Which path should I take

  • AAS first to obtain experience, then pre reqs

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Sep 21, 2017
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Hello,

This is my first time posting here, for the past month or so I've absorbed as much information from this forum as I can get my hands on. My mind is still jumbled and I could use the advice of people who have gone through the application process... so here goes my long post

Last year I attended state school for a BS in Animal Biology. I completed two semesters. In the beginning of the second semester I had some medical issues and ended up in the hospital. I missed over a week of school but I refused to withdraw or drop out. I ended the year with a cumulative 3.64 GPA. I decided at that point to continue school closer to home. I moved back in with my parents for the summer and got a job at an animal shelter as a veterinary assistant. I love it!! I do basically everything a tech does and I'm loving it. So I started school this fall for a AAS in Veterinary Technology.

It has been brought up to me several times that I should consider veterinary school. I was a great student in high school. (Graduated at the top of my class with a 4.2 GPA) I heavily considered it throughout high school as well but for some reason, vet school always just seemed so out of reach, like something I could only ever do in my dreams. So I wrote it off and forgot about it, until now. I've never shadowed a vet but I watch and help them frequently at work. It seems like they do a lot less hands on stuff than the techs do, more paperwork, but they get to use their brain a little more, which appeals to me.

So my question is... What's next for me? I want to go to the University of Minnesota - to finish the prerequisites I only need about 3 more semesters of schooling but I honestly don't think my application is strong enough at this point. My only experience is about 300 hours in the shelter I currently work for and about 600 experience with animals at a previous shelter I worked for. I have no desire to obtain a Bachelors degree so I know my application would have to be quite strong to get in. I know for a fact that if I cannot be a veterinarian, I want to be a technician. So I'm wondering if I should get my AAS in veterinary technology and use that degree to obtain more experience while I work towards finishing my pre reqs and then apply for vet school? Or would it be smarter to finish my pre reqs, apply, and if I don't get in (I really don't think I would if I applied next fall), take a year to obtain experience simply by volunteering and continuing to work at my current position? Because ultimately if I don't get into vet school, I think I would still like to get an associates in Vet Technology.
 

batsenecal

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The only reason I would recommend someone get a tech degree is if you would use it as a backup plan if you're never accepted to vet school. You will still need to double check with the schools you want to apply to on whether or not your credits in your AAS program would be accepted as pre-reqs. I know of several tech programs where their classes do not translate to pre-reqs and people ended up retaking classes elsewhere (and wasting the time and the money in the process).

I also don't think it is the most economical way to get experience. I got over 1,200 hours in vet clinics working as an on-the-job trained assistant and it only cost me the $1 it took to drive there every day I worked rather than the thousands it would have taken to get certified as an assistant or tens-of-thousands as a tech.

Since you'd be fine being a tech as a backup, then it's the equivalent of me getting my bachelor's for my backup. But that's really the only reason to go the tech route to get into vet school.
 

SportPonies

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If vet school is what you want to do, I would focus on what's going to immediately help you get in right now. I'm not going to say it's necessarily easy to find somewhere to shadow or work, but it's not impossible either, and getting yourself out there and putting yourself in a clinic, either on a volunteer or pay basis, will start getting you the experience that you need. Being a certified tech isn't really going to be any more of a benefit than just working and shadowing at a clinic, and it's going to set you back time and money, just like bats mentioned. Throw in some large animal/wildlife/exotic experience and some other volunteer work, and you've got yourself a solid application already. It sounds like you still ended up with a good GPA despite being in the hospital, so that's also something you can mention in your personal statement as well. Keep it up, and I think you have a good chance at getting accepted somewhere!

I don't think you mentioned what state you live in, but in many (including Illinois, where I'm from), you don't need to be certified to work as a tech, and at my clinic, you don't really get paid that much more anyway. If for whatever reason you do NOT get into vet school, tech school is something you can consider in the future, and it keeps you doing what you love, but I wouldn't say that it should be your priority right now.
 
