Going back to school - have questions

Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
425
Location
Glen Allen, Virginia
I am 36 yrs old with only a couple of college credits. I wasnt prepared for college (I was too interested in partying) right out of high school and have gotten some outstanding sales/technical/management experience over the past 17yrs. I had dinner with my Director the other night. i value that type of one on one time with someone that i consider to be my #1 fan and #1 internal champion. He said that I probably had one more step up before having a college degree would make or break a hiring decision. I'm ready.

My questions are:

1. Since I am doing this mainly for credentials would I benefit just as much by using an online only type curriculum such as University of Phoenix or do I need to accept the fact that I will have to attend local colleges (some great ones nearby - U of Richmond, VCU, Randolph Macon, etc)? I'm married with 2 little girls so either route is going to take some time away from them but at the end of the day, it will be in the best interest of my whole family for me to do this.

2. If you are a VP/President of a company are reviewing my resume does it matter where my degree is from given the amount of real-world experience that i do have? (i.e., University of Phoenix vs. University of Richmond). i dont want to take the time to do this and then be embarrassed to put Univ of Phoenix on my resume...

Thanks.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
Messages
1,330
Location
Arlington, WA.
If you are a VP/President of a company are reviewing my resume does it matter where my degree is from given the amount of real-world experience that i do have?

All that would matter to me is whether you had a lot of Nikon equipment you are willing to let your boss use. . . . it obviously depends upon the background of those hiring you. . . did they learn the "practical way" or the "degree" way? In general, the larger the company, the more "degree" oriented they will be. . . .good luck to you.
 
J

jaymc

Guest
I was in your boat 10 years ago (was a junior in college for 17 years!) and decided to have the Navy pay for college.

The U of Phoenix is good if you are working, but from the info from a friend of mine, they only meet in a classroom at the beginning and end of the semester. The rest of the time is online. Also, all text were in .pdf format.

My suggestions are to try and have someone else pay for your college - through work, federal/state grants or other program. Study first thing in the morning rather than late at night. And, lastly, don't tackle too many upper level courses at once - a "progressing towards a BS in Whatever" also looks good on a resume.

- Jay
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
13,855
Location
Massachusetts
Some employers do care where the degree came from, others don't. I think that's part of a company's internal culture and if snootiness re: where you got your degree doesn't fit with a corporate culture that you wish to be part of, then go for what is most convenient to you.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Messages
8,291
Location
Central Virginia
Your mentor could probably give you a good read on the answer to 1 for your current company.

I'd think that the commitment and initiative you're showing, along with a solid work background, will make a big impression on potential employers. Good luck!
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
My Daughter went all the way throught to her Masters on that on line university.
Got her masters on her 44th birthday
If she can do it you can do it.
She works for a co at the Kennedy Space Center

She worked full time raised a son, and nurtured a very ill husband ,that passed away a year ago january of cancer.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
173
Location
Maryland
It is more than just the degree, although the piece of paper is indeed an entry card. It is also the new tools and ideas that you get from the course work so that you don't have to reinvent them yourself. Recommend that you go to the best school that you can afford from a time and money standpoint. I believe that this approach will serve you better in the long run.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
1,645
Location
Tennessee
My wife and I are both back in school. I'm going to Boise State (which you probable remember for playing in one of the best bowl games ever last year) and getting my degree in Geophysics. My wife is a register nurse (RN) and going back to school through the University of Phoenix online (UPO).

There is no way I could go to school the way she is online. I just don't have the self discipline. UPO is very fast past work and she has something do almost every day.

I think it would not be a bad idea to start out at a community college and take just one class at first to get back into the swing of things.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
9,532
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
My best friend's wife didn't go to college out of high school.
She started a four year degree when her daughter started college.
They graduated together this past Saturday.
She graduated with a 3.96 average, Magna Cum Laude
She started at age 45 and graduated at age 49.

