Career Change - Back to School?
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    977
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Career Change - Back to School?

    Okay, so without writing a novel here I'll briefly explain my situation.

    My background and experience is in marketing, human resources and business administration. I've primarily worked in the health care field.

    I've left the field twice now because the stress is unreal and unhealthy. There are several factors there which have led me to conclude that I never want to return to this type of work. While I enjoy certain aspects of it, I really don't enjoy the work environment in general and I can't deal with the stress levels.

    I'm currently unemployed and living on a settlement from the company for which I worked, but that will be out at the end of June and is only a portion of my former salary.

    My husband cannot work. He has an as-yet undiagnosed neurological condition which appears progressive and my leave him paralyzed at the least and dead at the worst. He recently qualified for disability (no appeal).

    We are young (39) but I had my kids young and the youngest is advanced in school so she will be headed off to college this coming fall. Our nest will be empty.

    I'm looking at completely changing my career and direction. I've always wanted to teach but life got in the way of my finishing my education towards that goal.

    I'm considering taking online courses through wgu.edu and finishing a degree which will allow me to teach. I won't know how long this will take or how much it will cost until they evaluate the credits I have already. However, they are one of the few (and were the first, I think) online colleges to be eligible for Pell Grants and Federal Student Aid. So, it should be fairly affordable.

    So, here's what I'm thinking... take a lower paying, low stress job (Home Depot, Papa John's Pizza... there's not a lot of options here) and go to school for a while. Then, teach.

    I'm nervous... actually, I'm kinda scared. Going back to school... it's been a long time. Taking a low-level job (will they think I'm nuts?)... I feel like I'm exactly where I was 20 years ago!

    Any feedback?

  2. #2
    Registered User dianne9106's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NoVa
    Age
    49
    Posts
    568
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    15

    Default

    I reckon I don't understand what type of living arrangements that you have. Will you still have a home after June? Will you be able to pay for your housing with DH disability? As far as online courses go - I highly recommend them if you do not want to return to a traditional college setting and you need to work outside of college. My husband and I took online classes through UMUC and he actually finished his associates degree online and is just a few credit shy of a Bachelors at this time. Also check with local universities to see if they offer online classes. Best Wishes!

  3. #3
    Registered User Michelle68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas, United States
    Age
    52
    Posts
    2,618
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    25

    Default

    I say "Go for it!". There are so many options for online degrees now and it sounds like this is the "best" time in your life for finally doing what you need to do to be doing what you want to do. Also, here in the state of Texas, if someone has a Bachelors but it is not necessarily in education, they can actually get a job teaching and become accredited while they teach. Sort of like on-the-job-training. Perhaps there's some program like that in your state.

    Schools need good teachers who love to teach . In fact, the funny thing is--I never knew what you actually did for a living, but for some reason I always thought you were a teacher. You just seem to (as Dave Ramsey puts it) have "the soul of a teacher". I hope you decide to follow your dream.


    --Michelle

  4. Remove Advertisements
    FrugalVillage.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    977
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    The only debt we have is our home and we have a balloon payment due. We'll refinance and have a lower payment.

    There aren't a lot of options in my town. The local college is only a 2-year and has very limited course availability. While they have some 4-year degrees available, none are in an area I'd enjoy. So, it's either move and go to school or take online courses. Taking online courses makes much more sense for several reasons.

    But, I don't know that I have the discipline to pull it off. I haven't studied in a long time and though I was once an excellent student, I find my attention span is shorter now and it takes longer for me to comprehend some concepts. So, it's scary in that regard. I do know that if I am determined to achieve something I usually succeed. It's just finding the drive for that determination.

    As for the low-paying jobs, I have really two options right now in my town. Take a mid-level management position, such as office manager for a larger employer (if one were available... haven't seen any in a while and when I have my previous salary scared them) for entry level wages ($8.50 - $9.00/hour). Because of my background and training I would still provide the same type of work (quality, style) that I did for much better compensation. Area employers habitually underpay and undervalue these positions and, frankly, I don't want to give my knowledge, experience and talent away for an entry level wage. So, that leaves the other option... work at Home Depot or Papa John's Pizza for $8.50 or $9.00/hour. Gee... for me, it's not a hard decision. It seems the wages are what they are here, but I can choose what I'll do for that wage.

    That's why going back to school fits in to the Grand Plan. I need a permanent solution to this reality. My hubby won't get better. We hope he doesn't get worse. I have to be the breadwinner for the next 25 years or so. I need to find something recession proof, stable and gives me time to be home with him. Teaching makes sense for all of those reasons.

    As I see it, we're going to struggle for the next 3 years or so anyway... might as well move forward in the process.

    But, it is frightening.