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Manders221
Sep 21, 2017
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Thank you both for your responses! I guess I just am feeling frustrated. So far everywhere I've applied for volunteer experience or to shadow has not responded to me. I have gone in and introduced myself in person, and left a resume with my email and my phone number on it. Every time I was told someone would be in touch with me, and there was never a response. So I jumped to thinking that if I got my associates degree as a tech, then I could potentially get some experience that way. perhaps it'd be easier to get into the clinic with a degree rather than some random student who wants to shadow but doesn't really have much experience.

Sport Ponies: I'm currently living in Wisconsin but working in Minnesota. I don't think you need to be licensed/certified to be a tech in Minnesota. My current employer doesn't require it. Another thought I had is that since I do not have any desire to obtain a bachelor's degree, the fact that I did get an associate's might demonstrate to the college that I am not just trying to do the bare minimum to get in, but I am in fact devoted to veterinary medicine. Thought? Does the associates degree not actually serve that purpose?

I will try to reach out to the vet clinic in my home town. My mom spoke with him several weeks ago and he seemed eager to offer her with some advice for me, perhaps he would be willing to allow me to shadow him. I applied at a shelter near my new college, gave a copy of my resume to every clinic within a 20 mile radius, emailed every horse stable I could find as well as the raptor center. No responses. I never thought volunteering somewhere would be so hard to do!
 

batsenecal

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I did get an associate's might demonstrate to the college that I am not just trying to do the bare minimum to get in, but I am in fact devoted to veterinary medicine. Thought? Does the associates degree not actually serve that purpose?
This doesn't matter at all, actually. If you get through the pre-reqs and do well, that's good enough for the schools. There's several people at my school who got all their pre-reqs done at community colleges with no intention of a degree.

Schools understand that college is expensive, especially when you tack on vet school debt. So not going the full gambit is becoming more and more common.

Going to stress that getting a tech degree with the intention of using it as a backup is not a bad idea in of itself. It's just an expensive way to get experience purely to get into vet school.
 
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PrincessButterCup

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Thank you both for your responses! I guess I just am feeling frustrated. So far everywhere I've applied for volunteer experience or to shadow has not responded to me. I have gone in and introduced myself in person, and left a resume with my email and my phone number on it. Every time I was told someone would be in touch with me, and there was never a response. So I jumped to thinking that if I got my associates degree as a tech, then I could potentially get some experience that way. perhaps it'd be easier to get into the clinic with a degree rather than some random student who wants to shadow but doesn't really have much experience.

Sport Ponies: I'm currently living in Wisconsin but working in Minnesota. I don't think you need to be licensed/certified to be a tech in Minnesota. My current employer doesn't require it. Another thought I had is that since I do not have any desire to obtain a bachelor's degree, the fact that I did get an associate's might demonstrate to the college that I am not just trying to do the bare minimum to get in, but I am in fact devoted to veterinary medicine. Thought? Does the associates degree not actually serve that purpose?

I will try to reach out to the vet clinic in my home town. My mom spoke with him several weeks ago and he seemed eager to offer her with some advice for me, perhaps he would be willing to allow me to shadow him. I applied at a shelter near my new college, gave a copy of my resume to every clinic within a 20 mile radius, emailed every horse stable I could find as well as the raptor center. No responses. I never thought volunteering somewhere would be so hard to do!
Don't be afraid to follow up if you don't hear from the clinics you talk to. Sending an e-mail is a pretty unobtrusive way to do that, or you can call and leave a quick message.

Vet school is expensive. Actually, it's EXPENSIVE. A lot of people on this forum will say that if you can see yourself doing anything else with your life and being happy, then go do that instead. I was just talking to a vet at work tonight who was sharing the same sentiment. That's one of the big reasons I'm not trying for vet school anymore. If you really love working as a tech, then it might be the wiser financial choice to stay in your tech program so you can work as a LVT. I'm pursuing my back-up plan right now, and I'm so excited to plan my career without vet school loans hanging over my head.
 

