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Old 08-09-2012, 04:18 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by nitrousjunkie View Post
I don't know what the BAH rate is where you're at, but I would go to school full time and work part time. You said you already receive disability and that covers your mortgage. The BAH would help off set your loss of income with working part time. Have you talked to the VA about your GI Bill benefits yet?
Yea i have, already have my certificate of eligibility. The BAH depends on what school you are going to and the COL for the area. Around my area its alright. I think im going to try my hand at getting some better math classes and higher core classes out of the way here at my CC then move on to finish my degree at a traditional school.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:01 PM   #32
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Punity, if you don't mind some advice...

I'm 27, have a B.S. in Biology and work full time for an environmental engineering company here in Raleigh. My degree has allowed me to get the job I have now, but doesn't provide the needed education to really move up in my company. The engineers in my company are the ones who are paid the highest, have the best career mobility, and are rarely laid off. I'm taking classes at my local community college for an associates degree in Civil Engineering. If I could go back in time, I would have made myself major in civil engineering. The civil engineers that I've worked with seem to have more opportunities across different fields than most people I know. There is a serious need and demand for civil engineers (and engineers in general) so I doubt you would have a difficult time finding a job in that field.

My advice would be: continue to work in your current job and take part-time classes at your local community college. Not only are these classes CHEAP (My classes are $56 a credit), but they'll typically be transferred over by the public universities in your state should you decide you want a 4 year degree. Take 2 - 3 classes a semester, but continue to work and bring in a paycheck so you're not making a drastic lifestyle change. If you do lose your current job, it should make a positive impression on your future employer that you're looking ahead to the future and not just focused on the present. My 2 cents.

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:06 PM   #33
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Punity, if you don't mind some advice...

I'm 27, have a B.S. in Biology and work full time for an environmental engineering company here in Raleigh. My degree has allowed me to get the job I have now, but doesn't provide the needed education to really move up in my company. The engineers in my company are the ones who are paid the highest, have the best career mobility, and are rarely laid off. I'm taking classes at my local community college for an associates degree in Civil Engineering. If I could go back in time, I would have made myself major in civil engineering. The civil engineers that I've worked with seem to have more opportunities across different fields than most people I know. There is a serious need and demand for civil engineers (and engineers in general) so I doubt you would have a difficult time finding a job in that field.

My advice would be: continue to work in your current job and take part-time classes at your local community college. Not only are these classes CHEAP (My classes are $56 a credit), but they'll typically be transferred over by the public universities in your state should you decide you want a 4 year degree. Take 2 - 3 classes a semester, but continue to work and bring in a paycheck so you're not making a drastic lifestyle change. If you do lose your current job, it should make a positive impression on your future employer that you're looking ahead to the future and not just focused on the present. My 2 cents.
Solid advice i appreciate it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:25 PM   #34
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I rarely jump in to serious advice threads as I tend to visit this site for brewing ideas and fun, but I just had to weigh in on this one. As an ex-military myself, I used my GI bill while working full time. It was hard but it can be done. You need to choose the method you feel works best for you.

If you are working with DCS and enjoy it, you could look into a general management degree, even one from University of Phoenix, get proficient in PLC and HMI platforms and end up running a tech department. I have been in industry for a few years.... (more than 15) .... I manage maintenance for multiple facilities and enjoy my work. Pay and bennies not so bad either. Many HR managers that I know respect UoP as it really does require effort and study, and many experienced high level managers used real life experience (OJT in industry) coupled with UoP or similar on line degrees to move up. Granted your CEO's and CFO's normally have your high-level brick and mortar degrees, but it all depends on what you want to do in life.

I guess my advice is this; Don't write off experience and an on-line degree as a path to success. It can work for you if you want it to.

Thank you for your service, I hope this helps without muddying the waters too much.

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #35
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No its great advice.

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Old 12-18-2012, 10:43 AM   #36
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Perhaps you should go into the garage door selling buisness in southern India?

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:23 AM   #37
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Try to stay positive - it may feel like our backed into a corner, but there are always options. The economy seems to be good for people who have jobs (much easier to get another while you're actively employed). I've also seen projections that need for workers, especially in IT, will quickly outpace supply as soon as the baby boomers retire. There's no one to replace them, and companies won't be able to outsource enough to compensate.

On the IT side, especially in functional areas (working with administering/maintaining solutions like Oracle an SAP) there's a lot of opportunity. There's also the traditional help desk/support IT, network engineering, system development (programming), web development, etc. I'm not much of a programmer, so I got my degree in information systems - it lends itself more to the functional side.

I'd stay away from online "for profit" universities if you can. They don't give you the interaction or networking that will help you succeed post college, and it takes a lot of additional effort to stay engaged an learn. In my case online learning goes in one ear and out the other most of the time - but it's different for everyone. Lastly, there have been some big news stories over the past few years about online universities going bankrupt an taking students money without providing a degree. If you have to go with online options, stick to the big ones like UoP or find an accredited non profit state university that does distance learning.

+1 on starting up at a community college part time. It's much cheaper, you can figure out if engineering, IS, or something else is what you want (those math classes are painful). A good GPA proves to full time universities that you are serious.

+1 for staying in your current job as long as your paycheck is clearing/until you get another job. The more work experience you have on your resume the better, and it'll build up your best egg for when you need it. If you can find a job that pays well and pays for classes, that would be a great supplement to your GI bill funds.

This last one is a little bit of a pipe dream, but you may want to look into it. See if any of the local universities have jobs related to your current experience or for IT support. The pay is usually decent, the benefits are great, an you can take courses for free.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, and I'll send you my email address. I've been in IT & Systems Integration consulting for 10 years and do a lot of college recruiting, and most of my friends are either IT or engineers. I'm happy to bounce ideas back and forth.

Best of luck!

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:57 PM   #38
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I was in the same situation as you 5 years ago. 2 years out of the Corps, deciding if I should do college or not since my current job paid the bills but didn't fit my long term goals.

Go to school. Part time is easy, night classes, online classes, CLEP, whatever you need to do to use that GIB. I got my AA in EET with my GIB, got hired on at a National laboratory, and I'm now on my way to my EE with tuition help from my current employer.

I would never leave a job to go to college, especially having a family, but if you crunch the numbers and can swing the budget, a college degree is as near-to a guaranteed salary increase as you will ever find.

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Old 12-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #39
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FWIW

My first year in college was a disaster. Booze, pool rooms and very poor behavior had me out on my ear after the second semester.

Four years of night school and full time work for the Railway Express got my head together and I was admitted back into a regular university program. Luckily all my science credits were accepted and I was able to enter as a senior, only having to take a bunch of easy electives along with a small number of degree specific courses in the field I chose. Due to the fairly light load of difficult courses I was able to keep working full time (driving truck and working the loading docks on the midnight shift) and still keep my head above water both money wise and grade wise.

Hard? Yes, at times, but if you want to, you can do it. Like the tortoise and the hare, do your best and stick to it.

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Old 12-19-2012, 04:58 PM   #40
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As a fellow vet who went to school on the GI Bill.

If I were you I would:

Keep the job you have for as long as you can and go to community college out of pocket and get out of debt. Get your gen ed's done and get your smart transcript credits in the system @ community college. Good fulltime permanent jobs are hard to come by anymore.

Wait until you your done with your gen ed's and leave your job if you haven't already and then go to university full time work part time. Use your GI Bill for the more expensive courses.

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