Single Status Update
So, a few months before my official discharge from the army, I took part in a state exam for secondary education teaching positions in the CS field (that means Junior high/gymnasium in Greece). There were only 72 open positions proclaimed in my field, and more than 450 applicants.
I participated mostly with my present IT/CS knowledge (I had to fill some gaps like databases and relational/logic programming though), and I spent less than 12 hours studying pedagogy stuff.
Despite the fact that over half of these positions were reserved for applicants with a pedagogic degree (these got top priority anyway), I managed to be in the top 72, and so I could be looking forward to a brilliant (well..relatively speaking) career in secondary education.
My peers and family had a mixed reaction to this (somewhat unexpected) event: some told me I had "hit it big" and I could be looking forward to a steady career for the years to come. Others felt that I'd be wasted/lose my time with such an endeavour, considering I've studied to be an Electrical Engineer, and everybody mostly agreed that it was up to me to decide what I'd do with that opportunity.
Some data to think over:
I was discharged from the army a few months ago. While in the army, I received the basic reserve officer's pay (not much, about Eur 550 by itself, but with various bonuses it went over Eur 700/month).
In the meantime I underwent several interviews for positions ranging from IT consultant, programmer, research fellow, infrastructure engineer etc. however none of them went very well, and I even had to arrange for plane trips to attend them :-/
Factor in the crisis, the lack of serious industrial development/research, the widespread nepotism/favoritism (who you know is WAY more important than who you are or what formal credentials/titles you may have) etc. and you can understand why a stable, state-sanctioned job with a certain payroll appears attractive (about Eur 1100/month), especially when the starting salary in the private sector is in the Eur 700/800 mark, pretty much regardless of specialization. Sure enough, an engineer might in due time rise over to 4-figure monthly incomes and even 5-figure yearly incomes, but starting out and keeping a job long enough is pretty fucked up.
It may not be what I was looking forward to when I got that EE degree, but it sure beats flipping burgers or somesuch. The g