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going to grad school after age 50

Anyone else out there thinking this is the beginning, not the end? I'm researching grad school and dreaming about a new and fulfilling encore career. I'd like to hear your experiences. Did you do an in-person or an online program? Were you accepted by the other students even though you were older? What were the rewards and the challenges?

AllNaturalEverything
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I am 53 and am just finishing my doctorate degree in psychology. I have worked in the field for 35 years. I did my degree online. I found it so fascinating and gratifying. The Science had changed so much in 35 years. I think it was a wonderful experience. Karen Chambre

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@wardchambre, congratulations on earning your doctorate degree!

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I was in my mid-50's when I returend to college to get my master's degree, 27 yrs after receiving my bachelor's. Now, in my 60's, I have also obtained an associate's degree in equine science, & am currently enrolled in an associate's degree paralegal program.

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I was not 50, but I went back to grad school 20 years after my college graduation when I had finally figured out "what I wanted to be when I grew up."  I went to an expensive school, but my employer paid for most of my tuition.  I never got a grade below an A, because I was very into school and not distracted by parties, dates, etc.  I loved the experience and recommend it for anyone looking for professional growth as I was.  This decision was critical to my progressing to become a corporate human resources director with 23 facilities reporting to me.  I loved my company and my job.  When I retired I felt I had done a very good job, because of this accomplishment.  And I could not have done it without grad school.

Conversationalist

I took classes online at the Library.  They were so much fun and it's free!

they have so many different ones to take and if you want to take the test you can and get a letter.

I loved short story writing classes. There's about 10 students in a class and some teachers were disturbed if you didn't do the work or not follow their instructions but sometimes it's wasn't clear but they didn't want to hear excuses.

So, I would join another class.

They have all kinds of classes, check it out! Plus, it's online!

 Get a library card and your set!

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I applied for classes in order to learn how to use a smartphone. It cost me $200 to take this class. All I learned to do was how to text and how to download appes. It didn't teach me how to make a call or how to shoot a movie and to send it off their way!

 

I wanted to get a diploma for this class, but couldn't get one!

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Just get a grandchild or school student to show you and give the a few dollars!

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Good afternoon 

I am so sorry you paid 200 dollar s the 

Best thing to do in that situation. Is to

Watch you tube videos and udemy

And teachable have classes. I'm not

Sure if they give certification for it

But it's a start and the prices are

Reasonable. Hope this helps

Regards,

 

Theresa Bell.

 

 

R

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I have two masters degrees a MBA and a MS in informatics. I am over 50. My experience is in accounting/human resource/training and I am having a hard time finding a job. My previous position relocated. When I apply for jobs I see they want you to have a certification. Crying out load I have not one but two masters. I have applied for Payroll Director position and they are asking for a payroll certification. When applied for Human Resource position they desire a certification in HR. When does it ever end? How do they expect you to pay for studying material plus the cost of the test. They are not cheap especially when you are not working. 

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Vannessia,  I am so sorry that you are experiencing such a challening time!  Hang in there!  Your education, experience, and determination will eventually pay off.  Good luck!

Paula

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Congrats on your two degrees have you ever thought about

Becoming an entrepreneur. You should consider becoming

A consultant with all the experience and education you

Have. I was in grad school a year ago and dropped out

Because I already had student loans from undergrad

Paying over ten years and added another twenty thousand

Stopping with 2 semesters left. I think I froze with the idea

Of getting an MBA so now I am considering going back

To finish I am looking for scholarships to finish and

Decided I want to debt free. From these student loans

Before my retirement which is in 2028.:So I plan to keep

Working  change careers in education and become part 

Time educational  consultant teaching families to be

Debt free and life skills and going to college debt free.

You will be fine good luck.

Regards,

 

Theresa Bell

 

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I was not 50 but felt like I was. I went back to school after I had graduated high school, and attended some college courses, sixteen years later. I knew I had two small sons to support, my husband had died, and i had worked for eleven years. Everything i had tried seemed to end, so, i thought i would go back to school and become a Nurse. I did this, graduated with honors, and made my two sons extremely proud of me. I later, in three years got married. Now, i am taking care of my disabled husband--after 35 years of marriage. 

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.".... When I apply for jobs I see they want you to have a certification. Crying out load I have not one but two masters. I have applied for Payroll Director position and they are asking for a payroll certification. When applied for Human Resource position they desire a certification in HR.....".

