Going to back to school later in life.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by C99c, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. C99c

    C99c Member

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    Has anyone here done it? I'm 39 and looking at going back to get a degree (or two). I'm at a place in my life where as of next month I will have zero debt, I have lots of energy and drive and a desire to step away from my current employer and industry.


    Thoughts? regrets?
     
  2. olderguy

    olderguy Member

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    My son did online studying during the winter for computer coding then hired on with a company and just completed their apprentice program and is moving into computer robotics with them. He's 35 but his biggest goal was not to acquire any student debt and to achieve his goal of working in the computer field of his choice. Don't know if that's any help but you 2 are close to the same age. Good Luck !!!!
     
  3. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    I was in my 30s and 40s when I got the majority of my qualifications. Luckily for me that my employer funded them all as part of my career development and broader organisational succession planning. Mrs Andy (48) is doing a degree at the moment (at her/our expense - paid up front but tax deductible) that will assist in promotion. There is nothing at wrong with what you are planning !!
     
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  4. C99c

    C99c Member

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    Thanks. I definitely want to not acquire any student debt. I am fortunate that I have made some good decisions in the past that will let me pay for everything college wise without putting a strain on our finances.

    My current employer offers tuition assistance/ reimbursement for certain fields with a retention agreement. They only added the retention agreement in the last few years after a few decades of paying for people to go to school and then having them immediately leave for other employers.
    Even with the tuition asaistance and above average benefits for the area they are having trouble attracting applicants for many good jobs. Which is a symptom of a much larger problem that I'll not get into here.

    I'm very excited. My wife is as well. She's pushing me to go full time, but I've not made that decision yet. I do want to finish it as quickly as possible.
     
  5. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    @C99c I have seriously considered it myself.
    I was able to pick up a few degrees that previous employers paid for as they were work applicable. BUT none are in anything I like now or would ever use again.
    Something I have seriously looked into is paid “internships” that end up with a degree or certification at the end of X amount of time.
    As far as what degree would be a good idea I can say anything STEM related that you are interested would be a great choice!
    IMO while the content part of the degree may be a little harder after you have been out of school for a while. Life experience is a serious benifits when it comes down to understanding and grasping what your are being taught.
     
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  6. Black5

    Black5 Member

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    Went to college at 17, ran away and joined the circus at 18, and back to college to finish at 31. Then again for the Masters at 36.
    What sucks is the college kids. I found myself intolerant of their immaturity.
    By the same token, I got away with some stuff because the professors appreciated my focus.

    The only reason I haven't went on is a doctorate would put me right out of a job for being over qualified.

    Long and short, I would go back to college pushing 60 if I thought it would be beneficial. Maturity makes college so much easier to cope with.

    GO FOR IT!!!!
     
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  7. junglebum

    junglebum Member

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    It it is going to benefit your career or family do it I went to college a little later (24 year old freshman) found it to be fine. Plus the best thing about college is you get older and smarter but the girls stay the same age
     
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  8. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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  9. Jeremiah Jones

    Jeremiah Jones Member

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    I went back to school after my second deployment. I agree with @Black5, the kids will drive you crazy, but I wouldn't have made it through at 18.
     
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  10. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    "Decide what to be and go be it."
     
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  11. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    I was planning on going back but I didn't want or need credit for the class. Simply wanted to learn a certain skill. Told them I would be happy to pay but only wanted to take classes in that skill. They give me a bunch of run around and I finally said screw it and just learned (learning) it on my own.
     
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  12. DYSPHORIC JOY

    DYSPHORIC JOY Moderator Staff Member

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    A farmer who inherited all of his land/wealth from his family once told me: “Don’t need no education to raise baccer.”

    I tried that approach but nobody wants to smoke anymore.
     
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  13. thepierced

    thepierced Member

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    I'm enrolled in a graduate program currently (1/2 a semester in!) and I'm 34. I finished college at 26, and I've found that I am a completely different kind of learner and student than I was way back then. Adult learners are almost universally more self-motivated and driven (because we know the pressures and need for balance in adult life more than is required in college/late adolescence). My advice from when I was working through this decision: It will get harder every year to go back to school. Do it while you have the drive and ambition for it, rather than waiting until there is pressure and obligation.
     
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  14. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    I dropped out of college my first go round....my parents actually pulled my leash back home....While I didn't flunk out...I guess you could say that when I went to school you either partied or played Nintendo....and I didn't have a Nintendo....I went to work and the world motivated me to get back into School in a more focused fashion.

    I went and got my EMT-A certification, then onto get an Associates degree.....

    It took some doing, but I got into University of Georgia (which is harder than one might think)....and put myself thru school working 2-3 jobs and going to school full time... I graduated at 26 yrs old...

    In my 30s I went back for my Masters degree and did it 100% online....it was WAY harder than going to school but I got it done is a year and a half.....


    In my opinion, the job market is turning a bit and there will be MANY openings for skilled labor in the very near future and it is only growing......depending on the job you want a degree is still a necessary box to check to even get into an interview....

    Don't be afraid to look into online degrees from an accredited place....it can be the best of both worlds but it will cause you to become night owl...lucky for me I don't sleep much anyway...
     
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  15. C99c

    C99c Member

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    I have a kid currently at UGA. What's funny is that my intended field will possibly put me there too, although more likely online than in person. ABAC and Auburn are both possibles as well, although I always told my kid that she couldn't go to Auburn because if they can't even figure out what their mascott is then...

