Author Topic: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?  (Read 3899 times)

jeromedawg

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Hey all,

So first off, I'm going to say that I'm a huge procrastinator and totally should have already taken care of this by now. But I haven't, so I'm trying to get an idea of what I should (or shouldn't do) in terms of me wanting to get a certification. It's for the CISSP (security management cert) and I'm wanting to take a prep-course for it, which also offers an independent cert called the GISP. There's probably some overlap between both to where I could get away with just taking the course (no GISP) and then sitting for the CISSP. As a side note, my company offers tuition assistance which is nice, and doing it this way would also keep me from spending one or two hundred extra bucks since the cost of taking the course + both exams would go slightly above what tuition assistance covers through my employer.

That aside, the earliest online courses taught by a *live* instructor are in Sept and Dec and go for about 5-6 weeks. They also offer ondemand courses that I can take anytime (these essentially are mp3s, but I have to discipline myself to actually sit and listen through them). We have baby #1 on the way due in August, so I'm trying to figure out if I should try rushing to squeeze all of this out before that. Or if I should just take my time and just go with the Sept or Dec live offerings and also take my time and schedule the exam way far out in advance.

Part of the apprehension of doing it now is to feel too rushed into doing it and succumbing to analysis paralysis during the exam. Also, the next closest exam offering on the weekend is mid-Sept, which will be when the baby is here. I could take the exam during a workday and take PTO or whatever but that would be once less PTO day to use for when the baby is here (I'm planning to take a week after he's born and additional time as needed... nice thing is our work recently implemented 4 weeks of paid paternity/maternity leave so that'll help... but every single vacation day otherwise I still consider gold)

I'm sure most people will tell me "you are not going to have a life once the baby comes" so just wanted to get a gauge from any of you who have been in this sort of situation or predicament. The cert is something I've always been on the fence about where it's really something I probably should get but have either been too lazy or procrastinating because "it's not *that* important" - I think it would be good for my career overall though, in the long-run. Also keeping in mind that we'll be going to a single-income pretty soon (within the next half-year) as we are planning to have my wife stay at home.

Any thoughts or advice?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 01:52:09 PM by jplee3 »

historienne

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 01:56:42 PM »
Do it now.  Do it now!  DO IT NOW!

I work outside the home, but I had a four month maternity leave.  I would have been deeply, deeply unhappy if my husband had scheduled his workload to take on extra responsibilities for the few months after our daughter was born.  I was spending literally all day long with a baby attached to me - she screamed whenever we put her down. Your baby may be easier than mine was, but you can't count on that.  Some days, I was counting down the seconds until my husband was off work and I was finally able to nap/shower/eat a proper meal.

If you can't do it now, can you put it off until your baby is 6+ months old?  Once you have a real sleep routine established, it will be easier to carve out time in the evenings to work.  But for at least the first six months, I would be very wary of committing to anything extra. 

Krolik

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 02:27:25 PM »
Do it now.  Do it now!  DO IT NOW!

+1
You will be simply exhausted for the first few months and won't have energy/time to prepare for your certification.
For me personally first few months after our daughter was born were difficult and all I wanted was to sleep and/or have a moment to myself.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 02:29:01 PM by Krolik »

jeromedawg

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 02:31:56 PM »
Thanks! I'm definitely inclined to do it now, but scheduling of the CISSP is a bit trickier for that matter. I suppose what I could do is go ahead and take the course and do the GISP exam, then wait until January 2016 or later to take the CISSP. That way I would still stay under budget for this year. The only problem with that is knowledge retention between the time I take the course+GISP and then take the CISSP... it could be close to a year!

jeromedawg

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 03:59:06 PM »
Ugh, so if I wait to do the course in Nov/Dec, I could really maximize on the tuition assistance budget. It turns out that by taking this course, I qualify to renew another cert I have with the organization (cert expires in 2016) - I would basically accrue enough continuing education course credits to qualify for the renewal but there is a renewal fee for $399. If I tack on the renewal fee for the other cert + the cost of the course and the cert that comes with it, I'll be close to maxing out on the tuition.

