Is it worth it for me to pursue higher education? Middle-aged, single parent, seasoned corporate employee and....
...I have a 9th grade education (GED with a fairly high score) along with some professional education (Project Management certificate is the most marketable one), absolutely terrible credit (willing to discuss over memail, but, trust me, it's terrible), and a staggering fear of compromising the wobbly security I've established again this year after a couple years of unemployment and illness.
I was watching this video
and it made me think (again) about how much I would love to just stop everything to get an actual degree, and then enjoy being more useful and more valued in the workplace.
But...how? I would need to pursue all of the grants, I know, but then wouldn't I have to rely on loans to round out the rest, at least until I've shown enough promise to earn scholarships?
I hear the advice to keep working while going to school percolating, but that's why I don't have a degree now - my prior attempts were while working, and it ended up being a wretched waste of money and effort because the thing that pays my bills had to have my focused attention over anything else. When I consider how much that pressure would be intensified with having to give full attention to my toddler in addition to all else, I know for a fact that I would need to find a way to make going to school full-time without a supporting job work out.
Type of degree matters to whether it's worth it or not, and I get that. Options are: Computer Science with an eye to Development (Web or Software); Psychologist; Teacher; Social Worker. Ranked roughly in order of average compensation, as interest is about equal at this point and I can narrow these down further after I make the broader decision.
Currently, I am in a lower-level position at a growing-ish company that does interesting things and utilizes my skills somewhat. I have previously lost more valuable positions due to lack of degree at other companies, but here it wouldn't hold me back. Growth here is somewhat slow, though, and I would actually have better benefits as a social worker.
I know this is a scattered question, but the gist is this:
with the profile and goals detailed above, do you think it would be worthwhile for me to start the process of seeing how I could do school full-time, or would I be better served to stay where I am now (and, of course, keep my eye out for positions that could give me better challenges and compensation)?