SportPonies

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hat's one of the big reasons I'm not trying for vet school anymore. I'm pursuing my back-up plan right now, and I'm so excited to plan my career without vet school loans hanging over my head.
This is all really good advice. And also, woah I've been gone for too long because I am so out of the loop. It's awesome to hear that you found something else you're going to love, though! I'm really happy for you, and jealous about the debt thing! :)
 
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Manders221
Sep 21, 2017
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Don't be afraid to follow up if you don't hear from the clinics you talk to. Sending an e-mail is a pretty unobtrusive way to do that, or you can call and leave a quick message.

Vet school is expensive. Actually, it's EXPENSIVE. A lot of people on this forum will say that if you can see yourself doing anything else with your life and being happy, then go do that instead. I was just talking to a vet at work tonight who was sharing the same sentiment. That's one of the big reasons I'm not trying for vet school anymore. If you really love working as a tech, then it might be the wiser financial choice to stay in your tech program so you can work as a LVT. I'm pursuing my back-up plan right now, and I'm so excited to plan my career without vet school loans hanging over my head.

Finances are a huge concern for me, but I also really value an education. It has been something I've thought about, focused on, and obsessed over for my entire life. I'm not one to make a rash decision without thoroughly contemplating every possible scenario, but when looking at being a vet vs. a vet tech from a financial viewpoint. I don't particularly think one is worse/better than another. A tech will never make a very substantial salary, and a vet will have hefty loans. Which is better in the long run? Who knows... probably whichever will make you happier.
 
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PrincessButterCup

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This is all really good advice. And also, woah I've been gone for too long because I am so out of the loop. It's awesome to hear that you found something else you're going to love, though! I'm really happy for you, and jealous about the debt thing! :)
Thanks! :D I'm applying to grad school this fall, so hopefully they want me. :xf: I've been shadowing in a lab here and attending the weekly graduate seminar and I'm really excited about applying. Nervous though!

Finances are a huge concern for me, but I also really value an education. It has been something I've thought about, focused on, and obsessed over for my entire life. I'm not one to make a rash decision without thoroughly contemplating every possible scenario, but when looking at being a vet vs. a vet tech from a financial viewpoint. I don't particularly think one is worse/better than another. A tech will never make a very substantial salary, and a vet will have hefty loans. Which is better in the long run? Who knows... probably whichever will make you happier.
I'm going to be in school for another 4-5 years, if all goes well! ;) There are a lot of career options on the sciences and medical fields that don't require vet school debt. Graduate school (if you like research!), medical lab technologists (I have a friend doing this - 1 yr program post BS, really interesting job working in a hospital lab running and interpreting diagnostic tests), phlebotomy and other nursing/medical technologist careers, EMT . . . There are a lot of options out there. It's worth exploring!
 
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Manders221
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There are a lot of career options on the sciences and medical fields that don't require vet school debt. Graduate school (if you like research!), medical lab technologists (I have a friend doing this - 1 yr program post BS, really interesting job working in a hospital lab running and interpreting diagnostic tests), phlebotomy and other nursing/medical technologist careers, EMT . . . There are a lot of options out there. It's worth exploring!
Unfortunately I'm really the opposite of a people person. I'm not socially awkward or anything and I can deal with them, but having human patients is the last thing I want for a career! :vomit: I wish you luck in grad school! Hopefully everything will fall into place for me.

Another question I have about applications though...
Many of the accepted applicants I saw had so many different sources for all their hours. Would it be extremely hard to get into vet school with all my veterinary experience coming from one place? I will continue to reach out to shadow veterinarians, but it seems like the majority, if not all, of my hours will be coming from my current job.
 

