Going back to school conflict. Is it too late?

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
160 posts
Blushing bee

It’s never too old to go back to school, BUT it is harder as you get older. Would you be doing it because you want to, or because he’s pushing you? If you’re just doing it to please him, you’ll be miserable and may not be successful. If you have a passion for the health fields, pick the program that suits you best, not the one he thinks you “should” go to. 

Post # 3
155 posts
Blushing bee

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worldtraveler :  i don’t have real advice but I do find his behaviour unfair as you were in the field before/not being settled in a career you married and he knew what you do and what you get paid. Now he is demanding for you to go back to school but on his terms (don’t get me wrong education is extremely important and I’m sure is coming from a good place but not the way he poses it). How would he feel if you demand him to switch to a better paying career than he is in now and do it within a handful of months ?

Post # 4
47293 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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worldtraveler :  It’s never too late to go back to school.If you don’t go back to school, in two years you will be 34 and exactly where you are now. If you  go back to take your Masters, you will still be 34, but you will have your Masters. It doesn’t have to be a Masters degree. Depending on what you want to do in Health/ Sciences, there are even nursing programs that will take someone who already has an undergrad degree and you graduate in 2 years with a nursing degree.

I went back to school as a single parent with 2 kids after I left my first husband.  I also worked during that time to pay for luxuries like groceries, clothes, gas for the car etc.

You can do whatever you want badly enough.

Post # 5
4111 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I am going back to school at the age of 31, I’ve also been out of school for ten years and I’m terrified but I just got accepted into a graduate program which is excellerated, it will take me 14 months. I am starting in two weeks!

You can do it girl! It’s never too late!!! I recommend going to an orientation meeting which is what I did and it helped solidify me wanting to be back in a classroom and learning, it gave me the motivation I needed to apply. Good luck! 

Post # 6
182 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

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julies1949 :  Agree 100%!

My Mother-In-Law went back to school at 42 and now she has a great career that she loves. You can do this!

Post # 9
174 posts
Blushing bee

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worldtraveler :  I’m in a doctoral program and the average age is 31 (range 27-42). You are NOT too old but just going back because your husband wants you to have a higher paying job isn’t a great idea. Graduate programs take a lot of mental energy and I know I would have quit (and ended up in more debt) if I weren’t going back for something I love. 

I encourage everyone to go back IF THEY WANT TO. What career path would you have with a Masters in Public Health? Or are you just interested in the subject? I ask this specifically because I have a friend who is getting her MPH and has no idea what she will do with it when she graduates this year (she assumed she could become a public health nurse…was upset when she found out you need to go to nursing school to be a nurse…)

Post # 10
4785 posts
Honey bee

It is never too late.  However, you really have to weigh the benefits against the cost.  And also, a Masters isn’t the prize it used to be.  People aren’t going to throw more money your way just because you have a masters and they are expensive to obtain.  A bachelors is viewed like a diploma these days and a masters is often viewed as what a bachelors used to be.  I think when you are looking at graduate degrees, it either a) needs to be a passion, or b) is required for the field of work (i.e. becoming a licensed social worker).  Do the types of jobs you are seeking REQUIRE a masters?  If they don’t, then I would maybe rethink that unless you are extremely passionate about the field.  Particular a masters in public health.  That’s probably going to get you right back in the non-profit world (only maybe making a few grand more as a supervisor) or in government.  Government has an upside in that it is usually stable and some guaranteed benefits (sick and vacation leave, health insurance, etc.), but the pay is usually mandated by a collective bargaining agreement, you don’t get merit-based increases, and you can usually get paid more for equivalent work in the private sector.  I have a couple of friends with an MPH (one just got her doctorate) and they aren’t exactly rolling in money.

Meanwhile, I think your spouse has a point.  Not in that you should just do anything you can to get more money ASAP without regard to sustainability and enjoying it, but many people rule out vocational schools.  I think our high schools have taken such a hard-lined approach to 4 year college just being the norm and what you should do that many rule out vocational and technical schools and jobs.  Heck, the average pay for a dental hygienist is about $65-72,000/year.  A paralegal averages $45,000/yr.  A court reporter averages $47,000/yr.  Meanwhile, many entry-level jobs for people with an MPH start at $32-41,000/year.

So, absolutely go back to school if you feel that is the best choice.  It is never too late.  I’ve known people in their 60s just going to law school.  But I would not make an assumption that a masters is really going to get you where you want to go, or at least don’t rule out other options without giving them a fair appraisal.

