T Nation

Too Old to Start Again?

[quote]timbofirstblood wrote:
Sounds like you’re a few years older than me, but I was recently considering this same issue. I was at a dead end in my field and not particularly interested in continuing.

I found the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to be useful for researching occupations. It gives an overview of growth potential of various fields, and has more detailed profiles of occupations once you find one that is interesting. Once I found one that interested me, I was surprised by how much of my experience/skills were actually transferable, and I designed my resume to reflect that. I did some volunteer work on the side to gain better experience and responsibilities, and ended up landing a job I’m pretty satisfied with.

I was very wary of going back to school to try to advance my career, and chose to take a more hands-on route. That said, it sounds like other folks on here have taken the educational route and been very successful.

Links:

EDIT: Actually, it looks like we’re about the same age.
Also, this is a better link: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm[/quote]

Thank you very much. This is very useful.

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
So, I’ve been living my life in 4 or 5 year increments for awhile now. 4 years of high school, 4 of college, 5 in the army. I’ll be getting out at the end of 2014, and I’m starting to realize that I need to reevaluate my options and get something sorted out, time now.

My major is worthless (English, emphasis on Creative Writing), and so I’m considering going back to school and getting a degree in something useful (engineering of some sort). I will be 28 when I leave the army.

I’m not interested in struggling through with low-paying jobs anymore. I want to live comfortably and raise a family.

Has anyone gone back to rebuild, as I intend to do? I’m worried about it, naturally, as I don’t want to waste any more money on education I can’t easily use, and I feel that I might be too old. [/quote]

I have a worthless degree too, but I got a degree. Unless you are far from getting it, I would stay the course and then if you really want to retool, do it with a masters. If you going to be in school for 6 years, it’s better to have a master’s for the effort than a BA or BS.
I realized I didn’t much like psychology much after all by year 3, but I was damned if I were going to add another year or two, for a Bachelors.

How close are you to getting your degree? If less than 2 years, I wouldn’t change. The degree is more valuable than what the degree is in.
That’s my $.02.

So I have 2 questions, how close are you to getting your degree?
What is you job in the army?

[/quote]

I have my degree in English. I graduated in 09 right before enlisting.

In the army I work as a crypto-linguist.

and my language focus is Arabic.

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
So, I’ve been living my life in 4 or 5 year increments for awhile now. 4 years of high school, 4 of college, 5 in the army. I’ll be getting out at the end of 2014, and I’m starting to realize that I need to reevaluate my options and get something sorted out, time now.

My major is worthless (English, emphasis on Creative Writing), and so I’m considering going back to school and getting a degree in something useful (engineering of some sort). I will be 28 when I leave the army.

I’m not interested in struggling through with low-paying jobs anymore. I want to live comfortably and raise a family.

Has anyone gone back to rebuild, as I intend to do? I’m worried about it, naturally, as I don’t want to waste any more money on education I can’t easily use, and I feel that I might be too old. [/quote]

I have a worthless degree too, but I got a degree. Unless you are far from getting it, I would stay the course and then if you really want to retool, do it with a masters. If you going to be in school for 6 years, it’s better to have a master’s for the effort than a BA or BS.
I realized I didn’t much like psychology much after all by year 3, but I was damned if I were going to add another year or two, for a Bachelors.

How close are you to getting your degree? If less than 2 years, I wouldn’t change. The degree is more valuable than what the degree is in.
That’s my $.02.

So I have 2 questions, how close are you to getting your degree?
What is you job in the army?

[/quote]

I have my degree in English. I graduated in 09 right before enlisting.

In the army I work as a crypto-linguist.
[/quote]

What does a crypto linguist do and who would pay for that?

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
So, I’ve been living my life in 4 or 5 year increments for awhile now. 4 years of high school, 4 of college, 5 in the army. I’ll be getting out at the end of 2014, and I’m starting to realize that I need to reevaluate my options and get something sorted out, time now.

My major is worthless (English, emphasis on Creative Writing), and so I’m considering going back to school and getting a degree in something useful (engineering of some sort). I will be 28 when I leave the army.

I’m not interested in struggling through with low-paying jobs anymore. I want to live comfortably and raise a family.

Has anyone gone back to rebuild, as I intend to do? I’m worried about it, naturally, as I don’t want to waste any more money on education I can’t easily use, and I feel that I might be too old. [/quote]

I have a worthless degree too, but I got a degree. Unless you are far from getting it, I would stay the course and then if you really want to retool, do it with a masters. If you going to be in school for 6 years, it’s better to have a master’s for the effort than a BA or BS.
I realized I didn’t much like psychology much after all by year 3, but I was damned if I were going to add another year or two, for a Bachelors.