PrincessButterCup

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Another question I have about applications though...
Many of the accepted applicants I saw had so many different sources for all their hours. Would it be extremely hard to get into vet school with all my veterinary experience coming from one place? I will continue to reach out to shadow veterinarians, but it seems like the majority, if not all, of my hours will be coming from my current job.
Yes and no, depending on the school you apply to . . . but mostly yes. Having most of your hours at one place won't be a problem, but you should not have all your hours there. It's best to get a variety of experience - both so you have a good idea of what different clinics and practices are like, and so the admissions committee can see that you really know what you're getting yourself into. Large animal medicine can be very different from small animal medicine, and you can't appreciate those differences until you've experienced them yourself. Watching vets interact with clients is a really important thing, too. I'm not sure how much of that you get in a shelter (unless you're at a bigger place with an open service clinic?) and that's one of the most valuable parts of shadowing, imo.

You'll work with a lot of people in veterinary medicine. There are colleagues and coworkers, but also clients - and clients can be really, really unpleasant and difficult to deal with. People aren't your patients, but you'll still need to be aware of how much you'll work with them.
 

pooter

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I'd say it . . . rarely ends up being a better financial decision to be a life-long tech than to go to vet school, even with all the student debt problems. There's a huge difference in earning potential between vets and vet techs. Many of the techs I've known - even certified LVTs working in specialty or emergency practice - eventually end up deserting us for something like nursing school. It's not that they dislike their jobs - most would love to stay in the vet world - but unless they're independently wealthy or have support from a much higher-paid spouse, it gets difficult to do things like buy a home or save for retirement or even afford vet care for their own pets. Not a great state of affairs, but given that vets are barely paid more than BScNs much of the time, I don't see tech salaries growing much in the near future.
 
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Manders221
Sep 21, 2017
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I'd say it . . . rarely ends up being a better financial decision to be a life-long tech than to go to vet school, even with all the student debt problems. There's a huge difference in earning potential between vets and vet techs. Many of the techs I've known - even certified LVTs working in specialty or emergency practice - eventually end up deserting us for something like nursing school. It's not that they dislike their jobs - most would love to stay in the vet world - but unless they're independently wealthy or have support from a much higher-paid spouse, it gets difficult to do things like buy a home or save for retirement or even afford vet care for their own pets. Not a great state of affairs, but given that vets are barely paid more than BScNs much of the time, I don't see tech salaries growing much in the near future.
This is exactly my thought process. I feel that if I want to be in veterinary medicine for the entirety of my career, being a vet is probably the way to go. Thanks for your thoughts
 
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SportPonies

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Unfortunately I'm really the opposite of a people person. I'm not socially awkward or anything and I can deal with them, but having human patients is the last thing I want for a career! :vomit: I wish you luck in grad school! Hopefully everything will fall into place for me.

Another question I have about applications though...
Many of the accepted applicants I saw had so many different sources for all their hours. Would it be extremely hard to get into vet school with all my veterinary experience coming from one place? I will continue to reach out to shadow veterinarians, but it seems like the majority, if not all, of my hours will be coming from my current job.
I'm going to second PBC's answer here. It's okay to have a majority of your hours coming from one place (I certainly had the VAST majority of my vet experience coming from my place of employment), but every little bit you get here and there helps and shows that you've seen the vet life from different views, even if it's just a day or two of shadowing at one place or another.
 
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Cephal0pod

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Unfortunately I'm really the opposite of a people person. I'm not socially awkward or anything and I can deal with them, but having human patients is the last thing I want for a career! :vomit: I wish you luck in grad school! Hopefully everything will fall into place for me.

Another question I have about applications though...
Many of the accepted applicants I saw had so many different sources for all their hours. Would it be extremely hard to get into vet school with all my veterinary experience coming from one place? I will continue to reach out to shadow veterinarians, but it seems like the majority, if not all, of my hours will be coming from my current job.
Vets have to do a lot more people-ing than some might think ;) Rarely does Fluffy come trotting through the clinic door with an American Express card in her mouth and a detailed account of her recent history.