Post # 11
7179 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

You’re never too old to go back to school, but it has to be what YOU want, not what anyone else wants or you’re wasting your time. My aunt went to medical school in her mid 30’s after she already had 4 kids, and went onto be a wildly successful family practice doctor (while her husband, my uncle, was a cardiologist).

Your Darling Husband sounds like an ass, sorry to say. He married you knowing what your job was and the kind of money you make. Now all of a sudden he thinks you need a better paying job and wants it to be on only the terms he finds acceptable? Sorry but I would not be willing to live my life that way. Find an area that interests you, and study that.

I have a friend who has her BS in Biology, and after working in Clinical Research for a few years realized she hated it – that it was mostly data entry. So she went back to school in a two year Physicians Assistant program, got a job lined up before she even graduated…..and makes VERY good money as a PA now.

In your situation I don’t know that I’d do a masters program, unless you knew exactly what kind of field you wanted to go into and it required it. Instead I’d probaby go into some sort of health track (like Nursing, PA school, Surgial Tech) that requires a 2 year school. There is always a need for health related jobs like nursing.

Post # 12
2995 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

It’s not too late for you to get a masters but they’re usually vocational in nature so you need to be 100% sure you know what you want to do with your degree before you go. I had a close friend who is a professional tutor think he wanted to be a teacher and run away screaming from his Masters program when he saw the lack of freedom in teaching styles and overabundance of drama in the 9-12 system. 

I thought I wanted to be a social worker for people with disabilities and while I loved my clients and still think about them, I couldn’t deal with the super low pay ($15/hour in the Bay Area for a skilled professional?! Are you effing kidding me?!) and the 24-hour on-call thing (nothing like being called at 3AM because a client got arrested for dumpster diving with homeless people after escaping from his group home). 

So definitely research the program and try to talk to/shadow people in your chosen field before selecting your program. 

Also, the only way you are going to make better money as fast as your husband wants you to is by going to community college and getting a certificate in the trades. But then you’ll be installing solar panels on people’s roofs or tuning up janky car engines and that doesn’t seem to be your thing. Tell him his expectations are unrealistic. 

Post # 13
1246 posts
Bumble bee

I went to grad school at 31, after about an 8 year break. I tell ya, it was HARD!!!! I put in a butt load of work and sacrificed a whole lot both financially and personally in order to complete it. I think you REALLLY have to want it for YOURSELF and be uber motivated…. and to be honest, it doesn’t sound like you are. It sounds like your dh is driving this idea.

I think what would be particularly important is to do some labor market research and determine what exactly you can do with the degree you earn. So for instance, if you had a master’s degree in public health… who hires these graduates? What are their earnings? What are the employment prospects for new grads both now and over the next 5-10 years? I would hate to see anyone put in 3 or more years of grad school only to find that their earning potential is the same…. or theyve picked a field which is pretty saturated so therefore the pay is a whole lot lower.

I think that most colleges/ universities have a career center that keeps track of their grads so that they can report things like, …. 95% of our graduates are employed in their career field within 6 months of graduation, or whatever it happens to be. Were you thinking grad school because of earning potential? Because there’s no guarantee that bc you have a master’s degree that you are going to make more than someone who doesn’t have one…. there are some shorter term programs out there in which the grads are very employable and earn a decent living.  One of my friends at work… her daughter just graduated from a dental hygeine program. Her other daughter is a nurse and both are compensated more than what I made my first year out of my grad school program.

Post # 14
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

It’s never too late! My DH is 32 and just started back at school to finish his undergrad. He failed his first year of college at 18, because he was so into partying. Now that he’s older and knows exactly what he wants to do (Cyber Security) he’s an amazing student. All straight As. I have another friend who is 36 and she just started a grad program. She didn’t really like her field so is doing a grad program to help pivot into a role she likes better. My mom also finished her undergrad degree when she was in her 40s and I was in elementary school. I say go for it, but only if it’s your choice and will help you do something you would love to do!

On the other side of the coin, I finished by masters a couple years ago in a subject I was passionate about and now work in a job that has almost nothing to do with my degree, but in which I make a nice salary and feel fulfilled, creative, and happy. Many of my coworkers made a pivot in their 30s, with and without grad school. One even went back to grad school in her 50s! She’s now a senior computer developer. My point is that it’s never too late!

Post # 15
2000 posts
Buzzing bee

If you want a career change to increase your salary, masters in public health isn’t where I would look. It’s time intensive, costs a good deal in tuition and you’re not going to experience a huge salary bump coming out.

if I were you, I’d try to work for a private sector company where they’d pay for you to go back to school. A lot of companies have tuition reimbursement programs, if it’s an applicable area of study and you contract to stay at the job for a certain amount of time. 

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