Author Topic: Would you aim to get a degree if you were in my position?  (Read 844 times)


  • Bristles
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  • Location: UK
Would you aim to get a degree if you were in my position?
« on: August 14, 2019, 04:51:44 AM »
Hi all,

I'm looking for advice on my career/life.  So I'll start with a bit of background info:

I'm going to be 26 next month.  I live in a MCOL area (Manchester, UK).  I have a long term girlfriend who I intend to marry in the near future and to start a family.  We own a house worth around 270k with a 195k mortgage.  My N/W excluding home value is around 25k.  I work within my family business, I'm a listed director and I have a pre-tax salary of 35k pa + bonuses.  My S/O earns 30k pa.  I assume she would go part time when we have children, but we haven't discussed this at length.

The family businesses are mostly IT companies + we sell some products on Amazon.  I'm not a techy, but I worked my way up from low level customer service, to account management and higher level customer support (as well as taking on other roles such as HR, Finance etc that you tend to get roped into within a small company), I also manage procurement and other roles regarding our amazon business.  I have a reasonably good understanding of computers and how to fix issues with them, however I don't know much about coding.  Within our company, we (myself and my father) feel slightly threatened that neither of us is capable of coding.  We feel that the developement team have too much control in that department and could metaphorically hold a gun to our heads when negotiating salaries etc.  That's not to say we employ horrible, unreasonable people - we just think it makes sense to identify where we could potentially have problems further down the line and tackle them accordingly.  We also feel it would help us improve our existing software and create more 'lines' moving forward if i had the ability to code (especially smartphone apps).

As a result, we've discussed the idea of University.  I would be encouraged to study on a part time basis alongside my current role.  I've looked at the open university who're targeted towards people like myself and here is an example of a potential course I could register for:

The costs are around 3k per year, which would be covered in part or fully by the company.  It would require a minimum of 16-18 hours per week study time.  Some time would be allocated in usual working hours, around half would be expected at my own time.  The course would take between 3-6 years depending on how much study time I could allocate.  I know there are a lot of techies on this forum, I would appreciate your advice on which courses you feel would offer more of a benefit.

The positives:

- Enhance my knowledge (future career value)
- Increase the stability of our companies
- Improve my employability (if our companies went belly up, which is unlikely, I would have other avenues to pursue). 
- To say I have a degree would be a huge accomplishment in my eyes.  Something I'd be proud of.

The negatives:

- Time is the key one.  I would have significantly less free time than I do now.  Bad timing with the desire to start a family?
- Finances - it shouldn't cost me much other than reduced time for my side hustle.  Although I'm miles off FI, I'm not struggling for spare money each month. 
- Short term strain on my company - less hours of 'me' to go around.
- IT and Computing is very relevant to my current work, but is hardly something I'd describe myself as being excited about.  The subjects I would be interested in studying are hardly relevant to my current work.
- Motivation - I lacked motivation to study in school (because I knew my path was to go into the family business), I feel being older and wiser I'd put in the effort, but I don't necessarily know how I'll cope in the learning environment after so many years out of formal education.  I suppose it's a step into the unknown.

I read a quote on here the other day.  'Nothing great was ever achieved in the comfort zone'.  I feel as though I'm well and truly in the comfort zone currently.   

Thanks for reading.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Would you aim to get a degree if you were in my position?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 07:37:39 AM »
coding is really not dependent on formal education.

Do you have any aptitude for this line of work? If you had, I would think you would have started picking it up already.