Career Path > Training, Tests & Education

totally are many ppl including my career councelor pls advise...


Here's my background: Got laid off from a tech company in late 2000.  Went back to college but a # of further unfortunate occured:
-parents house burned down in 2003
-got rear ended 2x in 2004 (drunk driver and immagrant)
-close relative diagnosed with major heart problem needing open heart surgery in 2005.

Despite all this I still managed to graduate from Exceslior with a bs in bci (computer information systems).  If this was 1985 or 1995 I wouldn't be looking to get further training and options.  I don't see the employers necessarily rushing in with job offers so far.  My career councelor may be good with the bigger picture but he doesn't know the specifics like you guys on this board.  Please take a moment to read my plans and questions:

ACADEMIC PLAN: #1 Finish my bs eet (10 more credits and I'm done) thru excelsior while simultaneously enrolled in an associates degree for nuclear at lakeland community college (kirtland, Ohio). 
#2. take some upper level credits thru excelsiors website (for the nuclear requirements)
#3. get the last few ancillary requirements via. tests (Ohio U distance learning tests).

Q1. the upper level excelsior classes are very expensive, excelsior has a 2 page pdf that lists 10 nuclear industry training programs that they will accept for credit.  Is there any way I can get into these without being first employed in the industry?  Can anyone provide links?  I tried inputting "sta certification" or "sro certification" and came up empty.

Q2. are there any good scholarships for people that already have a degree?  I know as far as federal $ are concerned I am inelligible... Any links?

Q3. I am going to have to do some of this on my own, any good websites for helping distance learners learn this material?

CAREER PLAN: #1. try to get into first energy under a different job catagory, I have about 3 contacts there.  #2. try to get some sort of contractor job thru here. I've seen a few jobs, they require tests but it looks possible for me to get the 40 hour osha test and so forth pretty easy.  #3. Try to get into an internship quicker given my almost completed eet degree. 

Q1. which option appears the best move 1, 2, 3, or something I haven't thought of .

Q2. my career councelor reccomends 'informational interviewing' thats great 4 someone who has a lot of time on there hands, to me it sounds like a waste of precious time.  whats everyones opinion?

Q3. is there anything else Im not thinking of that could hinder my plan (which is to get both bs eet and bs net (nuclear engineering tech) and work the 3rd shift at a utility somewhere?  For example are there things that take a really long time that I should be preparing for now (clearances or tests)?

I hope this doesn't violate any's one study site I have stumbled accross:

it's free or premium depending on what you want to do there are no nuclear flash cards but there are other ancillary cards like physics and chem. 

p.s. sorry for the initial long post, I wanted to get all my questions in one post instead of 1/2 dozen separate posts.

Well, I was in sort of the same situation.  I was layed off after 9/11.  I had a BS in aviation maintenance and was tired of the airlines anyway.  I decided to go back to school for another degree.  After enrolling in Penn State, I found out about First Energy's college programs.  Unfortunately I was too late to get a job there.  After finishing my AS :EET, I temped there for a few outages.  I finally got a job there.   

Here is what I know based upon what I've seen, others here may have more info.:

PLAN #1:  Lakeland CC has some sort of co-op or placement program with First Energy.  Some of the people at my plant came from that Program. They worked at Perry for some time until graduation, then were picked up.  I would suggest this route if for nothing better than you get some experience.

Edit: Forgot to add that FE also offers its employees financial aid and college classes on site.  If you can get hired you could probably qualify for them.

Q1 : I can't really answer except that RO training/certification is provided by a company/military/gov after you are hired.  Maintenance and I&C certification are also company provided.  I have yet to see a college or private company offer this training.

Q2 : I was in the same boat.  With a previous degree, I had a hard time finding financial aid.  It is out there however.  I ended up having to take out a few federal and private loans to finish my degree.  Because you have a previous degree, you will find it hard to qualify for most scholarships. 

Q3: Can't help you there.

My advice is to plug along with your studies.  Try and get some experience at a plant, be it through internships, co-ops, or temping.  Utilities seem to prefer: 1)Ex Navy Nukes, 2) College Graduates 3) Previous Commercial Nukes.  What type of job do you want?  You will probably have to take the Mass/Poss and/or TECH test.  Each job classification often has its own test you may have to pass.  You also need to be able to pass a security background check so be sure not to get into trouble.

Good Luck!


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