Wanted: Opinions on college direction

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Back2School, May 19, 2015.

  1. Back2School

    Back2School Member

    Looking for some opinions on how I will finish college. I know we have some really intelligent people on here (and maybe some hiring managers) so I was looking for some input as I am a cross roads on how I will finish school.

    Current choices:
    Bachelor of Business Administration -University of Kansas
    Bachelor of Business Administration - Kansas State University
    Bachelor of General Studies - Fort Hayes State University

    All 3 will require about 6 more classes after this summer. At my age, the degree is more a personal goal as I will most likely never recoup the cost of attendance before I retire or die. I also am pretty burned out on the Business side of things because of petty politics of my current job and am thinking of a career change anyway. I have been accepted to each and taken many classes at both KU and FHSU.

    So here is how I see things:
    Pros: best school, best degree reputation.
    Cons: requires in school classes so will take the longest. Most demanding of my time. Expensive. Basketball School :)

    Deleted - residency requirements would extend school for an extra year...

    Pros: Half the price per class of other 2. I could literally finish with taking any class that simply interests me. Online classes so I can fit time in anywhere. Easiest all around to finish.
    Cons: least prestigious school (many view as an online school despite huge campus in western Kansas).

    What do you guys think? Looking to compare and contrast on things I might have missed.

    And yes I I am not seriously considering the joking comments about basketball vs football or the amount of t-shirts I have :)
  2. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    Answering this question does require a little more detail about the burnout in your current job, as well as what your future goals are.

    First, you mentioned that your burn out is related to the political atmosphere in your current job. If that is the case, perhaps a move to a position in a different company could reinvigorate your zest for the business field. If that is the case, a business degree from a more prestigious university would help you land a more satisfying position in some other firm after you escape from your current one. With that in mind, the UK program would probably be the better choice.

    If, however, your burn out is tied to the entire field, and you have no desire to continue in business, perhaps your better option would be to go for the Ft. Hayes program. If you just want the degree, but don't plan to exploit it, then don't spend more on it than you have to. A prestigious degree might feel good, but that feeling can quickly dissipate if it isn't paying the bills for you.

    Hopefully, these ideas will give you some other factors to consider, going forward. I wish you luck as you puzzle out the right course for your future.

  3. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    A college degree is worth what you make of it, and the average one is toilet paper.
    (Not saying yours will be, but in this economy... :wah:)

    If this is more of a personal goal as you said, go FHSU all the way! If you really expect
    to get it to pay off (and from your comments, it won't) go KU. Despite what BULL says
    about "Jayhawkers". You know what comes out of a Bull, right? ;)
  4. Seriously I know you have put sometime into this BS Degree, but is it too late for you to change? A BS in Admin is a waste of paper. Can you change it to something in computers, robotics, finance, accounting because with just a Bachelor of Business Administration it is like competing with 20 Trillion people that have the same degree and a lot with years of working in it also.

    But back to your question...

    If this is a personal goal then go FHSU
    If you want a better chance of getting hired go KU.

    However, also keep in mind that most folks do not end up working in the field that the degree is in. Companies just want to know you know how to learn.
  5. My requirement is very simple:

    During the interview, I say, "Fill in the blank: guns are for ____?"

    Hunting earns a, "Have a nice day, thanks anyways."
    Self defense earns a, "I am quite interested in your school, tell me more."
    Depends, are you talking about plinking or are you talking about CC? Because there's a broad range of...etc. earns a, *locks the door and unzips fly.*

    Hope this helps.
  6. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    You want FHSU.

    Here's why.

    The prestige and applicability to future employment of KU are irrelevant to you. You stated, "At my age, the degree is more a personal goal as I will most likely never recoup the cost of attendance before I retire or die. I also am pretty burned out on the Business side of things"

    On the other hand, FHSU gives you the options to take what you find interesting and fulfilling. You stated that the degree is "a personal goal." This will allow you to combine your personal goal with your interests.

    No brainer. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
  7. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    A college degree is a foot in the door. Nothing more. Prestige of the University and applicability of the degree can sometimes make the foot bigger, but it's not a shoo in. Experience is twice as important. But a degree with no experience will get you an interview for an entry level long before no degree + no experience will.

    Peace favor your sword,
  8. Atomic_Ed

    Atomic_Ed Member

    My two cents as a person nearing retirement.