 

This trend has been going for some time. Think of accounting. It doesn't matter how much schooling and practical experience in accounting you may have, many, if not most employers want someone with a CPA.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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I'm going to turn 59 in January of 2020. I'm starting a doctoral degree program at the University of Virginia in the fall if 2020 and it will take me about 3 years to finish. It's something I always wanted to do so I'm going to do it ! I want this degree for many reasons and one of them was that I promised my father years and years ago I'd be a doctor someday. Of course, he was was hoping for a medical doctor or a veterinarian or a dentist as a son but he got a son that has done everything from being a professional ballet dancer to a teacher of Advanced Placement Chemistry and Physics. I see this as another new journey in a wonderful life. 

James (Jay) Farris
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Congratulations, @jf6642, enjoy the journey!

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Hello:

 

I'm 50+ and applied to graduate school last year and got accepted to the MS in Nonprofit Leadership Progam in the School of Social Policy and Practice at Penn. The whole application process was online and video interviews. The application process was fairly easy and involved essays, letters of recommendations and the aforementioned interviews. 

 

The program is a hybrid online program and the first for Penn.

 

I hope this is helpful for anyone considering this path.

Julia
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I went back to school October 2014. I am doing the online thing since I work a full time job. I decided to get my Bachelor's in criminal justice and I am loving every minute of it!!!!!

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Go for it. I completed two Master's degrees after 50 and completed my Doctor of Ministry degree before I was 65. 

The two Master's degrees were done face to face and the Doctor of Ministry through George Fox Evangelical Seminary was a hybred-- with classes both online and face-to-face. The biggest challenge for me was staying focused on the task at hand as sometimes I did feel overwhelmed by the amount of study projects. I found that most of my colleagues were younger and some were very much younger but always accepting of what wisdom I had to offer. 

Be open to being mentored by younger people and be open to learn from and with colleagues. It is an AWESOME experience so enjoy the ride!

Blessings on your new journey. Follow your bliss:D

 

Dr. Jerilyn (aka Dr. J though I am not male,tall, nor do I play basketball, but I am retired!)

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I decided to go to college at the age of 52, I have always wanted to attend college, however, growing up with 6 siblings, my parent could not afford for me to go to college when I graduated. Instead I immediately went to work.  My daughter was my inspiration for me to start on line courses at University of Phoenix. I am working towards my Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management. I am maintaining a 3.8 GPA and am very proud of my accomplishments thus far. I have 18 months until I graduate and have already started looking for employment. Live is good.

Greeneyes361
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I am finishing a PhD at 60. While the schedule is grueling and required me to find out income resources, most of the time, I am really pleased. Make sure you have a good support system. Online is convenient, but you can be isolated. Brick and mortar classes provide opportunities to connect with students and faculty, but require a specific time commitment. I teach at a university with a lot of adult learners. I found that their "lives" and activities tended to interfere with their educational commitments. If you do this, know that textbooks are expensive. Depending on your coursework, there are agencies that will pay some student loan balances, and don't forget scholarships. Grad school education expenses are tax-deductible, and so is student loan interest in some cases, check with your accountant.
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Well, first of all I completed my 4 1/2 year journey to my PHD in Education via online, in 2013. It was arduous, but I feel  good that at then age 60, I had begun and finished "a good work." Since then I have tried unsuccessfully to gain a full-time position in higher education. I only have a part-time adjunct position at a community college. Needless to say, I struggle and have encountered age discrimination in my job pursuit. I hope that things change in 2016.

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My advice is to go for it.   Already having a masters in psychology, I decided that I wanted to pursue a new masters in the business school last year.  Since my first masters was before the internet existed,  I very much wanted to know what kind of student I could be with an on-line program.  With full time work, I'm not putting any pressure on myself so I am taking only one class at a time.  My current position is very demanding and requires some travel so handling more than one course at a time would be unrealistic at this time.  The University waived the GMATs and a couple of classes due to my years of work of experience and previous Masters; all of which helps.  Although the program is on-line, you do need to get on line once  a week with the professor and class, sometimes with video.  While I am always honest about my years of experience and why I've decided to pursue the program, the professors and students have been more than accepting.  I am really enjoying the program.  

 

I highly recommend you explore this opportunity for yourself so that you go in with your eyes wide open.  Set reasonable expectations for yourself.  Then, have fun and enjoy.  Good luck. 