    I've started my application and review process at wgu.edu so once I see where I stand, I'll make some decisions.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    977
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    "In fact, the funny thing is--I never knew what you actually did for a living, but for some reason I always thought you were a teacher. You just seem to (as Dave Ramsey puts it) have "the soul of a teacher". I hope you decide to follow your dream. "

    Thanks, so much!

    My ex became a teacher in Texas just as you describe. He teaches Culinary Arts at Wylie HS and seems to love it!

    I do enjoy teenagers and like the interaction of teaching. I'm at least going to start the process and see where it leads.

  7. #6
    Registered User Mom23boys's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Age
    51
    Posts
    19,004
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    43

    Default

    I think it is a great idea. I am only a year younger than you and I started back to college 2 years ago. Believe me, you will find time to do your homework, study, etc. Once you get into a routine, it just seems like anything else you do....housework, grocery shopping, work, etc. I am enrolled at a college that is a town away and I take the majority of my classes online. By the way, I am working on my teaching degree too!

    Good luck! You can do it!!

  8. #7
    Registered User Cricket1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,792
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    17

    Default

    Well...I have one of those "low-level jobs" that you speak of at one of the places that you mentioned! Before kids, I taught on the college level. Now I work at Home Depot and it has been one of my best jobs ever! I love it. I have recently played with the idea of going into education (preschool or elementary) and I have really struggled with it because I enjoy my current job so much.

    Your plan sounds like a good one to me. Working and taking online classes sounds great. As far as people wondering if you've gone nuts, you may be surprised how much you enjoy that "low-level job". If it works for you, it doesn't matter what others think.

    BTW--adult (non-trad) students were my favorites. They were serious about their studies and not just in college because that's what mommy and daddy wanted.

  9. #8
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Right Here
    Age
    71
    Posts
    3,849
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    11
    Rep Power
    43

    Default

    I am a retired teacher who now teaches just part time. It has been a wonderful career. BUT............ it's hard work, and if you are looking for a less-stress job, teaching may surprise you. You deal with local, state, and federal laws. You deal with the typical kinds of people that you meet anywhere: some are delightful and some will drive you to tears. Some will try to make your life unbearable, and that includes fellow teachers, administrators, parents, and students. It's not a sweet haven!

    I typically worked over 80 hours a week. Spring break? Christmas break? Those were major grading times, so no break for me. Summer vacation? Uh, uh. That was when I went back to school. And the cost for going to school? All out of my own pocket. And remember: if you are looking for a job that pays well, teaching may not be for you.

    Also keep in mind that different states have different laws about what kinds of classes qualify for education degrees. Be very sure that what you take on line would qualify for the state in which you live.

    With all that said (negative, huh?), I have never regretted being a teacher. It brought uncommon joy into my life. I watched some struggle and eventually quit. I struggled immensely at the beginning of my career, but stayed with it. It did not pay as well as other jobs or other professions, but it was enough.

    I encourage you to go back to school, but go with your eyes wide open. I wish you the best~
    Spiritual:
    "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." Please... respect life.

    Financial:
    Debt free, hoping to stay that way!


    MY BLOG: glorybug.wordpress.com


    1. Keep on writing.
    2. Get some balance in my life.
    3. Lose weight. Hopefully 20# this year.
    4. Continue to be looking for how God wants to use me this year.


  10. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    977
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Cricket, I hope my phrasing wasn't offensive. And, thanks for the input. I was at Home Depot this weekend getting some supplies for a project and I noticed that everyone seemed pretty happy to be there. I know they're hiring right now, but spring push... so I think I'll drop in my application.

    ForHisGlory, thanks for the warning. I like it when people speak the truth. I think as compared to the stress I had working in health care, education sounds more manageable. We had state and federal inspectors show up for at least a week at a time sometimes several times a year and we would have to show them all our paperwork, etc and prove we were following the laws. We never knew when they might darken the doorstep. Also, the turnover in employees was nightmarish. At the end, I hired 50 employees in 3 months... and they still need people. Add to all of that you're dealing with peoples' lives and loved ones! It's just too much for me! And, I'm so used to working a long week... I think I can handle that part. What I don't like is getting paged in the middle of the night because someone didn't show up for their shift or there's been a crisis. I don't think I'll have to deal with that in education!

    I know it's typically a low-paying job for the amount of education required. However, here it's one of the higher paying jobs in the area... unless I were to become a nurse and I don't want to become a nurse. Because our school board posts the wage maitrix on their website I know that starting out, I will make more than I did as an HR professional in Health Care... plus, I will have more time off, maybe not as much as folks think, but more than I had.

    So, I think my eyes are open... but, if it doesn't seem so, please feel free to share more with me! I'm not trying to defend the decision... just think it through thoroughly before jumping.

