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how old is too old to start a degree?

(43 Posts)
beansmum Wed 11-Jun-08 19:06:26

I'm going back to uni in Feb. I have chosen 1st year subjects that could lead to three different qualifications. One would take 3 years, one 4 and one at least 5. I really want to do the 5 year course but am I too old? I'll be 27 this week.

Habbibu Wed 11-Jun-08 19:07:15

Lord, no! You'd be quite a young mature student...

RosaLuxembourg Wed 11-Jun-08 19:07:56

I'm doing a degree with the OU atm. If I finish on schedule next year I will be 45. No such thing as too old, and from my perspective you are absurdly youthful anyway. wink

barnstaple Wed 11-Jun-08 19:08:11

These days I'd say about 143 - but only because you'd be dead.

MarsLady Wed 11-Jun-08 19:08:38

It's never too late and you can never be too old! grin

WinkyWinkola Wed 11-Jun-08 19:09:20

Keeping your brain active is vital at all stages in life. Learning is just the job.

Ha ha ha ha. Just read you're 27! Don't be daft - too old.

sallystrawberry Wed 11-Jun-08 19:11:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beansmum Wed 11-Jun-08 19:15:10

Yeah, I'm probably worrying about nothing. but I'll be 32 when I graduate, ds will be 9 (shock). My dad keeps going on at me to find something to do with my life. Everyone I know went from school to uni to a job that they are still doing and I feel like I'm getting left behind. I AM young though, there's no mad rush.

MehgaLegs Wed 11-Jun-08 19:17:11

My FIL has literally just finished his music composition degree, he was 75 last week.

longlegted Wed 11-Jun-08 19:17:52


SubRosa Wed 11-Jun-08 19:26:34

OP: you're definitely not too old. I'll be 43 when I finish my degree; one of my friends at uni is 61. Go for it, you're never too old

cluckyagain Wed 11-Jun-08 19:27:49

My 'aunty' did a 'computers don't bite' course at age 101. She passed!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beansmum Wed 11-Jun-08 20:28:34

Ok, you are never too old to start a degree. but a 72 yr old isn't going to be using their degree much are they? How old is too old to start a new career? Or start your first jobblush?

dylsmum1998 Wed 11-Jun-08 23:05:13

your not too old to do a dgree. i did worry this myself when i started in sept last year. i'm now 27 i am the youngest of the mature students in our group iyswim.
the oldest i beleive in ours is 43 (but wouldnt like to say that definately as wouldnt want to offend if i'm wrong!) i know def in her 40's.

my ds is 9 almost 10.

Ledodgy Wed 11-Jun-08 23:06:54

You're never too old I did my a. levels in college with an 85 year old woman that went on to do history at uni. We did history a.level together and the lecturer would be like '1947 was known as the turnip winter, remember the turnip winter Mary?' 'Ooh yes' she would say! grin She was fab.

SubRosa Wed 11-Jun-08 23:17:50

It's not just about using your degree, but also about learning for learning's sake. (I realise that sounds somewhat clichéd).

beansmum Wed 11-Jun-08 23:37:33

oh, I know. If I was 70 I would just go for it for the sake of using my brain and learning something new. I'm just very conscious that I need to get a job at some point, preferably before ds leaves school! I don't THINK 27 (or 32) is too old to start a new career, even if I would need extra training after graduating, but there must be a point at which going back to uni full time isn't a brilliant idea. I think it could be difficult for me to get graduate jobs when I would be competing against people 10 yrs younger and with no family commitments. And probably people who have loads of amazing work experience and other activities on their CV's, who haven't spent all their spare time looking after a child.

I kind of feel like I shouild just go and get a job, any old job. I'm not going to though, I'm too excited about uni.

Ellbell Wed 11-Jun-08 23:47:23

The oldest person I have taught started his UG degree (admittedly it was his 2nd one, but in a completely new area) at 67 and started a PhD at 70.

Job-wise, it all depends on what kind of job you're going for. If you want to work in a very very cut-and-thrust management-ish kind of environment, your age might (but only might) be a minor disadvantage, but in most jobs it really won't be - and your superior 'life-skills' will count in your favour. Also remember that for the last couple of years it has actually been illegal to discriminate against equally-qualified candidates for jobs on grounds of age.

Go for it!

Weegiemum Thu 12-Jun-08 14:09:15

You're not too old. I went back at 36 to do a 2nd degree, and have loved it (sitting finals right now).

chitchat07 Mon 23-Jun-08 11:20:27

Beansmum - I was 34 when I finished my law degree. This was a complete change of career - but I did do it before I became a mum.

The childcare issues are something you have to really think about. It really depends on what sort of career change you are talking about. I have had to give up on the idea of being a barrister or a solicitor, because quite frankly I am not willing to give up the time away from my family which they demand of a newly qualified barrister or solicitor. I have spent the last few years teaching at University which has been surprisingly rewarding (surprising because I never thought I had it in me to teach!). But to be given any decent subjects/hours I have decided to go further and do a LLM (masters of law) through distance learning this year (and I'm 38!!).

It also depends on what your career was before hand. Yes, you're competing against younger people for graduate jobs, but you have added experience in another area of the workforce, which can only be of benefit, not to mention the fact that you've got a sensible head on your shoulders at your age compared to the younger students.

amybswansea Mon 23-Jun-08 14:32:01

As a lecturer I dont think I'd even notice you were "mature" at 27!

amybswansea Mon 23-Jun-08 14:33:05

Oh...I had a student (at least in her 70's) once who said to me one session "I dont think I'll finish the course". When I asked why she replied very nonchalantly "I dont expect I'll live that long!".

Not much you can say to that really!

3andnomore Mon 07-Jul-08 10:25:00 old? You are only a youngster....
I will be starting my Occupational Therapy course this September (am properly accepted now...wohoo)....and the degree will take 3 years, but, I am planning on possibly doing my Masters straight after which would add an extra 2 years....(I think)...and I am 38 this August...

PeachyHidingInTheShed Mon 07-Jul-08 10:28:02

my friend graduates next year, she is 78- she says she feels its something she needs tp prove she can do, good on her

another friend grasduated with me this year, she is 56 (I am a day off 35). I hope to teach, friend is setting up a charity for the famillies of suicide victims.

dh is starting we hope in 2009, he will be 38

mature students statistically do better and you will find you're one of the younger mature students there

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