Master degree or NOT
June 25, 2010 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Need adivce on making the right decision.

Here’s my problem:
I’m a 52 year old computer technician working in the IT warehouse department for 4 years now. I started out as a consultant in another state when I was younger, but finally got burned out. I was offered a job in a new state with a company, took it sounded like a good thing to do at the time since I was only working part-time. Needless to say, ended up in the warehouse department where I am now. Job pays the bills, but job isn’t fullfiling. Got a B.S in Human Development (2007) along the way, but have no hands on experience which keeps me from pursuing it further, since I work full-time. I really enjoy helping others out with their problems, since I have always been the one with the listening ear. I recently took a 3 month course in Bartending management (more loans), and thought it would be a great way to make extra money and meet new people (beats sitting on the couch), NOT! I am not really the bar type. So, here I am now, wondering what I should really be doing. On one hand I want to work in the Psychology field but don’t know which direction I should go and I don’t think I can obtain any more loans to pay for Master Degree, and on the other hand, I’m disappointed in my job (no room for advancement, and no increase in money or overtime). And after all this is said and done, you can find me making my candles in my spare time.
Lost in the dark!
posted by naylord to Education (9 answers total)
It sounds like you're unhappy with your current occupation(s). In that you are not alone.

But you don't actually have a concrete question here. "What should I really be doing?" is far too vague a question to attract any productive answers. Can you perhaps narrow this down a bit? Some kind of "A or B" choice?

Otherwise, all we've got is chatfilter.
posted by valkyryn at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2010

I say this all the time, but consider social work! I just graduated and there were lots of people in my MSW program over 50. I'm sorry you feel so stuck and IDK about more loans but a social work license is a pretty quick way to get into working with people. Also, try some volunteering at a shelter, needle exchange, foodbank, whatever, just to see how you like it. No loans needed and good experience!
posted by ShadePlant at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2010

It sounds like you're not really sure what you want. I'd suggest looking into doing some volunteer work in your off-time to make sure you know what direction you want to go in before you commit to more education debt or leave your current job.

Personally, my feeling is that work is work. It's a nice bonus when you can find happiness and/or fulfillment in a job, but it's really about paying the bills at the end of the day. Very few people are able to do something that they truly love and get paid for it.
posted by Menthol at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

You might try seeing if you can afford to move down to 3/4ths or half time at your job, and get an internship with someplace that you can apply your BS to. This will give you usually unpaid experience for a semester, but if you can give up one day a week to do it it's a foot in the door to a career change. Might take some wrangling to do but I've successfully done internships when I wasn't enrolled by explaining to them my desire to get experience in that field.
posted by msbutah at 10:47 AM on June 25, 2010

Response by poster: see this is where I'm furstrated! At my age, I believe that I should be doing something meaninfully (i.e. being a manager, teacher, or counselor). I have a B.S. degree and I don't know how to use it to make it worth the time and money. I seemed to have miss the boat on obtaining a stable career and trying to get it now (within the next 5 yrs or so) is upsetting to me. I keep jumping from one thing to the next, not finding anything worth holding onto. Don't get me wrong, I worked in the computer field for over 15+ yrs, but like I said before, now it's not fullfiling enough to keep me content. I don't want to become a couch potatoe as I grow in years. Finding volunteer work after working 8 hrs a day, is slim to none here in nevada, maybe it's just the fear of failing that Im more afraid of...
posted by naylord at 12:17 PM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: By Human Development I take it you mean family services? I think you have a background that would be very welcome by the government, family services non-profits, hospitals, and other health & human services organizations. You might think about Educational Technology, Admin and Management (CTO could be a title to look for), Human Resources Learning. You could contact your local United Way and see if there's a secondment program with your company, even just part-time.
posted by parmanparman at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2010

Do you actually need a more fulfilling job or do you just need a more fulfilling life? The bartending thing, even though it didn't work out, sounds to me like you needed something different and a way to meet new people. Was the extra money actually a motivating factor? Perhaps what you need is a job that doesn't challenge you and pays the bills and a hobby that excites you and drains all your extra cash. There are thousands of those.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:23 PM on June 25, 2010

Definitely don't invest in a Masters Degree if you don't know what you want to be doing ultimately. That's all well and good for a Bachelors, but Masters are a significant investment in time and money. Not only is there the cost of school, but for two to three years you will be working and carrying a course load. Find your passion first and then go back to school if you need to.

You could talk to a career or avocation counselor to help find the right thing for you. Interning or volunteering might help in that regard too. One way to figure out what you like to do is to start trying things when something pops into your head. Find a local group, an online course, a free u/learning annex class, related to things you're interested in. It may take a little while to find something that really takes hold of you, but in the meantime you will be changing up your routine and widening your perspective.

Good luck!
posted by Kimberly at 12:25 PM on June 25, 2010

Response by poster: Ur right on the money with the fact that I already have a job that doesn't challenge me and I do have a hobby that excites me while taking my extra cash. I think it's time to look deeper, I will check out volunteering first to see if I can gain some type of hands on training that way. BTW what does CTO mean? Although it's been 3 years since I graduated with my B.S in Human Development, what are my chances of getting work in any related field? Doesn't having experience play a big part in obtaining a job as a social worker or any other type of services? And what about licences requirements? Ahhhhwww just so much to learn and do, but I have an open mind.
posted by naylord at 4:14 PM on June 25, 2010

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