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Author Topic: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?  (Read 2266 times)

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Offline KurzykTopic starter

Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:40:01 PM »
I'm at an impasse or better way to look at it a fork in the road.

I live in the US. I've never finished or gotten my bachelor degree. I've transferred to 5 different colleges over the last 20 years, and have more than enough credits. But of course each college has their own requirements so i've never finished the degree.

My question is this, is it worth it to get it? I have no interest in the subject material. I'm in my 40s with over 20+ years of successful business experience. I'm not working in some company where a degree would boost myself, I have a resume that business graduates dream of, and i'm financially comfortable for at least the next 10 years.

I have 5 more boring, stupid courses to go until I get the piece of paper. Is the $7,000 to pay for that, and a year of agonizing hours, worth it for a sense of completion? I would rather use that money traveling the world for real experience, or saving it to help my family, or putting it down on the things I DO love like fitness, music, writing etc.

I think the two good things about a degree, is a) students of course learn a lot of different subjects and it makes them well rounded and b) it provides leverage in the workforce, especially in places like NYC where not only do you need a bachelors, but also a masters with connections and ivy league if you want to be king of the corporate ladders. (If that's your thing.) Well I have over 4 years of classroom experience and education, and I don't need it for leverage.

Honestly all I care about, is music, chess, writing and fitness. I'm a simple guy, and if the relationships in my life are loving and good, and i'm doing what I love, then I don't mind just pushing a broom in a store. If it's a fun store then why not. :)

There is a part of me, probably vain that thinks that my family might be disappointed, or potential female mates would not be interested. But if I really didn't care what people thought, then again I ask.. is it worth it?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 01:41:28 PM by Kurzyk »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 02:33:57 PM »
Very personal decision.  My immediate response would be to use that money to invest in some other way.  However, it seems like you have already invested a lot of money in your degree.  If you can pay that remaining $7000 without loans, then why not gut it out and finish?  It's probably a measly sum compared to how much you have spent so far.

It seems like it is making you unhappy and bored though, so perhaps consider taking a break.  A lot of the value in a degree is how proud you feel in the accomplishment - that's something to consider.

Having the B.S./B.A. is great if you ever decide to apply to a job outside of your field.  I'm not sure what sort of company you currently work in, but with your work experience, a bachelor's will keep you competitive for years to come.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 02:38:17 PM by Valthazar »

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Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 02:49:54 PM »
Once knew a guy in my English class in his sixties because he had already become and successful engineer but wanted to broaden his horizons. It's all up to you on how you value it. Unless you find you need a degree if you think it's useless, then to you it's probably useless.

It's all kind of personal taste.

Not that having a bachelors in English has scored me a job anywhere. :P

Offline kylie

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Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 04:23:39 PM »
    I do think it's largely a matter of taste. Although I wonder if, when you say courses are that bad, you didn't somehow end up with a bad fit in that site or department. It's terribly easy to do, between the relative lack of info many people have as new students and the way professional tracks are gamed to shift people and topics around nastily at many universities.  Anyway, maybe try a year off to step back and reassess?

     One other thought: If you might consider teaching ESL to see some parts of the world, that is a field where having a Bachelors in something (often anything!), is very important. In some markets, the job is more part-time and there is a good amount of down time.  A teaching certificate is great to open more countries to base yourself in, but many will expect at least a Bachelors too. So if you really want to travel and make money go farther, that could be one solid reward for finishing.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 04:28:54 PM by kylie »

Offline Mathim

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 10:00:52 PM »
If you're certain about your security, no, it's not worth it.

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 10:57:55 AM »
Very personal decision.  My immediate response would be to use that money to invest in some other way.  However, it seems like you have already invested a lot of money in your degree.  If you can pay that remaining $7000 without loans, then why not gut it out and finish?  It's probably a measly sum compared to how much you have spent so far.

It seems like it is making you unhappy and bored though, so perhaps consider taking a break.  A lot of the value in a degree is how proud you feel in the accomplishment - that's something to consider.

Having the B.S./B.A. is great if you ever decide to apply to a job outside of your field.  I'm not sure what sort of company you currently work in, but with your work experience, a bachelor's will keep you competitive for years to come.

Yea good point. I've already put in $50,000 (which I happily paid off last year), so another $7000 to finally get it done isn't really that big of a deal considering the financial journey already, and would make it financially worth it. I would be able to pay it out of pocket so there would be no more debt.

