.A. Jobs are always available at the firms in auditing but again most grads in Spokane tend to leave the area for better accounting jobs. With a Masters in accounting you would also qualify to teach entry level courses at the colleges. If you really like it there is also a severe shortage of accounting professors.


Agree 100% that it is always easier to find a job when you already have one, especially now as many employers are using it as a tool to weed out candidates.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:10 AM
 
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I too am in pokane. If you are going to get an accounting degree, try Eastern Washington University. They are cheap, and have evening classes (in the business program) at the riverpoint campus downtown. I currently am four months away from getting a BA in business administration with majors in finance and management from EWU. I'm going to get an MBA from EWU as well. Thats what I would do if I were you. I would stay away from university of phoenix because their degrees are worthless. They are not AACSB accredited (the accreditation that matters, th same one that only accredits 5% of B-schools worldwide), and they got horrible reviews. One review I read said their master's program was an "MBA-lite." Gonzaga has a Master of Accountancy degree you might want to look into. Whitworth's business degrees are not accredited either. One bonus to getting an MBA is that since your BA is in business it will only take you one year to complete, and it will postpone you having to find a better job. As for the money thing, I would look outside of Spokane. I've lived here my whole life and would love to stay, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to relocate as well if the market doesn't improve. Besides, Spokane has horrendous salaries in comparison to most other major metropolitan areas in the country. This town just doesn't seem to appreciate education as much, combined with the fact that there just isn't a whole lot of money here like there is in Seattle or Portland. Anyway, given your preference for the accounting field, I would recommend the MAcc option from Gonzaga. Large corporations will value that over a BA, and it more than qualifies you to sit for the CPA exam. And Gonzaga was ranked the 58th best B-school in the US this year. Just some food for thought.
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