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Old 04-01-2014, 10:38 AM
211 posts, read 299,363 times
Reputation: 379


Background: I did 6 years of active duty service, and I have just about satisfied all of my general coursework toward an EE degree. I had a technical job while in the military, and I have also participated in some unpaid aerospace projects that look impressive on a resume since getting out. My wife has a BA in Psychology from a school with a weak Psychology program. We live in Huntsville, Al and it is intensely focused on engineering - meaning there is no real opportunity for her here. We have no family in the region, and even if we did they probably wouldn't be much help to us financially or otherwise.

My wife has pretty much reconciled with the idea that she won't have a career. What she really wants is a family and a garden. She enjoys the peaceful environment that Huntsville affords us. I can't really disagree. I do love it here and I've had access to some really awesome opportunities I never imagined I would get. But I'm leary about the prospect of putting all of the income earning responsibility on my shoulders. What if something happens to me? What if there is a lull in my field and I don't have work for X months? It happened to many people I know when the government shut down. Also, while we don't yet have children I could use a bit more excitement in our day to day life. Everything here is geared toward families and its pretty boring.

Should I just continue on here? The low cost of living makes it easy to get by on one income, but limits what we can do. Should I move somewhere else where we can both pursue higher education? Her BA might limit what programs will accept her for her master's anyway.

There's so many different ways to look at this, and I keep changing my mind as I write this post out and I think I will just stop here and see what the response is.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:08 AM
Location: Fort Wayne
360 posts, read 736,974 times
Reputation: 483
Several things:
  1. Where do you both want to live? - That's teh primary thing you might want to decide before you start looking around. Any place that you go has to be desirable to you both or it won't work. Well..it might for a while. But then your marriage may not.
  2. There's a need for EE's around the country - So that should make things easy for you. From my realm of experience most businesses in the energy industry are desperately short of EE's so you might consider looking there.
  3. With deference to you and your wife's decision, is her staying at home "practical?" - You may find that you are injured, or become ill or you may become unemployed. If she has no career, then you'll both be at the mercy of financial vagaries this decision may engender. Unless you can consistently earn north of $150k annually, "stay-at home-mom" is probably not a solid concept in today's world.
  4. Have you discussed your job search plans with your school's career counselors? - They may have insight that will assist you in locating jobs. They may also have insights into career fields which you might not have even considered.

God luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:44 AM
Location: Seattle, Washington
2,533 posts, read 4,242,732 times
Reputation: 2819
I left the south for the PNW in 2011...

Lots of opportunity here. My family is still on the east coast but that's nothing an airline ticket won't fix.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:25 PM
5,643 posts, read 6,122,171 times
Reputation: 13425
Sounds like you wan to go but it would be easy to stay so yo are thinking...why go? I was I. The same situation. We were both working and doing well. We left good jobs and moved, why? Because we didn't want life to be easy.

And does your wife want a career? If so, she should work towards that, don't settle and don't be bored less it's what you want. A BA from a no name college will absolutely not get in the way of grad school, at all. It's much more about her GRE score, experience, and desire for that specific field.

Don't make excuses and don't get stuck. Go somewhere fun and exciting. You don't have kids, this is the time. We had a 2 yr old, a house, and good careers. We moved to Boston 4 yrs ago. Do something exciting with your lives instead of settling for easy and comfortable. If that's what you want of course. Our thought was that if it doesn't work or we hate it, it's easier to go back...always harder to move forward. Our move worked out very well so var but we do long for an easier life like we had before. It's a mixed bag ya know? Overall though it was a great move for all of us. Besides, when/if you have a kid, do you want them to grow up in Huntsville? If yes, that's fine, I'm sure it's a fine place. We wanted our kid to be more metropolitan and have access to other opportunities though. Education isn't all a out school, here, it's very much about extra curriculars and what other things the outside world offers - like a variety of professional mentors hip programs, classes at Harvard/MIT/Boston College/Boston University/Brandeis/etc. as well as camps there and student advising from those places. There are endless outside opportunities for development, as there probably are in other cities like NYC, Seattle, LA, etc.

I'm sure Huntsville is a great place, but is it a different kind of great. One that I don't think you want to commit to for the rest of your life, judging by the tone of your post.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:56 PM
6,221 posts, read 9,444,538 times
Reputation: 6537
Simple. Stay where you are now and both of you look for opportunities elsewhere. If you can both land jobs in a different city then move. Right now you have life in your favor, but you can always upgrade (which is what you are trying to do). Don't take the first thing that comes, be selective. Good luck, I enjoyed Huntsville, AL - it is a small place but it has good food, warm weather, and a decent night life (Below the Radar was nice).
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