I thought of taking a break, but the college I'm currently enrolled in is excellent, and perfect for my schedule. It's the fastest track to a degree and incorporates most of my previous credits. The remaining courses are in business management, which I have experience in to draw from. Problem is, my enrollment is only held for a year and then i'd have to reapply to the school and go through all the business of reapplying for a degree plan, acceptance etc. So taking a break for too long could cost me in the long run. If i'm going to do it, has to be now.

Another excellent point, while i've managed to make a living and be successful without a degree, I have to say I was always starting in entry level positions, and yes I worked my way up in some cases, but in the last few years I'd begun to feel like I was just an office drone... not really working in a capacity that makes a difference or has value. I thought about this point, and I think a bachelor's degree as you said could give me more options. My last field was in banking, and I didn't like it one bit.

Thanks for your insight Valthazar.

Once knew a guy in my English class in his sixties because he had already become and successful engineer but wanted to broaden his horizons. It's all up to you on how you value it. Unless you find you need a degree if you think it's useless, then to you it's probably useless.

It's all kind of personal taste.

Not that having a bachelors in English has scored me a job anywhere. :P

Yea it's totally about personal taste. It's a funny thing being in my 40s, I find myself looking back on the career road traveled and feeling like I could do more, or at least be a part of something fun and maybe of my choosing. As I mentioned above, not having a degree I always just took jobs where I could find them, building a resume that is strong in office experience, management, but at the same time... somewhat mindless; almost as if my career had been simply just "generic business man." My life has to have purpose, so I can look back and feel like the 40+ hours each week did something for the world.

A lot of people go through this mid-life transition, and occasionally crisis!, and many make complete career redefinitions. I know people with PhDs that gave it up to become massage therapists, and many ex-wall street traders that now teach children or play music. Life has a funny way of doing that.

Thanks Inkidu

    I do think it's largely a matter of taste. Although I wonder if, when you say courses are that bad, you didn't somehow end up with a bad fit in that site or department. It's terribly easy to do, between the relative lack of info many people have as new students and the way professional tracks are gamed to shift people and topics around nastily at many universities.  Anyway, maybe try a year off to step back and reassess?

     One other thought: If you might consider teaching ESL to see some parts of the world, that is a field where having a Bachelors in something (often anything!), is very important. In some markets, the job is more part-time and there is a good amount of down time.  A teaching certificate is great to open more countries to base yourself in, but many will expect at least a Bachelors too. So if you really want to travel and make money go farther, that could be one solid reward for finishing.

Well it's not the courses that are bad, I'm just more interested in the arts, writing, fitness and chess. I spend most of my days doing that, so the idea of completing a business degree is not very appealing. I looked at switching degrees into creative writing, or music but they would require several more years of college and honestly when it comes down to it, I realized that I'd rather write and play music than study it at this point. Besides i'm only 5 courses away from getting the bachelors. If I'm going to get a degree in anything that's the easiest. And if I wanted to go deeper into the areas I like in the future, i'd have the option of going for a masters in that field.

Very interesting idea! When you mentioned this a lightbulb popped in my head! I love traveling and haven't done enough of it. Something I'm soon going to resolve as I take my first trip this year. Having a career where I help others and get to travel would be amazing! It also validates the other aspect of how just having the degree can open fun doors.

Thanks Kylie, excellent suggestion.

If you're certain about your security, no, it's not worth it.

You hit the nail on the head my friend. Succinct and excellent point. I am secure for the next ten years that's it. So from my 50s on I'm going to need to make a living of some kind. I figure now is the time to plant the seeds for that future. So, yes I'm secure but only for now. It won't last forever.

Thanks Mathim.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 10:59:05 AM by Kurzyk »

Offline Aeons

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2015, 11:37:27 AM »
As a 40 year old currently working on my degree, I say don't bother if it's not needed and you're not excited about the classes.  Just for my benefit.  I'm in class with a lot of nontraditional students like myself, but ones who don't seem to want to be there, and it's a real drag.  I am both excited about what i'm taking and planning on using the degree, but if I wasn't I don't think it's worth the money, the time and headspace.  Use your brain and feet for other stuff!

Offline Acula

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 12:03:24 PM »
I feel like I'm going against the grain here, but I feel like you should go for it and get your degree. As someone else mentioned, you've already invested so much in it, why not finish it out? Plus, not many people have B.As (comparatively speaking) so there's a nice sense of accomplishment, but if something (heaven forbid!) happened to your job, you would have an edge when looking for new work (or a new career in a different field).

