Is it ever too late?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by ThreeJsDad, Feb 26, 2020.

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  1. Feb 26, 2020 #1

    ThreeJsDad

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    I have shared with some that my skills seem to be obsolete in terms of finding employment. I have worked with my hands most of my life. I am considered by some to be a master craftsman when it comes to wood and composites.
    A friend once referred to me as the most under educated person he had ever met. He explained that I had the capacity to understand difficult and complex subjects but I had not finished a college degree. I really didn't think much of it. I now realize I should have thought about his comment more.

    Now I find myself at 54 years old and the type of jobs I have always had are gone. There was a time when the skills I have were in very high demand. This may still be true in some areas but that is not the case in our area. The other factor is my health, I am simply not as capable of the lifting and kneeling I once was.

    Here is the really scary part, I am seriously looking into going back to school full time to become a science teacher. I have found a program that can get me certified in under 3 years. If I was even a little younger this would not be so scary but I will be 57 when I get done.

    I have CAD and Revit classes starting in a couple of weeks but I am not sure that will be enough. It has always bothered me that I did not complete a college degree. My wife and kids think me going to College is a great idea but I am terrified.
     
  2. Feb 26, 2020 #2

    SmallTownOhioRockets

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    Listen, I'm not even in high school yet, but you got to try to relax. Stress isn't going to make college go any faster, and it's not going to make you any younger. So relax, and everything will work out.
     
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  3. Feb 26, 2020 #3

    Hardline

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    In 3 years you will still be 57 regardless of what you do.

    Buck up little camper and go and get it started!
     
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  4. Feb 26, 2020 #4

    SmallTownOhioRockets

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    That's right, not doing it is not gonna make you younger.
     
  5. Feb 26, 2020 #5

    Exactimator

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    I have several friends who have changed careers mid-life. Some relocated from one region to another. One left the medical world and became a specialized subject high school teacher. She gets paid well and has summers off. Someone else I know left a career in law and became a mortician. She didn't have much money for a while but she's doing fine now.

    I remember in college one of my classmates was an older (65+) guy who was on oxygen. He rolled his little O2 tank into class and it sat on the floor while he learned. We all thought it was awesome a guy who could have been retired was going to school.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide.
     
  6. Feb 26, 2020 #6

    ThreeJsDad

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    Thanks guys. The irony is I am getting some sage advice from someone in the age group I want to teach....

    I was just turning a NC for someone and remembered a friend who applied to medical school when he was in his 60's. He was a retired Engineer.

    I guess age is relative.
     
  7. Feb 26, 2020 #7

    Speaknoevil

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    As a highly educated person, I believe college degrees are overrated. In fact, I believe over the next two decades the typical bachelors, masters, doctorate path will be a thing of the past. Demographics and the gig economy will favor a skill certificate model. This is happening big time in the Midwest where we have booming pockets of tech and a dearth of readily available candidates. I would encourage you to look at high-tech independently sponsored programs that follow the model developed by Scott Jones as an example, Eleven Fifty Academy. You will end up with more marketable skills in a far shorter period of time. This, of course, assumes software/tech is an area of interest for you, if not, then disregard. The trend will affect all disciplines, it is just beginning in software and healthcare for now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  8. Feb 26, 2020 #8

    Kelly

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    I wouldn't worry about it being too late for more education. One concern I would have in your situation (because it has impacted me) is age discrimination. It's real, and in some fields you're just not going to get a foot in the door. I don't know whether this is true for teachers - I'm not familiar with that field - but before embarking on a journey such as this (for ANY career) I would do some research to see what jobs are available, where they are, and how likely YOU are to get hired as a 54 year old new college graduate.
    I'm not trying to discourage you AT ALL, but go into this with open eyes - don't spend 3 years and thousands of dollars without knowing first what the payoff for this investment is.
     
  9. Feb 26, 2020 #9

    ThreeJsDad

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    Thanks, Isn't interesting that the right path or decision is often the one that is more difficult or scary.
     
  10. Feb 26, 2020 #10

    ThreeJsDad

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    You are quite right, I am dealing with it a bit now. I believe my age is hurting me when applying to any positions I am qualified for. A buddy my age pointed out that folks with our experience are perceived to be more expensive for employers.