    You gotta make your best guess on how you want to spend your working hours as a overall approach to life. I'm not talking about making a career choice (that will change over time), but how do see yourself spending your time at work. Hands on?; working with people?; Abstract problem solving?; Detail analysis?; you get it. Pick a general direction, then the best school choice will naturally fall out of that list.

    That said, I get asked by younger folks all the time for suggestions. My current answer is if your like hands on activities and have some basic math/writing skills, welding inspector.

    Both of my closest friends are in the welding trade. One is a class III welding inspector and has "retired" four times now, but he keeps getting return offers he can't refuse. The other friend started out with a small welding shop and now owns a 20,000 square feet specialty manufacturing business. Both are doing more than better than the rest of us. So if you are looking to enter the trades market, go with the last one and take classes that pertain to the trade that interests you.

    And like undeRGround said, it's the effort afterwards is the deciding factor. Not the school's reputation.
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  9. Back2School

    Back2School Member

    Rock Chalk!

    I can understand a more specialized degree, but the options for a working adult really are not there at night or online. At least not what I have been able to find.

    That has been my thought process lately. Hard to justify paying for personal enrichment as opposed to learning a skill to get employed. Most of my life I have been surrounded by people who hated college passionately - I am the only one in my family that has even taken a single class pass high school. I just need to get past that.

    Edit - My favorite class I had taken was first aid. I took it in case I ever had an issue out on the trail with my Jeep. Real life practical application. It even had me thinking of becoming an EMT just not sure I could do it at my age and as out of shape as I am.

    When I interviewd for my company in Austin, a degree got you to the interview pile while no degree meant no call. For a $14 an hour job. College town so people with degrees were everywhere.

    I m not really trying to "train" for a career (I am 46 years old) I am just trying to finish something I started. I have a fair amount of computer certs (and help desk experience) to fall back on if I decide to go IT, and enough business experience that I just had a headhunter reach out to me for a business analyst job. Edit 2 - Ed I agree completely. One of my nephews is a welder (my brother I think is looking to touch up his skills and go back to it as well). I just know its not for me. I know I can make enough right now to live (honestly my wife could cover us if necessary - I am lucky with that) so for one of the first times in my life I am in the self actualization point of Maslow's needs hierarchy. Just trying to find something to make myself happy. :)

    KU degree = $9600 more $$$ plus books. But, I am somewhat of a snob and one of the things I wanted to do when I started school was to prove to myself I could compete at a top tier university. A long time ago I was a great student but wasted it.

    FHSU = $3600 more plus books. But would be relatively easy to finish online (maybe even fall semester)

    I started this when my company pushed us for certs. I figured if I could read a book and pass a cert exam I could do school. I took the TX entrance exam 2 days after I decided to start school in 2005. I got my AGS by 2007. Been slow going since than because of getting divorced, kids, remarried, moving 5 times and being in FL for 7 months taking care of my dad. Just trying to get back into it and finally finish because I want it. Just tired and ready to be done which is why I am asking for others feedback to make sure I am not skewing things.

    FYI - the wife is adamant I have to finish as a Jayhawker like her, her son and soon her daughter :rolleyes:
  10. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter


    This is just my perspective for resumes I review when looking for new employees. If the degree has "Studies" in the title I stop reading there and go on to the next one. With very few exceptions a "Studies" degree is a degree for those who don't want to work hard and learn the math and science required for most good degrees. That is just my 2 cents worth. I wish you good luck no matter what choice you make.
  11. Back2School

    Back2School Member

    I have seen that before from my own leadership. I know if I go the BGS route, it will only apply for work if someone simply wants a degree. Also, at 46 I am already being told I am too old to have any new good ideas. In tech, once you hit 30 you are done unless its a very conservative place.

    Funny thing is, I already have the math and science done for the harder degree. :D
  12. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    These days degrees from accredited online school are perfectly acceptable. I have an AS in programming I did 100% online, never stepped foot on campus. Still getting job offers even though I have retired because of my spine.
  13. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    My wife's Midlife Crisis Career Change was to switch from being a Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) to a Certified Counselor (yes, State Certified mental health care worker). She took her Masters with Liberty University, which is (started as?) an "online" school. She had a paid Internship lined up right out of graduation.