I'm sure the last few classes you need seem really boring and not in your area of interest, but you'll also be considered a student and you can take advantage of student only things. For example, when I was a student, I had full access to the massive libraries on campus, which had DVDs you could rent. I watched so many foreign films, documentaries, etc. that I would have never done if I had had to pay for it. And that's just one thing off the top of my head.

Clearly the end choice is yours. Good luck with whichever choice you make!

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 03:39:09 PM »
As a 40 year old currently working on my degree, I say don't bother if it's not needed and you're not excited about the classes.  Just for my benefit.  I'm in class with a lot of nontraditional students like myself, but ones who don't seem to want to be there, and it's a real drag.  I am both excited about what i'm taking and planning on using the degree, but if I wasn't I don't think it's worth the money, the time and headspace.  Use your brain and feet for other stuff!

Yes I completely relate to this, one should do what they love, especially if they have the means and time to do it. It's easy to say no biggie, 5 classes ill be done this year. But if the classes are boring, it could be a horrible drag, and a waste of money/time. Maybe taking a step back to reassess as several have suggested would be a better course of action.

I feel like I'm going against the grain here, but I feel like you should go for it and get your degree. As someone else mentioned, you've already invested so much in it, why not finish it out? Plus, not many people have B.As (comparatively speaking) so there's a nice sense of accomplishment, but if something (heaven forbid!) happened to your job, you would have an edge when looking for new work (or a new career in a different field).

I'm sure the last few classes you need seem really boring and not in your area of interest, but you'll also be considered a student and you can take advantage of student only things. For example, when I was a student, I had full access to the massive libraries on campus, which had DVDs you could rent. I watched so many foreign films, documentaries, etc. that I would have never done if I had had to pay for it. And that's just one thing off the top of my head.

Clearly the end choice is yours. Good luck with whichever choice you make!

Thank you Miyaluca! Fortunately I'm in a place where I'm financially secure without the need for working for a few years, so the time is there to sort this out. I agree with you, as mentioned in my response to Valthazar, so much money is invested already why not. I take courses online so I wouldn't really use any campus resources such as the ones you mentioned.

Thing is, completing these classes is about as much fun as having dental surgery, spread out over however long it takes to complete. And I don't place much if any value on the information I would learn. The only reason Im considering a degree at all, is the possibility of practical value of the piece of paper in the distant future. The actual information in the degree has very little meaning to me.


I need to correct myself from my response to Valthazar. I found out today, that the enrollment period is actually 3 years not 1. So if I wanted to, I have 3 years to figure out if this is the right course for me. Seeing as I am secure for the next 10, and my family is very sick and needing my help now more than ever. Perhaps holding off is a better course of action. It's reassuring that I am still an enrolled student for a few years more than I thought. The timing works out well.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 03:45:26 PM by Kurzyk »

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Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 11:29:09 PM »
I don't have one and it hasn't held me back but I've been lucky, moving up from a part time position through to where I am now with each evolution of this company.  I'm not going anywhere else as long as this company stays viable but because of my personal circumstances furthering my education isn't up for discussion. 

However, several people among those who work for me are pursuing a degree.  All are between 35 and 45 and already exploring other options for employment.

A lot depends on your own outlook, needs and desires.

Offline Madmartigan

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 08:35:47 AM »
At this point, I'd say the reasons to get it fall into one of three categories:

1) Need it for job advancement - some businesses will not promote above a certain level unless the candidate has a degree.

2) Want a change in profession - a technical degree, maybe, or you have a sudden passion to be dirt poor and teach English lit.

3) Personal achievement/enrichment - in which case putting up with the core curricula (math/english) will bore the crap out of you until you get to the good stuff.

The good news is that - if it's really just the 3rd option and you're in the US - you can do most core classes online with a junior college. That way you can pay a whole lot less and breeze through the bullshit. As long as the online courses are taken from an accredited school, you can transfer them to the actual college of your choice. It may even be best to look at some fully online degrees. As a non-trad student the attitude towards you on-campus will vary widely. Some smaller schools have incredibly active and supportive non-trad student associations but the big ones usually don't and you stick out like a sore thumb in a sea of teenagers.

I got a tip yesterday that junior colleges in California are crazy cheap with their online courses. You can get a 3-credit course for about $100, even as an out-of-state student. So, there's that.

