View Full Version : Going back to school?

3-8-11, 10:58pm
I'm considering a second bachelor's degree at the age of 35 in Clinical Lab Science. The issue is that it would be through a private university and kind of pricey (in the range of $20-30K total) for about a year and a half, given the credits I have already. The average starting salary for the position is about 2X the cost I would be paying, though I might not get that much in a smaller city. I am hoping this would lead to more job potentials in places that I'd rather live (ie not Phx, and preferably not large cities). There are two aspects about this that are giving me pause. The first is the cost: some of which we could pay for outright, but I may have to take some loans. I'd have to see how it was trying to work FT while doing the classes. My guess is, easier at first, more difficult as it goes along. Which leads to the second issue, time. Already I work somewhat over 40 hrs/wk so with commuting to the classes (most require in-person presence b/c they have labs) there would be a lot of time suck.
Part of me thinks that if I go back to school it "should" be to get a Masters in something. However, in my field it seems like a master's wouldn't get me very far, and changing to some other field would take a long time (like an extra year to take classes in prep for a master's program in something else). Whereas this program would use the skills I've acquired over the last decade or so working, and it doesn't seem like society will need fewer health care workers in the coming decade or two. I suppose I'm looking for feedback from folks...have you gotten a second bachelors? Have you worked and gone to school FT? Have you any thoughts on health care fields? Private universities that grant degrees to specifically fill certain industry niches?

iris lily
3-9-11, 7:44am
My brother got a bachelor's degree in business and communicaitons. And then, a couple years later after being out in the world and trying a few jobs, got a 2 year tech degree in respiratory therapy.He's been doing RT for years now and because he's got a 4 year degree he's in management. So, that 4 year degree wasn't a waste of time.

At the moment he's chasing a master's degree, but I don't know that that will help him.

I think way too many people are getting master's degrees for the cache, it's the new granite countertops. I doubt very much that all of these master's degrees lead to better jobs.

3-9-11, 12:27pm
I got my MA 10 years ago,and my earning power immediately doubled. I will be paying for it for some time, but it was a great experience, and I have some really good friends and professional contacts from that time. I do wish I hadn't borrowed as much, but live n learn. It was in my money craziness epoch. I really want a PhD, but it would have to be at a university that would pay me to be there.

3-9-11, 1:31pm
If you want to go back to school, health care is definitely the field to do it in. I'd be scared of the time suck, as you call it, though. Is there any way you can cut back your work hours so you'll have enough time to really focus on your schooling? I'm afraid that if you don't, three things will suffer - your job, your studies, and YOU.

3-9-11, 4:14pm
I had just sent the article below to DD as she contemplates finishing her MS this semester and exit to workforce or going on to next degree in this job climate. Not sure if student visas have age limit or subsidised tuition covers mature students, but if you wanted a top degree and some adventure without finishing with huge students loans....

"I think the biggest factor is financial. In the US a graduate programme would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, in Germany it doesn't cost anything. And it doesn't cost more for foreign students than it does for German students."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12682858 video

3-9-11, 11:31pm
Thanks for the link, Brian! One of DH's and my goals is to live abroad for at least a year, so this would fit in with that too. Hmmm, things to think about/research! The negative is that the health care system in the US tends to be very jealous and sometimes does not recognize the same degree gotten elsewhere (even if the learning is better!). Still, something to explore.
@SRP: I will need to see if I can cut back my work hrs if I do the program here, esp once it gets into labs. Classwork will probably be OK esp since some of it will dovetail with my work anyway.
Thanks for the other advice/stories. Still mulling....