anyone go back to school?

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I'm going to be 40 in August. I would say I am at a mid career level job. Systems Engineer for a government agency.

I have about ten IT certifications of all kinds, and about 15 years experience in Sys Admin and DevOps, and even helpdesk boiler rooms.

The next step up for me would be management of a team of administrators, and about a 30 percent pay raise.

They are lining me up at work to get that job, as the current manager is retiring in a few years. I shadow him most weeks.

I have an associate's degree. Most of the administrators I could be supervising have Masters degrees.

My wife just joined the Federal workers union. She is a Fed.

Her union is offering free bachelors degrees for spouse or family, if you have X amount of credits or an associates degree.

Or if you have no college, they offer free associates degree.

College is accreddited school out of Ohio, fully online.

Program is Business Administraton Bachelor's with Management in Information Systems concentration.

I never really liked college or school due to social anxiety when I was a kid. Now I'm a total different person and really am ready to embrace it and feel that I could do really well in it.

Anybody go back to school later in life? I probably don't have to do it, but it would be a good accompishment for me, and honestly would keep me out of trouble, and give me something additional to keep myself on track.
 
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In your wife's case, it is a no brainer. She should take advantage of that perk.
In your case, you need to sit down and determine the payback. If you are in a supervisory role, it is probably best that you at least go back to get your Bachelors, if not your Masters.
In my case, I went back. As a former Educator, either it was coursework or CEU's to maintain certification.
I went back to get my Master's. Again another no-brainer.
I sat down and crunched the numbers (this was in the late 80's.) I managed to get a partial Scholarship, meaning that 50% of the cost was covered.
Entire degree cost me 5K. First year, I got a 3K raise for getting it. Again a no brainer. Payback was basically 2 years.
In addition, the degree bought me flexibility. I needed to move back to my home town because of family issues. The degree enabled me to move into administration, and thus make the move back into my home area.
If the additional degree "Gets you to where you want to be," go for it.
 
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As a 40 year old, I tried going full-time, in person, as a traditional student and made it a year before I decided that wasn't for me. Here I am at 43, getting ready to try again, but this time I am doing an adult studies version. The classes are for working adults and I'll do one class at a time, at an accelerated pace. All of the classes are on-line with a couple of exceptions. I'm going for Elementary Ed and the program should take about 18-24 months. Like you, I have the opportunity to go because the college my wife is at, provides free tuition to spouses and children.

Going back as an adult should give you some huge advantages over when you were younger. First, you have a specific goal. Second, you are likely more motived to do well and to stick with it. Finally, you're probably much better at time management now and will pockets of time in your week to get your work completed.

Good luck!
 

JustinH

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In your wife's case, it is a no brainer. She should take advantage of that perk.
In your case, you need to sit down and determine the payback. If you are in a supervisory role, it is probably best that you at least go back to get your Bachelors, if not your Masters.
In my case, I went back. As a former Educator, either it was coursework or CEU's to maintain certification.
I went back to get my Master's. Again another no-brainer.
I sat down and crunched the numbers (this was in the late 80's.) I managed to get a partial Scholarship, meaning that 50% of the cost was covered.
Entire degree cost me 5K. First year, I got a 3K raise for getting it. Again a no brainer. Payback was basically 2 years.
In addition, the degree bought me flexibility. I needed to move back to my home town because of family issues. The degree enabled me to move into administration, and thus make the move back into my home area.
If the additional degree "Gets you to where you want to be," go for it.
Thank you, sorry I wasn't clear.

My wife already has a masters degree. I have an associates. I am going back for my bachelors, and her union will pay 100 percent for my education.
 
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I finished a degree at 35 and it definitely ‘paid’ off in the long run and opportunities. My employer paid for my degree.

The right degree can open doors. Good that you are in a great paying career field. 👍
 
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I went back in 2017. I went to sell cars for VW but started two weeks before the dieselgate fiasco. Then I went to go sell cars at a Lexus dealership in 2016. It ended up being their slowest sales year in 5 years. I threw in the towel and found out that I had 19 credit hours left. I'm now finding that alot of places won't hire without a degree some require a batchelors degree.
 
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Thank you, sorry I wasn't clear.