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 12:06:08 PM »
I don't have one and it hasn't held me back but I've been lucky, moving up from a part time position through to where I am now with each evolution of this company.  I'm not going anywhere else as long as this company stays viable but because of my personal circumstances furthering my education isn't up for discussion. 

However, several people among those who work for me are pursuing a degree.  All are between 35 and 45 and already exploring other options for employment.

A lot depends on your own outlook, needs and desires.

Yes! One thing i've noticed especially in my last position at the bank, the only way to explore other options is with a bachelor's degree, and in NY in most cases a masters as well. That's fantastic that you've been able to rise up and weather the company's changes; not an easy thing to do and an achievement.

Thanks for your thoughts BegM.

At this point, I'd say the reasons to get it fall into one of three categories:

1) Need it for job advancement - some businesses will not promote above a certain level unless the candidate has a degree.

2) Want a change in profession - a technical degree, maybe, or you have a sudden passion to be dirt poor and teach English lit.

3) Personal achievement/enrichment - in which case putting up with the core curricula (math/english) will bore the crap out of you until you get to the good stuff.

The good news is that - if it's really just the 3rd option and you're in the US - you can do most core classes online with a junior college. That way you can pay a whole lot less and breeze through the bullshit. As long as the online courses are taken from an accredited school, you can transfer them to the actual college of your choice. It may even be best to look at some fully online degrees. As a non-trad student the attitude towards you on-campus will vary widely. Some smaller schools have incredibly active and supportive non-trad student associations but the big ones usually don't and you stick out like a sore thumb in a sea of teenagers.

I got a tip yesterday that junior colleges in California are crazy cheap with their online courses. You can get a 3-credit course for about $100, even as an out-of-state student. So, there's that.


Interesting about the junior colleges I didn't know that. I'd say if I had to choose it would be for all three. More options in the working world, the ability to try new things/new fields and the sense of achievement and accomplishment. The college I go to now is really cheap for in state residents so the cost isn't so bad.

Thanks and happy birthday Madmartigan!

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 12:14:43 PM »
Ok, I've made a decision. I'm going to complete the degree!

The way I figure it, is I still have 30+ years of work life left. Sure I'm secure for the next 10 years, but what about after that? Besides if I ever want to support a family and have the means to travel and do the things I love, I'll need to be working to bring revenue in. Why not have options for improving my job status, without having to bump into a ceiling?

I've also spent $50k on it already, so another 7k is not a big deal, and this year I have a lot of time on my hands so it's the best time to do it.

Besides a good friend last night told me, that even if it's just for the piece of paper, it's worth it. That piece of paper, is accomplishment and says that I can do it, that I have the success and finished what I started. It's an achievement that will always be with me and I can be proud of.

Sure the classes are not ecstatic and exciting but maybe this is an example of how sometimes we need to do things that are difficult, inconvenient, irritating and cumbersome, for a greater goal. I've run this marathon for the last 20+ years and there's only a few miles to go. So Ill suck it up, settle in to a steady jog, breathe and finish it up.

Thank you again everyone for your thoughts and input.  :-)

Offline Aeons

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 12:43:15 PM »
Good luck.  NOthing better than that feeling of having made a decision!

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2015, 12:50:54 PM »
Good luck.  NOthing better than that feeling of having made a decision!

Amen to that brother. Life's too short to be at a crossroads too long.

Besides I think I can change my attitude about the classes. It might be fun. I can draw on my past experiences in business, and writing papers will be easy. Plus it will be interesting to hear other people's experiences in business.

Offline Madmartigan

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2015, 01:48:41 PM »
Rock on, man. In 10 years you'll be ten years older whether you did the thing or didn't. So DO IT!

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2015, 05:40:15 AM »
Rock on, man. In 10 years you'll be ten years older whether you did the thing or didn't. So DO IT!

Very true! Thanks.

Offline kylie

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Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2015, 09:57:38 AM »
Quote from: Kurzyk

Very interesting idea! When you mentioned this a lightbulb popped in my head! I love traveling and haven't done enough of it. Something I'm soon going to resolve as I take my first trip this year. Having a career where I help others and get to travel would be amazing! It also validates the other aspect of how just having the degree can open fun doors.

Thanks Kylie, excellent suggestion.

