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Old 04-02-2005, 07:09 AM   #1
Dreaming of Disney....
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Location: Northeast Pennsylvania
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OT... thinking of going back to school & have some questions.

I am 30 and have always regretted the fact that I put 2 years into Penn State and then quit. Now that I've been out of work to raise my kids, I've really been thinking hard about going back to college, but obviously my choices are very limited now and I need to go somewhere within driving distance, etc.

Naturally I have fears of failure due to the first time around, and also am not convinced that I "need" to go to school. Quitting my $45,000/year job to stay at home has put an enormous burden on our finances, but we felt it was worth it. Now I wonder if it's smart to incur more burden for me to go back to school and then not make enough money at my "new" job to justify the costs. My first job was with P&G, whose policy is once you quit there you can never come back - bummer - I won't make that kind of money again in this rural area without a degree.

Okay... so has anyone else out there wrestled with this? What are the hot jobs out there right now that actually bring home a good paycheck? I thought about computer technology, but not sure it's for me (although I DO enjoy it). I can really see myself working in a lab in a hospital - but not actually working with patients... what job is that... are in the demand...what's the pay?

I'm nervous, but very excited at the prospects of this! Thanks for any info/advice/support you might have for me.
Pennsylvania Family of 5
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Old 04-02-2005, 01:40 PM   #2
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I've never posted on this board although I am a full time student. I just want to reassure you about going back to school as an older student. Older students tend to be more focused, have a better idea of what they want, and a better awareness of the consequences of their actions and sense of responsibility. ie "I should have studied harder for that exam" rather than "the professor is out to get me". I'm basing these observations on my medical school class which has a healthy mix of people under 25 and those a bit older up to 36. You can do it and will likely do it better than your 20 year old class mates. However, it can be a working partnership where you share your life experiences and they share their youthful enthusiasm and closer time encounters with certain academic subjects.
Working in hospital labs- what you want to look for is microbiology training. Not so much the academic get a PhD stuff as the 'we will give you the training to get a job making good money' stuff. I know Upstate Medical University(www.upstate.edu) has that type of training so their website would be a good place to start looking for info about what and then you can find someplace closer to you to apply. Respiratory therapy might be another option to consider. Other questions, just PM me. Good luck.

Upcoming trips/races:
May Minnie 15 K WDW
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:00 PM   #3
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I take a lot of night courses and online courses due to my health. I am only 21, but most people in my courses are 30+ and all going back to school again! It can be done! A lot of them are able to find scholarships through the schools. Look at adult education or continuing ed programs at your local community colleges they are great about finding grants and scholarships. As for hat fields to go in to, something you love, and take advantage of the career councellors they are great! Start off with the requirements math, writing, science etc. while doing that watch your paper to see what kind of jobs are needed most then decide.

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Old 04-02-2005, 03:25 PM   #4
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I went back at 32, and am enjoying it. I find that there are some younger students, but I am challenged.

I find that online courses through my college is a great compromise due to time, and family restraints. I am a parent, so it works well with the kids schedules, and my work time.

I will be graduating in May (provided that my paperwork is going through) and I will continue on for my special education teacher certification.
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Old 04-04-2005, 08:18 AM   #5
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I just wanted to say: WHY DID YOU LEAVE PSU!!! I just graduated from there 3 months ago, best time in my life, wish I could've stayed another 4 years.
For help w/ your question: I guess you just have to decide whether the present or future is more important to you. If you get a college degree, with your previous work experience, you should be able to make about what you are now when you graduate. Yes, it would put some strain on you for the next couple years however. What you have to remember is that if you dont get a college degree, how much more than $45,000 are you ever going to make? With a college degree, you will always be able to move up farther, make more money. While what you are making now is nice, will you regret not being able to make more in 10, 15 years? You'll always think about what you could've been doing or making if you dont. Just my thoughts, good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:37 AM   #6
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I started college when I was 42. I was a widow with 3 children. I am so glad that I did it. I graduated with honors. It was a blast. Go for it if you have the chance.
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