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  1. #1
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Headed back to school...

    So this is either going to be an incredibly smart move or incredibly stupid. Probably a bit of both...lol I kid, I know it won't be a bad thing. I've been looking to swap careers lately but, it's an employers market right now and even though there are a lot of things I can do, and have experience in, I'm finding everyone wants that piece of paper. I opted for University of Phoenix for now as it will easy to plan school around my work schedule. I'll be shooting for a BS in Business Management with a concentration on Finance. I'm scared, wish me luck Anyone else out there decided to go back??? How did it work out for you?
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Good luck Aaron! I didn't go to college right after high school, but instead just went to work full time. After about a year and a half of that, I decided to go back to school. I got a BS in Business Management with a triple concentration in management, human resource management, and marketing, along with a double major in business economics. Do I feel it was worth it? YES. That being said, I don't work in any of those fields, but what I gained from the education was worth everything I did to get that piece of paper. If I had it to do over again, I would pick a different course of study, but for now, I'm happy where I'm at.

    My wife chose to make a career change a few years ago. She is still working pretty much full time, as well as going to school full time to become a teacher. She still has about a year and a half to go to get here degree. It's a lot of work, but I know she will be much happier in the end, doing something that she wants to do.
    Mike

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  3. #3
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    I hated college. Well, not the learning part - just the get-a-degree-or-else part.

    These days, I'd rather have my teeth pulled with slipjoint pliers. My wife has an MS and she can't even find a job opening in her field. In fact, I don't know a single (peer) person with a degree who works in their field. IMO education is HIGHLY overrated. And way too expensive.

    On the other hand, business management is a good, salable degree, so it might be worth it for you. Every business needs management.

    And your mileage may vary, of course!!
    Erik Williams

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  4. #4
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    I went back for my BS in Chemical Engineering (minor in Business and specialization in Biotechnology) at age 36 and loved it. I was, however, very fortunate in being able to go full time. Working and taking 1-2 classes/semester is tough and it takes forever. I think that if you look at it as education and not as career development, you will find it much more enjoyable and the career part still works out in the end. - TF
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  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Forgot to mention, I went back to college again in 2004. This time I was only signed up for a single class, and it was a photography class. For me, the experience was totally different from the first time I "went back" to school in 1994. The first time I went back, I was pretty much the same age as everyone else in my classes. I may have been a year or two older than most of them, but I wasn't a "non-traditional" student. When I went back in 2004, I was at least 10 years older than most of the people in my class. My mindset for going to school was completely different than it was the first time around. Being older, and more "mature" made a huge difference in the way I approached the class. Also having a true passion and interest in the class I was taking made a huge difference in how I approached the class.

    I think going back to school after being away for a while really changes your perspective on things. I know I took things much more seriously than I did the first time.
    Mike

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  6. #6
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Quote Originally Posted by Xia_Ke
    So this is either going to be an incredibly smart move or incredibly stupid. Probably a bit of both...lol I kid, I know it won't be a bad thing. I've been looking to swap careers lately but, it's an employers market right now and even though there are a lot of things I can do, and have experience in, I'm finding everyone wants that piece of paper. I opted for University of Phoenix for now as it will easy to plan school around my work schedule. I'll be shooting for a BS in Business Management with a concentration on Finance. I'm scared, wish me luck Anyone else out there decided to go back??? How did it work out for you?
    I went back to college about 4 years ago to get a high school teaching license. I was 55 years old and very worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the young kids. As it turned out, I got a straight-A average, doing much better than I ever did the first time around (over 30 years ago!). I had lots of fun and no one cared about my age.

    FWIW, a college education, unlike the words of Sushigaijin, is a great thing if you look at it for what it's worth. Yes, college isn't for everyone but remember: college is NOT a vocational school! Yes, my original degree (MS in Physics) has been invaluable all my life but even something such as Art History or Philosophy teaches you to think, to question, to have a deeper understanding of the world around you. If people don't understand the raw value of that, well...
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  7. #7
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Quote Originally Posted by mwfanelli2
    FWIW, college is NOT a vocational school!
    This is absolutely right! University was incepted on that very notion. And, that's absolutely how I looked at it going in...I was naive.

    in the 21st century college IS a vocational school. That's why I didn't like it.
    Erik Williams

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  8. #8
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Thanks for commenting everyone. I'm looking forward to getting started. Will be a bit of an adjustment getting back into the swing of things but, I know it's for the best. Had an hour long conference call will my advisers this afternoon and it went well. I might be testing out of some classes and because of work experience it was recommended that I could write some essays for review to getting some additional credits so we'll see how that works out.
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  9. #9
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Aaron - good luck! A very good friend of mine is just about to finish his Masters of Education program through Phoenix. His program has been a little up and down, mostly due to the nature of the courses - many of them are "group" tasks and involve forums, and unfortunately there simply aren't many intelligent people in the MoE program. That certainly hasn't stopped him though. I'd imagine that business and particularly finance will be more professional.