How close are you to getting your degree? If less than 2 years, I wouldn’t change. The degree is more valuable than what the degree is in.
That’s my $.02.

So I have 2 questions, how close are you to getting your degree?
What is you job in the army?

[/quote]

I have my degree in English. I graduated in 09 right before enlisting.

In the army I work as a crypto-linguist.
[/quote]

What does a crypto linguist do and who would pay for that?

[/quote]

Well we do some stuff with computers. I can’t be too specific. We’re also supposed to be language and culture specialists. I’m proficient in Arabic.

People tend to go for government contracts with this skill set. Honestly, I’m not interested in working for the government anymore. I don’t have anything against it, but it isn’t for me.

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
So, I’ve been living my life in 4 or 5 year increments for awhile now. 4 years of high school, 4 of college, 5 in the army. I’ll be getting out at the end of 2014, and I’m starting to realize that I need to reevaluate my options and get something sorted out, time now.

My major is worthless (English, emphasis on Creative Writing), and so I’m considering going back to school and getting a degree in something useful (engineering of some sort). I will be 28 when I leave the army.

I’m not interested in struggling through with low-paying jobs anymore. I want to live comfortably and raise a family.

Has anyone gone back to rebuild, as I intend to do? I’m worried about it, naturally, as I don’t want to waste any more money on education I can’t easily use, and I feel that I might be too old. [/quote]

I have a worthless degree too, but I got a degree. Unless you are far from getting it, I would stay the course and then if you really want to retool, do it with a masters. If you going to be in school for 6 years, it’s better to have a master’s for the effort than a BA or BS.
I realized I didn’t much like psychology much after all by year 3, but I was damned if I were going to add another year or two, for a Bachelors.

How close are you to getting your degree? If less than 2 years, I wouldn’t change. The degree is more valuable than what the degree is in.
That’s my $.02.

So I have 2 questions, how close are you to getting your degree?
What is you job in the army?

[/quote]

I have my degree in English. I graduated in 09 right before enlisting.

In the army I work as a crypto-linguist.
[/quote]

What does a crypto linguist do and who would pay for that?

[/quote]

Well we do some stuff with computers. I can’t be too specific. We’re also supposed to be language and culture specialists. I’m proficient in Arabic.

People tend to go for government contracts with this skill set. Honestly, I’m not interested in working for the government anymore. I don’t have anything against it, but it isn’t for me.
[/quote]

So, you speak Arabic and you are an expert, relatively speaking, on Arab culture?

Are you telling me that not one American company is willing to shell out serious dough for that specidic skillset?

What I would look for are companies that look for what you already have and what you need to learn to beef that up a little bit.

Assuming that speaking Arabic does not feel like torture to you.

Meaning, take what you have and fill in the blanks.

[quote]orion wrote:
What I would look for are companies that look for what you already have and what you need to learn to beef that up a little bit.

Assuming that speaking Arabic does not feel like torture to you.

Meaning, take what you have and fill in the blanks. [/quote]

Sound advice. I like the language, actually, when it’s separated from the cultural aspects. I will do that.

I was thinking the language business would complement a petroleum engineering degree, but maybe I can find a job in the business without the latter.

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:
What I would look for are companies that look for what you already have and what you need to learn to beef that up a little bit.

Assuming that speaking Arabic does not feel like torture to you.

Meaning, take what you have and fill in the blanks. [/quote]

Sound advice. I like the language, actually, when it’s separated from the cultural aspects. I will do that.

I was thinking the language business would complement a petroleum engineering degree, but maybe I can find a job in the business without the latter. [/quote]

Hey, I am not saying do not study something, but if you can pull off studying while you already have a foot in the door it might take longer but you also demonstrate ambition and dedication to your employer.

So maybe it is not college -> job for you but job-> college -> better job in the same field.

This way you would actually know what they want and are willing to pay for.

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
So, I’ve been living my life in 4 or 5 year increments for awhile now. 4 years of high school, 4 of college, 5 in the army. I’ll be getting out at the end of 2014, and I’m starting to realize that I need to reevaluate my options and get something sorted out, time now.

My major is worthless (English, emphasis on Creative Writing), and so I’m considering going back to school and getting a degree in something useful (engineering of some sort). I will be 28 when I leave the army.

I’m not interested in struggling through with low-paying jobs anymore. I want to live comfortably and raise a family.

