Post # 1
You all probably know my story from the bajillion other posts I’ve added to to the Career board recently, but the short version of the story is that DH got laid off very unexpectedly only one week after I left my full-time job for health reasons. His last day at his job was June 28.
He had an interview a week ago that we both got really excited about, but then he didn’t get the job. That was a major let-down.
That was the only interview he’s gotten in months. He has a BS in Biology and 4 years of full-time wet lab experience. He’s brilliant, talented, and picks things up so quickly. Any company would be priveleged to have him. Sigh.
As things look more and more bleak, we’re starting to talk about him going back to school full-time for a masters in Biomedical Engineering. It would mean taking out loans to pay our living expenses since I’m not well enough to work full-time yet.
I never thought we’d be at this point. We both thought his experience would get his foot in the door at a good company but no-one will give him a chance. It’s very discouraging.
Do any of you have experience with going back to school full-time, or having a DH/FI/SO who has? The program he’s interested in would take 2 years, and they do rolling admission so he’d be able to start this fall.
Looking for some advice and/or comfort, because I’m feeling pretty scared and hopeless right now, but also happy that he might finally get the degree that he’s been thinking about for a long time. I’m worried about money. I’m sad that we have to delay our plans for having kids. I’m scared of all the uncertainty. I feel like I’ve been thrown back several years, no longer able to support myself. My parents have offered to help us with our living expenses but we own our house, and all of a sudden I feel like I’m living in a beautiful little house that I don’t deserve. Everything feels really crappy today. Please help. 🙁
Post # 3
Everything is pretty rough right now. Even STEM. And if research is really what he wants to do (which I’m guessing because of the lab experience) he is probably better off going back for the grad degree now but continuing to apply for jobs. The majority of the people I know working grad degrees are going to school for free and getting a living stipend (They’re all engineers and chemists or some variation of the two so I think your DH will get similar offers). Several have started to work full time during the degree program and now have their employers fitting the bill for the rest of their degrees. Him going back to school is going to give you both better opportunities and at the very least give you some more forward momentum in your lives.
I’m sorry you are not well and your plans have been disrupted but I’m sure you can make it through this. Also if he hasn’t already maybe suggest he look at the FFRDCs.
Post # 4
@LadyJDAG: Ugh. I’m sorry you’re in this situation. I went to grad school and had to drop out because of a pretty extreme family crisis. What I learned while I was there is that you have to be absolutely sure that the field you are going into is what you are passionate about. When you are getting your master’s, that is it, there is no turning back. I went, dropped out, and worked in a myriad of jobs for a while and discovered that what I initially wanted to go for may not have been the best choice for me.
However, I’m not saying that your hubby is not sure! I love that he is passionate about something. But, if going to grad school is putting a band-aid on the no job situation, just encourage him to rethink his motives. You don’t want him to get out of school, with a degree he worked very hard for, and be “over qualified” for all the jobs he applies for (happened to me…with only BA!!) and have even more debt to pay off and still no job, no $, and still no kids. You are extremely lucky the ‘rents are willing to help with living expenses.
When I was job searching after grad school it took me months and months to find a full-time job, that wasn’t even in my field (and I felt like a pretty qualified person). Right now, it is just plain hard. It’s only been a few weeks for him; I know highly qualified, intelligent people who have searched for 6+months.
Good luck with your decision. Again, just my 2 cents worth. Do what feels right for you.
Post # 5
@LadyJDAG: I’m actually in school for my Master’s right now. I graduated from undergrad in 2010, and went back to school this January. I go to school full time and work part time (20 hrs/wk). I’m really fortunate though, because FI has a good paying job and is footing most of the bills while I’m in school. It’s a 2 year program, but I’m taking extra summer classes so I’ll be done in 1.5 years.
I agree with PP that he should make sure it’s a field he loves. It’s definitely a lot of work. I love my program though, and I know I’m doing it to have a career. It really makes the hard work worth it.
Post # 6
Thank so much, everyone.
I was having a particularly rough day when I wrote the original post. We had just come back from visiting DH’s parents and my MIL can be a bit overbearing. I was wiped out.
Great advice all around. Yes, DH is 10000% positive that he wants to go into Biomedical Engineering. He’s spent the last 4 years working because he wasn’t sure about what he wanted to do, and now he knows. I think his job options will be much better when he’s got an engineering degree. Right now he just has a BA in Bio, and some years of wet lab experience. Nothing to sneeze at, of course, but it’s hard to get a good job with just a BA in Bio.
The more research I do, the more confident I feel about us being able to handle the expenses. Between loans and fellowships, we will most likely take on debt but I don’t think it will be debilatating. I also think it will be worth it. DH has seemed like a new person since we started considering his schooling seriously. I think he really wants this.