I have an associates in dietetics and nutrition though the AF, and I am 9 hours away from completing my pre-engineering associates degree, and will probably attend UTSA to complete my BS in mechanical enginnering if iam still here, if not, I will complete somewhere else.
2 AAS (2 year) degrees, one in computer graphics (CAD), the other in mechanical design. Nearly 30 years working in engineering fields, I am now classified as a "design engineer". I do tooling design for an optical microreplication company.
You've heard of Real D (3D movies)? I'm working on the next generation right now.
I run our family business that makes portable darkrooms for radiographic testing. I had no desire to do accounting after 4 years of it and didn't want to put in the 80-90 hour weeks it would take as a law school graduate. I love the hell out of some finance and law though. Keeping up with those is a second hobby after cars.
BS Mechanical Engineering + 99% of a Philosophy Minor
I'm senior design engineer for a high end virtual reality display company. our stuff is used primarily for military training and simulation. basically multimillion dollar video games. one fun one was a helicopter sim on a motion base with a touchie-feelie 50 cal and wind in your hair. it's hard to shoot the little bad guys from so high up with all that motion!
So you help the super wealth pay for their damp beachfront holmes after a storm with federal money?
It's kind of funny how some people get their homes devalued on the "severe repetitive loss" list, then throw a double dip **** fit when they suggest I pay them more that what they insure the home for. It's even more entertaining when this happens to Senators. Rich or poor, it doesn't matter. Some of these flood claim histories would shock you.
You are exactly right though, if you failed to plan ahead, tax payers will bail you out. I can't wait for the economy to rebound and leave after what I've seen in the last two years, but I fear the next person who replaces me won't have the same appreciation for meticulously reviewing each application.
Most of my BS in CS (still need to finish that...)
I split my time about 50/50 between IT administration for a commercial fishing company and writing code in a combination of python for admin tasks and VBA/SQL/Access code for the accounting/purchasing departments.
Currently putting 75% of my time into starting/running my own business and the other 25% into working for the foundation company.
Pretty soon I'll start up painting again for a month or two to get another chunk of cash. If I could get more commercial jobs I'd paint on the side year round, but I'm not a professional painter, nor would I like to be.