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Early 30s with solid career - Going back to school - Worth it?

BeTheChange

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Currently working in commercial finance, making good money ($100k+)

I can tolerate what I do, but I don't really have a passion for it.

I've always had an interest in Maths, Physics, technology, etc but my old man wanted me to go into "business" and so pushed me down the path of finance/economics, which was interesting - but honestly I don't apply much of the interesting parts to my day to day job at all.

Is it actually worth going back to school to do someting more engineering heavy at this point in my career? I was thinking computer science would be useful, with a specialism in data science or AI.
 

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andreihaha

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I can tolerate what I do, but I don't really have a passion for it.
I can relate to that. We're on the same page so I'll take a guess:
You already feel what you should do.
Working in a field without passion will make you want to compensate by using all your free time to pursue your passions.
For me, thir results in almost no time for self improvement(if you will), for trying new things. I'm in a dangerous spot, since I have enough spare time at work to do things that interest me too. So it's hard to leave now.

Side note: I don't see how going back to studying can be a bad thing. You should work towards your goals and do what you're passionate about. Money comes and goes.
 

BeTheChange

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I can relate to that. We're on the same page so I'll take a guess:
You already feel what you should do.
Working in a field without passion will make you want to compensate by using all your free time to pursue your passions.
For me, thir results in almost no time for self improvement(if you will), for trying new things. I'm in a dangerous spot, since I have enough spare time at work to do things that interest me too. So it's hard to leave now.

Side note: I don't see how going back to studying can be a bad thing. You should work towards your goals and do what you're passionate about. Money comes and goes.
Thanks bro. I've spent most of the day researching and decided it's worth it. Worse case scenario I graduate with a second degree and got to learn a ton of interesting content I'm passionate about along the way. And I've found a course, which caters to working professionals and does evening classes. It means it will take 2 years to complete rather than one but this is an acceptable compromise.

Follow your passion.
 

logicallefty

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I hope you don't divorce your old man and leave him with your debt.
 

Julian

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Nothing you learn in college is going to translate to any job. U honestly think a comp sci degree is going to prep u for whatever specific software and hardware the job entails? Fuk no dude. For someone making 100k a year i would hope you are smarter then that. I went to college for a semester and realized how much if a scam it is. Use your salary to start a business or make some investments trading on forex etc. lol going to school thats funny.

Have fun being pushed into socialistic feminist viewpoint whilst learning jacksh1t
 
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andreihaha

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Nothing you learn in college is going to translate to any job. U honestly think a comp sci degree is going to prep u for whatever specific software and hardware the job entails? Fuk no dude. For someone making 100k a year i would hope you are smarter then that. I went to college for a semester and realized how much if a scam it is. Use your salary to start a business or make some investments trading on forex etc. lol going to school thats funny.

Have fun being pushed into socialistic feminist viewpoint whilst learning jacksh1t
Your comment is ridiculous.
You went a semester and you think you know what you're talking about.
For a guy getting a stable paycheck, wasting the stability for a chance to win on financial markets and sh1t is unnecessary. There are 2 types of people usually in forex, the big guys(<1%) that know what will fluctuate and the suckers who loose money.
Also doing what's interesting for you is feminist? Dafuk?

I read an interesting fact in a book some time ago. It said that when a woman blames you for something, she's actually blaming herself for it.
Example: she blames you for not having a car to drive her around because she doesn't have one either and feels helpless/impotent about it.
Looks like the same with you, discouraging him because you didn't do it yourself.

Let the man pursue his dreams!
 

stormrider

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I don’t know if it’s worth it to get another bachelors in the STEM field. Having two bachelors is kind of useless. If you can go for a masters that would be ideal. But I don’t know if it’s possible to go for a masters in the STEM field with a business degree.

I was the opposite of you. I have a bachelors in IT because I lived in Silicon Valley and that’s where the job market was. All of my friends were computer programmers/geeks. We used to have weekend hack-a-thons where we would spend all night trying to create the next Facebook or social media app. Creating the next big thing and selling it for hundreds of millions was everyone’s dream at the time.

But after I graduated I realized I had no passion for technology so I went back to get an MBA. Schools are probably more willing to accept a technology student into their MBA program than the other way around. I had several overlapping classes like project management, economics, etc.