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Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
21
Location
Wading River, New York
A lot depends on the major you plan to focus on. My daughter got her Masters degree from an on line Univ. She was already a teacher so no problem, and stayed at her current teaching job now with creditations of her Masters degree.
First of all a VP doesn't look at your resume the personnel Dept does. And yes the school you graduate from does make a difference as this will be your first job trying to apply your formal education to. The second, third ......job you get after your degree will look at mainly job related experience etc. A lot of employers have higher education incentives where they will pay for your education (% wise) depending on your grades. I'd go the local route and with hard work and dedication you'll complete the course work. My neighbor joined the air National guard and first got his Assc. Degree then pilots (fixed wing) then rotory wing & all on good ole Uncle Sam. He has flown for a few National Airlines and now flies VP's around Manhatten.
I started out as an Electronics Tech (US Navy) then worked for a large defense contractor and got my BSEE and stayed with that company for 34 years. best thing I ever did.
Best of luck, Eddie
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
8,391
Location
LA (Lower Arkansas)
I'd enroll in the local university, and then try to get as many hours as possible online - even from other universities. You'd be amazed at how many colleges now offer online coursework. Just make sure that the online work from the other universities will transfer to the university you're actually attending. Night and evening classes are also an option.

Depending on the profession, employers DO tend to favor those who actually attended a college. Some professions, such as teaching, do not. I have a good friend who got a Phys.Ed. degree and then got a Master's degree in Theology. His salary grade reflected the Masters' degree. So, if your pay grade depends on your level of education, I see no reason as to why university choice would matter. If it's an entry-level position, it might. In my previous experiences, I've found that degrees from the more "prestegious" universities do carry more weight - whether or not it's deserved.

Either way you choose, you have my best wishes for success.
 
G

Gr8Tr1x

Guest
Alot of very reputable places offer credits online...and you still get their diploma.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
1,027
Location
Annandale, VA
My Daughter went all the way throught to her Masters on that on line university.
Got her masters on her 44th birthday
If she can do it you can do it.
She works for a co at the Kennedy Space Center

She worked full time raised a son, and nurtured a very ill husband ,that passed away a year ago january of cancer.
My hats off to her Gale. One of my daughters-in-law worked full time, was a mother (from previous marriage) and earned both her degree and a CPA while marrying my youngest son and raising three more kids. It's amazing what sacrifices mothers can make and how much hardship they can endure. I love her like a daughter, I'm so proud of her accomplishment.

Rich
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
5,701
Location
Tripping the light fantastic
Here goes my point of view, from my vantage point...

Question 1.: In my case no.

Question 2: Once more in my case no.

But then again I have a different experience than most, when I was going for med school, I wanted to get my degree from McGill University, the most world renowned Canadian University, in the end I decided that it did not matter where I got my degree from as I wasn't in it for the money as such all I needed was the licence to practice... Well, I have been managing call centers for over ten years now (Hey! What happened to med school? Don't ask...:Unsure:)

Because of my experience when hiring people it doesn't matter to me where their degrees are from. However one organization I worked for even a college degree or a bachelor did not cut it anymore nor did a Master's degree, you needed a PHD from one of the top 3 University to get in for an interview if you did not have the related work experience.... Apparently it matters where your degree is from, when you apply for a Director's or VP's position at some firms however when you bring 10 years + experience having a degree is a big plus but not the main thing people will look at. - What they will be looking at is your track record and checking your credentials and referrals.

Since you have 17 years of experience, where you get your degree from is not as important has having a degree. Get your degree from the best possible place you can, the difference between online degrees and others in some field of studies is not as important as the end result, having the degree.

I, for one, value in class education more since I would personally get more out of this way of learning. The point of getting a degree is to learn and learning from others is a big plus since there is nothing like asking a question for which you'd get an immediate answer as well as learning from classmates questions. Geeee I didn't think of that!?! Sort of reaction and learning along others is great to open ones blinder given us a wider field of view on any given subject.

At 36 an online degree is easier on our pride than sitting in a classroom filled with twenty something but what you'll personally gain out of a classroom is an edged you'd never get out of a PDF file... That to me is personally more valuable for the way I learn. Earning a degree is the goal here as such with your experience and track record I don't think where and how you earn it would make a difference to a potential employer as much as having the said degree.

Hope this helps.
 

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