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Thread: Back to school?

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Back to school?

    I had a court hearing today for child support...and it went OK, but I learned a few things.

    The bad part was the judge awarded me more income than I actually make (again) even though I presented my case well. He read the statute regarding whether I am intentionally underemployed, and in essence it says the only justification for making less is if I'm doing so with the intent of making more later, such as an apprenticeship or school. Well, I do intend to, but construction has been extremely sparse in my town. I know if I stick with it and get my name out there again, jobs will come along, but then again if I do make more...I just pay more to the ex.

    As things sit now, I can either pay it to her or pay it towards school. If I become a fulltime student I won't have to pay her squat...which is exactly what she did to me to gain her RN degree. Somehow she fails to realize this or remember that she told me I would only be paying until she got on her feet, then she'd help a lot more with the expenses.

    For those of you that may be thinking I'm trying to get out of my financial obligations to my children...think again. I'm barely surviving here while she's making more than I ever have as a carpenter...and gets a fat check from me on top of it. I really wish I could say it's going toward my kids, but the truth of the matter is she's just addicted to receiving a check from me and doesn't really care if I go under trying to provide it to her. She's remarried, I'm remarried, and either one of us could handle raising the kids if I wasn't paying her. Enough about her.

    I am now looking at going "back" to school, both for my educational benefit as well as the financial position. Thing is...I have no idea what for. Those of you that know me well are aware that I dream of opening a bike shop. I was actually poised to do so in January and walked away due to it not being a profitable enough business to make a living and service the debt. I'm burned out on carpentry, having done little else since I was 17 to now at 43. The bike business excites me, but I realize it has to be done in a certain way to turn a profit at all, though it can be done if managed and promoted properly. A business degree could help with that, for both what I'd learn and for building confidence in potential investors or lenders.

    I am also an incessant tinkerer and learner. As a cyclist I have a great interest in efficiency, and the field of renewable energy is also intriguing. With so much of the stimulus money put out there for this area, I have considered getting an AAS in either wind power or solar...or both. One of the jobs that slipped through my fingers recently was to be for a long time friend that specializes in passive solar design. He was and is very interested in teaching me how to contract these designs, so I could also go in the direction of CAD architecture or project management. Not as exciting as bikes, but certainly with more potential for profit.

    For some time now I've had a few ideas for cottage industry manufacturing. Again the business degree would help me manage something like this, and I'd also still be able to flex my artistic muscles. I'm really happiest when making cool stuff. Call it ego, but I really like it when folks like my stuff and find it useful.

    Although it's not my strength due to lack of experience and schooling, computers are also another possible avenue. I repair machines for friends and build all my own. The downside is this market is saturated. Most likely I'd be better off combining computer skills with another industry.

    At this point I'll have to wait. The Fall semester has already started, though I may be able to get a jump on the next one by getting all my paperwork done and testing out of as many basics as possible through the local adult education center. I'll also need to draw on all my resources to see if it's even possible, but at this juncture it appears the prudent route for ol' Wordbiker. Please, feel free to add some input.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
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    I know about the tinkering. I have had some job interviews myself, but similar to carpentry, I'm tired of computer stuff. I have some really cool ideas, but the problem is, I need to find someone who can help market them.

    This is one reason I love renfaires. Chuck the cellphone in the vehicle, and the only thing technical that I worry about for the weekend is how to operate the nearest ale tap.

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    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Go back to school. Can't tell you what to study though.

    Get the paperwork started now for next spring. Also, my CC operates on 16 week semesters, but they also offer a ton of 8 week courses as well. The first 8 wk term is up this week, but the next 8 wk term starts first week in Oct. (Reminds me that the mid-term for my Biology is coming up and my next Sociology course starts in Oct.)

    One thing that I strongly recommend is that if at all possible, attend classes on campus. Way easier to take tests based on the prof's lectures than trying to figure out (and remembering) what is relevant reading the textbook cover to cover.
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    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Is there a degree for Witch Doctor?
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    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Go back to school. I think the degree depends on how much time you'd like to spend in school. You could do a 2 year degree in business which would help with the bike shop idea, or do a 4 year degree in mechanical engineering which would be great towards your love of messing with stuff.

    Whatever you do, go back to school.

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Go back to school. Can't tell you what to study though.

    Get the paperwork started now for next spring. Also, my CC operates on 16 week semesters, but they also offer a ton of 8 week courses as well. The first 8 wk term is up this week, but the next 8 wk term starts first week in Oct. (Reminds me that the mid-term for my Biology is coming up and my next Sociology course starts in Oct.)