10 years later I have another masters (health care administration). Life isn’t linear. I would say that you should go for your passions as long as you are competent. Some people pursue their passions and fail. They were probably better off just sticking to what made money. But some people are able to do what they want and still make a living. Those are the people that go to work happy because it doesn’t feel like actual work. It feels more like a purpose.

It’s funny because I know so many people that started off in business that eventually went into IT and people starting off in IT that went into business. It goes to show you that kids entering college aren’t always making decisions based on their true passions but from influences such as job market, parents, pressure to succeed, etc.

But once you have a baseline level of success, it eats at you not being able to do what you truely want.

For me everything changed when I had an eye exam and saw how much pride and purpose people in the health care field seemed to carry with themselves. I felt completely empty and self serving as a business owner by day/ party animal at night, and so began to obsess over being able to create social change through health care so I did what you are doing now - went back to school for the 3rd time.

The good thing about masters is that they are 9 -12 month programs so you can literally have a career change over night if you are competent enough.
 
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Mauser96

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Currently working in commercial finance, making good money ($100k+)

I can tolerate what I do, but I don't really have a passion for it.

I've always had an interest in Maths, Physics, technology, etc but my old man wanted me to go into "business" and so pushed me down the path of finance/economics, which was interesting - but honestly I don't apply much of the interesting parts to my day to day job at all.

Is it actually worth going back to school to do someting more engineering heavy at this point in my career? I was thinking computer science would be useful, with a specialism in data science or AI.
Personally, the "ideal" job does not exist with an income to match. The truth is work is called work for a reason. They pay you to come for a reason - because no one would be there otherwise. You are making good money now. You will spend 100, 000 to get your next degree/diploma, THEN have to compete in a job market with ZERO experience in that field, only to end up with a job that may pay less and you like less.

If you can "tolerate" your job, I would instead investigate the "F.I.R.E." movement and focus on getting financially free in as short as time as possible. Get your self set to retire as young as possible.

Once you are there, you can take a job that suits your passions at a much lower pay scale.

I am in that exact boat. My job pays well, I don't love it, but can tolerate it. Once I am in a position where I don't need the money, I will retire from it, and then seek out seasonal work in a fishing camp, hunting camp, campground, etc. Freedom to do as I choose - r not work at all. Hope to be there at 57
 

Julian

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Your comment is ridiculous.
You went a semester and you think you know what you're talking about.
For a guy getting a stable paycheck, wasting the stability for a chance to win on financial markets and sh1t is unnecessary. There are 2 types of people usually in forex, the big guys(<1%) that know what will fluctuate and the suckers who loose money.
Also doing what's interesting for you is feminist? Dafuk?

I read an interesting fact in a book some time ago. It said that when a woman blames you for something, she's actually blaming herself for it.
Example: she blames you for not having a car to drive her around because she doesn't have one either and feels helpless/impotent about it.
Looks like the same with you, discouraging him because you didn't do it yourself.

Let the man pursue his dreams!
T R I G G E R E D
 

switch7

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Currently working in commercial finance, making good money ($100k+)

I can tolerate what I do, but I don't really have a passion for it.

I've always had an interest in Maths, Physics, technology, etc but my old man wanted me to go into "business" and so pushed me down the path of finance/economics, which was interesting - but honestly I don't apply much of the interesting parts to my day to day job at all.

Is it actually worth going back to school to do someting more engineering heavy at this point in my career? I was thinking computer science would be useful, with a specialism in data science or AI.

I wouldnt go down the masters degree route id go down the bootcamp route. Someone on my bootcamp works in ai now and she used to be a croupier with no degree. But she was smart.

3 months, and about 6 grand, thats all you need (in the uk) - but you would have to start as a junior.
 
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synergy1

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I hear you on the early/mid 30's career path change. From what you said, its impressive you are where you are and have a good salary. Remember, starting 'over' in a career can be very stressful as I have experienced doing the same thing. I actually went from engineering into software, which one could call a lateral change...but the subject matter was sufficiently different to be considered a full on career change!