I can certainly understand the humans are icky sentiment, though -- give me a lecture on BVDV at 7am while I sip my morning tea and eat a clif bar any day, but diarrhea in humans... :barf:

I would continue to try to get experience at other clinics and/or in other areas of vet med. It's okay for the bulk of your experience to be from one place, but it's important for both your understanding of the veterinary profession and your application to learn from multiple vets in different contexts.
 

kcoughli

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Hey @Manders221 , shoot me a PM and let me know where in MN you are. I could possibly point out some clinics that would allow a shadow (or some of my classmates who might be willing to host). Also I did some volunteer work at the Como Zoo (not veterinary experience but unique-ish) and I think they still take volunteers. Also, @LetItSnow may be a good resource as he's more in the small animal world than I am/was.

On a side note, do you have WI residency? Like, would qualify for IS tuition? Because I'd highly recommend looking into UW-Madisons program, as it would be a lot cheaper than going to UMN (IS or OOS). Don't get me wrong, UMN isn't a bad place, but they are pricey af.
 
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Manders221
Sep 21, 2017
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I totally understand that I'll have to deal with people. It will never be my favorite part of any job I have in the future but I get that it's an element that will always be there. My main point was just that I really have no desire to be in human medicine. I love the sciences- but I just don't think being a doctor or nurses for people is for me. I'm extremely passionate about animals and always have been. If I'm going to go to the teouble of going to school, I want to have a career where I can work with animals in some fashion.
 
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Manders221
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Hey @Manders221 , shoot me a PM and let me know where in MN you are. I could possibly point out some clinics that would allow a shadow (or some of my classmates who might be willing to host). Also I did some volunteer work at the Como Zoo (not veterinary experience but unique-ish) and I think they still take volunteers. Also, @LetItSnow may be a good resource as he's more in the small animal world than I am/was.

On a side note, do you have WI residency? Like, would qualify for IS tuition? Because I'd highly recommend looking into UW-Madisons program, as it would be a lot cheaper than going to UMN (IS or OOS). Don't get me wrong, UMN isn't a bad place, but they are pricey af.
I'm going to try to get residency before I apply. This is another reason why I feel I won't be ready to apply next year, it may take me longer than that to establish residency in MN. I don't really wish to attend UW-Madison simply because of how far it is from my family. I went far from home once and I don't want to go into a ton of details but it didn't end well and it's not a sacrifice I'm willing to make. This is another reason why I'm so heavily considering an associates degree instead because I'm concerned it will be very hard for me to get into vet school if I will only apply to one.

I did send you a message as well!
 

cdoconn

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Rarely does Fluffy come trotting through the clinic door with an American Express card in her mouth and a detailed account of her recent history.
wouldn’t that be so nice though???
 

PrincessButterCup

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I'd say it . . . rarely ends up being a better financial decision to be a life-long tech than to go to vet school, even with all the student debt problems. There's a huge difference in earning potential between vets and vet techs. Many of the techs I've known - even certified LVTs working in specialty or emergency practice - eventually end up deserting us for something like nursing school. It's not that they dislike their jobs - most would love to stay in the vet world - but unless they're independently wealthy or have support from a much higher-paid spouse, it gets difficult to do things like buy a home or save for retirement or even afford vet care for their own pets. Not a great state of affairs, but given that vets are barely paid more than BScNs much of the time, I don't see tech salaries growing much in the near future.
Good jobs do exist, but in general yes, techs don't make much. Two of my friends are able to make a nice living at their jobs, but they had to relocate to find their current hospitals. It's possible but not a super dependable degree.
 
