“So… you’ve had a 20+ year career in a field that you didn’t study for at any point?”
“Yes. Don’t get me wrong, the journalism major I originally started out with helped.”
“They’re not called majors anymore. They’re called specializations.”
“Humor me, I’m old.”
“So you didn’t study computers in high school or college.”
“I had a semester of introduction to the internet in college. I was already using a computer daily before high school.”
“You didn’t study art or design in high school or college?”
“I’ve never taken a formal class in either one.”
“You said you were looking at a fast track to getting a degree, when you had at most 25 credit hours from a school you went to 20 years ago.”
“And the school has closed?”
“No, the school has joined the University of Arkansas system. They’ll still have me on file.”
“And you want to ‘test out’ of some courses even though you’re not following the same academic track?”
“This is a very technical field you’re talking about.”
“This is 20 years of work experience I’m talking about.”
“Why aren’t you still working there now?”
“The company moved my job over an hour’s drive to the north and didn’t offer relocation.”
“And what are you doing now?”
“Sitting here talking about going back to school.” (I wanted to add “So do you want to start helping me with that?”, but I was trying to be nice.)
The first day of doing serious digging into the possibility of going back to college. A mixture of encouragement, discouragement, the feeling that nobody groks why I’m looking into this, and the feeling that – at least at the recruiting/admissions stage – I’m a product on an assembly line. But it’s early days. As a wise man named Tom Petty once said, in the absence of his retinue of Heartbreakers, I won’t back down.
But I also won’t put my son in the position of still paying for my student loan by the time he needs to be worrying about his higher education.
The above was one only-semi-helpful conversation. I had another one which lasted nearly two hours, but at some point I’ve gotta get some other stuff done around the house, and the $70,000 price tag quoted to me (GAH!) kinda let a little air out of the balloon. That was for an online school. Ouch.