going back to college at 29??? realistic or insane?!!?

posted 3 years ago in College
Post # 2
Member
651 posts
Busy bee

I think it’s a great idea, if you have a pretty clear vision of what you want to do. A lot of culinary schools are taking a more business minded approach and often have scholarships for professionals already in the field, if you want to go that route. My fiancé is a chef, and many of his colleagues have gone back to school ‘later’ in life.

I definitely wouldn’t consider 29 too late, I generally argue that 18 is too young for most people to fully take advantage of the many resources college has to offer.

Post # 3
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
Kslim13 :  What do you want to be doing in 10 years? Will a college degree help you get there? Sometimes that’s not always the case. If you want to own your own business, you don’t need a degree, just a passion and a plan.

Second, can you afford it? Don’t go into debt to get something you might not use. Only go back to school if it makes sense for your ten year plan and if you can pay cash.

Post # 4
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2017 - NOLA

My soon to be husband (OMG! 1 more week) did it. We met in nursing school, he decided nursing wasn’t for him (thank God, it wouldn’t have been the right career path for him AT ALL), he went back to school at 30. He is now 33 and earns more money than I do. But he was extremely motivated. I’m also wanting to go back to school, and I’ll be 29 this coming year. Similar background to yours in that I started working right after high school and didn’t have a lot of time to spend messing around in college. Now I’m hoping to go back to further my degree for my future family. You can do it. 🙂 Best of luck!

Post # 5
Member
5082 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

My husband is 33 and just started going back to school after getting his AA years ago.

My mother never went to college when she was young and started going when I was in high school. 

It’s not too late.

Post # 6
Member
622 posts
Busy bee

I really believe it’s never too late and that’s awesome. I could see myself pursing a degree in my 50’s. I don’t get the hesitation. 

Post # 7
Member
4094 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
Kslim13 :  Man I really hope your husband wouldn’t laugh at you for having the ambition to go back to school! My husband was an autobody tech when I met him, and had been working in that field for about 9 years. He was making good money, but he was at the top of his payscale, his body was feeling the effects of all the physical work, and he was sad at achieving the most of his potential at such a young age. He decided to go to school for engineering at 28 years old. He started by getting pre-req’s at a local community college, and his grades were good enough that the school paid his entire tuition plus extra for supplies. He then transferred to a four year and earned his BA last year while also getting accepted into the accelerated masters program. And this is a guy who barely made it through high school cause he didn’t give a crap. This may, at 33, he will be graduating from a top 10 program with a masters in aerospace engineering and has an awesome job waiting for him at graduation. Ain’t nothing dumb about that.

Post # 8
Member
2745 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I was nearing 40 when I went back to school for my nursing degree. I’m glad I did it. I got my associates first at a community college (way cheaper) and got my bachelor’s online (my employer paid for that). I’m now working on my master’s which my employer pays for. 

It took a lot of sacrifice for me because I was working while pursuing my new degree. All my “free time” went to school.

You will most likely find that your grades are much better as an adult. I found that I was more focused on my goals. I wasn’t worried about friends or attending parties anymore. 

Can you get your DH to buy in with school? He probably doesn’t see a financial reason for it, but you could explain why it is important to you. My DH backed me in my schooling once he realized I was serious and determined to change careers. 

Post # 9
Member
5082 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m about to graduate.  I’m very happy with my decision.  It was hard.  I work full-time and do school slightly more than half-time.  

I think it depends on why you want to do it and what your end game is.  

You should absolutely NOT do it with the preconceived notion that you will just make tons more money.  You very likely will not (at least not initially depending on the field, but a degree and a professional job will likely make you more promotable and over your lifetime will likely make more) and you’ll likely be paying back loans for awhile.

What type of work do you want to do?  I work in an office setting and was lucky to work my way up to a fairly high position because I’m curious, work hard, and found a great mentor.  But after I started at the entry level position they changed the requirements to needing a B.A. or B.S and it finally dawned on me that my resume wouldn’t even make it past HR and be considered for an interview if I were applying now.  So I went back because 1. I wanted to prove I could finish because it always bothered me that I didn’t back in the day, and 2. I don’t want to be SOL should I find myself back in the workforce and discover that my resume would get weeded out immediately.  So, from that aspect, I will always say a bachelors is worthwhile – any degree.  Any liberal arts degree will build critical thinking skills and get you into most office or other professional settings.

