Author Topic: Experiences going back to school after FIRE?  (Read 537 times)

YoungInvestor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
Experiences going back to school after FIRE?
« on: March 21, 2019, 07:41:36 PM »
Hi,

While I've always had an interest in science and doing research, I chose to pursue a field in which a good work-life balance and high salary would be achievable. This worked in that I am now in a fairly high paying job (120-140k/year in my mid-20s) which I do enjoy, even though it's not a passion.

Due to this, I've always had this secret plan of going back to school to study biomedical sciences as a sort of second career without financial imperatives.

I'm set to reach a basic FIRE at around 32-34 years old, perhaps sooner if my salary continues to increase. So assuming I'd be in my mid-30s, I'm wondering what it would be like to be a student among people in their late teens at that age.

Also, if I choose to pursue scientific research, I'm looking at being a grad student in my 40s. Somehow it feels like that would be awkward. It also feels like doing what you want is the whole point of FI anyway.

Do some people here have similar objectives or is anyone going through (or went through) that process? What should I do to make sure that's the right decision?

Even if you have different goals, any thoughts? I'm sure lots of people with different objectives have similar concerns.

Thank you!

YoungInvestor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
Re: Experiences going back to school after FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2019, 07:42:44 PM »
Terribly sorry about the triple post. Could a mod clean that up?

reeshau

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
Re: Experiences going back to school after FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 03:26:10 AM »
Do you already have an undergraduate degree?  Did you take some basic science courses during the course of that degree?  Or at least, some math?  I ask, because you may not need another undergrad degree to proceed.  (or, it might be quite accelerated, if you get credit for some classes, at least)  It's quite common for MBA students, for example, to have a few undergrad "core courses" before moving directly to their graduate degree.  I have an engineering bachelors, and had a handful of classes before beginning my MBA.

In terms of awkwardness, I think working with younger people can be very energizing.  And you will be aghast at their lack of discipline.  But you don't have to give them allowance or get them out of bed, so there's that.

In terms of working in a graduate degree, it depends on the school but I think you will find quite a mixture: second careers, as you have; ex-military on their GI Bill, people who took time off for kids.  No big deal in grad school.

YoungInvestor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
Re: Experiences going back to school after FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 06:23:21 AM »
Do you already have an undergraduate degree?  Did you take some basic science courses during the course of that degree?  Or at least, some math?  I ask, because you may not need another undergrad degree to proceed.  (or, it might be quite accelerated, if you get credit for some classes, at least)  It's quite common for MBA students, for example, to have a few undergrad "core courses" before moving directly to their graduate degree.  I have an engineering bachelors, and had a handful of classes before beginning my MBA.

In terms of awkwardness, I think working with younger people can be very energizing.  And you will be aghast at their lack of discipline.  But you don't have to give them allowance or get them out of bed, so there's that.

In terms of working in a graduate degree, it depends on the school but I think you will find quite a mixture: second careers, as you have; ex-military on their GI Bill, people who took time off for kids.  No big deal in grad school.

You make a good point. I already have a BSc in actuarial science (and an MBA too). All of the maths/stats would be done with as well as a few electives. From a cursory glance, I would be looking at 2.5 years to complete the undergrad.

Thanks for your perspective on the student population. Everyone in my MBA class was older than me, but I assumed grad school in other fields would almost exclusively be younger students fresh off of their undergrad.

pecunia

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1183
Re: Experiences going back to school after FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2019, 06:31:03 AM »
"I'm set to reach a basic FIRE at around 32-34 years old, perhaps sooner if my salary continues to increase. So assuming I'd be in my mid-30s, I'm wondering what it would be like to be a student among people in their late teens at that age."

Your maturity should be an asset.  I was lucky enough to go to school with a group of veterans.  They were more serious than the younger students.  I was one of the younger students and their example became an asset to my own study habits.