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/insert catchy Old guy wants to go back to school title here

  1. Nov 21, 2005 #1
    /insert catchy "Old guy wants to go back to school" title here

    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

    Hello everyone! I am a contractor working in Kuwait. I have been here since January of 2004. Prior to that i was working in the IT industry on a helpdesk for a large oil/energy company, (until the bastards outsourced my job to India). Anyway, when my contract is up in June I will be going back to the states and also back to school. I am about 15 hours from an AS degree and once that's out of the way I will transfer to a 4 year school to get my BS. Of course I will have to work full time while doing all this and I probably will not be able to go to school full time, (probably only a couple or three classes per semester). I'm getting out of IT and will probably major in a natural science like Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, or Microbiology. I know I have a very long road ahead of me but I'm looking forward to the challenge. Am I insane for even thinking I can cut it in a class full of people who are probably half my age? I just turned 38 last week, I'm married, and I have a 6 year old daughter. This contracting gig pays VERY well and it's all tax free but I miss my family and, to be honest, I'm tired of being in the middle east. It's not about the money anymore. When I do go home I know I HAVE to do something because if not then I will be stuck in the same crappy, dead end type job I had before. I'm not looking to get rich, (although that would be nice), but I am looking for something with room to grow and also to do something that I have always enjoyed but never persued, (science).

    Should I forget all this and just flip burgers and hope to become Asst. Manager one day?

    What say you?

    ETA: I will be taking to Distance Ed courses this Spring. (Sociology and Early American Lit) I'm just about done with my "core" and will then have a lot of catching up to do with my math and basic science before moving on.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2005 #2


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    I don't think it's unrealistic at all, but it's going to be hard to do this and support a family at the same time. I went back to school after a couple of years, but that was at 22, not 38, and I was only supporting myself. My ex-girlfriend's mother went back and got an accounting degree (and graduated with a 3.9 GPA) in her 40s, but she was receiving large alimony and child-support payments. Your wife might have to pick up some of the slack, because realistically, it's a lot easier for one member of a couple to return to school if the other is supporting him. On the other hand, if you're studying in a subject that will help you advance in a field you already work, you can probably get your tuition reimbursed by your company. If I were you, and my wife was not making enough to support me, that is probably the first thing I would try to do. What are you getting your AS in? If it's in Chemistry or something like that, there are plenty of entry-level jobs you could get with just that degree (especially civic jobs) that might be able to pay for the rest of your BS.
  4. Nov 21, 2005 #3
    My AS will be chemistry, (or Bio if I go that route). When I do go home I will probably look for some help desk type job again just to pay the bills while I go to school. My wife is about to get her real estate license so she will be helping out on that front. Since I have been in Kuwait she hasn't been working so she could be there to do all the "mom" things that our 6 year old needs. I also thought about tuition reimbursement but since I will be going after a natural science degree I doubt any company would go for it since I would probably be doing IT work. I think what I will do, like you said, is get some entry level lab type job after I get my AS and then keep working toward my BS. Actually, what I'm hoping for is that my wife will do well enough in real estate that I can not work and just go to school full time but I know that will be a stretch especially since she is just getting into the field.
  5. Nov 21, 2005 #4


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    Well, it sounds like you'll be able to do it. The biggest difficulty might simply be adjusting to a lower income, assuming your wife doesn't light the world on fire as soon as she is licensed and practicing. Is the six-year old your only kid? Oftentimes, it's even more difficult for the kids to adjust, after being used to a certain level of spending, but it should be easier for someone that young.
  6. Nov 21, 2005 #5
    Nope, the 6 year old is our only one. She's also not a high maintenance kid. She will adjust to the lower income A LOT easier than me or my wife! LOL

    I know it will be hard going from about $70k tax free to about $35k-ish NOT tax free. My wife working, though, will be a huge help. The only thing I'm really worried about is the time it will take to graduate. I have a lot of math and science that I have to catch up on since those are the 2 areas that I am really lacking and also the 2 most important in the degree I am choosing. I made some horrible decisions when I first started college waaay back in the day. Could never decide what I wanted to do, had no motivation, and ended up dropping out. Now I am realizing the error of my ways and having to scramble to catch up. As it stands right now I figure I'm looking at about 4 years before I get my BS, minimum, and that is with me currently having about 40-ish credits.

    Geez, when I look at it that way it seems so far off! :frown:
  7. Nov 29, 2005 #6
    I'm in a similar situation (older, long IT career, hosed by outsourcing, thinking about going for an AS/BS in EE or EET) - except unemployed.
    Tell me about the prospects re IT jobs in Kuwait.
  8. Dec 2, 2005 #7
    There are IT jobs here. You can go to Halliburton.com to find some. There are also a lot of other contracting companies here you just have to look for them.
  9. Dec 6, 2005 #8
    You are totally insane. But you are by no means alone in that... I'm a little older than you, and my son is older than your daughter... and I'm hoping to go back to school in a year or two.
    Sanity is overrated.
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