Should I Go Back to School?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Rex, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Wow. A lot of diverse opinions here. I think I should also contact one of the career counselors down at Headquarters too.
     
  2. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    The U of P MBA is kind of famous for that. I generally recommend students look at AACSB accredited MBA programs.
     
  3. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    The school I go to is low enough that you wouldn't be paying much per course at $250/hour reimbursement. If your personal investment wasn't high, it would be totally worth going. If you have to pay it yourself, then I think it's a tougher decision.
     
  4. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    That's why I specifically noted MD or PhD. ;) Both take around 10 years to accomplish (5 years for a PhD if you don't have much of a life otherwise) and in the case of an MD, a boatload of debt you have to pay back. Impossible if you only have 10 working years left after you finish.

    An MA can cost some serious funds too, but at least they only take 2 years to finish so you can take advantage of the higher salary much sooner.
     
  5. Louis

    Louis Tinami 2012

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    Rex, Temple's MBA program is relatively affordable (as far as MBA programs go) and has an excellent reputation in Philadelphia. You can go to class right in Center City, and 90%+ of your classmates will be working professionals whose company is paying for part/all of their tuition. You can, IIRC, also take a couple of classes as a non-matriculated student before they make you take the GMAT.

    The downside to Temple is that their Career Services office doesn't seem to be geared toward helping MBA students find a launching pad. I'd guess most stay at their current jobs.

    You could check out Drexel, but I'm not sure how that would work if you'll be tied to your employer for a certain period afterwards. Much of their success with job placement depends on the co-op program, which I don't think you could do while working your current job.
     
  6. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    My two cents on online classes:

    There are some good online classes and a whole lot of bad ones. It is harder to do a good job of teaching an online class than it is to do a good job of teaching a traditional class; at the same time, online classes attract many instructors who want to do teach those classes because they are busy people and think these classes are less work. Online students often complain of being abandoned and/or overloaded with busy work that gets very little, if any, feedback. Student participation nearly always lags behind instructor participation, so peer interaction tends to be minimal at best.

    The situation has improved in the last five years, but this is all-too-often the case. Every now and then, you might get a glimmer of what online learning could be like if only everyone tried, but for the most part, online education is more about checking off boxes than anything else--as is, to be fair, a traditional education for many. You can learn a lot in an online class, but it will be because you decided to learn a lot and not because that is what is expected.
     
  7. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    B&M college professors invariably look into teaching at U of P from home, find out that their faculty actually have to teach full-time rather than teach two classes a week and do "research" for the rest (i.e. have redundant, dull articles published in academic journals nobody reads), and then get self-righteous about how poor a school U of P allegedly is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  8. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Um, I don't know which schools you are sneering at with these comments, but I don't know anybody who teaches full-time at a university (in a permanent academic job) who only has to teach two classes a week.

    And if you think that teaching is just being in the classroom for whatever time class meetings are scheduled for, you are so, so very wrong.
     
  9. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    At research universities in the US, two classes per term is the norm in the liberal arts/social sciences. Schools on quarter systems will often have a 2-1-1 load.
     
  10. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    My ESO is looking into MBA programs. They usually cost more than undergrad classes, I am told. But apparently there are several universities who love to work with the federal government. He looked at Liberty University, but they don't give military discounts to Homeland Security civilians (DOD only). He also mentioned Thomas Edison, whom I have not heard of. Will keep y'all posted.
     
  11. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Thomas Edison State College is part of the NJ public university system. They are the distance learning/adult education part of the NJ state system. Empire State College is similar in NY State.
     
  12. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    10 years is the maximum time most of the universities I've seen allow someone to take for a PhD, not an average. I worked one summer scanning grievance files of students who wanted to take more time than than that.

    Most people I know seem to have finished up their PhD within 5 years (of full time study, but they all seem to have excellent lives outside of school too.)

    Don't know anything about MDs though.
     
  13. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    It took me 7 years. Three years of classes (not all full-time because I already had a masters), and then four years to get the dissertation written. I had a job outside of school because I needed to pay the bills, but the most progress I made on the writing were one semester when I was laid off and collecting unemployment, one semester with a fellowship, and one with a teaching assistantship. The rest of those 4 years I was so busy working and, yes, researching, I didn't get much writing done.

