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  1. #1

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    Should I Go Back to School?

    Our education officer insisted I go to our Education Fair today and I went to the booths for University of Phoenix and Duquesne (the rep from Duquesne was very funny). The government will foot up to $250 per credit, which is fine, but I'd owe the government one more month of service for each credit I take. I'm interested in a certificate program or maybe even my Masters....I currently have a Bachelors in Communications from Cabrini College, but my experience in marketing/PR/journalism is pretty limited, unless you count the four years I supported the director of marketing in my old firm, and my current job which includes doing the weekly newsletter...

    No secret; I'm but I'll be 46 in June. Is there such a thing as being too old to go back? This job is okay, but I don't want to be "witty and clerical" forever. I was actually looking for non-administrative work at the time I got laid off from my old job, but the economy made me think more about a steady job than chasing my dream career.

    I hate asking for advice, but I do need some feedback.

    Let 'er rip........

  2. #2
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    I am always in favor of going back to school on someone else's nickel and it never hurts to make yourself more marketable. You are absolutely not too old; everyone is going back to school because of the economy right now. If you take classes in the evening, you will fit right in. If you take classes during the day, the students will be younger on average, but they will love having you around because you are more likely to actually work. They will all want to be in your group, always.

    STAY AWAY from UoP unless you intend to stay with the government forever. The government will take a UoP degree; a whole lot of other employers will not.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I am always in favor of going back to school on someone else's nickel and it never hurts to make yourself more marketable. You are absolutely not too old; everyone is going back to school because of the economy right now. If you take classes in the evening, you will fit right in. If you take classes during the day, the students will be younger on average, but they will love having you around because you are more likely to actually work. They will all want to be in your group, always.
    Thanks, Prancer. Most are offering online courses and if I can do it that way, I have no problem a few hours a night after work.

    STAY AWAY from UoP unless you intend to stay with the government forever. The government will take a UoP degree; a whole lot of other employers will not.
    I didn't know that! My cousin Pat got her Masters from Phoenix. But she does work for the Phila. Gas Company, which has a government contract. And their Masters' Program is 18 months.

    I just wanna make sure a degree or certificate any of these institutions offer is something practical and something I enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    I just wanna make sure a degree or certificate any of these institutions offer is something practical and something I enjoy.
    No you're not too old, but you are too old to pick something you don't absolutely love. Working full time while going to school isn't easy, even for distance learners. Pick something where you'd actually enjoy doing the homework. If your employer insists, throw them a bone by taking a work related course once in a while.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    A lot of employers dislike the for-profit/proprietary schools so much that seeing them on your resume means instant circular file (read: trash bin.) I'd rather you avoid all that and instead attend a traditional, non-profit, brick and mortar school like Duquesne, whether you do your classes online or off.

    You aren't too old to do this. Some of your classmates will be older than you are. But you *are* old enough that you want to minimize the cost as much as possible. To get the maximum bang for your buck (best education at the lowest price), look at the public universities in the state in which you're a resident. They should be your least expensive option in terms of a graduate certificate or masters degree.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  6. #6

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    Trust me, Rex, you are not too old! I see people older than their 40's in each and every class I have at LSU. The economy is forcing a lot of people to make themselves more marketable in order to find a job. You will not be alone, I promise. If you do something like University of Phoenix, please make sure your degree will be respected. I know a lot of people who frown on those degrees and would never hire someone with one. I haven't looked into it much so I don't know if that is a usual thing or if these people are just ignorant on the subject. If you do go that route I don't even think you attend a class, isn't it all online? So know one would even know your age, anyway!
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    Rex, are you saying your interests are in PR/marketing/journalism? What are your interests?
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    Rex, are you saying your interests are in PR/marketing/journalism? What are your interests?
    Yes, I am interesting in that field; that is what I have my Bachelors' in. My ideal government gig would be a public affairs office position. I like to write, and am pretty creative. But my background is so administrative, it's difficult to get out of that trap, to apply for jobs my degree has trained me for.

    I'm getting the impression that Phoenix isn't highly regarded...
    Maybe I'll try Temple. They didn't show up to the fair today, but they are one of the more reasonable colleges in terms of costs.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    A lot of employers dislike the for-profit/proprietary schools so much that seeing them on your resume means instant circular file (read: trash bin.) I'd rather you avoid all that and instead attend a traditional, non-profit, brick and mortar school like Duquesne, whether you do your classes online or off.
    Just to back this up I know someone who throws EVERY application/resume he receives from University of Phoenix grads he receives for various job openings into the garbage can. Doesn't even bother to look at them to see what their job history is. Just straight into the garbage can. So if you do go back to school, stick with a brick & mortar school that fits your needs and you can afford.

    And you are never too old. When I was in graduate school there were quite a few people 40+ getting their Masters in Library Science, in order to move into administration positions, including one of my best friends.