    I know the Principal where my wife teaches and where my daughter goes to school. I may ask them how they feel about older folks going into teaching.
     
  11. Feb 26, 2020 #11

    neil_w

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    All good suggestions so far, so I'll add a dumb one. As a side gig, you could make custom rocket parts for people. I know you were already thinking of doing a small kit run. There are relatively few folks out there doing custom balsa turning. Dunno about custom composite work.

    I am definitely *not* suggesting you make this your full-time occupation, and I don't know if it's worth the aggravation even as a side gig.
     
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  12. Feb 26, 2020 #12

    Speaknoevil

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    One thing I would add, which I have learned the hard way, "Your value as a person does not come from you livelihood." Recognizing this fact has helped me with many life changes and any negative thought patterns that might arise from such.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  13. Feb 26, 2020 #13

    ThreeJsDad

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    Thanks Bud and I do enjoy that kind of stuff.
     
  14. Feb 26, 2020 #14

    NateB

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    I'm 37 and going back to finish my degree one class at a time. I rotate day and night shift, so online classes fit my needs. I have great grade, but it hasn't been easy adapting to an entirely new way of learning from when I was in high school and started college before dropping out and going to medic school.

    In our area, teachers have to have a masters in education and a degree in whatever field they are teaching too. I wish you luck finishing your education. It isn't easy, but will be worth it.
     
  15. Feb 26, 2020 #15

    ThreeJsDad

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    I learned that one a long time back. Once upon a time I made a lot of $$ but I did not like who I was.

    I would agree and that is a subject you and I would probably really enjoy discussing at length.
     
  16. Feb 26, 2020 #16

    sandeja1

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    As some one who is close to you in age I would say this. You are worth far more as an individual than any "piece of paper"/degree can possibly provide you. This is true for everyone else, no matter their age, as well. I do not have a college degree of any kind, nor am I close to getting one. Unless you count my enrollment in the masters program of the "school of hard knocks". :)

    Regardless of the salary that I earn, I get FAR more reward/compensation from serving at my place of worship on Sunday's that I do from all the other days I work at my "job".

    No matter what you chose to do, always remember, you can never be compensated enough for the person that you are. You are only "renting" your capabilities and skills to someone else. Your "value" only increases as you gain experience.

    You are never too "old", or "young", to have value to those that are around you.
     
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  17. Feb 26, 2020 #17

    ThreeJsDad

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    NC doesn't require a Masters and there isn't even a pay bump for having one. My wife has two Masters degrees and I am sure some retail managers make more $$ than she does but she loves teaching. Where we grew up NY, teachers can start teaching with a BA but have to complete a Masters Degree within 5 years of starting to teach.

    Here in NC they are starving for teachers.
     
  18. Feb 26, 2020 #18

    75Grandville

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    I think you are the only one that can decide it's too late. There is some truth to the old saw about being only as old as you think you are. I'm 51 - my brain keeps insisting I'm still much younger, while my body - well, let's just say I'm making a decision about another round of back surgery:). You certainly would not be the first to pursue this path! Other than being in the same age bracket, I don't have much direct experience in the area, and so can only offer encouragement.

    I would second what others have mentioned - a cost benefit analysis. How much $ will it cost to go back to school, vs how much do you expect to earn in your new career. I throw this out there based on my own experience and thoughts. My kids are approaching college age (more quickly than I'd like). Their mom and I both got advanced degrees. Mine has translated into a great job with a good salary, and quick loan payoff. Hers, not so much. I worry about my kids going to college for a degree they can't afford in a field that won't make their loan payments. I also live in a state with some of the worst teacher pay and retention rates in the country.
     
  19. Feb 26, 2020 #19

    ThreeJsDad

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    Wow, since you headed down this path I will walk along for a moment. I agree 100% !! I have told many of my friends I have nothing left to prove to anyone. I have helped to raise three amazing kids, 17, 19 and 22. They are great people and all three will all be in College in the fall. My wife has been by my side for over 20 years. I have done some amazing things and accomplished some awesome stuff.