For a masters, I absolutely do not recommend unless you have either a very specific end game that requires it or you found something you’re passionate about.  I’m contemplating a masters in something I am passionate about, not because it will net me more money necessarily (it might – it’s a reasonably well paying field, but averages are about what I make now).  And in that respect, going back to school was worth it for me because it helped me discover what I truly was passionate about.

That said, if your end game is only money, there are lots of technical certifications and two-year programs that will get a reasonably good paying job.  Dental hygienists, paralegals, welders, machinists, lab techs and phlebotomists usually make a comfortable amount of money with less schooling.  However, comfortable is subjective, those skills aren’t necessarily going to be transferable to other fields (well, paralegal would be), and you’re never going to be raking in triple figures.

So I guess I would start by figuring out your motivation, your goals, and your interests.  Find a WorkForce Center (in the U.S.) or a similar voc assistance program to help you explore your options first.

Post # 10
Member
473 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

I think a lot of times college can be seen as a way out of an unfulfilling career, but you don’t need college to get out! I would reccomend seriously considering what job you’d want to do, and whether or not a degree is really necessary. I have a degree, but in my field experience and/or certifications are more valuable. I could have saved $30,000 and earned 4 years of experience had I narrowed down what I wanted to do!  Check out your local community college for certification programs as well! A certification or license can get your foot in the door of a new field and give you the necessary education to hit the ground running. If you’re interested in marketing, consider a “Digital Marketing” or “Digital Production” certificate. Graphic Design would also be great for marketing!

Post # 11
Member
728 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Realistic! I’m doing it and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! I had to suffer through an “adult learner” orientation, but the dissonance started and ended there. I’m graduating next year cum laude, phi beta kappa, and had I allowed my fear and naysayers to dictate my decision I would never be where I am. I work full time and go to a SUNY school full time. I’m doing it because I knew the job I wanted and I knew my end goal. 

If you have an end game go for it. I couldn’t get my dream job without this degree. Is that your motivation? 

 

If you have a dream, go for it. 

Post # 12
Member
651 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
annabananabee :  agreed, except the majority of paralegal positions require a BA to even be considered for a paralegal certification. With the glut of lawyers in the market, the competition to enter the legal field at all is intense, and I know many paralegals who have masters degrees. Also paralegals at AmLaw100 companies absolutely top 6 figures. I think you might be describing a legal secretary, in which case your good advice is spot on.

Post # 13
Member
1583 posts
Bumble bee

You might want to look at Western Governors University.  It’s a competency based college – all online (save clinicals and student teaching) with a limited set of degrees – education, business, IT, and nursing.  

The semesters are six months long and while you have to complete at least four courses in that time, you can complete as many as possible – ie, if you know the subject well, and pass the Pre-Assessment, then go for the acutal exam.  One of my dearest friends just got her Master’s in Instuctional Design and loved it – she did it in just over 12 months.

Post # 14
Member
797 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

It depends…..I think before going back you need to really decide what you want to do and where you want to go in life. Business degrees are also a dime a dozen right now in today’s market, so you’ll still have to work hard to stand out. Not impossible at all, but it does require a bit more planning to ensure you’re marketable.

I’m currently taking online classes towards a business degree (to help my hubby run his business..not necessarily doing a career change).

My biggest hurdle and really only complaint? Relating to the rest of the class members as they are 18-19, and I’m 32. Despite being an online degree, most professors require a certain amount of participation between students, posting on forums, discussions, etc. For example, one class requires us to particupate with eachother on discussing/debating current news as it relates to the classwork (structure, length, rules, etc, are outlined in the syllabus). IMO, it’s super frustrating for me to take the time to write a well thought out, professional response to an issue, when the person I’m supposed to debate with replies simply “I don’t like it. It’s, like, not a good idea. My mom agrees with me.”

I’m a much better student now, and you’ll likely be better now too. I’m much more motivated, and I feel like my purpose is far better now.

I’d say any education is worth it, and you sound motivated to change. Go for it!

Post # 15
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
steny03 :  IMO, it’s super frustrating for me to take the time to write a well thought out, professional response to an issue, when the person I’m supposed to debate with replies simply “I don’t like it. It’s, like, not a good idea. My mom agrees with me.”

As Schmidt from New Girl would say, “Youth!!”

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors