(Closed) *Another* bachelors? Am I nuts?

posted 6 years ago in College
Post # 3
Member
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

So sorry to hear that you have gone through so much for something that you don’t absolutely love Frown I am not quite 100% positive, but I don’t think you can get financial aid (at least as much as you get for your under grad degree) for a graduate degree. I may be totally wrong though! Even if you did get financial aid, I don’t think I would put the blood, sweat, and tears into a program that I don’t even really want. I would at least finish my BS bc you have worked so hard for it, but if this is not something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, then I would seriously look into that wildlife degree you originally wanted. I’m sure your Fiance would understand if you sat down and talked with him about it. Good luck!!

Post # 5
Member
2233 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would not do another bachelors degree, I think it’s a waste of your time and money. Figure out a way to get into that career with the degree you have (experience!) if that’s what you really want to do. Maybe you’ll need to take a course here and there but not an entire degree. 

Post # 6
Member
2584 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You say you have another semester yet, correct? But since you’re still at the university… can you still transfer to the main university now and do the rest of your degree there? You wouldn’t have to finish your last semester of psychology at your current university, just go on to the other school and basically switch majors. If you only need one or two more classes you could probably finish those too, while working toward a wildlife major, and just double major. You most likely wouldn’t need to go a whole 4 years again, just until you finish the wildlife major, which might only need 2 or 3 years, or less if you work hard- you might also be able to take summer classes.

For your financial aid… I assume that since you’re younger, you still have to put your parents’ information on the FAFSA? Is that why you aren’t getting much aid now? I am 21 and still in college, and my personal experience is that since my parents made too much money for me to get much aid, but Darling Husband and I don’t make much at all yet, I will be getting a LOT of grants and good loans now that I’m married, so being married might actually be financially beneficial to you. (Not that you should get married just for that, but it may affect your timing.) I’m not aware of any limits on the FAFSA as far as how many years you’ve been in school.

I personally would rather make less money at a job I love than be at a job I hate, so if you don’t think you will enjoy psychology, I think now is as good a time as any to switch- probably the best time since you haven’t graduated yet. Definitely look farther into the career paths to make sure, but if it’s what you really want, my advice would be to go for it.

Post # 7
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I’ve always heard don’t stay at the same level (BA), but always up the ladder to better things. I think you should finish your BA just to have the degree (a requirement for most grad programs) and then find a grad program you really like. BAs are mostly worthless now, unless they are in a hard science, math, or engineering field. Psych, unfortunately, is one of the most common. I would know, I have one 🙁

Post # 8
Member
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

There are plenty of successful individuals who have more than one bachelors degree. Those people are also, usually, extremely hard working. There is no perfect road to success, so don’t get caught up in doing things because that’s the way it’s “supposed” to be done. Take some time and look in to all of your options. Don’t get too hung up on the long term or the general negativity that comes along with high education. 

Post # 9
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

What job do you actually want?  Go out and apply for those jobs.  See what they require, what kind of experience you actually need.  

A very tiny percent of my friends actually “use” their undergrad degress.  You get the BA to have it under your belt and then you move on and climb the ladder by getting experience on the job. 

Post # 10
Member
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2002

I think it’s worth going back if you know what you want to do. I was a psych major and graduated and thought I would go to law school. I got accepted into a dual degree law/MSW program and decided last minute to just get the MSW. I hated it and only completed one semester. I then get a MA in school counseling and thought it was the right career for me until I realized I should have been a teacher. So…I am back in schook getting my MA in special education and just got offered a job as a special Ed teacher. My point is…take some time to figure out what you really want to do (research/shadow) before choosing a grad program/going back for another BA/BS degree. Also, If you have family things going on, I would take the time after you graduate to tend to your mom and dad bc I believe family comes first. And…I’m assuming you are young and have time to explore before committing to a career. Best of luck and congrats on almost obtaining your Bachelors!!!

Post # 11
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@Mrs.Lotus:  getting a different, specialized graduate degree for a specific job is a whole different ball game than going back for a separate bachelor’s. 

for many careers (social work and law, and even education in certain states), you NEED a specific graduate degree.  you can’t get licensed without one, so going back for a JD, MSW, M.Ed, etc., would certainly be the first stepping stone towards a career. 

the OP says she wants to work in wildlife rehabilitation.  depending on her state, she may need to take some community college or technical program classes if she’s looking to individually take on animals, but if she wants to work at a certain center or company, she’d have better results as an intern or contacting her previous volunteer coordinator to look for job openings.  heck, some nonprofits may tell her to get leadership, management, or nonprofit classes under her belt– but she should wait until she’s got a job that requires the classes before taking them willy-nilly and potentially wasting money. 