    Other than skating and occasionally attending skating competitions for fun, I didn't have much more of a "life." But that's me. Other classmates had marriages, etc.
     
  14. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    So far, American Military University offers the least expensive tuition; at least 75% would be paid by the gub'mint. Of course for every semester hour I complete, I'll have to work an extra month for the feds. Egads, that's almost like being in the military! :eek: But I'm going to look at the MBA programs they are offering; there is a Transportation & Logistics MBA program that looks interesting....does anyone know about AMU?
     
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    You should check- if you are laid off, do you have to repay them?

    My company requires a 1 year commitment for every course but if THEY decide to get rid of me, I don't have to pay them back. It's only if I decide to leave them.

    (The reimbursement is also really low, a max $$ per year- not even enough to pay for 2 courses per year, just about 1.5 of them, so I'm paying a lot out of pocket- nothing close to what you are getting. I'd say for the reimbursement you are getting a 1 month per hour commitment (so 3 months for most courses) is a good deal. )
     
  16. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Did I say in my original post that I was only referring to non-US non-liberal arts profs?

    I based my statement on the workloads that I know of, which includes teachers in US universities *and* teachers in liberal arts/social sciences.
     
  17. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    Drexel's MBA is $$$$. It's not worth it when a far more affordable option (Temple) is available.

    If your employer won't foot the bill, the full-time MBA program is a better value because it's less expensive than the Executive MBA program and the Executive MBA program also doesn't offer an in-state rate. But then you'd have to leave your job.

    Be aware that MBA's, like most degrees, aren't as useful as they once were, but they're just as costly.

    Whatever you do, don't consider the University of Phoenix when a decent public school (Temple) is available.

    I believe Temple offers some part-time programs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  18. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Temple doesn't offer military discounts :(.
     
  19. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  20. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Be very careful of schools that do offer military discounts. Many of them are not accredited. I run into this all the time.
     
  21. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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  22. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    American Military University is a proprietary/for profit university, like U of Phoenix and Devry/Keller. I can't advise you to get an MBA from such a school, when the bias against proprietary MBAs is so extremely strong in industry.
     
  23. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    At the time I attended, UConn was the only accredited program in Connecticut. We used to ding Yale all the time, as their program didn't include the basic body of knowledge subjects required for AACSB. Of course, they're accredited now.

    Getting back on topic, Rex, do you even WANT an MBA? I would think that a certificate in social media marketing might be more marketable and a whole lot cheaper.
     
  24. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Contact them. Sometimes if you can't attend but want to, they'll let you waive your app fee anyway. Sometimes. Worth trying. Worked for me for RPI.
     
  26. chatsworth

    chatsworth Banned Member

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    With everyone and their brother going back these days, it never hurts to stay competitive.
     
  27. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Go for it Rex and you are never too old.
     
  28. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Offhand I don't know of a single research university in the US where that isn't the case, and I know an awful lot of them as well as teach in one. What heckles said is the standard in the US.

    Eta: I think you're confusing research institutions with universities--they're not the same
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  29. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    Accreditation is very important when selecting a degree or certificate program. If a school's program isn't accredited by the national accrediting body for that subject or profession, it's a waste of money, imo.

    As for whether or not 46, is too old to go back to school...I'm reminded of what the late Abigail Van Buren used to advise: In two years time you'll be 48 whether or not you go back to school. Assuming that you'll continue to work until you're 65, you would still have 17 years left to recoup the financial investment. My two cents for what it's worth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  30. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's official! I'm going for it! I just have to find the MBA program that suits me. AMU has a Transportation & Logistics program that sounds interesting. And my EO says it's a great school for federal employees. But I am looking into Temple's MBA program as well. I have to make a decision this spring to be enrolled by the fall...to be continued.

    And yes, I have gotten lazy, and I swore I wouldn't crack open another book after going to school four nights a week while working two jobs - I was so burnt out and so relieved to be done with school. But there have been many changes, some bad, some good, and they are making me think twice about my future. Someone even told me that one of his classmates in his MBA program was 67 years old AND GOT A JOB after finishing!!! :respec: Maybe there is hope for me...

    And thanks to all the FSUers who offered their honest and considerate feedback. It has helped a great deal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011