My wife already has a masters degree. I have an associates. I am going back for my bachelors, and her union will pay 100 percent for my education.
Follow your passion! You have a great deal there so why not? You certainly seem interested. I can only comment on the follow your passion part, cant comment on going back to school but I always looked at life as life itself.

Why do some people think just because they are getting older they are too old to do something?
You are not one of those types, go for it. I never cared about age, I still dont, live everyday, goals are great, keeps you moving forward, at 40 years old your a spring chicken and at 65 years old you can still do anything you want.

Its easier to say you cant and if you do then you never will. Even if it doesnt mean some big advancement in position or pay, so what? Knowledge is great, keeps the brain young and says something about self esteem, very healthy.
 
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Just trying to give OP, a soon to be 40 YO, some useful information and I am NOT trying to turn this political so please do not quote or reply to post this unless you can remain non-political.

It sounds like a no-brainer on paper but pick your school and classes carefully. College has likely changed quite a bit since the last time you were on a campus. Realize that at many colleges nowadays, free speech, public discourse, and respect for personal freedoms is actively discouraged. Keep your personal politics to yourself and learn to disengage fanatics quickly and tactfully. If one gets even a hint that you aren’t hard to their side, they will literally recruit a mob to go after you. I am often sent to recruiting events at college campuses and have seen this activity first hand.
 

JustinH

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Never understood why watching over other people work pays more than the people actually doing the work, Especially the hard laborious jobs.
I think its more about coaching the rest of the team, and making people around you better and more efficient at their jobs.

Also motivating people to do a good job as well.

The guys who work helpdesk ask me questions and are baffled that I have an answer for them before they give the question, only because I've seen most of the issues before and I am able to coach them how to be better prepared for it next time. I'm not a genius, I've just worked in a helpdesk boilerroom for ten years, and had to work about 80-100 tickets per week, with strict SLA's.

It's also about bigger vision type stuff, purchasing a $$$$ piece of software and asking the right questions, or advising senior management on drawbacks based on your experience.

Getting their trust, and knowing when to tell them NO and here is why.
 

JustinH

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Just trying to give OP, a soon to be 40 YO, some useful information and I am NOT trying to turn this political so please do not quote or reply to post this unless you can remain non-political.

It sounds like a no-brainer on paper but pick your school and classes carefully. College has likely changed quite a bit since the last time you were on a campus. Realize that at many colleges nowadays, free speech, public discourse, and respect for personal freedoms is actively discouraged. Keep your personal politics to yourself and learn to disengage fanatics quickly and tactfully. If one gets even a hint that you aren’t hard to their side, they will literally recruit a mob to go after you. I am often sent to recruiting events at college campuses and have seen this activity first hand.
You are exactly right my wife worked at a public university for a few years, and she echos the same sediment as you. She chose to keep her head down and out of the battles, while she silently pursued a career with the Federal Government. I'm sure there will still be problems there, but you need to ignore it and collect the paycheck and the benefits. I do the same at work and very few people know my politics, and that makes me more approachable with everybody.
 
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I dunno. If I owned a steel mill and had a manager in an air conditioned office supervising the blast furnace while the guys on the shop floor were working the equipment in 120°F heat for 8 hours a day, I think I'd pay the guys more.
If you owned a steel mill, I hope you'd have your supervisors doing more than what's implied in your post.

Supervisory positions often entail tasks like leading training and evolution initiatives, coordinating with other departments or outside entities, not so fun administrative work, and absorbing crap that rolls downhill whenever possible. Are there lackluster performers in those roles? Of course. Most supervisors I have encountered aren't walking around making sure your TPS reports are using the new cover sheet.
 
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I dunno. If I owned a steel mill and had a manager in an air conditioned office supervising the blast furnace while the guys on the shop floor were working the equipment in 120°F heat for 8 hours a day, I think I'd pay the guys more.
? and when the shop guys can't deliver an order on time and you company incurs a $250K penalty for delaying a large construction project, who do you talk to?

The shop floor guys just run the furnace. I guess all the coordination of who does what when happens by magic?

It is the "management doesn't do anything except sit in the AC office and drink coffee" trope.
 
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I dunno. If I owned a steel mill and had a manager in an air conditioned office supervising the blast furnace while the guys on the shop floor were working the equipment in 120°F heat for 8 hours a day, I think I'd pay the guys more.
So in your scenario, the manager is an outside hire?

Or do you plan to promote from within while paying less?
 
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