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So my question is... What's next for me? I want to go to the University of Minnesota - to finish the prerequisites I only need about 3 more semesters of schooling but I honestly don't think my application is strong enough at this point. My only experience is about 300 hours in the shelter I currently work for and about 600 experience with animals at a previous shelter I worked for. I have no desire to obtain a Bachelors degree so I know my application would have to be quite strong to get in. I know for a fact that if I cannot be a veterinarian, I want to be a technician. So I'm wondering if I should get my AAS in veterinary technology and use that degree to obtain more experience while I work towards finishing my pre reqs and then apply for vet school? Or would it be smarter to finish my pre reqs, apply, and if I don't get in (I really don't think I would if I applied next fall), take a year to obtain experience simply by volunteering and continuing to work at my current position? Because ultimately if I don't get into vet school, I think I would still like to get an associates in Vet Technology.
I would think about this very carefully. What if you never get into vet school? What if you change your mind and discover that you really don't want to be a vet tech (your teching experience is pretty minimal at 300 hours and going whole hog into a career based on just that with no fallback is dangerous)? Or if a few years into being a vet tech you find it isn't all it is cracked up to be. What then? You'll be left with an associate's degree that no longer applies to what you want to do, and no college degree to fall back on for an alternative career. Just some things to think about.

Finances are a huge concern for me, but I also really value an education. It has been something I've thought about, focused on, and obsessed over for my entire life. I'm not one to make a rash decision without thoroughly contemplating every possible scenario, but when looking at being a vet vs. a vet tech from a financial viewpoint. I don't particularly think one is worse/better than another. A tech will never make a very substantial salary, and a vet will have hefty loans. Which is better in the long run? Who knows... probably whichever will make you happier.
Then I would heavily consider a BS in the sciences rather than an AAS in veterinary technology, given that the latter will pigeonhole you pretty badly should your circumstances change.
 
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Manders221
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Then I would heavily consider a BS in the sciences rather than an AAS in veterinary technology, given that the latter will pigeonhole you pretty badly should your circumstances change.
I really have no desire to get a bachelors degree at this point in time. I've known my whole life I've wanted to work with animals and upon finding this job, it's really solidified that veterinary medicine is where I want to be. I've also been into the sciences throughout high school. I can't really see my self changing my mind since it's been something I've wanted to do my whole life. But in the off chance that I got my associates and 10 years from now, I do hate being a tech, I can always go back to school. But I'm not going to think about that unless it happens.
 

cdoconn

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I really have no desire to get a bachelors degree at this point in time. I've known my whole life I've wanted to work with animals and upon finding this job, it's really solidified that veterinary medicine is where I want to be. I've also been into the sciences throughout high school. I can't really see my self changing my mind since it's been something I've wanted to do my whole life. But in the off chance that I got my associates and 10 years from now, I do hate being a tech, I can always go back to school. But I'm not going to think about that unless it happens.
PS- a lot of people either fail out, get kicked out, or straight up leave vet school. I wouldn’t have thought about it before (realizing as I’m having classmates drop already), but you need a backup of some sort, if that happens as well.

For me, it’s comforting/ relieves anxiety to know that if I have to leave, I have my BS in Biochemistry that could let me do any lab work/ any tech work I wanted to.
 
Jan 18, 2006
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I really have no desire to get a bachelors degree at this point in time. I've known my whole life I've wanted to work with animals and upon finding this job, it's really solidified that veterinary medicine is where I want to be. I've also been into the sciences throughout high school. I can't really see my self changing my mind since it's been something I've wanted to do my whole life. But in the off chance that I got my associates and 10 years from now, I do hate being a tech, I can always go back to school. But I'm not going to think about that unless it happens.
A gentle reminder that reality doesn't always live up to expectations, and that it is always a good idea to leave your options open.

Why not get a bachelors in animal science? That would put you in decent standing for many careers with animals, including vet school.

I know you might not be able to see yourself changing your mind, but trust me - it can and does happen. Especially when your experience in the field is still relatively new and you're still in the rose-colored glasses phase of exposure to the profession.

I'm not saying don't pursue vet med or vet tech - you obviously have passion. However, it would probably behoove you to consider a degree that also gives you flexibility. Vet school prereqs would get you decently close to a BS anyways, so I suppose I want to ask you - what's the downside besides just "not wanting to do it?" Time? Money? Both are things we don't like to spend, but sometimes they might be good things to consider for long-term job prospects.
 
