Going back to school?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Laurelin, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Who's done it? Especially those of you that work full time and then go to school...

    I am seriously considering going back and just finishing my engineering degree. (I have a math degree already so should have the math courses taken care of) I keep coming back to the fact that I could probably get it done in 2-3 years and then easily double my salary.

    I'm just scared lol. I just finished school and am not that eager to go back. On the other hand, it would be better to do so while the math is fresh, right? I'm trying to decide what my first step should be. I'm thinking about taking my transcript to the university soon and just getting an idea of how many classes I'd need to get the darn piece of paper.

    I'm also a little bit nervous about the dogs and being gone even more often for a while, but I think we can make it work. In the long run I think it would pay itself off.
     
  2. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I did it, but years after I finished HS. I had worked for years before I went back. Then went back for one round, worked a bit and then went back for the current round...

    Though I don't work and go to school. My dogs see more of me as a student than they will as an employee.
     
  3. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I did it. I found a weekend program that allowed me to continue working full time, and go to school Friday nights and all day Saturday (luckily only every other weekend!). It worked well for me, but honestly my husband picked up a LOT of slack. He took Lucy to the dog park so I could study, he'd do laundry and clean up while I was in class, and in general he put up with having a really cranky wife for 2 years while I was overworked and stressed.

    I would have gone insane if I didn't have the option to say to someone "I can't deal with life right now, I need to just hole up in the basement and be left alone for 3 hours so I can crank out this paper"

    Academically, my course load was a piece of cake (it was education, lol--not exactly rocket science, especially after majoring in computer science for undergrad). The only tough part was getting time off work to do my field experience (classroom observation) hours. I had to use my vacation days to do school things, which kind of sucked, but it worked out.

    My program was 2 years straight through (3 semesters a year) to get a masters. When I was done, I seriously was jittery for a while--like, what the heck am I supposed to do with all this free time!?
     
  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I have only been out of school one year since December. So not long at all. I just feel like if I put the idea off for too long, then I will probably never end up going back. Maybe it would be better to get it over with so to speak now and then be done with it. I'm scared I won't be cut out for it but then I worry that I'll regret not doing it and settling for the 'easy' route. I do like my job now though.

    I do worry that engineering plus work might be too much. I would only be able to take a couple classes max at a time. I think I'd want to go for my bachelors, not a masters. Just for speed of completion plus they will hire you with a bachelors.
     
  5. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    I keep debating going back to get my Ph.D. in Psychology, but I'm not sure which route I'd even want to take. I had planned on doing that after getting my BS, but was so burned out and ended up in a job that pays well which makes it hard to go back. UCF has a clinical program I like, but classes are 40+ hours a week PLUS there is an internship that's required. I couldn't do that and work at the same time.

    I also keep going back to debating attending school to be a funeral director. The problem is, I could possibly be taking a cut in pay and the hours are tough... so it's a question of taking a job I'd love vs. one that pays more and has better hours.
     
  6. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    I'm seriously considering it as well. Distance courses in art techniques and portraiture to improve in my art. On top of two jobs, and my regular life as well.

    :yikes: I'm with you!
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    My debate is more salary and more responsibilities/more OT hours/more stress, more room for climbing the ladder, versus less pay but not many real responsibilities or stresses.

    I can live off of either, fortunately. It's just a question of if it would be worth it to pursue more.
     
  8. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    We can all have no life together! :p
     
  9. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Yeah, my program was nice as it was only 2 classes at a time, and even better, it was a "cohort", so there were 25 of us taking the same two classes for the whole program. The professors knew what we were all working on, so it was nicer than undergrad when no professor had any clue that you were taking a major capstone class at the same time and had no time to do a bunch of busy work assignments.

    I was only out of school for a year when I applied to go back. Then I delayed it for another year once I was accepted. I graduated in spring 2007 and started again in fall of 2009. It helped that I just love learning, and the subject matter was something I was really interested in. Everyone in my program was a working adult who was looking at education as a second career. The program had engineers and lawyers and investment bankers and stay at home moms and counselors and yada yada. We all brought such different insight to the table. It was cooler than undergrad where we all had zero experience, just idealism ;)

    If you can find an evening/weekend program, I think it would be much more accommodating to the scheduling issues you have. Plus, it'll be more adults rather than typical college kids.
     