(OP, if it makes you feel better, I’ve done a ton of work in animal rescue with a BA in English, which is even less “useful” than psychology.)

Post # 12
Member
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I wouldn’t do another BA in wildlife studies; I’d just go and talk to some people who are actually working in wildlife rehabilitation and find out about ways you can get on the career path without doing an additional degree. As other bees have said, can you try to leverage your previous volunteer work into an internship or a job? Except for certain specialised roles I’d be surprised if you absolutely needed a related degree to enter that field, and you probably don’t want to rack up additional debt for a degree you didn’t absolutely need.

Post # 13
Member
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2002

@bookworm88:  Yes, I know that.  But I would think with having general classes out of the way, she wouldn’t have to go another FOUR years.  It would most likely be two years give or minus a few classes to get another bachelors.

Post # 14
Member
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m in psych, about to head out to grad school, and I’ve spent 2 years managing a clinic watching our grad students run around. All I have to say to that is – if it’s not your passion, it is not worth the blood, sweat and tears. Cause there’s a LOT of all 3 that go into a graduate degree in psych :). Luckily, if you’re thinking PhD your graduate degree would be paid for and a stipend given, but $20K and a free ride are so not worth it when you consider the work involved if it’s not what you truly want to do.

That said, I’m not sure another bachelor’s is the way to go either. I like a PP’s suggestion that you go out and research the jobs and find out exactly what you need – will you need a specialized undergrad, or do they just want you to have the education? Contact your desired companies, talk to their employees, figure out how they got there and what your next steps should be. That will hopefully narrow your path until you can see what’s actually necessary.

Post # 15
Member
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I agree with galloway111 about the potential to receive more aid/loans once married. I’m not sure if that is why you were considering putting off the wedding, but you should definitely look into what your financial aid elibiility would be in both situations. It benefited me greatly.

As far as getting a second BA/BS, a year ago I would have said that’s crazy. However, Darling Husband got a useless first BS in Food and Nutrition (I know, I know no degree is useless, but IMO it is unless you have the potential to get a job and be paid b/c you have it). He didn’t do a lot of research on this degree before starting it (before we were dating) and listened to his advisors’ lofty promises of “great opportunities”. Fast forward 4.5 years: the economy has taken a huge downturn and hospitals/clinics/etc. are downsizing their number of dietitians. So, Darling Husband has the choice of going on in this field (which requires an internship and likely some graduate work; so $$$ and at least another 1.5 years) all to maybe (but likely not and definitely not easily) get a job. Taking all this into consideration, it just wasn’t worth it.

So, we started researching what he would like to do and have a decently strong chance of securing employment in. We both landed in education programs (but chose high need areas to combat the tough market). Initially, Darling Husband entered a MA program that would simulatenously let him work towards his initial certification and a MA, but he quickly realized the timeline they lured him in with was totally false. After what felt like eons of research, we found that it was going to be every bit as quick for him to get a second bachelor’s then move on to his MA (b/c he doesn’t have to repeat basics). This also allowed him a better chance of securing employment faster (you can be hired while working on your MA before you’re certified, but it’s unlikely and you’re geographically limited to areas around the college).

Anyway, I’m sorry to write a novel, but this is something that we’ve had extensive experience with and researched a ton. Although researching these things is incredibly time consuming and may initally seemed unecessary, it’s so important. I suggest you look at the bachelor’s and master’s progams and their requirements at any and every school you are considering (even consider more than you initially planned). Programs can differ greatly from one school to the next, so if you go to school A it may be better/faster to get your MA but school B offers a better/faster BA/BS. Lastly, (and this is just personal opinion) I wouldn’t be willing to go back to school for anything that didn’t offer a strong chance of employment after graduation. There is nothing worse than knowing you just put in all that work for essentially nothing (trust me, it was hard for DH). I’m not sure about the prospects for Fishery/Wildlife, but you can dig that up through research too. 

Best of luck. 🙂

 

Post # 16
Member
243 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I was a psych major too!  When I was unsure about applying to graduate school, I had an advisor in my undergraduate program who suggested that I work for a few years in a related field.  I really was interested in school counseling (which requires a masters degree) so I ended up teaching for 5 years.  It allowed me to see that I really DID want to work in a school setting and gave me the confidence I needed to start a graduate program.  I even started taking classes for my graduate program while working.  It has been great so far!

Anyway, my advice would be to try to find a job that will incorporate your interest in wildlife. Like many have said, graduate school and/or another bachelor’s degree will take a lot of time, effort, and MONEY.  I would do a lot of research and determine the degree that YOU really want.

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