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Jan 18, 2006
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Anyway as to your question, I think you should go for the prereqs and gain experience the way most pre-vets do - shadowing, volunteering, working, etc. You said you've never shadowed a vet - start there. That can hopefully help you determine if you want to go more vet or more tech, because the two are quite different.
 
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Manders221
Sep 21, 2017
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I suppose I want to ask you - what's the downside besides just "not wanting to do it?" Time? Money? Both are things we don't like to spend, but sometimes they might be good things to consider for long-term job prospects.
Both. Originally I decided I was going to major in animal biology because I thought vet school was so out of my league. I spent a year with the intentions on obtaining this degree. The entire time I was talking to people, researching, gaining experience, and participating in clubs/events related to animal biology. A year might not seem like long enough to determine, but based on all the experiences I had, I learned that I don't think I would be happy in a career that degree would give me. Additionally, a degree is animal biology is basically just a launching pad for graduate school of some kind. So if I could potentially skip out on an extra 2 years of school and get into vet school without getting my BS, that would be great. If I don't get in, I may consider obtaining the degree just to enhance my application, but overall I just don't think I'd be happy as an ecologist, conservationist, or studying animal life in general. I'd much prefer a more hands on career.

Edit: I also think if it came down to continuing on with a BS degree just to improve my application, I would probably just continue on with my associates degree since that is a job I know I would actually enjoy and would be happy in if I could not get into vet school.
 
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Fair enough. I suppose I just don't understand the option of the associates before preqs (or really the associate's at all prior to vet school application). Like going to nursing school to help you apply for med school. I think your extra time could be spent in a much more fruitful manner shadowing and working alongside vets - since a veterinarian is a your primary career goal is seems - as opposed to getting a tech degree in tech school.
 

LetItSnow

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A gentle reminder that reality doesn't always live up to expectations, and that it is always a good idea to leave your options open.

Why not get a bachelors in animal science? That would put you in decent standing for many careers with animals, including vet school.
Point taken. But since most vet schools will award a bachelor's degree after the first year (unless that's changed?) I personally think no degree is the way to go from a financial perspective (unless you're one of those lucky few who have deep-pocket parents....): Cutting the degree from 8 yrs to 7 yrs can be a major impact on long-term loans.

So as far as I'm concerned, I think it makes a lot of sense to just do the pre-reqs and get going into vet school. If you don't get in, you can always keep going in undergrad and finish out that degree. Not like you have to stop taking classes the second you apply.

I also agree that I don't really see the point of an associate's degree. Doesn't add any value, as far as I can tell.
 
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Point taken. But since most vet schools will award a bachelor's degree after the first year (unless that's changed?) I personally think no degree is the way to go from a financial perspective (unless you're one of those lucky few who have deep-pocket parents....): Cutting the degree from 8 yrs to 7 yrs can be a major impact on long-term loans.

So as far as I'm concerned, I think it makes a lot of sense to just do the pre-reqs and get going into vet school. If you don't get in, you can always keep going in undergrad and finish out that degree. Not like you have to stop taking classes the second you apply.

I also agree that I don't really see the point of an associate's degree. Doesn't add any value, as far as I can tell.
Really? Is that a new thing or an old thing that I somehow missed? I didn't think most did that, I was under the impression it was only a few.
 

Lupin21

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Really? Is that a new thing or an old thing that I somehow missed? I didn't think most did that, I was under the impression it was only a few.
Pretty sure most of them do. I should have done it, but was too lazy to fill out the paperwork. haha
 

LetItSnow

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Really? Is that a new thing or an old thing that I somehow missed? I didn't think most did that, I was under the impression it was only a few.
Well. I'm kinda inclined to defer to the doctor that works in a teaching environment, so if you think it's only a few......

.... but as of when I was a student, I definitely understood that most schools were doing it.

I guess it calls for some actual data. :)
 
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batsenecal

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I thought that the only kids who are awarded a bachelor's after their first year of vet school got it through a specific program at their undergrad. So my undergrad had a degree that you did 3 years there, then, if you got into vet school and made it through the first year, you got your bachelor's. If you didn't get in as a junior, you just finished out the bio degree. A lot of undergrads do that as a 3+1 program.
 

