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Bridging gaps in my education - late 40's. tell me why I should push this up to a degree

(13 Posts)
mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Apr-13 14:48:25

Really depends on your reasons I guess, mine are

Self esteem
Employability/career change

Mostly I just love academia so this sort of learning works for me. My uni offers short courses that are UG level but run over a term or so. If you do enough you can jump to second year of degree but they are just short courses. I did some of these at my leisure at it confirmed it for me.

OU is a good option, I don't have the discipline so needed red brick but it is a fantastic institution. My kids 7,5 and 2 sit down and do our homework together and I am studying a straightforward academic subject so sometimes they like to hear what I have been doing and I take them on campus and even into the library which they loved, so you can involve your dc too. It doesn't have to be you disappearing all the time although you will spend an incredible amount of time studying and essentially away from them or getting up early etc as mentioned.

One MN friend uses her local soft play to study so you find ways.

NumberOneNumpty Tue 09-Apr-13 13:48:38

Agree with Prolific, do an OU module or two and see how you get on. Or, if you are thinking about going to a campus-based university, do an Access course and see how you get on. But I can thoroughly recommend the OU. Take one step at a time, and enjoy the journey.

Dilidali Tue 09-Apr-13 07:31:04

I would say go for it! Speaking from experience, it was.... i don't know how I did it! I do, but prefere not to think about it. Imagine waking up at 3 am to study till 6, then get a baby( then toddler) ready to leave the house at 6.50, not back before 7 pm ( baby in tow).
For me it wasn't a question of 'fancy', I needed to do that for several reasons: financial, self esteem and employment.
I made sure all my work was submitted before the start of holidays, so on average 4.5 months a year I was spending all my time with my child, no book in sight. I was disciplined and any free moment was spent getting on with jobs. Didn't go out for 3 years ( playgrounds don't count), I cooked from scratch and washed the clothes, but by the end of the course my house needed a blowtorch, it was filthy!!!!!
I celebrated by taking a holiday at the end, 4 days, then I went into full time employment.
It was a huge sacrifice on my family, friends, myself. I couldn't even make friends at uni, because I never went out, most people on the course were much younger.
I don't regret it one minute. I am earning more than double, I have a job I love, time with my daughter and husband and a cleanish house lol. In the past 5 years I have taken 3 courses to specialise further, I now have the routine, the discipline to get through more studying and although towards the end of the courses I want to smack myself for taking on more and promise myself this is the last one, for some reason I am also thriving and when my employer goes: you could do X I find myself coming home and getting everybody excited: ooh, I earned a place at uni to do X for 6 months!!!! God, I never learn.

Salbertina Tue 09-Apr-13 06:58:03

Do you have the time, money and inclination to devote to s degree?? If so, go for it, if not there are SO many fantastic free online short courses to bridge any gaps esp from US unis such as MIT- have a google

KobayashiMaru Mon 18-Feb-13 18:44:21

If you are late 40's you have about 2 decades of working life left, and a degree can be done in 3-4 years.

Dromedary Thu 14-Feb-13 11:04:54

I would decide what you want to achieve. Is it A levels or a degree in order to make yourself more employable? Or do you just want to know more about certain areas, or to learn to write better or read more difficult books? Learning doesn't have to be about qualifications, if it is learning for learning's sake. Doing a formal course will be very hard work, put you under pressure, and cost money, and is likely to teach you only about one narrow area.
If you don't want to learn totally alone, but don't need qualifications, why not do some interesting evening classes (NB they usually do offer credits in any event).

ProlificWillyBreeder Wed 13-Feb-13 17:34:56

How about doing some OU courses? You could always build them up to a degree eventually?

Dromedary Mon 11-Feb-13 20:13:43

There is a huge huge difference between doing 2 gcses and a degree (though obviously some degrees are a lot easier than others). I also wouldn't do it unless you will find it useful or are totally in love with the subject, and have the ability to study it at that level. Otherwise you are likely to find it very hard work and resent the time taken.
I have a degree, and professional qualifications, but feel badly educated. I wouldn't dream of doing another degree (even if it was free), but if I had time like the idea of doing lots of reading about things that interest me, going to museums and art galleries, finding out about different countries and visiting them, maybe learning another language and travelling to where it is spoken. That way you would become much better educated than if you just learned about one thing to degree level.

wisemanscamel Mon 11-Feb-13 20:06:42

Well done with your B BoneChina. Personally and having got to the final year of a degree this year, I would suggest you only take it further if a) it's going to be of real use in your career (my reason) or b) it's a subject you are passionate about and love to study. If something is both, then you're on to a winner, but I have found the degee bloody hard graft and my kids have been neglected whilst I have been studying. They cannot wait for me to finish (they were 6 and 8 when I started the degree three years ago)

Alternatively, you could start a new hobby with your daughter (swimming, riding, climbing etc etc) and spend 3 years doing that! Just a thought.

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 10-Feb-13 14:14:06

Moving this over to Student Parents board now...

MrsHoarder Sun 10-Feb-13 13:52:58

And this might do better on the student patents board. More parents familiar with studying rather than organising their dc's education. If you report it mnhq should be happy to move it.

MrsHoarder Sun 10-Feb-13 13:51:24

Go for a degree. Show your dc's that its never too late and studying is valuable. Also you're unlikely to have to continue repaying loan after retirement.

Main reason not to would be if you can't find the time/money to study without a disproportionate impact on family life.

BoneChina Sun 10-Feb-13 13:44:52

Ok. So will out myself here, no doubt.

I'm a mature mum in my late 40s with just one DC aged 8.

These past two years I have been studying gcse's - merely to bridge that gap in my education.

Last year attained a Grade B in English and am currently struggling doing my best with maths to hopefully get a similar grade in June.

Question is - do I stop here - or study more and eventually go for a degree in a subject of interest?

I know this will take forever and likely to be attained probably beyond my "employability" years if you see what I mean?

So - is there really any point in taking my education so far at this stage in my life?

I would be interested in hearing opinions, please, pros and cons etc.


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