This is why I was considering doing it at the end of the year. They give us 4 months of access to the course material from the date the course starts (in this case, I'm assuming not long after purchased since it's an on-demand course). That would spill into 2016 and allow me more time to study for the actual CISSP, on top of a clean slate budget for that year.

Question is how distracted I'll be with the baby around during that time. That'll be around the 4-5 month mark... ugh

TrMama

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2015, 04:52:30 PM »
Do it now! Do it now! DO IT YESTERDAY!

Seriously, you run the risk of losing out on both the certification and any tuition assistance if you gamble on doing it in the fall. You also run the near certain risk of your wife resenting you for procrastinating.

If you need any more motivation, go put your hand on your wife's belly so you can feel that little alien kick you. He's in there, and coming out soon!

jeromedawg

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2015, 05:27:43 PM »
Screw it, I don't think all this can happen in the time-frame of a month or two. It's such a tedious exam based on what I'm reading, that it can take up to half a year or more to study for. That said, I'm probably gonna just keep reading about others' experiences who have taken it and either passed/failed but all said how difficult it is. Then get intimidated and procrastinate more and end up never doing it. It's been this way for the past 7 years or so, so not sure why I'm trying to get myself excited it about it now. LOL
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 05:32:42 PM by jplee3 »

mozar

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2015, 08:53:40 PM »
Are you anxious about the test? I kept failing the cpa (tried 4 times over 5 years) and I finally realized it was due to test anxiety. So I have gotten help for that and decided to try an easier test. I passed the first of three (of the easier test) so I just got to get it together now for the other two.

madamwitty

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2015, 09:07:55 PM »
Memory is severely compromised when you are sleep deprived. Studying may not be very effective during the first few months...or even first year. You won't know ahead of time how well or poorly your baby will sleep.

jeromedawg

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2015, 10:30:01 PM »
Are you anxious about the test? I kept failing the cpa (tried 4 times over 5 years) and I finally realized it was due to test anxiety. So I have gotten help for that and decided to try an easier test. I passed the first of three (of the easier test) so I just got to get it together now for the other two.

Part of it is probably anxiety as I have flashbacks of a crazy-hard test I failed a couple years ago. Since that test though I did pass another slightly easier test. This one I'm not sure what to make of though. It's a completely different format than what I'm used to and sounds like it's very conceptual and higher-level (they want you to think like a manager, which I've never been in the role of). Lots and lots of twisted questions (think: all questions are the wrong answer - choose the least wrong of them). Based on recent experiences of others, it doesn't sound like the kind of test I could really hammer out studying for in a month's time. The baby is pretty much due at any time in August (23rd was the due date given by the doc).

Memory is severely compromised when you are sleep deprived. Studying may not be very effective during the first few months...or even first year. You won't know ahead of time how well or poorly your baby will sleep.

Yea, I don't know if I see this happening this year then. This is really something I should have resolved to do much earlier (hindsight is 20/20... sigh). I guess I'll just have to assume and plan for the worst. The cert will have to wait, and if it's really that important we'll figure something out. Right now, things are stable... I guess part of my "fear" or "concern" is that I'll be transitioning to sole provider and I'm starting to think of ways to supplant our income once my wife stops working.

mozar

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2015, 08:36:22 PM »
You can always do it later, as long as you actually do it. I'm stable too now, but everyone (here) says ageism is around the corner.

MsPeacock

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2015, 06:42:34 PM »
Do it now! Omg what ever is difficult, time consuming, boring, etc will be approximately 15,000x more problematic after the baby comes.

I think I was sleep deprieved for 3 1/2 years with the first one and another year with the second, at minimum. Aferr that I was 40 and my brain was shot anyhow.

Distshore

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2015, 07:22:38 PM »
I just finished my MBA, starting my last subject with a 6 week old baby and finishing when he was 4.5 months old.  He's an easy baby.
Do it now.  Do not wait.  I front-loaded the work as much as possible and frankly would not have done it at all except it was my last credit and I wasn't going to give up 1 credit short of an MBA.
It will be way harder after the baby arrives.

stlbrah

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Re: Studying for Certification (work-related) before or after baby?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2015, 01:55:12 PM »
I need to get my ass moving on the CISSP too.