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to start a degree at 28?

(62 Posts)
PenguinBollard Sun 15-Jan-17 18:50:20

At 16 years old I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and my school did not provide career advice nor guidance when choosing A-Level subjects. As a result I chose 2 "traditional" subjects (English, Biology) and 1 subject I thought "sounded interesting".

I didn't have a genuine interest in any of my subjects and that, combined with some moderate health issues at the time, meant that I didn't do particularly well. My attendance was low and I came out with an A, B and C grades. (There were no A*s back then).

I left school and volunteered abroad for a year and then went straight into employment, mid level administration work initially and then nannying, as the money was exceptionally good considering my lack of qualifications.

For the past 4 years I have run two small businesses on the side which provide a tidy supplement income (all above board tax wise!) but I can't dedicate too much time to them as my day job is 60 hours a week.
I also have spent the last 4 years studying with the OU, but again time constraints mean that I'm averaging at about 2:1 level and it isn't in a specific subject.

It's taken me a really long time to realise that I have a real passion for business, something that hadn't really occured to me before. I live and breathe it really, its what I do with my spare time.
I would adore to go to University and study it properly, and would likely do much better than my OU degree as it would be full time and taught, rather than reading a textbook juggling ten other things!

The problem is that I would be starting at age 27/28 and not completing until I was 30/31 - a cursory look online suggests I'd really really struggle to find a graduate job as a mature graduate.
Plus there is also the additional £5 billion in debt I'd be in with the SLC.

AIBU to consider it? I know people do it (I used to work at a University and there were plenty of mature students) but my A-Levels aren't great and I'm not sure the good universities consider students who have retaken A-Levels as adults? And then I'd have a very expensive degree, 4 years used up (which I could have been earning £35k+ as a Nanny) and no job prospects?

PenguinBollard Sun 15-Jan-17 18:50:51

That was long blush sorry!

Grittyshunts Sun 15-Jan-17 18:53:45

YANBU to start a degree at any age, YABU to pigeon-hole learning into an age-defying thing! I'm 36, finishing my diploma to gain access to my chosen degree, I'll be 41 when I qualify. Good luck and go for it!! smile

PenguinBollard Sun 15-Jan-17 18:57:30

Grittyshunts Thanks smile I'm more concerned about other people, namely employers, pigeon holing learning. Some of my favourite students when I worked at the University were the mature students, as they genuinely wanted to learn.

notquiteruralbliss Sun 15-Jan-17 19:01:45

YANBU and might even find your OU credits allow you to skip a year. or if you are anywhere to finishing the OU complete it ( a 2:1 is a good degree) and do a full time business masters.

WitchSharkadder Sun 15-Jan-17 19:01:55

I went to uni at a similar age, it was the best thing I ever did. Do it, you will regret not at least trying.

Grittyshunts Sun 15-Jan-17 19:03:27

If anything I think it shows how determined and hardworking you are. I think an employer would rather hire someone who knows what they want, you've already got a "business head" so I think you should definitely go for it and you're a levels and OU degree shoud be enough to gain entry.

PurpleMinionMummy Sun 15-Jan-17 19:04:02

Yanbu. Would you get funding if you already have an OU degree though?

HerRoyalNotness Sun 15-Jan-17 19:04:30

I started a business degree recently at 43. Have no previous HE, but have come to realise that I need one, especially in the current climate. I'm banking on my 20yrs experience in my field and the willingness to learn and develop myself as plus points for an employer. They'd be very short sighted to take a new graduate with zero experience for a role rather than someone like me.

jayho Sun 15-Jan-17 19:15:40

I did mine at 35, never regretted it. I was so focused and committed. I got a first blush

Post degree, because of my previous experience and skills gained, despite being in a different industry, I went in to my chosen field above graduate entry level and have earned a decent salary ever since.

Go for it, you will not regret it.

PamelaAnn Sun 15-Jan-17 19:17:46

Is there a reason why you want to do an undergraduate course in business rather than getting an Open OU degree and then doing a subject specific MA / MSc / MBA? I got an Open OU degree in my early 30s because i still didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, then a few years later found a job I loved and did an MA related to it. I'm now finishing a off a part-time professional doctorate (almost 50 years old now). Education is never wasted but if you already have practical business experience and experience of studying at undergraduate level, I would do a post-grad course instead. An MBA would probably be more beneficial for your long term career.

languagelearner Sun 15-Jan-17 19:33:48

You're older so you're not competing with young people who have recently taken their degree anyway. Does it matter much if it's a "top university" and in that case why? Nobody has asked me about my degree for years, especially not if I was good in this or that subject. It's more digital, "have one" or "doesn't have one". I actually technically have two degrees but usually only talk about the first one, in business administration. If a degree is what you want, go for it, but choose carefully what subjects to focus on since you're more of a practitioner and doesn't necessarily need "good grades" and all that.... (caveat: I'm from abroad so look at things a bit differently sometimes).

gabsdot Sun 15-Jan-17 19:37:20

My dad started his degree at age 50. He loved it. Go for it.

moongirl123 Sun 15-Jan-17 19:44:25

YANBU. Go for it, I have a masters degree but wish I had done it later in my 30s so I knew what I wanted to learn and would have been exposed to RL experiences. Saying that having a degree has opened many doors for me.

mistressWiseGuy Sun 15-Jan-17 19:47:29

Yabu. Only because I was thinking of starting an OU degree but I'll be 30 in a few months and you've made me feel old!