  10. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    That would be nice too. One of my big concerns (with a sister and two step siblings that are freshmen this year) is having to go to class with people my siblings' ages. I hear their drama enough, I don't need it all the time. :p

    I think my relatives around here would help out with my dogs if needed. I also keep thinking it would be best to go to school now with dogs that are older and well adjusted...
     
  11. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Not having a lot of job stress is such a perk, especially if the salary you're making is decent and you can comfortably afford living expenses. It just really depends on what type of person you are.

    I think if you really are considering going back, you should do it sooner than later. It's easier to fall into a routine of just work/no school once you've been out for a while. Plus, you haven't been out of math classes for too long. The one thing I DREAD about going back for Psychology is having to get back into advanced stats. I spent so much time and took a heavy stats based course load... but haven't looked at any of it for 5 years!
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    It is nice how it is right now without much stress. I can leave things at the office and never think of it at home. The bad thing is that there really isn't much advancement that I can do without getting a degree in the field. I'm in geology right now, but you need a masters in that to get a job as a full blown geologist. Engineers just need a bachelors and I've already got half the classes more than likely.

    In some other ways though, I'd like more challenge and more say on things. Less menial tasks would be nice too. :p

    At one year out I'm still going to have to go back and rework some of the advanced calc and such. I don't remember too much of it because I never use it.
     
  13. joce

    joce Active Member

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    I start back for my bachelors in august after more than a five year break. I work full time days and ecenings. Scared to death but sitting at work one weekend on an evening I decided it was now or never! It's going to be hard and horses will never get ridden and the dogs will be bored. Kind of thinking of rehoming my gliders because they are already nippy.

    But I need to do this to keep me sane in the long run! It's only a two year program tops and time flys by. Better to do it now.

    Good luck if you go!
     
  14. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I think if I go back sooner rather than later, I'll try to start this fall semester.
     
  15. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    oh I did! but I didn't work full time :p and I'm doing classes online. and only a few at a time. I'm really not helpful :p
     
  16. Cheza

    Cheza New Member

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    I have an architecture degree, and I originally graduated with it in 2006. This January I quit my job and I'm now back in school in pre-med, basically taking all of the math and science that I didn't have from my first degree. I'm 27 right now, which at my university means I'm the age of most of my TAs or older, and well older than the general population.

    It was tough, being out of school for so long. It took me a while to get into the swing of things and back into an academic routine. It's also stressful for me because I basically can't afford to get less than an A in any class, so I'm beating the crap out of myself. I'm not working; I quit my job entirely. But I do volunteer several times a week at a local animal shelter working with dogs with behavioral issues, and at a hospital downtown in the ER.

    The thing I think that hits home the most is when I was working, I got used to being able to come home and shut off my brain essentially. Even if I was working overtime, which I did a lot, I could drive home, turn on the computer/tv and veg out. Now, if I have school til 6:15 and I don't get home til 7:00, I have homework to do on top of all the rest of my regular household responsibilities. I can't sit down and space out. I forgot how annoying it is to not have any real time for myself because all of it is dedicated to school.

    It's definitely worth it if that's something you really want to do, but the older you get and the more responsibilities you have, and the more you get used to having free time to go along with your paycheque, the tougher it can be to readjust. I love being a student, I'm excited about applying to med school next spring, and I'm so glad I took the chance on myself and quit the dead end job, there are just some nights where all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs and burn all of my books in a fire.

    Good luck in your decision, it's a tough one but I think if you do head back you will find it very rewarding.
     
  17. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Can I join this club?

    I have a year left of my bachelors, but ended up not being able to afford going back and not able to go to school full-time and work full-time.

    I want to go back and just do a class at a time, but it looks like I would have to pay for a LOT more out of pocket since loans generally go to people who are in school full time.
     
  18. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    FWIW I'd vote sooner rather than later if you can swing it financially. And if you decide you really want to do it.

    I'll be working full time and starting on my master's sometime soon sooo yeah. Joy.
     
  19. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Shai>> cool, what would you do your masters in?
     
  20. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Leaning toward either electrical or materials engineering, either of which would complement my bachelor's without being redundant, plus would open doors in areas of interest for me without pigeonholing myself in a narrow tech field.
     

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