LetItSnow

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I thought that the only kids who are awarded a bachelor's after their first year of vet school got it through a specific program at their undergrad. So my undergrad had a degree that you did 3 years there, then, if you got into vet school and made it through the first year, you got your bachelor's. If you didn't get in as a junior, you just finished out the bio degree. A lot of undergrads do that as a 3+1 program.
That was not true at UMN when I was a student. Anyone who came in with 3 yrs was eligible for a B.S. after the first year.
 

batsenecal

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That was not true at UMN when I was a student. Anyone who came in with 3 yrs was eligible for a B.S. after the first year.
That's super cool. Definitely not a thing at UIUC now (not sure if it ever was). I would have seriously considered doing that had I known about it at different schools.
 

wallydo

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I thought that the only kids who are awarded a bachelor's after their first year of vet school got it through a specific program at their undergrad. So my undergrad had a degree that you did 3 years there, then, if you got into vet school and made it through the first year, you got your bachelor's. If you didn't get in as a junior, you just finished out the bio degree. A lot of undergrads do that as a 3+1 program.
I only confirmed for UMN and MSU that both would have awarded me a BS after X amount of credits. Since I am at MSU, after 56 credits, I'll get a BS in Veterinary Science. I still needed all the university requirements/general education requirements, but knowing that I was getting my BS was the reason I didn't push to finish my BS before starting, just pre-reqs. Had I not gotten in, I would have finished that degree and been looking at graduate programs. I would be interested to know if there are other schools who do this!
 

JaynaAli

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I graduated with my bachelor's degree after first year of vet school, but it was a program with my undergrad major not the vet school as far as I know. I don't think someone who majored in English or even something from the college of sciences like biology could have done it at that point, but animal science majors could. That could have changed now or I may have just been ignorant though.
 
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Well. I'm kinda inclined to defer to the doctor that works in a teaching environment, so if you think it's only a few......

.... but as of when I was a student, I definitely understood that most schools were doing it.

I guess it calls for some actual data. :)
Teaching environment? Lol no. I'm 100% research and I have zero clue how the teaching side of things function outside of the few labs I lead and my occasional weekend call, let alone administrative policies. So I'll admit my own ignorance on that front.
 

LetItSnow

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Was the bachelors in their original field of study? Or was it changed to a degree in veterinary studies or something like that?
It didn't apply to me, so I gave it cursory attention. My recollection is that it was a B.S. in ... I dunno.

I thought you were partly in teaching! I didn't realize you were fully research.

This is a super minor detail, but that map of schools with costs for IS/OOS, etc., could maybe use "awards bachelor's degree". I sure don't feel like doing the research myself. :)
 
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It didn't apply to me, so I gave it cursory attention. My recollection is that it was a B.S. in ... I dunno.

I thought you were partly in teaching! I didn't realize you were fully research.

This is a super minor detail, but that map of schools with costs for IS/OOS, etc., could maybe use "awards bachelor's degree". I sure don't feel like doing the research myself. :)
I'm considered a PhD student (technically speaking, including pay-wise - ouch - even thought it's sort of a postdoc too since I already have a doctorate albeit a clinical one) so it's all research all the time for the most part. I do TA first year anatomy occasionally and lead some of the histo labs, and I take call 7-8 weekends a yr but ,that is all the teaching /service I do.
 
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kcoughli

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Was the bachelors in their original field of study? Or was it changed to a degree in veterinary studies or something like that?
It didn't apply to me, so I gave it cursory attention. My recollection is that it was a B.S. in ... I dunno.

I thought you were partly in teaching! I didn't realize you were fully research.

This is a super minor detail, but that map of schools with costs for IS/OOS, etc., could maybe use "awards bachelor's degree". I sure don't feel like doing the research myself. :)
My roommate in vet school got it. Her original major was Art and her BS was from UMN in Vet Science.
 
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