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Undecided about what to do with Communicative Disorders degree?


jnrussell1

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Hey guys!

I don't know why i'm on here but I decided to gather opinions. I am currently a junior majoring in Communicative Disorders. I am on track to graduate a semester early (which is Fall 19), and so I want to apply for a graduate program for Fall 2020. I am unsure if I want to do SLP or AUD b/c there are pros/cons for both careers. I will list them below:

Pros/Cons: for SLP: I want to work in hospitals in pediatrics, but there aren't many opportunities for SLPs in that setting, from my understanding. I DO NOT want to be in the school system, and i'm afraid I will end up doing that if I decide to go the SLP route. 

Pros/Cons for AUD: I like AUD, and I still want to work with Pediatrics, but I'm nervous about the job outlook/pay for AUDs (especially with paying for doctoral school). I also feel like AUD is being good with a lot of technology, which i'm okay with, but i'm just unsure. I will be getting hands on experience this summer, so maybe that'll answer my questions?

Has anyone majoring in CD went a completely different route outside of SLP/AUD? I don't regret being in my major, i'm just wondering if there are other opportunities outside of SLP/AUD?

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I don’t have any personal knowledge on this, but I wanted to say that I have a friend who is an SLP and she opened her own business. She previously worked in the school system, but now she has her own clients and is pretty successful. So maybe there are other options, like being part of a clinic or ENT office?

My son saw an audiologist in an ENT’s office in a hospital recently and he was great, but I got the impression that all he did was test hearing all day which it sounds like you want something a bit more interactive. But what do I know, maybe he does lots of other stuff too!

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14 hours ago, jnrussell1 said:

Thanks! I'm just undecided and don't know what I want to do as of right now.

If you are undecided that means you need to shadow more. I felt the same way during undergrad and wish I had taken a semester off to consider my options or take a look at other majors. Ultimately I have worked in the field and decided SLP was for me so you could try volunteering in the settings you are interested in to see if it really is what sparks your interest. I will tell you that options are limited with a bachelors in CSD so you should be sure this is what you want before completing. I attempted to find jobs completely unrelated to the field at one point but it was impossible for me. On the other hand with this bachelors degree I have seen classmates go on to PA school, become teachers/sped teachers or go into ABA therapy.

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I was in this same position last spring! I did a lot of job shadowing, and tried to gather as much experience as I could. With that being said when I started school I wanted to be an SLP (former teacher), and knew that I didn't want to be in the school system any longer. After many observations of clinical SLPs I decided that it wasn't a good fit. So, I started doing many different observations of AuDs in many different settings. What I fell in love with was the more black and white course of action and the wide variety of jobs available. I don't know where you live but in CO there are so many opportunities that don't involve just testing hearing every day all day. I was able to obtain an internship at a clinic and it was really helpful, they had both SLPs and AuDs so I got to see a lot of both and decided ultimately to apply for AuD. My advisor had told me of some people who applied to both SLP and AuD and then made their choice once they toured and got a better feeling for the grad school environment. 

If you aren't sure that you want to do either of these things, I suggest doing some observations and hopefully someone else can lead you to branching careers! Good luck and please feel free to reach out with any other questions that you may have! 

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When I first began my undergrad, I originally wanted to do speech. But my first class was phonetics and I fell in love. I waited until my speech and language clinicals to fully decide which one I wanted to pursue, but ultimately audiology won. For me, speech was too "teachery". I love kids, but I did not like having to repeat myself every day during clinic. That is what solidified my decision. 

I agree with every one else on observing more! Besides having an audiology practicum where I personally saw clients, I observed a lot in various settings such as private practices and ENT offices. I now work at Vanderbilt Medical Center as a newborn hearing screener and I LOVE the hospital setting!! I just got accepted into grad school, and I already know that I want to go back to working in the hospital as a full time audiologist after I graduate bc I love it SO much.

I know that cost of AuD school is a concern, but if you truly want to do audiology, do not let cost be a factor! We need great audiologists in this world, and if you are supposed to be one of them, please do not let cost interfere. Apply to programs with GA positions bc they often cover tuition and apply to schools that are known to offer funding, there are ways around the cost! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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