Retraining: is it too late?

(19 Posts)
WinkyWinkola Fri 08-Feb-13 20:52:04

I'm hoping to start a BSc (Hons) in Construction Project Management this September.

The degree will take 5 years to complete part time. I can't do it full time as I've got 2 pre-schoolers and 2 in primary school.

So, when (if) I graduate, I'll be nearer 46. Gulp.

I'm doing it because we've done a couple of builds (houses) ourselves and I've found the whole shebang fascinating, infuriating and rewarding.

I thought I could well make a career out of it. I've been out of the work force for nigh on 8 years now. I was a project manager before but in a design agency. I have transferable skills therefore but from a completely different field.

The course stats show great employment rates 6 months post graduation but these are not broken down further to indicate mature students, gender etc.

My rationale is that I intend to work until I am physically incapable of doing do. I've really missed working. But do you think employers will just think I'm crackers? Some old bird who is just toying with some hobby?

What do you reckon?

25hourdaymum Fri 08-Feb-13 23:52:13

You can only go forwards ... go for it! smile

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 05:22:50

Have you got a first degree? If so why not look at a postgrad- diploma, masters... Or APM/Prince2do anything? Must admit, it sounds like a masters course from the v specific title but downside of lengthy bachelors. Personally wd look long and hard at time/£ commitment. A friend is in construction- related project management in public sector and needs/has no such qualification. But she is experienced, a graduate and Prince2 certified. Just my view though.

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 05:26:03

But in answer to yr title, definitely not too late to retrain. I'd just do a much shorter, more widely sought-after (by employers) course. Eg many job specs state Prince 2 as essential.

25hourdaymum Sat 09-Feb-13 07:59:10

I do have a masters if your'e asking, it was lots of hard work but I gained that before I had children. It's never too late to move forward and retrain. Good luck!

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 08:10:00

I would use the 5 years to gain more experience rather than an extra qualification. I think a good & recent employment record would count for more.

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 08:16:33

Hi 25- my qu was to OP smile
Think its v relevant as if shes already ticking the graduate box far less need to do (another) degree

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 08:29:19

Having taught overdrawn (generally 18-25 yr old) students working all hours to earn enough to pay fees for not terribly useful courses, I would seriously advise caution.

Am at similar life-stage to you and would only take on a costly, lengthy course if there was going to be proper payback on my investment. I have a masters (done p/t around work/kids) and it was bloody hard to do but worth it as directly relevant to my career and partly employer-sponsored.

I agree "go for it" is a great attitude to have as long as your "it" is very well thought out.

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 08:33:48

And WW, with your experience why not invest instead on setting yourself up as freelance project manager of other people's renovations? With a good portfolio of yr previous work plus yr PM experience, i would have thought you'd appeal to time-poor property owners/investors depending on where you live i guess.

HighJinx Sat 09-Feb-13 08:36:38

Would it be possible for you to gain some work experience while you are training? You may even find that this work leads directly to a job.

Also once qualified will you then do the qualifications to become a chartered surveyor?

OneHandFlapping Sat 09-Feb-13 08:39:25

At 46 you will still have 20-25 years in the work force - plenty of time to establish a second career.

The only thing I would question is whether a degree course is the only route into this career - there may be a more practical and cheaper way in.

However, if the degree fits best with your current domestic commitments, and you can afford it, go ahead.

WinkyWinkola Sat 09-Feb-13 09:56:14

I have a degree in English and American lit, a PGdip in direct marketing and an MSc in marketing.

I so very under confident. That's the problem. I could never sell myself as a construction project manager after only two builds.

I couldn't work anyway with a 3 yo and 5 month old baby. Plus the other two in school.

So I figured a an industry linked course would be a good idea to bolster my confidence through knowledge and get experience - work experience is part of the course.

In essence, use my time now that in career limbo to slowly build up to when I'm ready to go back to work.

I never thought of post grad. Will look but suspect they will require levels of experience that I don't have.

Will look at Prince2 most definitely.

Thank you for your thoughts on this. I still can't decide what is best!

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 10:20:52

Op, you're v well-qualified to market yourself so! Sounds like you need to start believing in yourself?

If you have the time and money, fair enough but quicker alternatives may work - a range of courses such as women returners, business start-up, networking, confidence-building (or having counselling?? Career coaching? Just a thought)

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 14:18:46

I agree with Salvertina.

I'd spend some more time researching the market before such a big commitment. Don't underestimate just how tough it is to give 5 years to gaining a new qualification when you have to juggle young children and an older brain. I speak from experience.

Salbertina Sat 09-Feb-13 15:07:25

Just thinking have noticed a slight inclination in myself a few female friends to do yet another course for fear of failing throwing themselves onto open job market and being found wanting, i guess. Understandable, especially after years at home but v expensive, quite isolating and doesn't pay the bills or provide a pension. Don't know if applicable in your case, but worth a thought. Really don't see how yet another degree could easily be juggled around 4 kids for 5 whole years, especially when you probably don't really need to do it as you're so highly qualified anyway.

WinkyWinkola Sat 09-Feb-13 20:56:57

But not qualified at all in construction. That's my worry.

Salbertina Sun 10-Feb-13 06:41:25

Sure, but you're experienced at project management- yr skills wd transfer to construction easily- and cd qualify in Prince2 in a matter of weeks? Is there a specific construction-related role you're after such as surveying which definitely requires a further qualification? Anyone in the field you could meet?

OneHandFlapping Sun 10-Feb-13 11:22:38

You can do a week's course including exam and get youir Prince II pratitioner. I've done it (IT project manager). It won't make you a good project manager - or even a better one.

It's an admin intensive series of protocols for organising a project/controlling changes to a project etc. It's used mainly in the public sector, and has the arse-covering, tick-boxing mentality of the public sector stamped all over it.

In the private sector IME it's only really of use for CV enhancement.

If you still want to do it, and are in/around London, I recommend Datrix - good value course, especially if you book late and get a discount, and our lecturer did his best to make dry as dust material humorous.

lljkk Wed 13-Feb-13 11:23:54

Don't be put off thinking you're too old I have an aunt who completed her PhD at age 69 (late 1970s) & taught in universities for about 8 years afterwards. Why not?

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