Degrees: Where they lead you may surprise you

Degrees: Where they lead you may surprise you

by Mindy Marks

It’s becoming more common to take jobs outside of your area of study. Now, it’s not unheard of to go to school outside your (original) area of study.

Trim, cut, dye and highlight; this girl can do it all, but she did not pick up these skills in any Simpson classroom.

Sandy Beattie, currently a Simpson senior, will begin classes at the Ames Professional Cosmetology Institute next fall. She’s not the only student who has chosen to take a new direction in her education after graduation.

“My mom told me once that I would never waste money on education,” said Beattie.

In fact, Beattie says she believes she will have an advantage over the girls going to cosmetology school straight out of high school. Simpson has taught her about work ethic and study skills, she said.

Beattie originally came to Simpson to play basketball, to major in Corporate Communications and minor in Sports Administration. But, in the back of her mind she always knew she wanted to work with hair.

“When I was in high school I started to cut my brother and sister’s hair,” said Beattie, who added that she was scheduled to cut a girl’s hair after this interview.

The Ames Professional Cosmetology Institute is similar to Simpson in class size and second in the nation for its hairstyling program. Beattie chose this particular school because its program is individualized with a learn-and- apply philosophy.

Attending the school will cost approximately $12,000 for the 15-month program.

Some students might consider this a drastic decision, difficult to explain to family and friends. Not Beattie.

“My family always kind of knew, and they are probably happy because they will get their hair done,” she said.

One of Beattie’s biggest supporters is her fiancé, who encouraged her to do what makes her happy.

Likewise, Michelle Stover, a May 2002 graduate, is choosing a new education path that she hopes will lead her to a satisfying career. She is currently attending Mercy College of Health Sciences. Her focus is on radiography.

“I decided to go there because radiology has always been appealing to me. The summer after my junior year I saw an advertisement for Mercy College, so that is when I really pursued it,” said Stover.

Stover began her college career at Simpson interested in athletic training, but learned that it was not the best fit for her interests.

“By my senior year, I knew athletic training was not going to be good for me,” said Stover. “I loved the athletes, but doing that every day for the rest of my life was no longer what I wanted.”

Stover says the transition to a new school was not too difficult. She has almost every class with the same people, which she said made it easier to make new friends.

Indecision is common among college students, but Stover sees this as a gateway to future career paths.

“There are a lot of specialty areas I can go into after I get my degree so that is always an option too,” said Stover.

The medical field has always interested her, but the plethora of jobs in radiography influenced her decision to attend the Mercy College of Health Sciences.

Stover said her family is also supportive because they believe there are endless job opportunities within the field. Confidence in her interests and support from those around her have kept her optimistic about the future.

“To be quite honest, I still don’t know if it this is what I want to be doing,” Stover said. “I guess sometimes you really need to get in the job setting before you can decide what is really right for you.”