School or work?

This is a discussion on School or work? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Here is a problem I have. I work full time, and a full time student at a local university. the issue I am about to ...

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    Member Array Joshp689's Avatar
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    School or work?

    Here is a problem I have. I work full time, and a full time student at a local university. the issue I am about to face is my work schedule and school schedule will not work. I am getting in to the part of my degree where all the classes are midday(7am-2pm) which is right in the middle of when I work. This leads me to a choice, work or school. now for some background information. I work for the DOD, the part that is getting furloughed. once that happens I will lose $650 a month. even if I was able to make my schedule work I couldn't afford to pay for school, I make too much money to get help. the job I have is an entry level position, with not a lot of upward mobility. I make decent money where I am but I don't want to retire at $35K a year(hence why I am going to school). My wife is also scared that we wont be able to live while I am in school, keep in mind I will find a flexible part time job to help us get by.

    So here is the question, what do you all think I should do? what would you do in my shoes?
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    From someone who worked full-time while going to school full-time so I could get a better job, my advice would be school... You can always adjust your standard of living to meet your income...
    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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    Is there another school with online courses that you could take after work hours?
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Member Array Joshp689's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty View Post
    Is there another school with online courses that you could take after work hours?
    not any more now I am in my biology core classes, its hard to do a biology lab online.

    My wife's big argument is I have great insurance and retirement from my job. the health insurance I can understand, more so now with that "TAX" you get for not having it. it all seems like a justifiable sacrifice to go to school.
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    School is always your best choice. Without knowing your major, it's hard to offer anything but general advice. I'd look for a new job with an employer that could contribute to my education, either with work experience in a field that I hoped to make a career or through tuition reimbursement.
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    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    I have done both full time work and school several times. The absolutely best way I ever completed one of the degrees is through a distance learning program that was designed to allow me to do a lot of work via correspondence with the instructors, and through their "web portals". It was great, but I would not recommend this method for math related courses.
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    Gotta sacrifice some to get ahead in this world. I didn't go to school when I had a chance and now am at a low paying job, at the mercy of my employer. GET AN EDUCATION!
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    With all of the college level courses offered today, there should be no reason you can't do something like Biology during night school. IMO opinion you are passed the age (married adult) where you can make the decision to quit a full time decent paying job (I assume benefits are good with DOD) for the sole reason of finishing school.

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    Member Array Joshp689's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    School is always your best choice. Without knowing your major, it's hard to offer anything but general advice. I'd look for a new job with an employer that could contribute to my education, either with work experience in a field that I hoped to make a career or through tuition reimbursement.
    Biology with minor in chemistry. I have been thinking, and this weekend I am going to build me a resume and talk with the local biology labs. maybe I can find some where that will be more flexible with my school schedule.
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    I got lucky...my company offers tuition reimbursement, picking up 75% of the tuition bill. I had a few classes that were from 8 to 9AM and my employer let me come into work 2 hours late on those days and I had to stay 2 hours later on those days. As I progressed through my classes, more and more became available online and that helped a LOT. However, for 6 years I had no "social life"...spending my nights and weekends on homework. I did graduate at age 43 with a B.S. in Information and Communication Technologies, which is pretty much what I do at work anyways. Of course, the cheapskates didn't even give me a pay bump because they said a degree was not required for my position. Oh well, I took them for quite a few thousands of $$ in tuition money and I have the piece of paper for another job if need be!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp689 View Post
    I work for the DOD, the part that is getting furloughed. once that happens I will lose $650 a month. even if I was able to make my schedule work I couldn't afford to pay for school, I make too much money to get help. the job I have is an entry level position, with not a lot of upward mobility. I make decent money where I am but I don't want to retire at $35K a year(hence why I am going to school). My wife is also scared that we wont be able to live while I am in school, keep in mind I will find a flexible part time job to help us get by.
    Are you going to be furloughed? If so, you can go to school during the day.

    What do you plan to do with your Biology/Chemistry degree? Will you be set up to work in a field that needs workers?
    The reason I ask is that is this:

    My daughter graduated from Va. Tech in 2004 with a degree in Business Management/Marketing. She couldn't find a decent job for a year. Finally she took one with American Express in Greensboro, NC. worked there for 4 years (at a job that she didn't really need a degree for). AE closed the entire office and all the employees were let go. Now she's back to square one in an economy that was tanking very fast.

    She decided to go back to school and become a Laboratory Technologist and got accepted at East Carolina University. They told her in her interview that she would not be able to work during school because the program was so intense. (It was).

    So, she applied for, and got, a grant from the state of NC, took out school loans and lived on peanut butter and credit cards.
    It was very hard and stressful but she did it and is now employeed as a Registered Laboratory Technician at East Carolina University hospital.

    She's in a field that will always need workers and there is rarely a layoff (if ever). Her working conditions are good and she likes her job. So, the 3 years of sacrifice and work were worth it to her. She's paying off loans but she's secure and makes a decent salary.

    If your wife is willing to work and sacrifice for you to get through school, it will pay off in the long run. It has to be a joint endeavor though. Also, most importantly, it has to be in a career field that will always be in demand, pays decently and that you'll enjoy doing. Then, it will all be worth it because you'll be set up for life in the job market.
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    Member Array Joshp689's Avatar
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    The Furlough for me will likely be one 8hour day a week.

    There is a local research lab that has a government contract(not 100% sure) researching and making BIO/Chem warfare vacines. once I am finished I will try there , I have allready tried to get a job there but because I dont have a degree they can't hire me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp689 View Post
    The Furlough for me will likely be one 8hour day a week.

    There is a local research lab that has a government contract(not 100% sure) researching and making BIO/Chem warfare vacines. once I am finished I will try there , I have allready tried to get a job there but because I dont have a degree they can't hire me.
    Those are good jobs. Ft Detrick in Maryland has a huge Chem/Bio lab that works on vaccines. In fact, my daughter is thinking about moving up this way and working at Ft. Detrick in their Chem/Bio lab. It's only about 40 minutes from where we live .

    It's a big decision but in the long run you'll probably be better off going back to school. Good luck!
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    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    If you want to work in a research lab, then I very much recommend volunteering there. I've worked in research for years now, and the volunteers have an incredible leg-up when it comes to getting jobs and making contacts. If you're a good volunteer, it really, really works. Plus, you feel like you're volunteering for a charity, which is good for morale and for your morals.

    You need an evening job, honestly. If there's no upward mobility, then you have to figure out if it's actually resume-building. If it's not resume building, it's just a paycheque.
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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    School, without a doubt. Borrow all the money you need, especially if it is school loans. Those do not look bad on your credit and will be easier to pay off with a better paying job. After you pay them off, the increase in money made (with a decent job based on a degree) will be significant. Sacrifice now, benefit later.
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