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Posted: 10/11/2005 1:11:12 AM EDT
Ok, maybe "old" is a bit harsh but I will be 38 in November. As some of you know I am currently contracting in Kuwait. I know that at some point this will come to an end and I will be going home for good. I have some, (30-40ish), college credits from waaay back in the day and I know will transfer towards a degree. I'm kinda in a dilemma now because I want, no, I NEED, to go back to school but I also need to work in order to make ends meet while going to, (and paying) for school.
    My dilemma is that I can't really do that from Kuwait. I can work here and the money is great, but, can't do the school part. I can go home and do the school part but the big cut in pay I would have to take to do that would make it very difficult to pay for school while making our mortgage payment, insurance, truck note, food, etc...not to mention the cost of raising a 6 year old. (girls are so expensive! ) My wife is just about to finish up with her real estate school and then has the state exam left. That will be a big help when she gets that rolling but it will more than likely be at least a year before she sees any real money from doing that.
  As I said, I'm 38 years old and is it feasible/realisitic for someone my age to go back and finish school with the hopes of being able use that to either boost my career, (IT) , or to make a complete career change for something else? The way it looks to me is that I can either stay here and work and put off school until I do go home ,OR finish my year, (next June), then go home and go back to school but then struggle to make ends meet while putting a huge burden on me and my family.

Being all growed up really sucks sometimes!
Sorry for the long rambling post.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 1:51:51 AM EDT
Hey, dont feel bad. Like my Grandad always says "an education is something no one can ever take from you".

I'm 35, stopped school after I got my AAS and had a decent  job. Felt I was lacking so 8 years later started persuing my BSEE/MSEE. All I take now is 1-2 classes a semester and I don't stress about it. Having more education sure beats less education in most employeers books.

You should be able to turn those credits into a viable degree a your local community college and possibly get into a co-op or a internship.

BTW...School is no problem, your study skills and focus is much better at a older age. Well except for Calc III.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 2:42:13 AM EDT
My advise, but ymmv.

Stay out the time over there. You had a plan when you went there, don't change half-way through. When you get back find a good job with tuition reimbursement and then go part time at night/ weekend/ online.

You're current family obligations come before anything else.

You're work and study habits will carry you farther than youth and you'll do better than you think. We're at the age when time flies by and before you know it you'll be out of school again.

I'm 38, in IT also. I went full time at night while working full time during the day to get an associates and it paid with a better job within weeks, but that was before 911. I had since high school went to two other schools while working full time to get a degree it hadn't worked out either time. The first time, the state of ohio stopped paying national guardsmen's tuition and the second time I married and started a family. I was a few quarters from finishing a BA last year when the family was reunited and I stopped again when we moved back home to Cinci. Aaaa. Early next year I'll find another school to finish up the BA.

Yep, being an adult can suck at times.

Sorry, for the long rambling reply, but you'll do ok. And if it takes you a couple more years going part time while taking care of your family it'll be worth it. After all, it's not really like you're on a dead line, you got the rest of your life to make it better.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 2:46:45 AM EDT

I'm sorry, it's just the first thing I thoguh of when I clicked on this topic.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 2:50:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 2:56:04 AM EDT by s1rGr1nG0]
Actually, FOX, that's pretty much how I'm feeling about this whole thing!

ETA: A little update to the original post. Right before I found out I got the job to come over to Kuwait to begin with I had enrolled at  U of Houston. I am still basically stuck with taking the basic undergrad classes but had been leaning toward Majoring in Chemistry or perhaps another science related field. I'm still kicking around the idea of doing Computer Sci or something similar, but, I have already had the rug pulled out from under once in the IT field and really don't want to have to do that again.

(Long story short-worked IT for Shell Oil then they outsourced ALL of thier IT support to India and cut everyone loose. That's why I'm in Kuwait now.)
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 3:16:18 AM EDT
+1 on the tuition reimbursement.  As long as you are persuing a degree that they leans towards your job, most will pay 100% minus taxes.  Most of the night classes I have taken have had a healthy amount of folks hovering around their 40's.  
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 3:26:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 3:27:52 AM EDT by SouthHoof]
Here's my story....

I'll be 47 in a couple months.  I've had tech training and or college classes once or twice a year every year since I left college in 1979.  Education is a life path (boy doesn't that sound new age) and something you should consider an ongoing undertaking.  Keep going to school.

Now for the not so good news....  IT is a tremendously saturated field here in the states.  I suggest with first hand experience that you have a secondary skill set you can fall back apon.  Two closely related skill sets aren't always the best way to have a fall back plan.

