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Career/ school advice

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jjhodge3

Premium Patron
Premium Patron
Dec 28, 2019
58
1
8
N Charlotte NC
Hey folks, wanted to share some recent thinking about my future decisions and get some feedback.

i have been in the construction industry since 1998 in one capacity or another beginning as a equipment technician servicing concrete plants, resetting in 2009 after economy reset, and got an AA in Paralegal, then started working for a friend in his masonry contracting business starting with part time sales and working through to operations management ( I did everything but sign the checks) then to full time sales opening a new territory for a stone manufactruer, and long story short I am now underemployed at Amazon and seeking a program to go back to school for another AA and I’m considering the following:
Cardiovascular technology- looks like a good career in the health field but maybe not utilizing all of my experience and skill set. Pay is pretty good to support my family. Highly competitive and only 18 seats available for classes.

Electronics engineering or electrical engineering- more aligned with my skill set of working with my hands.

i have considered medical laboratory technician and it sounds interesting lots of math which I have always had to work at.

i am puttiing this out there to gain insight from any on here about their experiences that are relevant, please post thoughts especially if you are in any of these fields and can give me good feedback
thanks,
James
 

bernardsmith

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Sep 1, 2013
1,595
12
38
Saratoga Springs , NY
Hi James, If you have an AA and you want to go back to school then go back to get a BS or BA and not a second associate degree. Most Associate degrees are about 64 credits and a Baccalaureate degree is about 124. For the same amount of study , same amount of time and same cost you would end up with a degree that would enable you to earn far more with far better qualifications than an associate degree provides.
I am with the State University of NY Empire State College and while we don't offer degrees in engineering we do offer degrees in allied health areas or in business and in all the academic disciplines, from the natural sciences to humanities, from the social sciences to languages. We also accept up to 2/3 of our degree from outside the college and we embrace college equivalent knowledge gained from non college sources (your work experience, for example). While the SUNY school is "traditional" in that (under normal circumstances our degrees are not "online", you CAN take every credit "at a distance" so you do not need to live in-state to study. We also specialize in adult learners (the average age of our students is about 37). I am sure that there are other colleges across the US that offer somewhat similar programs (Western Governors University in Utah, for example, or Goddard in Vermont) but we are perhaps the leader in on-line learning at a state university that also has a very liberal but solid view of experiential learning. I don't work for the recruiting or admissions office of Empire State but you might want to check out whether a BS or BA might better suit your goals.
 

jjhodge3

Premium Patron
Premium Patron
Dec 28, 2019
58
1
8
N Charlotte NC
That is good advice, I will look into it as I had hoped I would get some financial aid for an associates, after doing the FAFSA i do not qualify for any aid. What a joke.
 
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rb2112br

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Mar 27, 2018
111
1
18
Hi James, If you have an AA and you want to go back to school then go back to get a BS or BA and not a second associate degree. Most Associate degrees are about 64 credits and a Baccalaureate degree is about 124. For the same amount of study , same amount of time and same cost you would end up with a degree that would enable you to earn far more with far better qualifications than an associate degree provides.
Another thing to consider though is that many AA degrees have roughly the same Gen Ed requirements, so probably most of the Gen Ed courses he took for his first AA degree will apply to another one. Since his AA is in Paralegal, I'm guessing all of his program specific courses would not fulfill any requirements of the new direction he is interested in. I'm not saying getting a 2nd AA degree is the better choice, but it is something to consider.
 

bernardsmith

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Sep 1, 2013
1,595
12
38
Saratoga Springs , NY
I have to say that I am a little surprised that a paralegal assoc degree is an AA and not an AAS degree (given the "professional" and not discipline-focus of such degrees so it is even a little hard to understand how it could have enough "liberal arts and science" content to be an AS degree) But that aside, different states have different general education requirements. So that is one thing to consider. NY requires 30 credits of gen ed across 7 different (defined) areas of learning with math and basic composition being two required areas and 5 areas from the remaining 8 (natural science, social science, humanities, arts, US history, western civilization, a non western civilization and a semester of a second language). Each gen ed area must be covered by at least 3 semester credits
 
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