     If you really plan to travel with ESL, then I'd also suggest you get some form of certificate sooner rather than later.  Then you would start off with many more choices for where you could get formal employment as a teacher.  You'd also need to take a look at whether regions and particular countries you want to visit have requirements for certificates, and if so are they picky about exactly which one precisely is required.  The courses more employers consider "solid enough" for the major certs can take around a month, including the small classroom component.  So maybe you could take one on while you're around a campus anyway, or at least settled in more familiar territory.  The cert classes are available here and there in major cities in many countries, but it might be easier to use a location or school you already are familiar with the logistics, perhaps well settled, and maybe even - just possibly - some things could be included already with your tuition and fees.  And you might get a better quality course in a more developed site, too. 

     It's not absolutely necessary to have a certificate to teach -- if you just want to get underway already and go somewhere.  But it broadens your options immensely if you do.  You could teach in some markets like China (like I am) without any certificates (provided you get the BA)...  And you might manage to slip into some positions in a smaller number of countries on the basis of BA plus other work experience or (more often) teaching ESL experience somewhere, and that's again usually requiring a BA too...  There are even some more volunteer or "training" style positions out there where you don't make much at all but there may be very few requirements to get in, if you haven't time/energy etc. for a certificate or really wanted to try more just racking up practical teaching hours first.  (I actually did one year more volunteer myself, if primarily because there was a plane ticket on offer.)  But still:  Quite a few countries formally require a cert in order to be employed as a regular teacher in a school, and many employers prefer them.  Even when they don't really care so much, many employers will mention a cert in the ads -- so it becomes one more hurdle to sort out if you don't have one.  It can also mean a difference in pay or perks in some places. 

A few hints about the course pricing/hierarchy from teacher chatting and web reading.
    Depending on where you want to go, you might go for a TEFL (I'm told that's the easiest, more general "jump in" advice but still counts many places), a TESOL (which I think is just one notch higher but pretty similar, not so clear though on that), or a CELTA which is apparently more intense and may take more serious reading on linguistics and pedagogy during the course (but it's the more "elite" course of choice, if one can hack it).  Now many employers are demanding these to include a classroom teaching exercise component, although a few will still accept online courses. 

     Because of the regional differences in requirements for credentials and some differences in course content, some teachers who want to travel all over and/or fill out their resume end up taking both TEFL and/or TESOL plus CELTA eventually.  Then there are also some more specialized certificate programs, some of which I have heard can, maybe actually be fairly lucrative of themselves.  But I probably wouldn't worry about all that starting out; first get at least one of these three if the point is to be able to travel widely.  Of course, if you already seriously decided on a particular foreign place you want to settle down or a particular age group or course you want to specialize in, one can get focused among more courses and perhaps prepare longer. 

      I don't have any cert myself yet (just a lot of general graduate education), but anyway...  And this is not so thorough so shop around...  I have heard everything is out there from $40 weekend classes to say "I do have a cert" at least from some public US schools (which I think are rather trifling in the wider world's industry opinion) to $100-500 online courses which lack the classroom exercises (but employers may occasionally take them as much better than nothing), to $1300 and higher for the more regimented, 3+ week sit-down courses with instructors and the classroom component (which seems to be the minimum to be taken more "seriously" now).  It's sort of the sky's the limit for the more famous courses more if you are curious:  I've heard at least up to $5K for the month with the big names.  But the extreme top end shouldn't be so necessary unless you need to be tutoring the elites (and then we could worry about when to go for a whole Masters in TESL etc.). 

    For the serious courses, employers tend to ask for something based on the Trinity model...  But I'm gathering from teacher forums that many of the serious TEFL courses around the world are roughly based on that now, it at least in principle.  Often the official content is fairly similar, so it's more a question of how the teaching quality / communication / administrative style is, what connections the school gives for job hunting if it's a place geared to that, and I'd say more marginally maybe: finally, if you want to practice in the classroom component with students from a particular region. 
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 10:01:35 AM by kylie »

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2015, 10:00:09 AM »
Thank you Kylie! That's very helpful. One thing I wondered, is do you need to know the local languages of where you're teaching to teach ESL?

Offline kylie

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Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2015, 10:16:05 AM »
     It depends, but often no you don't need their language for teaching.  In fact, many places want teachers who do not get too enthusiastic about speaking the local language because they see it as detracting from English practice / "immersion" etc.  (Whether that approach is good pedagogy of itself is quite debatable, but it's true anyway.)  And then many just assume -- fairly enough -- that not that many people will know their language, anyway. 