Example...  A close friend went to school & degreed in IT at a time when companies were just beginning to embrace technology.  There was a great market for his IT skills in big cities.  Not his choice for location.  Rural demand for IT skills were limited.  He had a fall back, growing up his dad had a machine shop at home.  My friend had plenty of machine skills to put food on the table.  When an opportunity to run a "new" computerized mill came along he was a natural. He parlayed that into a partnership with the business.

Bottom line...think two (or more) skill sets when persuing education.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 3:31:53 AM EDT
Just do it.    

I am 36 years old and enrolled into a Machinist course earlier this year.  

It was the best decision I have ever made!  I cant wait to get to school in the morning and am usually
the last to leave in the afternoon.  I am going full time and should graduate with my diploma by
December 2006.  Quicker you start the quicker you will finish.

Dont procrastinate !

Link Posted: 10/11/2005 4:16:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By s1rGr1nG0:

(Long story short-worked IT for Shell Oil then they outsourced ALL of thier IT support to India and cut everyone loose. That's why I'm in Kuwait now.)

Oh, then this fits you more. Let it load it's pretty funny.www.illwillpress.com/tech.html

Link Posted: 10/11/2005 5:25:16 AM EDT
I'm 36, and I started back this semester.  It ain't easy, but I know in the long run, I will be able to afford more guns!!!!!

I had already made plans to go back, when the company I worked for went tits up.  Luckily, the were bought out and reopened the next Monday under a new name.  Well, the new company has 6 credit hour tuition re-imbursement per semester.  That just sweetened the pot!  My only bitch is colleges don't want to raise tuition anymore.  So, to get around it, they just add fees.  Technology fees, lab fees (not relating to any specific class), air fees, water fees, gravity fees........  ack!  The fees are 1/3 of my bill!  Since they are not "tuition", I don't get them back.

My only advise for anyone going back to school....  avoid the bookstore!  Most classes now have online syllabi (sp?).  You can get the ISBN number of your textbook and order it from someplace like half.com (a book section of ebay).  I typically pay 20-30% of what the bookstore wants, but you have to do it a couple of weeks ahead, for shipping.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:00:01 AM EDT
I thought it was fun going back.  Over the years I had picked up a few skills that came in very handy in school, don't think I would have gotten through without them.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:12:44 AM EDT
+1 on going back to school.

It took many years to get my BSCE but I thank God every day that I got it.  

On your resume, add the degree that you are pursuing in your education category.  But put your “Date Degree Received” as “Expected June 2008” or whenever you expect to graduate.  This way it looks like you are actively pursuing a degree and some HR flunky won’t dismiss your resume just because the company does not hire without a bachelors degree.

Remember..........Never Give Up
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:23:12 AM EDT
A word to the wise on fitting in with college kids...

Dont be a dumbass and ask tons of questions and ramble about grandkids while wasting everyone elses time.  Dont be a know it all.  Just sit back and go with the flow. Im not saying become a slacker but I have had quite a few older crowd people in my classes and they all make asses of themselves. Just making it easier for ya. Maybe youll even get som punanie
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:26:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 8:26:28 AM EDT by macman37]
I'm 34 and would LOVE to go back to school. I went back once 5 or 6 years ago and was the oldest one in my class, not including the teacher.

Just do it... Learning is something I love to do.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:38:52 AM EDT
Also check out your local community college.  Usually much cheaper, and it isn't quite so fast and furious like a University.  Just have your ducks in a row, and be sure what you take will transfer.  I got my Assoc Applied Science a few years ago, and now going for Bach in Mechanical Engineering, and I am having to re-take some courses.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:42:08 AM EDT
I went to night and weekend school for over ten years, over a total of about twenty years in two phases; school, Navy commission, retire then more school.  When I returned to school after retiring from the Navy, I was in my late '40s.  I graduated with a 3.65 GPA overall.  My undergrad schooling ate up my GI Bill money so I paid for the last few classes.

Believe me, it was worth every penny and every minute of hard work.

The tough part was finding the time for family and fun.  Go for it...you can do it.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 9:27:02 AM EDT
Another +1 on going back to school. I had to go back to school, because I felt myself stagnating intellectually in my current job.

If you ever think you're too old to go back to school just think of my uncle. He's 73 and still in school. Granted he's an MD w/ a MBA, but the old man just can't stay away from school, and that's on top of a full time consulting gig.
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