    Michelle, thanks for the encouragement! I really appreciate it. I'm very nervous about studying again. 10 years ago I wouldn't have been, but now.... ugh.

  11. #10
    Registered User Cricket1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,792
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    17

    Default

    Nope--I'm not offended at all. As I mentioned, it works for me and I don't care what others think.

    BTW, I don't know if it's the same in your area, but here there are no paper applications. You need to apply online (homedepot.com/careers). They just laid off a bunch of HR people company wide so I would just give the store a call and ask which is the preferred way to apply. Good luck!

  12. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    977
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Thanks for the tip! I'll do that.

  13. #12
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Right Here
    Age
    71
    Posts
    3,849
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    11
    Rep Power
    43

    Default

    Suki,
    I have always felt that if you know the stresses and downside of teaching, and STILL want to do it, then you just might have the stuff inside of you to do so. It takes a passion for the kids that surpasses all the junk. If you have that passion, then you'll do fine with the studying because it's really in you to acheive this goal.
    Spiritual:
    "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." Please... respect life.

    Financial:
    Debt free, hoping to stay that way!


    MY BLOG: glorybug.wordpress.com


    1. Keep on writing.
    2. Get some balance in my life.
    3. Lose weight. Hopefully 20# this year.
    4. Continue to be looking for how God wants to use me this year.


  14. #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    211
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    right there with your Suki! i'm STILL trying to figure out what i want to do for a career. My advice is to do some substitute teaching and see what you're up against. it's one of the few jobs you can try before you commit.

    And if you decide you like it go for it!!! i took a career seminar at my local community college and teh woman who was the career counselor explained that at the age of 53 she got permanently laid off and had to go back to school for a bachelors and a masters degree! She said it took her longer to do the reading and sometimes she had to read things twice but she's proof that it can be done at any age!

    Good Luck!

  15. #14
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    3,244
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    158
    Rep Power
    24

    Default

    I'll be with you soon. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up..lol. (at 34). But my oldest graduates in a few years, and then it's dominoes, each one will follow. but i had my last one at 30 so she'll be with me awhile. For the last 9 years I've been a WAHM. I provide childcare. It's more than I'd make at most jobs, even the one I went to school for. And every couple of years I can add another child and up my income by approx $700/mo. So it makes sense to keep doing it.

    But when the time comes to do something else... there'll be schooling involved for sure. I'm in a city... i'm considerring dog grooming..ROFL. But it pays great! Especially if I can do it from home, little overhead.

  16. #15
    Licence to Kill Luv2BeFrugal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Posts
    3,475
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    23

    Default

    Suki, I think it's wonderful!!! And hearing you voice your worries and concerns over the process is a comfort and blessing to me... I think we're on the same track! I'm getting ready to start back to school next month! Full time student...for 5.5 years...starting nearly from scratch...to be a high school science teacher!!! Do we match, or what?! hehehehe

    I'm terrified at trying to learn all that! I'm feeling rusty and out of it... I'm worried about balancing running our home, classes and homework, errands, scratch cooking/baking... I have no clue how I'll do it all, but I know I don't want to do what I was doing!!

    I was in the aviation field thru '05...have been working various office jobs since (and know full well now that I hate office work!).

    I feel blessed to have a sister, aunt, uncle, and childhood friend that are ALL teachers and are giving me info (no punches pulled) about all of the "in's and out's" of being a teacher. I'm SO looking forward to it...and at the same time hope I can do the job justice (nervous). I really enjoy people of all ages, but know that the teen years can sure be tough and having that teacher (adult) that cares and will listen can make ALL the difference. That's what I love about the job...what an amazing opportunity to help "grow" future generations!

    I think you'll be a wonderful teacher! You have a very caring heart! And you obviously can plan/organize/coordinate things...you're super at being frugal!

    Maybe we can be "long distance study buddies" and keep each other on track when we're feeling overwhelmed with tests and homework?

    Oh...sidenote... HS teachers here in Alaska get paid in the $50-$55K range (you can confirm on Monster Salary) and there are zero state/city income taxes...also, no sales tax. I know that's not six figures, but it's not bad. Housing here is expensive (as is food), but everything else is in a standard range. (Hey, I need to increase the FV population up here somehow! ) hehehe

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-20-2012, 08:31 AM
  2. Back to school!!!!!!
    By Rhiamon in forum General Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-01-2009, 04:10 PM
  3. School is back, that means school tax bills
    By Darlene in forum Debt Reduction & Money Management
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-20-2007, 04:07 PM
  4. Went back onto my career path today
    By Jaded in forum Careers
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-25-2007, 07:50 PM
  5. Anyone want to change their career?
    By Chea in forum Education
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-10-2004, 06:01 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •