(Closed) Considering going back to school

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
1008 posts
Bumble bee

So I’ve worked in higher education for over 7 years, and here’s what I’d say: if you don’t know what you want to do, do not go back to school until you figure that out. 

First, talk to people who are in the lines of work you’re interested in. Take them out for informational interviews and ask them how they got to where they are – internships, networking, and education. If your school has a career center or alumni services, see if they have resources for you to learn more about careerfields you’re interested in. 

Second, look into different programs, and talk to faculty, NOT just admissions counselors. Admissions are great, but it’s important to hear from others as well. Look into lots of different programs (Southern New Hampshire University is an online not for profit, but there are other univeristies that now offer online degree programs). I don’t recommend for profit schools (loans are more complicated and there are some major issues that the govt has been looking into). 

Third, look at the average salaries for the careers you’re interested in. Do they pay enough/are they exciting enough to warrant the investment of more education? 

Fourth, figure out your timeline. If you’re planning on having kids, are you giving yourself enough time to do a BA or a BS and gain some work experience before leaving the job market to take care of your babies? How long do you plan on being out of the workforce?

Finally, don’t think a bachelors is going to clinch getting back into the workforce after you have kids. A bachelors is now looked at more like a high school diploma – the minimum qualification. Not for every careerfield, but many of them do see it this way. So, think about how you can stay current in your field even if you’re out of it for a while. Planning ahead, along with a bachelors, can set you up for re-entering. 

So, that’s the info I have for you – really, really think about what you want to do, then go for a degree if it makes sense. 

Anyway, I hope this is helpful for you! Good luck with figuring out your path!

Post # 3
Member
1406 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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futurekrachanko :  A college degree can be very useful, but the debt that is incurred is something to consider as well. AS someone who teaches at a college, I also feel that no one should spend the money unless they have a clear idea of where they are going and what the pay/job prospects will be.

Online school is an option, but frankly I think face to face courses are much better. Where I live there are a lot of colleges, and one offers Saturday classes. Is there any option like that for you?

The other thing I would suggest, if you have not done so already, is to learn a lot about investing money and building wealth, as this is just as important as the career and the degree. I would suggest books such as The Millionaire Next Door: Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy and Start Late: Finish Rich

Post # 4
Hostess
4448 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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futurekrachanko :  I agree with PP that I would be very sure of what career you want before incurring debt to go back to school.  I worked as a paralegal and now am a lawyer.  I personally would try to avoid online schools if you can.  I would try to find a local, reputable school that has evening/weekend classes.  The legal industry (as I’m sure you’ve seen) is still pretty hard to get into, so having a solid BA/BS would likely be more attractive to employers than an online only school.  If you do take online classes, I would choose a school that also has a physical campus (ex. UNC has online courses and is a solid school).  Good luck!

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