Should I bother to start a degree at 41?

(28 Posts)
CatherineG1977 Fri 20-Apr-18 19:42:59

erineG1977Fri 20-Apr-18 19:30:16

Long story short...I have 2 girls 8 and 5. I'm a single mum. Prior to becoming single I put my own career to the back burner and relied solely on my husband...who left for someone else.

So now at the grand old age of 41, I want to draw on my life experiences and reclaim my life and career. I would love to become a counsellor. And that means doing a short course, then a degree. It would mean I will be late 40s when I qualify. Am I too old for this? I have a degree already but not in anything relevant to this (engineering)...therefore would I qualify for financial assistance? I work part time.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
MrsWembley Fri 20-Apr-18 20:11:22

Quick answer - yes, you should! Though, sorry, don't know what you'll qualify for, funding wise.

CelticSelkie Fri 20-Apr-18 20:12:43

I'm going to do a philosophy degree in my 50s. can't yet as DC still young but I will. i'm going to do it for me though, not for a future employer.

CelticSelkie Fri 20-Apr-18 20:13:08

So what I mean is, YOU'RE YOUNG

CelticSelkie Fri 20-Apr-18 20:14:52

PS A friend I know only started at about 48, she's is well on her way now, the good thing about being a psychotherapist is that the jobs won't all go to the youngest applicants.

CatherineG1977 Fri 20-Apr-18 20:36:55

That's encouraging to know...that I'm not the only one.

I'm excited at the possibilities studying again will open for me. Not just job wise (even if I only got a job in this field at potentially still have up to 20 years of work til retirement), but also about understanding myself, my children, how life events have affected us. And so many others I know.

Scared, but excited. Thanks for your replies

OP’s posts: |
CelticSelkie Fri 20-Apr-18 21:13:10

Yes I decided that I wanted to learn what interests me. And what helps me understand myself, other people, relationships, our fears, hopes, motivations. I am interested in what I believe psychology to be but I am basing that on interesting articles on psychology today!! I don't know how it compares in reality.


WhyBird2k Fri 20-Apr-18 21:18:03

Yes, just do it! My grandma did GCSE French in her 70s, just because she wanted to. You have nothing to lose, people in my field (medicine) are changing paths all the time at a similar age. Wish you lots of luck, your kids will be so proud.

Eatsleepworkrepeat Fri 20-Apr-18 21:30:53

What would the degree be in? I'm fairly sure the counsellors I know didn't do degrees, it was more diplomas with a certain number of hours practice and personal therapy. Do you have any experience in the area? Sometimes enjoying the theory and enjoying the actual job are two different things. It would be a shame to do a whole vocational degree only to find the jobs not for you!

BobbinThreadbare123 Fri 20-Apr-18 21:36:41

Do it! My mum did her degree in her mid 40s. She has now got a career she loves, after years of working in a shop. She has enough time to build up a her pension and she got loads of financial help as she's a single mum.

CatherineG1977 Fri 20-Apr-18 22:15:39

There are a couple of different routes is the degree and the other is a series of diplomas. I'm going to look into both. But regardless, the first step is an initial introductory course to determine whether it's suited to you.

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 22-Apr-18 09:03:08

While I would love to encourage you to go for it, the ELQ rules state that you can't get funding for a qualification if you already hold one at an equivalent or lower level. This means that the days of being able to get student finance for a second degree are over (except in a couple of circumstances that aren't relevant to you)

I would be looking at other ways into the career that don't involve doing a second undergraduate degree? I don't know much about routes into counselling careers, but I'd be looking at masters and / or professional qualifications

juneau Sun 22-Apr-18 09:29:18

You won't get funding - that's only available for first degrees (I think!). If you can afford it though I would say 'Go for it!'. I got a degree when I was younger in an interesting, but irrelevant subject, and started a PT BSc at the age of 42 with the OU. I don't work and it's perfectly possible to juggle studying with childcare (both of mine are primary age), but if you're working as well it's a lot and will involve studying in the evenings and at weekends (which if your DC are with their dad half the time should be fine).

Gruach Mon 23-Apr-18 14:13:39

Assuming you do need a university qualification, I’d suggest you consider a postgraduate degree - for which you probably could get a Gov Postgrad Loan - rather than another first degree.

Your age is no barrier at all.

Numberonecook Thu 26-Apr-18 11:56:33

Student loans told me - Second degrees are only funded by student loans if it’s an nhs (health) degree, social work or engineering. Even then you have to pay the first year tuition fees yourself.

If you can find a post grad that will accept you with your degree I’d go for that option. Try get some work experience and this will help you as a mature student a lot! Good luck

Gruach Thu 26-Apr-18 13:31:07

Numberonecook this is the Postgraduate loan that I meant. I’m confused as to why they would have told you something different. (They definitely exist and are being taken up!)

lottiegarbanzo Thu 26-Apr-18 13:37:17

Do it! Just offering general encouragement that you're not old, it's not too late and you could get lots out of it, personally as well as professionally. You'll only be about half way through an average working life, when you're ready to use it for work.

PinkCrystal Thu 14-Jun-18 12:51:19

I am the same age and retraining. There are loads of other students in their 40s and quite a few in 50s. Go for it!

RoryGillmoresEvilTwin Sun 17-Jun-18 12:56:32

I'm currently waiting to hear if I've got a place on a science degree. I'm 40. As far as I'm concerned, I've got many many working years ahead of me, and taking 4 out now to get a degree, with foundation year, is only going to help in the long run.
I'm also a lone parent.

Exciting times ahead hopefully...

Scabetty Sun 17-Jun-18 13:50:20

I did one in my esrly 40s. I loved being a student.

Sevendown Sun 17-Jun-18 13:59:50

If you already have a degree do a post grad not a 2nd undergrad

Also from what I hear counselling isn’t a well paid or reliable line of work.

crazyhead Thu 28-Jun-18 17:14:38

I've done a conversion MSc in psychology at the moment, and will likely do a doctorate in counselling psychology, which confers HCPC registration. I'm 41. There's nothing wrong with retraining. From what I've learned so far I'd have a good think about settings you would like to work in and what you need to earn. There are a lot of choices in the field, and it's good to be clear before you start.

crazyhead Thu 28-Jun-18 17:20:08

PS I've done = I'm doing - am working on the dissertation. Basically, from what I can see, there are 'psychologist' routes to working as a therapist (among other things), which require a professional doctorate, 'psychotherapy' which is a postgrad route, and then counselling. None of these are short, cheap undertakings.

crazyhead Thu 28-Jun-18 17:20:42

PS I've done = I'm doing - am working on the dissertation. Basically, from what I can see, there are 'psychologist' routes to working as a therapist (among other things), which require a professional doctorate, 'psychotherapy' which is a postgrad route, and then counselling. None of these are short, cheap undertakings.

schoty77 Mon 09-Jul-18 02:26:11

Do it! You may encounter a bias when you apply for jobs, but age could also work in your favour. Can you not jump right into specialized post-grad, since you already have an undergad degree? Would be quicker and cheaper.

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