Has anyone gone back to rebuild, as I intend to do? I’m worried about it, naturally, as I don’t want to waste any more money on education I can’t easily use, and I feel that I might be too old. [/quote]

I have a worthless degree too, but I got a degree. Unless you are far from getting it, I would stay the course and then if you really want to retool, do it with a masters. If you going to be in school for 6 years, it’s better to have a master’s for the effort than a BA or BS.
I realized I didn’t much like psychology much after all by year 3, but I was damned if I were going to add another year or two, for a Bachelors.

How close are you to getting your degree? If less than 2 years, I wouldn’t change. The degree is more valuable than what the degree is in.
That’s my $.02.

So I have 2 questions, how close are you to getting your degree?
What is you job in the army?

[/quote]

I have my degree in English. I graduated in 09 right before enlisting.

In the army I work as a crypto-linguist.

and my language focus is Arabic.
[/quote]

Have you thought about translation and interpreting? Arab <> English is one of the rarer, and therefore better paid, language pairs, and your writing skills should make you a good translator.

I’m afraid I don’t know the good schools in the USA but there are plenty of Masters you could look in to in Europe.

Do you have any other languages?

Edit: this is the website of your national association http://www.atanet.org/

[quote]Diddy Ryder wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
So, I’ve been living my life in 4 or 5 year increments for awhile now. 4 years of high school, 4 of college, 5 in the army. I’ll be getting out at the end of 2014, and I’m starting to realize that I need to reevaluate my options and get something sorted out, time now.

My major is worthless (English, emphasis on Creative Writing), and so I’m considering going back to school and getting a degree in something useful (engineering of some sort). I will be 28 when I leave the army.

I’m not interested in struggling through with low-paying jobs anymore. I want to live comfortably and raise a family.

Has anyone gone back to rebuild, as I intend to do? I’m worried about it, naturally, as I don’t want to waste any more money on education I can’t easily use, and I feel that I might be too old. [/quote]

I have a worthless degree too, but I got a degree. Unless you are far from getting it, I would stay the course and then if you really want to retool, do it with a masters. If you going to be in school for 6 years, it’s better to have a master’s for the effort than a BA or BS.
I realized I didn’t much like psychology much after all by year 3, but I was damned if I were going to add another year or two, for a Bachelors.

How close are you to getting your degree? If less than 2 years, I wouldn’t change. The degree is more valuable than what the degree is in.
That’s my $.02.

So I have 2 questions, how close are you to getting your degree?
What is you job in the army?

[/quote]

I have my degree in English. I graduated in 09 right before enlisting.

In the army I work as a crypto-linguist.

and my language focus is Arabic.
[/quote]

Have you thought about translation and interpreting? Arab <> English is one of the rarer, and therefore better paid, language pairs, and your writing skills should make you a good translator.

I’m afraid I don’t know the good schools in the USA but there are plenty of Masters you could look in to in Europe.

Do you have any other languages?

Edit: this is the website of your national association http://www.atanet.org/[/quote]

Thank you.

No, I’m afraid I don’t have any other languages. I know a bit of Pashto, but not enough to be useful.

I appreciate the resource.

Work for an investment bank or similar. Probably don’t have the skillset to be a trader, but there are all sorts of liason/selling roles round the world, especially if you have some linguistic aptitude. Do a part time MBA once you’ve done a couple of years of work and you are set…

Would you be willing to work for an oil company?

You might do well with an MBA from an oil heavy school such as the University of Texas or Rice. I think that the average age for entry into a top 20 program is about 28 years old.

The Wall Street or London banker idea isn’t bad either. There’s a lot of oil money that needs to be reinvested and managed.

The petroleum engineer idea is a good idea as well. Great pay starting out. Not sure what the career path looks like, or if the field fits your personality.

You have plenty of options. Does your alma mater have a career center that you can contact? You might want to think about working with them and maybe taking a test to help you narrow down your choices. You might also want to ask about talking to people in the careers that interest you. I was swayed from being an Actuary from talking with Actuaries.

A lot of people tend to work in 3 to 5 year blocks. Are you the kind of person to want to have the same job for 30 years such as a doctor or lawyer, or would you rather do a bunch of stuff for a company such as the typical corporate path?

If you consider that you probably can’t collect Social Security for another 40 years or so, then you have a long career ahead of you. Hope that you like what you choose. Choosing a job solely for the paycheck might not lead to long-term happiness.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

[quote]mud lark wrote:
Would you be willing to work for an oil company?

You might do well with an MBA from an oil heavy school such as the University of Texas or Rice. I think that the average age for entry into a top 20 program is about 28 years old.

The Wall Street or London banker idea isn’t bad either. There’s a lot of oil money that needs to be reinvested and managed.

The petroleum engineer idea is a good idea as well. Great pay starting out. Not sure what the career path looks like, or if the field fits your personality.

