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If i wanted to be an educator, zoologist and a counselor do i have to major in three different fields? If so how long would school take?

My name is Tamiya. Im 15 years old and i attend Booker t. Washington and when i graduate high school i will join the military. become a middle grade teacher, retire and move to Africa to become a zoologist and counsel kids and animals. #helpmepleaselol #ihavesomanyideas #tomanycareerchoices

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stefan’s Answer

Hi Tamiya,
It sounds like you have a great plan! When talking to recruiters, don’t limit yourself to one branch of the military. Talk to a few different ones. Remember recruiters are trying to fill jobs that they need filled. Ask a lot of questions to find the best opportunity for you. Whatever you decide, look for ways to learn something new. You will be surprised how often what you learn can be helpful later on. Depending on how long you stay in the military, you will have opportunities for different jobs and responsibilities. Take advantage of opportunities and training that may be available. These experiences will be helpful when you become a teacher or zoologist. Check the educational benefits that are available for serving in the military. You can use these to help with your next career. If you stay on active duty, you can retire after only 20 years which can give you more time for your other interests. Good luck and keep learning!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Til this day I still haven’t decided but with your help I’ll definitely decide very soon! tamiya
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Kim’s Answer

Tamiya,

Wow! That' a lot! So, when you want to have a second career after completing your first, you want your education in that field to be pretty recent. Lots of things change in 20 years, and, employers tend to look for those with more current degrees. In fact, people who go to school and then don't enter their chosen career within about 18 months after graduating find it increasingly difficult to get considered. So, I would concentrate on one career at a time.

However, there are things you can do while teaching to help prepare you for that next career. One of them will be, when you get close to retiring, to start working on that other degree, if your school has tuition assistance. That is, some jobs will pay for part of the cost of your schooling! Other things would be to make good use of your summers and weekends, perhaps volunteering - camp counselor, animal shelters, missionary trips to Africa, etc. Animal shelters have "adoption counselors" to make sure people adopting pets are well-suited for the pet they are adopting. Doing missionary work may help to show that you "know what you are getting into" when it comes time to apply for those positions in Africa.

You also may want to consider getting your degree in education, and then doing a short stint (2 yrs) in the Peace Corps before beginning your career in teaching. Here is a link to one teaching position in Africa. There are many more. https://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/volunteer-openings/primary-education-teacher-5980br/

I would keep myself open to the idea of other opportunities that come along while you are teaching. Read job announcements from time to time, and keep your resume current. You may find a position as program director or trainer at places like the library, zoo, outdoor learning center, etc more appealing.

I admire your ambition! There is, however, something to be aware of. Sometimes things come up in life that make it difficult to do what we want to do, especially as we get older. For example, I retired, and really want to take a train trip through Canada, but, my parents are elderly, and I am afraid to be gone for that long, and, afraid that even if I do go, something will happen that will make me have to interrupt my trip and come home. Sometimes, our own health can become an issue (read the medical requirements for the peace corps position ). So, if Africa is something you really really really want, you may want to try to find a way to do it sooner rather than later. While there are plenty of opportunities, through the Peace Corps, to teach HS science, I do not know anything about the availability of zoologist positions in Africa. You may want to research that.

I hope this gives you some ideas! Best of luck!
Kim
Thank you comment icon Thank you for you support and help! I will definitely take everything into consideration! tamiya
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