    One thing that I strongly recommend is that if at all possible, attend classes on campus. Way easier to take tests based on the prof's lectures than trying to figure out (and remembering) what is relevant reading the textbook cover to cover.
    It depends on what's available. There's no doubt a few basic classes to be taken at the local CC extension, but for anything more than that I'd have to travel to either Durango (an hour away) or Cortez (1-1/2 hours away), both a bit tougher in the snow. I'll take as many online classes as possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Is there a degree for Witch Doctor?
    Unfortunately, Witch Doctorate is a 7-year degree.
    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Go back to school. I think the degree depends on how much time you'd like to spend in school. You could do a 2 year degree in business which would help with the bike shop idea, or do a 4 year degree in mechanical engineering which would be great towards your love of messing with stuff.

    Whatever you do, go back to school.
    I'll just have to see what's available. The CC extension has counselors to help...I know, I did this once before and didn't go through with it. Now it behooves me even more than then to do so.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    It depends on what's available. There's no doubt a few basic classes to be taken at the local CC extension, but for anything more than that I'd have to travel to either Durango (an hour away) or Cortez (1-1/2 hours away), both a bit tougher in the snow. I'll take as many online classes as possible.

    Unfortunately, Witch Doctorate is a 7-year degree.
    I'll just have to see what's available. The CC extension has counselors to help...I know, I did this once before and didn't go through with it. Now it behooves me even more than then to do so.
    Make sure you take guaranteed transferable classes. The counselors will know which classes are transferable. The CC system in CO has an agreement with CO's universities that all of these types of classes are directly transferable to the university system meaning you will never have to take these classes again if you decide to go a 4 year route. Most of the 100 and 200 level generic classes (no program-specific) are that way.

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I'll be sure to do that UA, thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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    Your imaginary friend. fuzzbox's Avatar
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    I'm taking CAD. There are so many buttons.

    Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

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    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    A degree as a CAD designer could get you employment at any type of manufacturing company. Businesses also have full-time facility and maintenance guys who keep the buildings up and running. That would be more of a hands-on job.

    The manufacturing companies I have worked for have also had a full-time machine shop where they have all sorts of tools and the engineers can get any sort of models built.

    A business degree would be great for running your own outfit, or it will get you a management position at a larger company.
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    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Make sure you take guaranteed transferable classes. The counselors will know which classes are transferable. The CC system in CO has an agreement with CO's universities that all of these types of classes are directly transferable to the university system meaning you will never have to take these classes again if you decide to go a 4 year route. Most of the 100 and 200 level generic classes (no program-specific) are that way.
    What UA said. Pick the degree, pick the school(s) that offers it, then make sure that the Gen. Ed.'s will transfer.

    The CC that I go to has an agreement with every other public institution in OK, as well as some that are out of state. Fact is, the CC is the only game in town, even though every major state school has a satellite campus in town. They make you take your first two years at the CC, unless you want to travel to the respective main campuses.

    I hear you on taking as many online classes as possible, though. I'm taking as many as I can myself to help alleviate the wife's household driving duties.
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    I will go out on a limb here and predict that in 25 years, college as we now know it in the US will be a thing of the past. I think that economic realities, changes in the workforce and changes in technology will only accelerate distance learning via electronic means. 'Name brands' like Harvard, Yale and Stanford will survive without much change, but your average private liberal arts college or state school may well become extinct or largely virtual.
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    I have seen many people in the construction trades get beaten nearly to death in the current economy. Going back to school is probably a good move on your part at this point.

    Courses to consider would those in the mechanical engineering and/or architect areas. These would go along with your experiences, trade skills, and indicated desires. Of the 2, I'd think that engineering would be the better fit for you.

    Once you get a degree and start working, the pay supposedly ain't all that bad either.
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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob P. View Post
    I have seen many people in the construction trades get beaten nearly to death in the current economy. Going back to school is probably a good move on your part at this point.

    Courses to consider would those in the mechanical engineering and/or architect areas. These would go along with your experiences, trade skills, and indicated desires. Of the 2, I'd think that engineering would be the better fit for you.

    Once you get a degree and start working, the pay supposedly ain't all that bad either.
    That's great advice Rob...but, become an architect or engineer that knows construction and can actually build something? That's crazy talk there.

    I'm honestly burned out on the whole industry. If this is to be a career change for me, I'd like it to be a major one. I'd make more money in the construction industry, but money isn't a big motivator for me. Being at the top of my craft in carpentry has actually proven to be a detriment in these tough times as no one is doing projects of the caliber to demand my talents. I've been sidelined due to applying myself...which is truly sad.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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