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Old 11-08-2009, 05:57 PM
Location: Miami, Fl
75 posts, read 80,877 times
Reputation: 31


I am 32 years old and I am a cable tech for a major telecommunications company. During the past 3 years I have become completely unhappy with my job and direction of my so called"career". I am debating on whether I should go back to school and what degree should I pursue. I have an assoiciate degree in computer networking, I am thinking about a pursuing a degree in computer engineering. However I'm also intersted in real estate and someday starting a business which has me thinking about a finance major also. With my associate degree I'm praying that I have enough credits to finish my bachelors within 2 years. Can u give me some real advice??? I know education is always good......but I am confused about what area to pursue.
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:29 PM
551 posts, read 1,068,629 times
Reputation: 347
I don't know if you will be able to finish your bachelor's in 2 years since the curriculum for Computer Engineering is a lot different than computer networking at a traditional university (Both are usually in different departments/colleges). I don't know if you took any of the prerequisite courses for engineering such as the math classes (at least 6 courses from what I remember), physics classes (3-4 classes), and general education requirement courses (Liberal studies, english, etc.).

I don't know how the curriculum for computer engineering is at a technical school. Also, it is best to go to an accredited, ABET, school for any engineering or technology degree. Hopefully, others will be able to help you out with finance and real estate.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:00 PM
4,805 posts, read 17,822,343 times
Reputation: 4851
Before you invest in school, you might want to talk to career counselors at potential universities, and people who work in those fields, first. Most people will say that their educational experience is a lot different than what they do on a day to day basis. You need to be prepared for both. Many programs require a lot more science and math in school than you will ever use "in real life". Some jobs are a lot more 'administrative'--answering phones, emails, sitting in meetings than doing any of the things taught in school.

With interests in such diverse professions, you might also want to take some aptitude tests. There are many out there; I'd suggest taking more than one, since the quality of the results are dependent upon how well the test is written.

One really good aptitude test is the ASVAB test, administered by the US Military. At a glance it appears completely different than an aptitude test--it looks more like a college entrance exam. Instead of "I really like to spend time with people. Yes/No" questions, which there might be an entire section of "pick the next number in the sequence" questions--and they are looking for not only how you identify patterns, but how quickly you do so. It all accumulates in a result that identifies true aptitude--what it is you are good at, rather than what you like. There is no obligation to join the military by taking it, although you may be contacted by recruiters.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:11 PM
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 1,314,619 times
Reputation: 246
I'd go back to school in a heartbeat. At 32 your not to old to change careers. At 52 its a waste of time.

I don't know the age limit, but a collage degree will get you in the Coast Guard as an officer. It's a easy life if you can put up with the military BS.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:30 AM
11,491 posts, read 21,597,994 times
Reputation: 14271
Education is not always a good thing. It's costs money. It has opportunity costs. It sends you further down a particular path, and you might find it hard to blow the whistle if you want to and admit you want to head elsewhere.
I don't know much about computer engineering education, or technical education, so if that's the way you want to go, others should be able to advise you. But education is not always a given good. It can be an over-hyped, over-priced business.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:13 PM
Location: Miami, Fl
75 posts, read 80,877 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks guys for all the input. I have a lot of things to think about and I will make some type of decision. I understand that education can be expensive and that is something I have thought about. On the other hand I don't see any other way to get ahead.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:36 PM
551 posts, read 1,068,629 times
Reputation: 347
You can still pursue Real Estate on the side since you can take those classes at night. I have friends that are home inspectors and/or have their general contracting license on top of being a full-time engineer. They are interested in starting their own company in the future.

You can pursue both if you are willing to put in the work.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:46 PM
Location: NY
8,711 posts, read 12,084,094 times
Reputation: 10661
I think your first step should be to clearly identify which direction you want to go in, and what type of work you feel you want to do and would enjoy doing. Then research more about that work, talk with people in the field, etc.

Then, find out if there are opportunities in that field or not. Whether companies are hiring, or whether the job market might be flooded with experienced candidates who can hold that position.

Then if you like what you find out about the job, the daily duties, work/life balance, and everything that goes with it, and that there are realistic employment opportunities and not a glut of folks with the same credentials, then it might be worth it to go back to school.

However, be very focused and conclusive first. Sounds like you have an idea of what general direction you want to go, but have not necessarily targeted a specific job/career you are aiming at.

More education is costly, and if you cannot get employment in that field, a specific degree might become more of a burden (or at least, not much of a help) landing a job in another field.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:54 PM
2,138 posts, read 4,160,904 times
Reputation: 3146
Get the cheapest accredited bachelors degree that you can find, then get a job with the federal government. Trust me you will thank me later.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:22 AM
199 posts, read 441,156 times
Reputation: 79
Originally Posted by YaFace View Post
Get the cheapest accredited bachelors degree that you can find, then get a job with the federal government. Trust me you will thank me later.
Getting a job with the federal government is easier said then done. They take their sweet time in hiring people. I've had friends that will get called for an interview 4 months after they applied. I've also been trying to get in but haven't had much luck. If you have a secret to getting in then let us all know because it's definitely not easy from what I can tell.
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