 

  

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I was a social activist sacrificing my resources on behalf of others for most of my adult life. When I started thinking about retirement, I decided to return to school. I earned a Social Science Ph.D. at age 62 and am currently teaching fulltime. My gameplan calls for working until age 77 and retiring after I qualify for public service employees loan forgiveness for my substantial student debt. Since I have multiple relatives who lived into their 90s and 100s, and since I have no major health issues at 69, I feel that I made an excellent choice.

 

In my case, I had a relatively unique background that gained a bit of respect initially from some of my fellow students. But by the middle of the first term, I think that the quality of my particpation in the program took over and I was primarily judged based on that.

 

Regarding online vs. in person courses, you should take an online course to see if that mode of learning fits you. If you do decide to do online, I would strongly recommend taking your course of study from an established conventional university.  If your degree is identifiable as from online, it may be seen as of less value than a sheepskin from a conventional school.  On the other hand, I have seen a number of folks with jobs gain promotions and otherwise improve their exisiting job situation by earning online degrees. However, I wonder whether finding a new job with a new online degree and no experience in that area might be problematic.

 

If you are fiercely determined to finish your graduate studies, I say go for it!

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I started grad school at the beginning of 2015, after being out of college for 35 years. I wanted to ensure whatever I chose it could be translated into any industry or job that was of interest. So, I took about a year to attend open house sessions for a half dozen programs within the large area I reside within. I decided on a Master of Arts in Leadership with an emphasis in Organizational behavior. It has been a wild ride. I'm in a hybrid program of 22-24 months (depending on your specialization), with Executive Weekends and online work. You can live anywhere but you must be able to connect for group projects and research papers, and of course for EW's. I'm the oldest in my cohort, and it was tough at first, still is, but I find it refreshing with other younger adult learners, some recently out of the military, some law enforcement, some professional sports organizations, real estate, and corporate folks. It's a nice mixture and we all bring something to the table to learn from.
I come out of Higher Ed (not teaching) in Operations, space design and construction management, and being a women of a certain age, I'd like to ensure the skills I currently have are enhanced for whatever my next adventure is after this one, that I'm not yet done with.
It is a stretch with all the reading and writing again, much more substantial than when I was in college years ago, but I was ready for the challenge. My advice is to check out programs that are around your area, local universities first so you can have the easy campus commute, and ensure it is course work that is needed for the future. I'm having so much fun, half done now, and this program has already made a difference in me, how I show up with others, and that I'll be ready for any next step that will come my way.
The process is as you'd imagine, letters of recommendations, transcripts of college, application and a letter of interest to the program.
I wouldn't change my course of grad school at 57 for anything. Go for it! You'll find out what you're made of, that's for sure!!
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I graduated with a masters degree at 58 with a new license. 

I had some issues with finding employment. They wanted someone under 35 yr old. I had and old face with new credentials. 

I had to relocate temporally. 

I was able to work for 10 years. My husband became I'll so I am not working for now. But I do have my license and can go back .

I continue keeping my skills current by reading and confrences.

 

My mother earned her CCRN after 55.

 

Going back to school is better than poverty. 

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I am 58. I may go to law school next fall. My interest lie in inner city community improvement. I see a law degree as a helpful tool in improving circumstances. I am going to attend live classes. I dred taking the LSAT.

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I completed a bachelor degree online in March 2015 when I was still 60 years old. It took me 3 years attending classes online part-time and I accumulated $26,000 of student loan debt. But I actually enjoyed going to school and I was able to graduate summa cumme laude. When attending classes online there is still some student interaction. I believe it was a history class when I posted an answer to a question that I remembered when it happened because I was around and several students commented that it was nice to have someone in the class that was around at that time and could relate from their personal experiences. Now at 61 I have been thinking about an starting a Masters Program but I don't want the extra debt.  

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I received my doctorate at age 58. I have connections with all generations. It was a lot of hard work, very worthwhile, and inspirational. Do not let age be a barrier. I have reimagined myself in yet another career at age 63. Like Nike, just do it!!
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I also was in IT until I was forced to retire in 2007. I was a consultant for another couple of years and moved to Florida. I floundered around for a couple of years until a friend suggested I go into education (since I had a math degree). Since then I got my temporary teaching certificate and went back to an alternative certification program. I am now in my third year of teaching high school math, have my permanent certificate. I have school loans which I am in the third year of a 10 year public service forgiveness program. It was a good decision for me and I feel like I am truly making a difference in my students lives. Education doesn't look down on seniors, they actually embrace them!
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