going back to school

Old 01-19-2016, 06:46 AM
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going back to school

looking for any kind of suggestions for those who are middle age and up and decided to go back to school and how it worked out for you etc..

I'm looking into it and some of these 2-4 year programs are incredibly expensive and I wont get aide I'll have to get loans. I looked at one this morning was like wow this is great i wouldnt mind doing this change my carreer no idea what i'd make with what i'm looking into nor do i care sort of but the price tag for courses was 50grand i'm like YIKES I'm almost 40 50grand in loans now terrifys me! especially given the fact that who knows what sort of income i might make very well could be less then i make now even.

Looking ofr ideas anyone who might know of some cheaper ideas. At this moment I'm poking around looking into hollistic medicine type courses and such and so on. Not sure exactly what route I'll go but Trying to see whats out there.

Anyone do this get to the otherside and have some good stories to tell? might encourage me is all.

I could easily go pay for some certifications in computer related stuff (my current field) and make myself more marketable in my current field but I have 0 interest so that ideas kinda out.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:31 AM
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I work in higher education and see lots of returning adult students coming back. The education market is much different than it was 10 or more years ago. For one thing, there is a big proliferation of "for profit" universities/colleges that tend to cater specifically to non-traditional students. These colleges are generally much more expensive than state/public universities - sometimes many times the cost.

I would research any state or local community colleges that are close to you. Many of them also offer online courses or courses at times of the day that working adults/adults with families can manage. Most of them have advisors that also work specifically with returning adult students so you can tailor a plan for exactly what it is you seek.

It's not going to be cheap no matter where you go of course, so knowing what direction you want to take career wise is important. You don't want to spend money on classes you may not need.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:50 AM
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I see a lot of adult students too, in community college where I teach. Community college 2-year degrees are relatively cheap, or can be - at my school, tuition and books totals around $3000/year, though of course you have to eat and live somewhere on top of that. I don't know where you live, but there may be cheaper options if you look around, including going to school part-time so you can continue to work.

I contemplated changing careers a few years ago, and going back to school for a MSW - a total career change for a 40+ year old research scientist. I applied and was accepted, but wound up deciding not to go through with it because my work situation changed for the better by the time I was accepted and had to make a decision. Go with your gut feelings, I guess - if it's something you really want to do, then you can probably find some way to make it happen.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:57 AM
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My advice you be to look for some work experience in your chosen field first even if the money is not great as long as you can afford it. You have money to spend but your time is arguably moe valuable. You could waste both if you are not ultimately to work in that field. Maybe you can gain some experience and work your way up and then consider the education option later once you are making headway and confident that the return will be there.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:34 AM
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Dude! Do it!!

Are you eligible for any grants and so forth? Also for-profits are scary scary - if the uni you are looking at is a for-profit it's very likely you will be able to find the same classes at a local community or state college for a fraction of the cost - they may not be as student friendly as a for profit (meaning you may not be able to do everything from the comfort of your home) but if the education is easy then one is not truly being educated!

Education is something no one will ever be able to take from you.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:39 AM
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I'd suggest you look very carefully at the potential job market and wage you'd earn for whatever degree you are thinking of. Taking on loans later in life needs to be paid off in as short a time as possible. Don't just look at a degree that sounds cool. Look to see if the degree will pay for itself.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:48 AM
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nearest college is like 45 min to an hour drive. depending on where i go. its a possiblity but a difficult one none the less. Its hard I dont have a lot of time but if I can figure something out that might work time wise money wise i might give it a go. So far I dont really have any good solutions but i'm still just kinda poking around with it trying to see if I can find a workable option.

Its true taking on loans is gonna be killer right now. its really the last thing in the world i wanna do. The loan aspect is the biggest deterant and its pretty doubtful i could get some kinda grant my income is probably too high etc... I'm going into it with the idea of I'll have to pay for this till i know for sure otherwise I'm gonna just assume its my bill to pay.

My gripe with the community collegs in the past is its been really really difficult for me to navigate the course offerins and figure out wtf it is i need to get or what not. short of just simply going in and finishing up my AA or somehting. But an AA degree or a even a BA degree isnt going to do squat for me unless its taylored to what i wanna do. and That is the other kicker the income really might just not be there for what i wanna do making this all a really BAD financial choice. BUT if it made me happy..... it could be worthwhile. if i could get into something I enjoyed and made less and could make it work well hey who cares. but I'll see.

I'm still digging around its a pretty scary thing. I make decent money now most of the other stuff that interests me is half what i make now!!! so its pretty scary.
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:27 PM
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Community college is the way to go. You don't want a ton of debt- the only way you can get out of student loan debt is death. Bankruptcy does not cancel it out, and they can garnish your wages for not paying. Proceed carefully.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:26 PM
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yep i had loans once before. started out with like 8 grand in loans 10 years later after paying on it and defering a couple times etc.. i still had 8 grand in loans. was like UGGG that debt cost me a fortune. Swore i'd never go back in the hole for student loans again.

and I had it easy. I know someone who racked up over 100k became a lawyer got diagnosed with bipolar and cant work in that field. now has 100k in loans to figure out!

its a lot of debt to get into when you dunno what the future holds and like you said theres no way out of it.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:29 PM
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but getting the vibe here community college is the way to go. I'm gonna look into those see what sort of options there are for me locally.

years and years ago i looked into it for the field i'm in presently and it was difficult to figure out and the private school seemed to have it nicely mapped out for me so i went that route instead.

I might have to do more leg work if i go the community college route it sounds like.

thanks for the tips guys.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:44 PM
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Going to college was the best thing I ever did (I can't say back cos I never went to college in the first place, lol)

It was a tremendous experience for me - it broadened my mind considerably.

I hope you'll find the same zjw.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:52 PM
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I don't know if they exist where you live or what they are called but where I am we have specialist consulting companies who undertake career reviews and help you build an action plan for the future. If you find a consultant that you click with it can be life changing. Five years ago I paid a couple of hundred euros for 3 consultations and came away with a totally different outlook on my career path, a spanking new CV and concrete avenues to follow up. I can honestly say it was some of the best money I ever spent. It was the spring board I needed to embark on an amazing new career path. I definately recommend that you talk to someone who knows about the market/careers that interest you.

And yes I agree with the poster who said "Go for it". We only have one life and if you really want to change direction do it now, you are still Young enough to do so but 5 years from now it may be a different story.

Good luck to you!

(Five years later I got sacked for drink related issues but that's not the point!!)
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:02 PM
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A degree can be an expensive pig in the poke.

It sounds like you are already doing fairly well financially and from a work perspective.

I would think about the cost and the potential upside and weigh them carefully.

Let us know what you do.

Good luck with your decision.
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