    On a side note, if you're interested in making money, the mental health field is NOT the career for you. It's selfish of me and, honestly, against my general Libertarian principles, but I keep kinda quietly hoping that the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness program, which Teachers get, will be extended to Mental Health professionals as well; after all, we (as a society) keep blabbering about how there's a Mental Health crisis! in America today and "why-oh-why won't 'someone' do 'something' about it?!?!?!" She's a State and Board Certified, licensed, professional with a Masters in a field which everyone seems convinced we need more of and which is required (legally) to have a crap ton of difficult and expensive pre-training, but yet the Median Salary for the field in the low 40's (not "take home"). Now, ask yourself, would you be willing to put in 4 years college undergrad, 2 years of Masters, and 1 year intern, with the loans for 6 years of college, for a Salary of $40,000?

    Anyway, while "less prestigious," online universities are accepted.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  14. Back2School

    Back2School Member

    Kirk - on your side note, yeah the only people who would do that are those that genuinely do it out of care for their fellow human beings. They take a lot of flack from "real" doctors/nurses ( I know my ex spoke very poorly of the people on the psychiatric floor of Darnell-especially after one of the docs murdered his family the next street over in Cove). They provide a great service but we (collective we) don't like to admit its needed.

    BTW - Thanks everyone for the responses. I guess I was just looking for validation to do what I wanted. I had a long talk with my wife last night and she agreed - I just need to be finished and she knows I will not quit. When I finally admitted what I wanted to do, it was amazing - like a weight was lifted from my shoulders and now I can see the finish line.

    I am finishing @ FHSU. taking 3 classes this summer and going to try 4 this fall. I am taking 2 business classes (ones I care about like HR and leadership stuff) and a fun class - world music (focusing on folk and classical music around the world). Unless something doesn't transfer right, I will graduate in Dec 2015. 10 1/2 years after I started.

    And as my wife stated, these business classes will transfer back to KU (already checked) and if I ever decide I NEED the KU degree, it would only be 5 classes to finish - or just a GMAT and on to an MBA.
  15. Atomic_Ed

    Atomic_Ed Member

    Congrats on getting to a decision. If the angst went away after the discussion with your wife, that tells me you knew what you wanted to do, it was the closure of the issue with your spouse that was nagging you in your head. Always stand in the middle of your own truths.

    About 5 years ago, I made a decision to get a life coaching certificate (2yr program). It was quite a mental jump from a radiation physicist to a life coach. I still work for the government as a physicist (2 more yrs.), but do some coaching on the side. When I retire, I may hang out my shingle, but for now, I only work through personal referrals.
  16. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    Good for you, Back!

    Just remember, as bad as any degree with "general" in it might be valued, gov't jobs don't care what the degree is, or where it's from, and the way things are going, gov't jobs are a growth sector.:p
  17. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Depends on
    government jobs. R&D is on an ever tighter budget.

    And don't forget those free, no pay, vacations that all Civil Servants got during the Sequester hiccups.

    Peace favor your sword,
  18. Back2School

    Back2School Member

    Not to sound ignorant, but how the heck does a white male get into a government job? Without being prior military, I have no security clearance - its one of the things that held me back from finding work on Ft. Hood when I lived in Cove. I ended up having to go 65 miles each way to Austin for a job :(
  19. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    True of the fed and defense side, but I was thinking state and local, and more along the lines of Dept of Ed, Parks and Rec, or Transport. :p
  20. Atomic_Ed

    Atomic_Ed Member

    Well, in the federal arena, there are 3 types of government jobs. To become a "Fed", you have to start at www.usajobs.gov and do a search for what's available in your area. Then begin a torturous process of filling out the application. Several years ago, government offices has some flexibility on the hiring process, no more. Everything goes through this website. Yes, there are points added if you are a minority, veteran or female, but if you are the best qualified, there is a very good chance you'll get the job.

    The federal workforce is getting squeezed down by Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. The hiring for almost all government offices has been brought to a near standstill. And there will be fewer and fewer jobs in the government in the future. My position disappears when I retire and my work gets shifted to other people.

    The next type is a government contractor, such as Lockheed Martin or Bechtel. These contractors have bounding conditions placed on them by the government as far as some HR practices. Other than these conditions the contractors can hire in accordance to their contract conditions.

    There is a third type, call General Support Services. A GSS employee is a contractor that provides personnel to the federal government directly. These contractors serve a government function, but are highly restrictive on what they can do. They cannot have any other contract as a government contractor that may be considered a conflict of interest. I will say that quite a few of our GSS folks have made it into the federal service because they have learned the ropes on getting into the federal service.

    Oh, one other thought would be the federal apprenticeship program. These can have a quicker path into government employment. You might be eligible as a "recent" grad.

    It's way more complicated that the above. Hopefully this will give you some ideas do start doing some web research.