    If I do this and pursue my degree it is for me. God has given me some awesome gifts and in some ways I have not made the best use of those gifts. When the day comes that I stand before my Lord there are two very specific things I do not want to have to answer for, one is being low quality Father and the other is squandering the gifts I was given.
     
  20. Feb 26, 2020 #20

    ThreeJsDad

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    My son is pursuing a degree where he will not make a lot of income but he is pursuing what he is passionate about. He passed on nice scholarships to some great Engineering schools to attend a state school and go into Music Education. He is pursuing what he is passionate about and hopefully he can have the career he is hoping for.

    As a teacher in NC I wont make a lot of money but I am really after other rewards. Sure I need to have money to live but I don't need a boat or an exotic car, shoot I don't even need to fly an M motor to be happy. Maybe I am so fixated on teaching because I wish there had been a truly passionate teacher in my life when I was growing up.

    On the age thing, In so many ways I am younger now than I was 20 years back. I am definitely more passionate about things and more eager to learn new things.
     
  21. Feb 26, 2020 #21

    NateB

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    It isn't good that they are starving for teachers, we are in Indiana too. It is great that the requirements to teach are easily in reach!

    I also tell people to pursue their passions. When you are passionate about your career, it hardly seems like a chore and makes your life much better. I won't get rich, but I enjoy helping people and love my career. Teaching would give the same rewards.
     
  22. Feb 26, 2020 #22

    boatgeek

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    Definitely not too late, especially in composites. That is a large and growing field and companies likely need people to train up the young kids they’re getting in now. You could look for composites manufacturing in your area or add CAD to your resume and look at places outside your area once your children are off to college. One example out near me is Janicki Industries (Janicki.com).

    Teaching is also a great option if that is rewarding to you. I have heard that many school districts want to bring back shop classes but have trouble finding the teachers for those classes. Also, at least out here, teacher salary is by years of service so they don’t have to pay you more because you’re older. From a cold hearted accountant’s perspective, you’re the dream candidate because you’re cheap now and you’ll probably retire before you get to be expensive! :)
     
  23. Feb 26, 2020 #23

    BABAR

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    I wish you the best. Regarding teaching, do you LIKE to teach? If so, and if you live in an area that is hiring (or are willing to move to one that is), and if you can live on a teacher's salary, go for it. One key for a person at your stage in life is health insurance. I am pretty sure that most full time public teachers are covered, and you have a substantial amount of time before you are Medicare eligible.

    Having had relatives who went uninsured and paid a hefty price for it (meconium happens), going without health insurance is a risk you probably don't want to take.

    Whatever route you go, if you decide on college or a trade school, make sure you talk to the people who are hiring. Likewise I have plenty of relatives who go college degrees that didn't lead to jobs, so make sure whatever schoolin' or trainin' you do hits the target you want.

    Remember, if you aim at nothing, you will almost certainly hit it!
     
  24. Feb 26, 2020 #24

    mbeels

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    To tag onto this idea, there may be some other niche positions with unusual job requirements that would benefit from your experiences and skills. For example, at my alma matter we employed a full time machinist in the basement of the physics building. The Chemists had a full time glass blower. Every job was custom, unique, and challenging, so it was not the type of work that was easy to farm out. It was beneficial for the grad students and professors to be able to explain in person, with much hand-waving, gesturing, and pencil drawing what was required.

    Maybe in some mechanical engineering, aerospace, research materials lab, or similar there is a need for a skilled fabricator such as yourself.
     
  25. Feb 26, 2020 #25

    ThreeJsDad

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    Actually I Love to teach. My wife has said many times I would be amazing in a class room. I have taught two day seminars for rocket clubs, fly tying classes, done reptile expos for grade school and middle school kids, coached the HS archery team and taught sewing classes... I definitely tend to aim small.....

    My wife is a school teacher and we have been on her medical insurance even when I worked for large companies.
     
  26. Feb 26, 2020 #26

    ThreeJsDad

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    You nailed it my friend, this is why I am taking the CAD and 3-D modeling classes in March. While I am taking those classes I am also gearing up to get my teaching degree.
     

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