  10. #10
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    You are never too old to learn. Re changing careers, in my experience, it's a lot easier to get hired from the inside than the outside, so maybe if you landed an admin job in public affairs, you could use that as a launching pad to a different position within that field.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  11. #11

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    Just out of curiosity, why don't employers like Phoenix?

    I have used up my Veterans' college benefits unfortunately.

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    don't raise your hand in class too much. that is my advice.
    Smoke a ciggy and have some fun!!!

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    They just aren't respected. It is seen as the easy way out. I've heard that the only employers who will even look at people with degrees from those places are people who have a requirement that you have a degree and that is it. They don't care if you actually learned anything while getting the degree, they just require a degree. In that case you would be ok. However, most people want to hire someone with a respected degree from a "real" university. They want to know you have learned things. Those employers will never look at a resume from someone with a degree at UoP. I am not saying it is right but that is how it is. I know I would take someone with a degree from a public university any day over someone with an online degree.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    They just aren't respected. It is seen as the easy way out. I've heard that the only employers who will even look at people with degrees from those places are people who have a requirement that you have a degree and that is it. They don't care if you actually learned anything while getting the degree, they just require a degree. In that case you would be ok. However, most people want to hire someone with a respected degree from a "real" university. They want to know you have learned things. Those employers will never look at a resume from someone with a degree at UoP. I am not saying it is right but that is how it is. I know I would take someone with a degree from a public university any day over someone with an online degree.
    Hmmmmmm, something to think about. Thanks.
    I've heard the similar things about Widener University, although that is a regular college.

    But it is okay to take online classes from a "traditional brick and mortar" school?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    Just out of curiosity, why don't employers like Phoenix?

    I have used up my Veterans' college benefits unfortunately.
    Some of the reasons I believe impact the rep of schools like Phoenix.

    - Academically, they are open admission - like a community college. They thus accept students who are highly prepared for college work, and those who are not prepared at all.

    - Proprietary (for-profit) universities are thought of as being more about earning money than about educating students. That the quality of education is not very good.

    - I also think that part of it is that there is still an employer bias against online degrees.


    With that said, the classes at U of P online are, IMO, more difficult than those at my local community college. Students at U of P have to go to class more often, participate more, and do way more reading and writing than students in the same community college class do.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    But it is okay to take online classes from a "traditional brick and mortar" school?
    Yes. Nowhere on your transcript does it say it was an online course.
    Smoke a ciggy and have some fun!!!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    But it is okay to take online classes from a "traditional brick and mortar" school?
    In most cases, yes, as they appear on your transcript as if you'd taken the regular class and many of them are just broadcasts of the "real" class. We have a co-worker who did 90% of her degree online at our State U. She did a few intensives on campus (weekend class and one 3 week intensive). Her diploma looks the same as everyone else's.

    edit: El Rey's faster
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  18. #18

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone...the seed has been officially planted in my head. I want to go back.

    My EO just sent me Temple's tuition fees .

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    Hmmmmmm, something to think about. Thanks.
    I've heard the similar things about Widener University, although that is a regular college.

    But it is okay to take online classes from a "traditional brick and mortar" school?
    Some employers will still not be interested in you if they know you did the degree online, v. in person. But many will be fine with it. It does seem that more employers are okay with an online degree if it's from a traditional university. This is an issue, though. Not will all employers, but with some.

    But if you go to a traditional uni that's in commuting distance of where you live (say, within a 3 hour drive, one way); and if the degree is just from, say, "Duquesne", or "University of Massachusetts at Amherst", and not from "Penn State World Campus", then employers, looking at your resume, will not know that you did it online. Nothing on your transcript says anything about online.

    In addition, a lot of traditional degrees, on campus degrees, offer many classes online now. So you could do a hybrid, if it's available to you - where you're taking some classes on campus, and some online.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    My EO just sent me Temple's tuition fees .
    Are you in PA? The Penn State system will be cheaper. Penn State World Campus, their distance learning section, has a ton of programs available. I don't know if you'd get a lower rate on tuition, as a PA resident.

    http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/

    And the Penn State World Campus will scream "I did this online" on your resume. Still, it's Penn State, not U Phoenix... I'd need to do more research on this particular school.

    ETA:

    Some traditional, reputable universities that offer online degrees and certificates include: Northeastern, Drexel, UMass Amherst, the SUNYs (google "SUNY Online"), U Illinois Urbana, U Illinois Springfield, U Denver (Michelle Kwan went there - tee hee), Regis U, Florida State, Washington State U, Penn State (via World Campus), U Maryland (via their continuing ed/online college), Utica College, Tiffin U (tee hee), Oregon State, Indiana State, Villanova, and others as well. I am not sure which, if any of those, offer the programs you want.
    Last edited by GarrAarghHrumph; 04-19-2011 at 08:37 PM.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

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