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    CleanedUpMyAct's Avatar
    CleanedUpMyAct Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 6, 2014, 02:56 PM
    Ohio felon and engineering student. Advice for gaining employment.
    I am a 32 year old father of four from Ohio. I have a felony on my record for carrying a concealed weapon, in my car, in 2003. I also have 3 DUI's, discharging a firearm while intoxicated and criminal damaging. All of which was in and around 2003. I also have petty theft and attempted petty theft in 2007-2008. I will save you the stories and excuses and cut to the chase, it is what it is at this point. In Ohio, as far as I am aware, I cannot get my record sealed or expunged because I have multiple crimes on my record. I am also currently a college student with 60+ credits completed and have a GPA of 3.93. I am at the point I am ready to start my courses for my major, mechanical engineering (most likely), and need some advice.

    I am very concerned about finding employment after graduating from college. I am honestly concerned about finding employment while in college because obtaining a "co-op" is highly stressed by the school. In a "co-op" you are paid. If I cannot get a paid co-op because of my record I assume there could possibly be unpaid internships to gain experience in the field, but I am not positive at the moment.

    Am I wasting my time in the sense that after spending the next several years studying engineering I will not be able to gain employment? I checked with the local licensing board and it is possible to be a licensed engineer, how likely I am unsure. To be a licensed engineer you must pass a test after having several years of engineering work experience.

    My questions is whether engineering is a "felon friendly" career? I am concerned to take loans to get a degree that is highly unlikely to obtain a job. I haven't worked full-time for several years, while in college. The only work I can find is side work in the construction field. I have put my application in various companies for various jobs and rarely get an interview. The only company that hired me was Family Dollar because they only asked for two years prior criminal record. I answered honestly and got the job. I was working there for several weeks. They did a background check and the crimes that were more than two years ago show up, of course, and I was fired immediately. This happened when I first started college and I have not worked steadily since. I do work construction jobs on the side as necessary. I am feeling pessimistic about finding a career. Is it possible to become an engineer with a criminal record?

    If you do not know answers to any of these questions, I ask you this. Are there careers that are "felon friendly?" What is your advice to me before starting a specific major, taking probably $30k in loans, and spending massive amounts of time studying? At this point I could switch majors very easily if I had to. Should I target careers that have more job openings than most other careers? That would seem logical. I would like some outside advice. I apologize for my first post in this community to be such a long one. It is weighing on my mind heavily.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,305, Reputation: 7692

    Oct 6, 2014, 05:04 PM
    Often no, with such high unemployment ( assuming you are in America) business places can pick from 100s of applicants for one position.

    It is becoming harder to find jobs at some entry levels without a college degree, and often a Masters is needed for more serious jobs.

    So finding any job is not going to be as easy. Working construction, actually helps, if for a large company, since many of them, have engineers working or them, and a good job history, showing stable working, is always helpful.

    Also, many consider starting their own business, since there is no requirement for background checks working for yourself.

    You may have to knock on 10 times as many doors, send out 20 times as many resumes to get that job, but if you work hard enough, prove yourself, you can
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member

    Oct 6, 2014, 05:18 PM
    Good luck... right out of College you are going to have a steep learning curve at any employer you go to. You will find out how much you DIDN'T learn in college. Speaking as someone who has been there (Electronic Engineering degree and a number of years working in R&D). Once you have that actual work experience under your belt (the more years the better in that actual field) because the real world is nothing like college. Your first weeks or months and depending on what you do exactly, maybe even the first couple of years after college in your first job, will lbe like "my god what did I get myself into" before everything really makes sense most of the time.

    Most want experienced people more than fresh college gards for that reason....unless they are really cheap and don't want to pay for the eperience.

    Being a felon is only going to make it that much more difficult. There are no "felon friendly" careers... there are only felon tollerant ones. There are quite a few that will the felon hostile carreers. Particularly some of the ones I've worked in.

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