    I have two friends with Finance degrees, one with a MBA on top of that, and both of them have done very well just a couple years out of school.

    Props on taking a big step; you won't regret it!
    Brad

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  10. #10
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sushigaijin
    This is absolutely right! University was incepted on that very notion. And, that's absolutely how I looked at it going in...I was naive.

    in the 21st century college IS a vocational school. That's why I didn't like it.
    IMHO, most colleges and universities are not vocational mills. Some professors and department chairs try to do that to save their departments but not many, at least in the good schools. I teach at a community college, a more vocational choice than a university by design. Most of the classes at the school are just what they should be. Yeah, you sometimes get the standard childish whine "When will I ever need this" but some students eventually get it.

    The community college, rather than the university, is designed to be vocationally oriented in many ways. But the classes that purport to do that are clearly marked and degrees are rarely the goal for those students.
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  11. #11
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Thanks Brad Yeah, I've been looking at some of the job possibilities around here that I could use that degree with and I don't think I'll be hurting financially. Will certainly be much better off than now. If you don't mind me asking, what fields did your friends end up going into with their degrees?
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
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  12. #12
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    I don't have the time to study in any structured way but I am looking to both expand my skills and retrain. I am working through Adobe's "classroom in a book" series for applications that I really should know better such as after effects and am finding my productivity is improving as I go as I am learning a lot of stuff I already new but also a lot of smarter ways to do things. I am also starting a course in server management in june which work is paying for. The ultimate goal there is to bring my IT skills up to a saleable level with ultimately an MCSE in site (microsoft certified systems engineer) but I will probably only be able to afford 1 or 2 subjects myself - at over three thousand $$ a subject, work is unlikely to pay for more than 1 subject - which has the added bonus of not obligating me to stay there longer term. so I will see if I can learn the material via self guided study after i take a few courses to get my head around what and how I need to be learning.

  13. #13
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    All I can add is, good luck and I think you'll do OK. One thing that you will have to get used to is making time for the coursework and class time. I went to grad school when working 40+ hours a week and It was tiring, though some classes weren't that bad and I was able to knock out the HW and studying fairly rapidly w/o blowing my entire weekend. A few classes kept me up to 2 and 3 am listening to birds chirping as I was working on projects though. UOP classes are accelerated and sound rough but I have known many people who have gone that route and they all say that once you get the hang of the 4 week classes (I think it was 4 weeks..) that it isn't a big deal!

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  14. #14
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Quote Originally Posted by Xia_Ke
    If you don't mind me asking, what fields did your friends end up going into with their degrees?
    Not at all. One was top 5 from Auburn's business school, so she went straight to KPMG as some sort of corporate financial advisor. I don't know exactly what it is she did, but she'd fly around to different companies all over the country, helping them structure the financial portion of their business. They worked her to death, but paid her very well for it. It burned her out very quickly though, so she quit after 2 years and went to get her Masters in Education.

    The other got his MBA in IT right after college and now works in the IT department at Brasfield & Gorrie, one of the largest construction companies in the Southeast. He loves it.

    I have many more friends who got some other form of business degree (accounting, management, etc), and almost all of them work for banks or accounting firms in town. All very good jobs.

    That's a good degree and it will certainly be some work to get it, but it will definitely pay off for you in the long run. Good luck!
    Brad

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    120 Film: Ricohflex Diacord TLR, Firstflex TLR, Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515/2 folder
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  15. #15
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    Re: Headed back to school...

    Those are pretty good odds...I know a criminal justice major who is a vet tech, a masters of library science who manages a vet clinic (read: $12/hr) , an unemployed el ed bachelor, and a bio chemist (MS) who is now a chef. None of them are employed for their education...too many people are educated these days, so it's very hard for educated people to get jobs. And then once you're educated, you're overqualified for an entry level position. Catch 22.

    However, having some experience going into the situation might turn the tables. I don't have any knowledge of how "continuing" education careers are going since none of my peers can even get started. Best of luck to you, really. I hope your experience is better than mine.
    Erik Williams

    Olympus E3, E510
    12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD, 50 f/2 macro, EX25, FL36's and an FL50r.

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