     You might, however, want to look more into how "livable" a country is if you don't have much of the language.  Unless you mean to spend a good deal of your time recruiting local helpers or looking up/studying the language (which is not a bad thing, but it is work and time spent too)...  Try to get in touch with some people there or who have been there and get a sense of what is easy to do there and what is hard -- which structures are more developed, what is the bureaucracy like, are some age groups doing much better at English now...  You might also ask how strangers and travelers are generally treated:  What do people do for them to help, how exactly do they know to help in which regions, what do people miss from home when they go there in terms of things they just can't seem to easily do or things that surprise or really annoy them.  That's a start? 

     Just food for thought example:  It's much easier to get things done along the coast of Vietnam, where there are many tourist sites scattered along the way and at least some basic familiarity with Caucasians passing through (they want to sell stuff to whoever, and if they have to write down the price who the hell cares), and heck the average hotel will find you a long-distance bus and change money for you (I never visited a bank so rarely on a foreign trip before!!)...  Than oh, to live where I am in barely urbanized, remote corner of China where kids in restaurants think you're a momentary photography prop and adults more frequently tend to assume they can't simply communicate with you any which way, even if they were to try.  To take another small case that said a lot to me:  The Russians may virtually never smile at you just passing on the street if they don't know you well -- but I was really amazed how many will take your arm if you just tell them you're looking for some place, perhaps not so much bother drawing you a map (as the Korean shopkeepers would for me left and right), but instead simply walk you along til you get there or find some passerby who will.  Actually that was Moscow in the 90's for me, but I've heard quite similar things from more recent travelers there too. 

« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 10:19:22 AM by kylie »

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2015, 09:13:57 PM »
Thank you Kylie, very helpful points there. I'll look into it, it sounds like a fantastic idea. I have a few friends who taught ESL abroad for a few years and loved it.

Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2015, 01:54:39 PM »
Plugging along. Last semester got all As. Whatever.

I think the sad part of all of this is, that what I'm actually "learning" in these classes has no importance to me whatsoever. That the only possible value, and I do stress the word 'possible', is the piece of paper.

A comment about education in this country. I've met nurses who've flat out said that the only real learning they've gotten was in the field working with patients, not the textbooks in a classroom. District Attorneys (who were professors no less!), who stated that lawyers learn to be lawyers in the courtroom, not in school and that all they learn in school is how to research. To countless other people with wide ranging degrees that have no application in real life. Obviously courses that teach technical expertise ranging from doctor, engineer, scientist etc. are essential but most aren't.

So after easily over 50k in student loan debt, and in the above instances 100k+ Is it worth it?

I will without hesitation support education as a means for self growth, but for career? All that matters is the piece of paper. Real learning comes on the job.

Sad... to face the reality that all I care about is a piece of paper, and at 43 it does raise the question of if its worth it. I would say it isn't and is a waste of time and money, but if that silly stupid piece of paper can open a door to a higher paying job, then that is the only 'possible' value. Otherwise it's all rather silly.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2015, 10:43:15 PM »
I'm in a similar situation as far as age range and profession goes. I've thought about this quite a bit as a result. For myself, if I could afford to sacrifice both the time and money needed to complete a BS, I would but at this point in my life, I don't have that luxury. The main reason why I would go for the degree is for personal comfort. I feel uncomfortable about not having a degree even though I've done better than a lot of folks who do have 4 and 5 year degrees. My main concern is how marketable I am without this stupid piece of paper.

Good luck with your decision.


Offline KurzykTopic starter

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2015, 09:07:51 AM »
I can understand that Tainted. I've already made the decision and getting the damn thing done. There's only 4 classes left and as I said it could have value someday. It's just difficult to do when I don't care about the material.

It'll be over soon. :)

Offline Asphodel Terrarium

Re: Is a college degree worth it in your 40s?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2015, 04:13:08 AM »
@Kurzyk: How did you manage to have an attractive resume? What do you mean by a resume that business graduates would dream of?

Next, I would say that having a college degree in the age of 40 and above is not worth the time and effort anymore. Other Ravenclaw people would differ with the opinion. My view is just that around the middle age, one must do the things that one enjoy, before reaching at the old age that one cannot do a lot of stuff anymore; stuff that requires energy like travelling to great places, skin diving and such. Of course, if one's purpose and wish and desire in life is to study, then by all means, it would be worth the time.