Author Topic: My true cost of going to college/university later in life it worth it?  (Read 2776 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I am currently studying patrt as I work full time. I am in my 30's but closer to 40 than 30, so by the time I finish my undergrad teh reality is I may actually be in my 40's.

I will see this out as a) I am over half way and b) I believe in finishign what I start in these situations.

One current advantage is that I pay as I go to some degree, so upon completetion of my undergrad my student loan wil be somewhat minimal.

Now for the crunch...

I dont have any savings (I live week to week  and still use a credit card to top things up) I would like to do postgrad studies , but wonder if they are worth it ?

The questions I ask myself are:

 by the time I finish posgrad studies it may be 5 or 6 years down the track at least from 2015. ...

so by teh time I (hopefully) start establishing myself in my chosen field I will be competing against younger folk who have the same qualification and lonegr to establish themselves, or against people already established in the field.

By studyign for another 6 + years I am cutting out 6+ years of earning money and in turn having money work for me.

All of which leaves me over 40 with no savings ...this screams FIRE to me...

the other side of me is complet emy undergrad and thgen grind hard for a few years and establish a sound financial base and then re-evaluate the situation.

Is anyone on the same situation or has been here before ? or any input at all is welcome.

Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 06:42:12 PM by Hudson »


  • Walrus Stache
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What are you studying?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Currently doing statistics...not that it come nataurally , but its fascinating, (would love to postgrad in sports science though)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Based on your priorities it might not be such a bad idea to continue with school.  My mom graduated nursing school at 58 just because she was bored and wanted to do something different.  She could have continued to be a med tech and sailed into retirement, but she decided that going back to school paying for it out-of-pocket and loosing 2 years worth of earnings was worth it.  Granted my dad still worked and their house was almost paid off with a decent size in retirement accounts.

It seems like you will be finishing undergrad no matter what so I'll comment about grad school.  I would recommend really asking yourself why you want to do graduate studies?  Is it for the prestige, the piece of paper or the just pursuit of knowledge?  If it's just for personal knowledge then do it as cost effective as you can, meaning you might now even need to enroll in a program just do self study. 

Another alternative is to get your employer to pay for it, you'll know if your studies will actually be work-related.  You said you wanted to get into sport science, which if related to statistics is along the lines of calculating shooting percentages, batting averages, team statistics.   I'm afraid that you would need PhD level credentials to develop those systems, but you don't need a PhD to help implement them.  Basically let the brianiacs work on the math and you can work on the data input, management, and presentation.

You should have a very concrete plan on how your post grad studies will help you get into the career you want.  Not some general idea, I mean like talking to people in the industry and getting their advice specific information.

Good luck.


  • Pencil Stache
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You didn't mention any useful information.

What is the expected reasonable range of career outcomes with a bachelors vs masters level degree in the fields?

Is the difference worth the additional 1-2 years?
Is the difference worth the additional happiness/pleasure/career progression/career opportunities/geographic flexibility/job lifestyle?

Some people who study statistics become actuaries and go on to make 350k+ within 10 years of graduation. Others become high school teachers making 45k. Others work in data analysis and make a more reasonable 100-125k 5-10 years out, depending how aggressively they work hard and seek out progressive responsibility.

Where do you fall? What is your desired career path?

Please elaborate.

ALSO. Consider what is typical for people with a similar degree and graduating from your school (and other similar level institutions).


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Current goal is to do data analysis in the Sports Science field (eg when they are doign fitness testign of athletes , analysing performance metrics etc)

I've foudn it hard to get a gauge on income as there doesnt seem to be a lot of info available . I have found info on salaries for data analysts, but I believe it would be less for those in the sports science field due the funding sources available (possibly it woudl be along the lines of workign in academia ??perhaps)

A lot of the roles I have seen cal for a Masters as a minimum.

I have spoken to some peopel in the field and have been advised to do post grad studies.

I think my big concern is stuyding for som nay years will prevent me having any savings over that time ( I have nil now as well) and then age is workign against this.