Thinking about going back to college – what degree?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 16
653 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

What about HR?  It’s needed in every industry, and in my office secretaries sometimes move up into HR roles.

Post # 17
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

CakeSniffer :  can you find out what degrees other people have that currently work in your field? I know our admins have had quite diverse backgrounds, but the one I thought made the most sense was graphic design since she was able to spin it to be relevent to continuing administrative work through her extensive knowledge of graphic design programs, document formatting, and putting together professional presentations.

Post # 18
7371 posts
Busy Beekeeper

CakeSniffer :  but since we don’t have job titles here I can’t really claim that experience.  

Ahhh no. On my resume, I’ve had to get creataive with my titles to showcase what I actually did versus what my role was. And I would explain further at the interview. Don’t short change yourself. I did that for many years and lived to regret it. 

Post # 19
2178 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I would start by looking and talking to someone at a local college – ask what programs are available, what might be able to use credits you already have, which ones make sense for what you want to do in the future, what is the cost (those per credit costs sneak up on you + books, tech fees, etc), how long do they expect it to take, what type of flexibility do they have (ie online classes, night classes) etc

I think that finishing your Bachelors would make sense but I would probably really think about return on investment for anything more since the cost and time and effort of some of the programs vs real world job opportunity doesn’t always match up

Post # 20
2513 posts
Sugar bee

Another way to look at it would be that the actual field you get your degree in matters less than the fact that you have any college diploma. With that logic, go for what actually interests you and think of it as “enrichment” and a fun learning opportunity. Unless you’re going for grad school afterwards or are looking to be qualified for a certain specific job path, I honestly think you’d do just as well to major in English. 

PS At my college, communications was actually notoriously hard precisely beacuse it can get a bad rap. 

Post # 21
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

wineandthings :  I was going to say, business is great. OP, HR is something you could focus on while getting a more general degree in business. 

Post # 24
40 posts

My family is in the business field – I am an accountant and so are my parents (my extended family is a mix of teachers, engineers, and a lawyer). My Fiance is in business IT management.

Out of all industries that i have vicarious experience with through my family, I would definitely recommend getting a business degree above all else. Why? Because a business degree is versatile. You can choose to specialize further or stay in the field of general business. You can choose to work in different industries – medical, engineering,etc. Either way, you will gain valuable transferable skills to supplement your work experience which makes you employable everywhere.

If you are debating on which business field to major in, I am biased and would,therefore, recommend for you to do accounting. However, if you are not too keen with numbers and you mentioned you prefer the communication side of things then HR management is the way to go. Most of the HR managers that I have met do not have MBAs (they do have their own designation). 

Finally, let me tell you that mid 30s is not too old to go back to school. I have met a lot of people going back to school for career change or for degree completion amongst other reasons. Even for me going back to school is still an option. Life is all about lifelong learning! Good luck 😁

Post # 25
84 posts
Worker bee

I bounced around several majors before I found Accounting. At first I thought getting a business degree would be boring, but I’ve found it quite interesting and I love it. I wish I would have found it sooner, I would be graduating about now. lol 

Post # 27
1004 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

CakeSniffer :  Since your employer is willing to help pay- I would look into business management or marketing. Side note here- experience is better than a degree.

Higher education IS a business, all about making money. I just finished my master’s degree and have a ton of student loan debt. I do not think this makes me any the opposite because of the debt I took on. Although I did just accept a pretty amazing job with a nice salary, that mostly stemmed from my past job experience.

Heck, if I could do it all over again, I’d probably look at a 2 year degree in the highest paying field possible. Maybe dental, Xray tech, etc. But 18 year olds dont usually think that way.

Best of luck to you! While it seems I just talked down on higher ed, if you can do it without taking on the debt- Youre in a pretty good spotlaughing

Post # 29
40 posts

Mls1988 :  Higher education IS a business, all about making money.

Oh yes I do agree! However, much like any business you have to put in money (capital) to get more money (return) – the concept of investing.

So, let me affirm your choice of getting your masters and taking on debt; I am all for reasonable student debt. You are investing in yourself to get more money (that would outweigh your student loans) in the future. With dental or xray tech, you will get $30-50/hr. But with your masters, yes you would start low but your ceiling is much more than $50/hr! There would be more doors open for you to fulfill your potential. Thus, you will not be limited by circumstances but by your own career moves.

Post # 30
1532 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Business for sure! It would help you get more “office manager” roles as you’d get some exposure to accounting, finance, management, etc.. It is also a very well respected degree, and you can easily find employment with just a 4 year degree.

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