You have plenty of options. Does your alma mater have a career center that you can contact? You might want to think about working with them and maybe taking a test to help you narrow down your choices. You might also want to ask about talking to people in the careers that interest you. I was swayed from being an Actuary from talking with Actuaries.

A lot of people tend to work in 3 to 5 year blocks. Are you the kind of person to want to have the same job for 30 years such as a doctor or lawyer, or would you rather do a bunch of stuff for a company such as the typical corporate path?

If you consider that you probably can’t collect Social Security for another 40 years or so, then you have a long career ahead of you. Hope that you like what you choose. Choosing a job solely for the paycheck might not lead to long-term happiness.

Good luck with whatever you choose. [/quote]

You bring up many a good point. I will contact the CU career center. Maybe they can do something for me.

I would absolutely work in petrol. My family has a name in the biz where I’m from, so that couldn’t hurt, but I don’t want to get in without bringing something to the table.

As for being happy with what I do, I don’t know that such a thing will ever happen. i just want something I can stand, so I can afford the things that make me happy and support the woman I love.

Just throwing it out there. I wonder how much a trained deep sea/HAZMAT diver would earn when working for an oil company and has bi-lingual skills.

:slight_smile:

I am like you but I started University aged 27. I am 28 now and in my second year of a construction specialist degree. It helps to have real world knowledge and a willingness to get your head down and use what skills you have and then improve them.

I dont have an issue with my age being at Uni, but you can be judged by a lot of the younger snot-nosed little cunts around your campus/University. AVoid 18/19 year olds like the plague unless they are DTF and have a fun streak about them.

I know that you said that you didn’t like working for the government, but have you considered going to OCS?

CS

Out of curiosity why did you chose English w/ Emphasis on Creative Writing?

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:
For my 2c…Creative writing and moderate maths…I’d be thinking of a computer qualification. Programming, systems or network administration could be a good fit. Don’t get put off by my avatar, honestly there are very few days like that.

Also don’t rule out a trade such as carpentry, plumbing or electrician. They all pay good money and are also skills required around the world.

Best of luck.[/quote]

Thank you. Do you have any advice on something I can read or do to explore that path a bit? I know very little about programming. [/quote]

For very little cost you can pick up a copy of Learning Perl. Although a very language specific book, its a good read and could give you a flavour of what to expect. Its published by O’Reilly and its ISBN is 1-56592-042-2. You can probably get an online copy if you prefer that to paper.

I’ve been out of formal education for many years and so I’m not real sure where a moderrn computer programming course would take you. But you’d have to get a formal qualification to get a job these days. No exceptions, we just don’t look at anyone with a Physics degree anymore.

[/quote]
This is a great idea if you’re interested in engineering. I decided less than a year ago that medicine was not the field for me, so I started taking courses in computer science. Although I was taking 100 and 200 level programming courses, most of my classmates were graduate students. IMO a graduate degree in computer science or an MBA is a great option given that you have an undergrad degree and military experience.

A computer science masters is not entirely out of reach and is a great fit if you like engineering aspects. I’m currently looking to get hired and there are plenty of jobs out there that branch out in different directions. If you want a primer in some coding check out codeacademy.com

[quote]alltheviking wrote:
If you want a degree, you can do it at any age, and really from any starting point. As far as cost/reward goes, the debt you take on is commonly seen as worth it if the total is less than a starting year’s salary/pay in a job in your field. I agree that for many people degrees aren’t worth it. If I were you, I’d go for it. If you have interest or are even on the fence about it, I’d consider it strongly.

My advice is to not be discouraged by an individual’s experience. I have a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and I studied much, much less than 60-90 hours per week. Engineering is a good field if you have aptitude in math or want it badly enough. My math was poor when I started college and I improved significantly through the program.

My advice is to consider what you’re in for. Don’t get discouraged, because you can do it.[/quote]

Depending on your mathematical ability (not current knowledge, but potential), I second the idea that you can do very well in engineering fields studying much less than 60-90 hours/week. Since you’ve been to college before, I think a math SAT of 650+ means you’ll do just fine in engineering. That’s speaking very generally, but most people I know who went into engineering (and did well) had scores in that range.

Also, Colorado School of Mines is a very good school. I highly recommend their metallurgical and materials engineering program if you decide to go that route.

[quote]SmilingPolitely wrote:
I’ll be 35 in January and am trading in my History degree for one in Accounting.

I was afraid that I had been out of school for too long to go back, but spending a few years living pay check to pay check is a hell of a good motivator to study.[/quote]

Welcome back :slight_smile:

YOU’RE MY BOY BLUE