A few points on the actual coursework. First, undergraduate curriculums are brutal. You really have to be engaged in it unless you are one of those math prodigies who simply can understand advanced topics such as differential equations or thermal systems with very little effort. Most of the time, you will feel dumb but it's doable. That said, when you already have a good career as you do, its easier to get into a 'fallback' mindset where you get to a certain point in thinking that its not worth it. As an undergrad, I had no such concept so that upped the desperation factor a bit when the work load was overbearing. You might handle it well, but just some aspect that I figured was worth mentioning.

Onto that point, assuming you complete enough of an engineering program to get hired, you'll have to forgo salary, benefits initially which in itself is tough. I did this to change into software, and still earn less than I did as a system engineer. While fleeting, I have contemplated switching back, but I like what i do now a lot, and the opportunities both professionally and as an entrepreneur help me push through the drawbacks. If you switched into engineering, you'd likely be underwhelmed initially by the work unless you land a technical job for dod or doing really cutting edge research. Most of my engineering friends don't really use what we learned in college, but some still do. So with that said, pick *relevant* subject matter to pursue - my friend who works with lasers and systems does all sorts of FEA, and R&D stuff which seems cool. If you have an idea of what subjects within engineering you like, you can send me a PM and I can try to give you a brief overview of what fellow engineers do to give you a perspective.

Engineering is more of a mindset than having a particular set of skills. Its a relentless attention to details, and a constant feeling of not knowing things, and feeling inadequate at times. Pressure can be tough depending on the job because people outside of an engineering department will discount the difficulty at times. As our sales team says when it comes to our product, "Its only code".

Lets assume you want to change. Which field should you pick? I was mechanical engineering, but those kinds of jobs aren't in as strong demand as decades past. Mechanical engineers usually do systems engineering , design engineering (CAD work), or more R&D roles. I know less about electrical engineering, but I think it would have a strong component of coding and I&C work. I know a lot of chemical engineers that landed into systems level engineering too. Finally we have software engineering which is the most in-demand field right now. Web development is strong, but software engineers with a strong understanding of OOP, and embedded systems are in demand.

If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a PM. I'd be happy to help. I left a lot of stuff out above, and simply gave a brief overview on what I know. I am sure I missed a lot of stuff!
 

evan12

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Is it actually worth going back to school to do someting more engineering heavy at this point in my career? I was thinking computer science would be useful, with a specialism in data science or AI.
What part of engineering you want to do ? I am engineer and engineers supposed to apply their theoretical knowledge in real life situations or to build new things, in reality most engineers work as supervisors sign papers, doing routine jobs.
If you really want to be creative especially in data science go take courses and try to build something interesting.
 

BeTheChange

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A lot of varied responses and valid points worth addressing.

College is expensive. Yes the actual cost in tuition fees and opportunity cost in lost earnings would be a massive hit if I were doing a full time masters programme and based in the US. But here in the UK the cost of higher education is much lower. I’m opting for a part time masters (evening classes, homework for the weekends), meaning I can still work full time and won’t forgo my relatively high salary.

As it’s part time the masters would be spread across two years at $5,000 per annum. It’s a tax deductible expense meaning the actual cost to me comes to $4,000 a year. Not too pricey at all.

What area of engineering? I want to do a masters in Comp Science to keep my options open. At the moment I’m interested in machine learning, data analytics and of course blockchain, but think it would be easier to pursue my interests in these areas if I had a firm technical foundation to build off. It’s a bit like how you’d be limited in your ability to understand physics without learning algebra, trigonometry and calculus first.

What about bootcamps? Good idea and something I am looking to do as a precursor to joining the masters. Would probably look for free courses though.

Why not just aim for FIRE instead? The masters wouldn’t even start until September 2020 so it’ll be another three years before I’d graduate. At the start of this year I was aiming to put my head down, and tough it out for 10 years to FAT FIRE on $5M net worth by 40. Keep my costs down, no dependents, aim for steady pay rise / promotions. It was an ambitious goal, but not impossible given I'll probably finish this calender year on $400k+ NW and I'm still 30 now.

Then I realised retiring at 40 and “travelling the world” would be BORING after a few months. Coast FIRE was much more appealing. So instead I’ve opted to find a role that’ll keep me engaged long term , while having a FIRE net worth to fall back on. I’m hoping by the time I graduate 3 years from now I’ll have a $1M net worth.

