Recently I went to a job agency that assists people with finding jobs. My career coach encouraged pursuing higher education. The agency is government funded and they basically help people with barriers find employment. One of those barriers are criminal records. He tried explaining to me it's a great idea.
I went with the intentions of getting a job in the trades, like carpentry, but I truly don't want to do that at all. My answer to him on why I wasn't planning to receive a higher education was because I was afraid of the judgement I would get from people. And in the long run it would be a waste of time because there so many people without criminal records competing for the same positions.
I'd like some real world perspective on this. Is he wrong? Or am I the only who needs a reality check?
Here is more backstory.
- I was 19 when I got arrested.
- I was an alcoholic/weed user (only for a few months)
- Tried to rob a bank and subway store with a demand note. I was so blackout drunk that I went to the subway. When they didn't want to give any money I went to the bank a minute walk away and tried there and they gave me money. (like $500 bucks)
- Now I'm 24, finished probation last year.
- Haven't reoffended or got in trouble ever since. (I spent around 10 months in prison and I'm genuinely afraid to ever go back.)
Given this backstory, there's not much leeway when it comes to justification. It shows I was irresponsible and dumb. This is also in Canada, where we have a record suspension system. From what I've looked up, people with backgrounds worse than mine (like sexual assault) have received record suspensions.
In Canada, if you commit a summary offence it takes 5 years for a record suspension but an indictable one is 10 years. You can think of summary offence as misdemeanors and indictable ones as felonies.
Given this backstory, would you think its a bad idea to pursue a degree? My plan is definitely in a STEM field. However, all of what I've seen online seemed to show none of them are friendly to past convicts.