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Back To School

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MJ5150, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I have approached an exciting time in my life. As a 32 year old, married with a son, I am going back to school.......full-time. I am going for an Associates degree in IT. They are called all kinds of things from Associate in Applied Arts, Associate of Technical Arts, Associate in Applied Science, and something else. I am not sure what all of the differences are, but I plan on finding out before I enroll. My best shot is a community college, or a technical college.

    The best part is that I don't have to pay for it. I was injured on the job last year, and can no longer return to my drywall job. I tried a couple things after that, but nothing that can support a family. So now, the state has decided to re-train me.

    So, it looks like I will be carrying a backpack, and doing homework for the next two years.

  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Mike, a suggestion I would put forth to you, is while it may be a little bit more work piled on top of your college studies, try to obtain a few certifications before you graduate. An A+ would be relatively easy to obtain and after that, you could start chipping away on some MCSEs. Also, if your school doesn't talk about Novell (yes companies still use Novell) or Cisco you could look into obtaining certifications for those. It will make you more attractive to employers, and will help you bargain for an increased salary. (espcially the MCSEs)

    Have fun in school. After realizing IT wasn't right for me, I decided to go back to school for something else. Learning is a lifetime experience, and college isn't just for kids straight out of high school.
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    LM....thanks for the suggestions. Actually, I have a laptop loaded with the NetG courseware for A+, Net+, Security+, and MCSE. I got a whole boatload of books (Mike Meyers mostly), and Transcenders programs as well. I started learning it on my own through a distance learning program. The MCSE stuff is quite challenging to me on my own. I think I am pretty much ready for the A+ exam. I score a 90 pretty consistently on the practice exams. Being able to learn this in a classroom with a qualified instructor will greatly benefit me. I think I could learn it faster than the two years I will be in school, but since the state is paying, I don't mind. Hehehe

    The course at the school I am leaning to has a long portion of it dedicated to Novell. This is also a reason I am glad I am going to school. Having all of this MCSE stuff on my computer forces me to focus on MS. I like the exposure to Cisco, Novell, and UNIX I will get from school.

    I think I will feel kind of weird though when I get to school. I'll prolly be mistaken for a teacher, and feel like an old man.

  4. Good luck!
  5. Good luck!! :)

    Keep us posted and let us know how everything turns out...
  6. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I don't know; when I went to school for IT, I was 18; three of the guys were like 20 or 21 and the rest of my class were at least 30. I think a few were in their 50s. I'm going to feel strange going to university, and I'm only 21. :D

    Knowing Novell/Cisco/Unix will be a great asset. Working on the certifications will definately give you a step ahead. I even recommend to people getting Bachelor degrees in Computer Science, to obtain certifications. The reason being, having certifications will grant the company you work for special priviledges by the companies that the certifications are for.

    Also, start networking and making contacts in the job market before you graduate. IT employers value experience, so the sooner you get it the better. I know when I went to school, one of the guys in my class was working before graduation making 10 dollars an hour and when he graduated, he was going to go up to 15. Also, if you get a chance to take some electives, go for some business courses. The reason is, if you work for a consulting company the business background will give you a good grasps on the business aspect of things. Working for a consulting company in State College gave me a lot of cool computer experience, but it also allowed me to see, first hand, how a business is run. That's the great benefit you get by working for a small business instead of a corporation. (besides all the other perks; i.e. Not being thought of as a number, not having to worry about your job being shipped of to Mexico, ect. ;) )
  7. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Good job! The best thing in life is learning new things :hyper:

    Perhaps you could study construction engineering, I mean you have some expertise from the area right? We could change notes :cool:
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Hey, good for you! Never too late to go back.

    At least you've got the time and economic means to go back. I know quite a few people who would love to go back, but have "real world" obligations that keep them from doing so.

    Good luck.
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Both my parents are currently attending college again. Good luck!
  10. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    I was 23 days shy of my 47th birthday when I graduated college.
  11. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I think it's great when old people go to school. My sister is in college and she is almost 35.
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    LM.....Good idea on the business electives. I may do that. I have to take a few along the way. I was going to look into some history, math, or psych, but that sounds like it may be a better idea.

    Tsal......yes, I have almost 17 years in the construction industry. 10 of them being a superintendent/foreman/project manager. I strongly considered staying in the construction industry. There just wasn't anything I could learn at school about the industry that I do not already know. The only higher up the ladder I could go in the company I worked for was owner. So, in the end, I did not see any advantage to increasing my knowledge of the industry. I will prolly miss is since it has been my life for so long, but this new career is exciting to me.

    Before I enroll, I need to take a couple math classes. The math they do today is different that the math I did in school. I scored the lowest on that on my Compass, a 90. Pre-calc is a required class, so I want to be ready for it.

    Thanks everyone for the support.

  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Well, all of your construction work won't being going to waste in the IT industry. There is some light carpentry work in IT. (mainly, running CAT 5 cable) That's something else you can stick on your resume. It looks you will have very good prospects in the job market. (and this is why I should quit dilly-dallying and see if I can really start a resume writing business ;) )