Career wise my ideal would be angel investing/ venture capital and for obvious reasons having a more techy background couldn’t hurt. I’m also interested in setting up a start-up, building an app, etc. I don’t see any real downside to giving this a go. A $1M net worth, a professional accreditation and two masters degrees (and hopefully no dependents) should really give me all the flexibility and freedom to pursue my interests full time.
 

evan12

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What area of engineering? I want to do a masters in Comp Science to keep my options open. At the moment I’m interested in machine learning, data analytics and of course blockchain, but think it would be easier to pursue my interests in these areas if I had a firm technical foundation to build off. It’s a bit like how you’d be limited in your ability to understand physics without learning algebra, trigonometry and calculus first.
Start by some ML LinkedIn courses and see if you really like it , I myself have some experience in ML , the thing is data science in practical is not cool as you see in movies, in general 80% of your time will be in data preperation and 20% in building models
 
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Stephen89

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Computer science is good.

Also you can be a computer programmer/web, software, app developer.

Solid job with a lot of demand.

The pay is very good and you can work self employed set your own, have freedom.

You can achieve this by networking, going on LinkedIn, going to business meet ups etc.
 

BeExcellent

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The cost of the degree is quite reasonable in my opinion. You can easily afford it out of your discretionary income if you go the evening course route, plus the tax benefits. It’s a no brainer really. You preserve your current income, increase your marketable skills for a relatively small tax advantaged investment and you get into something that you are excited about. Win/win/win.

Normally I’d recommend against going back to school when you’re already earning 6 figures because the opportunity costs are too high to warrant the expense in many cases.

I wouldn’t do it (and I was accepted at Semmelweis in Budapest for medical school) because I out earn many physicians with two bachelors degrees and I couldn’t justify giving up 10 years worth of income (about 2M in earnings) to complete all the schooling and training. Pass. Plus I had dependents at your age (although I didn’t when I was set to start med school). I do not have the headaches or liabilities or responsibilities of a medical practice and instead have a quality of life that few doctors enjoy. I’m very good at what I do in healthcare but not passionate about it (well some projects more than others). So I built net worth & cash flow to leverage out of working in my chosen field.

But it’s just you, costs are cheap and you retain your assets and your income. Duh.

Start ASAP. You create more options for yourself in doing this. Keep building your asset portfolio as well and you’ll be well within striking distance of your goals and perhaps ahead of schedule.

You’re 10-12 years ahead of me. By the time you hit your 40’s you should be set up financially. And if the right relationship with the right person shows up in your life you’ll be well set to call the shots and take care of business.

Kudos & Godspeed. Do it.

Cheers, BE
 

PowerQuest

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Is it actually worth going back to school to do someting more engineering heavy at this point in my career? I was thinking computer science would be useful, with a specialism in data science or AI.
Well I guess his video says it all?

Start your own business instead and do your own thing that you like and have drive for. You be way better off being in the driver seat of your own life than being the side kick of someone else's dream, (and fulfilling their dreams), (Aka being employed).

Good luck bruv with whatever path you choose.

3195
 
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Bible_Belt

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If you do go from finance to technology, I'd guess your greatest value would be in the niche of financing technology. Find a place where the two skills overlap, and then use both, instead of leaving one entirely behind.
 

dr.harker

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Currently working in commercial finance, making good money ($100k+)

I can tolerate what I do, but I don't really have a passion for it.

I've always had an interest in Maths, Physics, technology, etc but my old man wanted me to go into "business" and so pushed me down the path of finance/economics, which was interesting - but honestly I don't apply much of the interesting parts to my day to day job at all.

Is it actually worth going back to school to do someting more engineering heavy at this point in my career? I was thinking computer science would be useful, with a specialism in data science or AI.
I was making just under $100k in my late 20's/early 30's. I didn't have tons of GFs, but the ones I did have seemed entirely loyal/devoted, etc. I quit my career for a passion project. I'm now in my late 30's with a differnt degree. Starting over is hard. Earning half of what you did a decade ago can be demoralizing. Plus, chicks don't seem to get it: they tell you to follow your dreams, but if you aren't a high earner, they split. So, I'm personally very satisfied with my career, but, it's taken 5 years after geting the new degree and entering a new feild to be able to afford datign again. So . . . be aware, starting over by choice can be hard. It's up to you, man.
 
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