    I don't think that the job market is changing as much as people are realizing that there is an ever increasing absence of skilled technical labor. Lots of companies are playing catch up now by putting more of a focus on recruiting specifically to fill the vacuum left by those retiring or aging out. They've relied heavily on "the old guard" while spending their money and resources on lesser priorities and it's hurting them badly now. I see it, in person, every day. I've seen it during job interviews/tours over the last few years and heard about it while talking to at least a dozen HR reps for large manufacturers.

    Combine that with the declining work ethic in this country and you have a major issue. And I'm not talking about any certain age group. From eighteen to sixty there's a lot of people just going through the motion and soaking up pay and resources. I can't count the number of times I've heard how great a worker someone is only to find that they can't go thirty seconds without looking at their phone, can't manage time and have no interest in putting any extra effort into anything. And most of them are in the 40 - 55 year old range. Many probably were good workers pre internet.

    I'm going to use the opportunity I have to not only get a degree that will open more doors but also to move towards doing something that I will enjoy doing every day.
     
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  16. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    my oldest son is graduating this year and has the maturity to know that college is NOT the right call for him...He's looking at Lineman school or some options out West for seasonal work....I have a lot of respect for him having the maturity to make that call....


    I also told him I wasn't going to fund his Eat, Pray, Love year either....so he needs to pick a direction and head that way....I don't mind if he changes course, actually expect it, but he needs to move in a direction and see what happens...He's a good kid and a hard working....a rarity these days...I have every confidence that he will do well.


    I wouldn't even consider a school out of state due to the drastic hike in tuition....ABAC is a great school and they have a northern campus now in Gainesville I think. (If I remember correctly).....no one wants to live in Tilton!!
     
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  17. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    make plugs of tobacco for chewing!
     
  18. C99c

    C99c Member

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    I'm glad you and your son understand that college isn't right for everyone. Too many think of it as just the next step out of high school instead of what it is, an option.

    I know a lot of folks who wasted a lot of time and money on college when it was just never going to help them in any way.

    We are fortunate that our daughter knows exactly the path she wants to take and works her ass off. At the rate she is going she'll finish almost debt free if not with the school owing her money, lol. She's always had the drive to succeed and a good head on her shoulders.

    I think more parents and high schools should really emphasize looking at all options, remaining flexible and staying out of debt after graduation. Too many kids get tied down with car payments, credit cards and student loans before they have a clue in what direction they want to go. They lose the flexibility to pick up and move for better opportunities.

    ABAC is often overlooked but is a bargain and on the same level as many larger schools. I'd definitely rather live near Gainesville than Tifton, but I hadn't heard that they had added a campus in the northern part of the state. They have three in the southern portion, I believe.

    I may get a lot of tent living in the next few years. I'm already more than casually looking at vans that I can live out of during the week if needed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  19. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    speaking as someone who has had little more than a high school education........

    I grew up learning to wrench on trucks (Thanks Dad :) , how to build stuff, (Thanks Dad), how to do a lot of things (Thanks Dad, old man Jeff next door, all the loggers, etc), how to code, build computers, beowulf clusters, Linux, etc

    ..........I hated high school, I learned nothing in high school, due to the system here being a pile of BS. Learned more in JUNIOR HIGH than actual high school

    College had nothing interesting to me,so I learned street smarts and became a bike courier. Did that for years plus construction demo/labor/high angle rope work, then tree work, running saw, climbing trees, wind firming/tree removals, micro scale logging, cut-block log yarding, then I leaped into Hospital Mental Health services (Safety & Security, Fire Safety & Suppression, hazardous materials spill management, mortuary duties, prisoner transport, emergency response services (violence in the workplace) in a hospital health care setting, loss prevention etc........., did that for about 8 years then progressed to driving 2 ton, 3 ton, cube truck, 5 ton, hook lift truck, and finally tandem axle commercial truck and transporting Dangerous Goods.

    I literally can be dropped into any job and in an hour or two, good to go. I'm never without work........80% of the trucking industry in Canada is retiring in the next 5 years.......the trucking and specialty trucking (hazmat, TDG, explosives transport) industries are SCREAMING for drivers. I have not submitted a resume in at least a decade. My phone rings off the hook with companies that want me to work for them. I still get demo companies calling me wanting me back to lead crews. But i make too much trucking right now.

    Im basically self educated in a lot of things......taught myself placer mining, geology, am an avid historian, too many skills to list.

    College and Uni are not for everyone.......there is so much GARBAGE being taught. Its a lot harder to find places that teach SPECIFIC skills that you want to learn, but they are out there.

    it interesting that most billionaires are high school drop outs.......*bill gates for one.....
     
  20. Black5

    Black5 Member

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    @Bushman5 has a valid point in that some people do better as laborers/technicians because vocational work fits them.
    I've too often seen kids being pushed into college by parents and schools when the kid would do better being pushed off the couch and out the door.
    College isn't for everyone. In my field people are often judged by the paper on the wall, performance not withstanding.
    In the "blue collar world" you are usually judged by performance. Some of the most capable people I know have never seen a university, and some never saw their senior year. (A couple didn't see freshman.)
    I don't ever judge a person by a college degree, and I'm a firm believer in freedom of choice in higher education.
    My son determined college wasn't for him, joined the Puddle Pirates, and makes a good living.
    At 31, he's taking on line courses, his choice. His wife has her masters and he brings in more than she does. College isn't always the financial ticket either.

    Again, I applaud anyone who decides, at whatever age, he or she wants to tackle a formal education whether it be vocational or academic.
    And if you are happy with your current status, good for you too.

    And to use @Jeff Randall as an example, if they don't want to teach you, learn on your own. I wanted to get a degree one time and the department chair turned me down for admission because he said I could teach too many of the classes.

    I wanted the ones I couldn't teach!
     
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