DinosaurSex Sun 15-Jan-17 19:54:11

I'm at a top 5 uni (for my subject and many others) at the grand old age of 27. I got 2 Bs and a C in A levels when I was 17 due to also needing to work 30 hours a week (and, frankly, a lack of motivation) but my course had a foundation year which allowed straight access onto the degree on completion so some of the top universities do accept qualifications taken later in life and in my uni mature students are very well thought of.

My father also did his degree later in life (46) at the same uni as me with the foundation year. He completed his degree the year before I started and found an excellent graduate job immediately. Prior to his degree he had no qualifications!

I'd say go for it!

Whiskwarrior Sun 15-Jan-17 19:56:07

I'm starting Uni in September and I'll be 44 in November.

There are people older than me on my course.

SouthernComforts Sun 15-Jan-17 19:56:36

How many OU credits do you have? If you haven't completed your degree then why don't you just choose business modules for the remainder?

I'm studying Business with the OU and it's pretty boring! And I would describe myself as having a passion for Business!

SouthernComforts Sun 15-Jan-17 19:59:33

Sorry that sounded negative, I'm not discouraging you but I'm 4 years in and the thought of scrapping it and starting a new degree is soul destroying!

PenguinBollard Sun 15-Jan-17 20:00:24

Would you get funding if you already have an OU degree though?

I would register before completing my degree with the OU, so I'd still be eligible for a student loan

Is there a reason why you want to do an undergraduate course in business rather than getting an Open OU degree and then doing a subject specific MA / MSc / MBA?

My degree with the OU is in a lot of different subjects - none of them business! I don't think it would make me eligible for a Masters anywhere except the OU and I really really struggle studying distance learning.

Does it matter much if it's a "top university" and in that case why? I'd imagine that a degree in business from Bath or St Andrews would be more attractive to employers? I think part of it is me being a bit of a snob blush and I was pegged for Oxbridge when I started my A-Levels and always felt like I'd failed by not doing well at the time.

mistressWiseGuy Sorry! It's not so much as "too old to learn" as worried about discrimination from top employers. 30 is definitely not old!!

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 15-Jan-17 20:00:58

I started my degree at 27, finished at 32 (had a year out to have last dc.) I did it full time at the best RG uni for my area of study and got in with an access as didn't have A levels. Now doing the MA. If they bring out loans for Phds in 2018 as proposed I will do that too. Learning is never a waste of time. Though I am sick to the back teeth of people asking what I am qualifying for... nothing, I am qualifying for nothing. But I love my subject and I might get a related job at the end. (and over 60k of debt!)

Rixera Sun 15-Jan-17 20:04:54

I'm in a very similar place and have come to the decision it will be worth it, and have started my study plan after networking with both people in my chosen field and with teachers who therefore know all about the studying business/uni applications.

I'm also planning on aiming for a top 5 for much the same reasons!

Go for it. Nothing worse than regretting not trying, at least then you will know the outcome, whereas if you never try you'll never know.

PamelaAnn Sun 15-Jan-17 20:13:56

My degree with the OU is in a lot of different subjects - none of them business! I don't think it would make me eligible for a Masters anywhere except the OU
I'd look into the entry requirements for post-grad courses. A lot of people do an MA /MSc in different subject to their first degree. I think what generally counts is that it's a reasonably good class of degree (which a 2.1 would be). I know someone with a BSc in engineering and an MA in History, and another person with a BA in music and an MA in Education. It shouldn't matter if your OU degree is a bit of a hodge podge and as a pp said, you could try to do your remaining credits in something business related.

PenguinBollard Sun 15-Jan-17 20:14:11

DinosaurSex That's reassuring!

I'm considering doing a Maths A-Level whilst I'm still working to try and up my A-Level results and I'd enjoy it because I'm a bit sad which would probably help.

SouthernComforts Once I've completed my current module (last TMA 30th March) I will have 250 credits (weird number I know) which means I need two more "big" modules for the full degree.
I've read the specification of the OU business modules and its not very exciting sad I'm also pretty sure I'm tied in to doing my next 60 credit module in another subject as I'd previously paid for it but had to drop out as I moved abroad for a year, so I've got the credit to use for that specific subject. So I'd only be able to take 1 module in business anyway.
I don't think you're being negative at all! The thought of studying for another 4 years doesn't exactly fill me with joy in terms of time "wasted" with the OU, but I'd support myself running my little businesses which I enjoy and I think I'd love the degree and studying full time - its just justify taking the 4 years out to do it! (and accumulating all that debt)
The idea of being able to study full time, and not be harrassed and guilty because I'm committed to a full time job as well, sounds like bliss. It's what I'd do if I won the lottery!

NapoleonsNose Sun 15-Jan-17 20:24:06

I started my degree at 38 and graduated at 41 with a first. Do it OP, you won't regret it. Best three years of my life and I really miss it now. If I had the time, I'd go back in a flash to do an MA. Have you considered studying at a brick uni rather than the OU? I met lots of mature students by actually going three times a week.

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