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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: dave_the_wave on November 18, 2016, 04:36:37 PM

Title: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: dave_the_wave on November 18, 2016, 04:36:37 PM
Some background:

I'm debt free and I have a two-year technical degree. I've been promoted into middle management and make $86,000 in my position. I'm going back to school for Electrical Engineering but it is sucking the life out of me because I'm constantly working or at school. I don't have much free time because I'm working full-time and taking a full-time course load at school. Also, I live close to work but have to drive to school, which is about 30 miles roundtrip every day.

I've developed the habit of facepunching myself every time I drive, but right now it's a necessity. The degree will solidify my income a bit because if I were to ever leave the company (though I wouldn't want to because I like my work), I could land another position that pays just as well without having to justify the value of my experience. I may also make more money at my current job as a result of finishing my degree. I have approximately 3 years left of school.

Should I stay the course and finish off the degree?
Title: Re: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: tawyer on November 18, 2016, 04:47:17 PM
Yes, you should stay the course, unless you have something better to do with your free time.
Title: Re: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: JPinkerton524 on November 18, 2016, 04:48:37 PM
What is the cost of school? Are you happy with your current job?

With a 75% SR you could retire in a few short years, keep that in mind when you consider staying in school.

I think it greatly depends on the time you want to stay in Corporate America, and the cost of school.

It's hardly ever ROI positive if you're paying 20k+ per year.

What is your technical degree in?
Title: Re: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: Cassie on November 18, 2016, 04:53:38 PM
Why not go to school p.t. instead of f.t.? It seems to me you are getting burnt out because of the load you are taking on.
Title: Re: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: dave_the_wave on November 18, 2016, 06:25:01 PM
My degree is in Laser/Electro-optics technology. I've worked in the field for a little over 9 years. Very little of my degree transferred to the new college system since I switched states so I had to start over. School is very inexpensive here and my employer pays 75% of all costs. I'm planning on transferring to an in-state 4-year school in about 1 year. I'll be transferring in as a Junior and will only have my major classes to complete. All of my Gen-eds will be done at that time. With my work paying 75% of my schooling, I'll only have to pay out around $5k per year. Surprisingly, cost is not the biggest factor because I will likely get at a minimum a raise equal to what I spend each year on school. It seems to be a solid investment for me. It's just very tiring.

I will be reducing my course load to PT. I definitely will not do well in my courses if I continue FT. I really like my current job but I like learning and taking on new projects too. When I finish my degree, I can replace myself and move on to a higher paying position in Engineering or continue up the management chain. I am very close with the CEO and my boss, I have worked very hard for the company and consider myself a very valuable employee. I plan to stick with the company I work for now for a long time.

My FIRE is on track for ~12 years at my current rate. This will decrease a bit because I will get raises throughout that time, especially if I finish my degree. If I go down to part time, it may take me closer to 4 more years to complete my Bachelor's degree. It just seems like a really long time of not having much free time. *Throws awesome pity party*

Has anyone been through this? Is there a light at the end of this tunnel?
Title: Re: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on November 18, 2016, 08:21:05 PM
From a financial perspective it seems to make complete sense to stay the course.   That would be very draining mentally to withstand for 4 years but I am in the camp that thinks it makes sense.  I have lost my employment twice in my career for things I feel I could not control.  You gain flexibility to work elsewhere which you already know and your current employment may not be ideal for the next 12 years. 

BTW, I am currently finishing a 3 year designation that would be considered a 20% workload and I cannot wait to be done...I feel your pain!
Title: Re: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: lthenderson on November 19, 2016, 07:34:47 AM
Option C, reduce your course load to part time and keep working your full time job.
Title: Re: Is it worth it to keep going to school?
Post by: clarkfan1979 on November 19, 2016, 05:19:01 PM
Reduce the course load and keep the job.