At 29, considering returning to college

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by alm99, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. alm99 macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2008
    I am considering going back to school for a graphic/web design degree. This is the kind of work I enjoy. I have spent the past 5+ years of my career in sales and I am burnt out and do not wish to pursue this any longer. I have a Bachelors in Marketing, but I do not have any formal training in the area of graphic/web design. All of the positions I have applied that relate to marketing want the piece of paper of formal education of graphic design in conjunction with marketing.

    My concern is that the field is oversaturated and I would be wasting my time in the education. Is there anyone in the field with any insights or offer any guidance?

  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Why is it when some people are talking about degrees, the one word they never ever say is "University"? I'd never describe the institution I attend as "school" or "college" because it isn't either of those things :p
  3. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    In the US College/University are used mostly interchangeably, and of course any furthering of education is considered "school." While you may not refer to University in that way in the UK, the terminology in the original post is very common in the U.S.
  4. YouArentJ macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2008
    I believe that has a lot to do with the country you live in... I went to "school" for my Masters :)
  5. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    Your statement above seems like a good reason to switch careers. And you are still fairly young. Marketing could be a good background with graphic design.
  6. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    That's weird. I'm a senior art director and I went to school for theater (but I did start as a production assistant, the VERY bottom), yet I ended up in graphic design and advertising. Go figure. Sounds like you're limiting yourself. Apply for the jobs even if they ask for the degree. Your experience and portfolio will speak much louder. You could also start as an account executive and go the creative route later. They love it when an applicant has a marketing background.
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    How long is the schooling for this?

    I just re-entered school in a masters program. Been out for ~4 years, but have taken at least one class per year out.

    Depends on a lot of factors. Married? Kids? Savings?

    I would try to keep the same job you have now and investigate part-time options in schooling or full time schooling and part time work. But this al depends on the above.

    If you feel that is what you want to do, perhaps take an intro class at a Community College and see if its even interesting when doing it.

    Good luck!
  8. alm99 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2008
    I am married w/3 kids. I was thinking of going full time, balls out to get it done. Take on part time work and my wife would go back to work. I would start at a community college and then move to a 4 year.
  9. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I seriously think that's a bit extreme just to make a career switch, especially this career. You've already got the marketing background. I would try to transition into the business in another capacity as I mentioned before. This is not a massively lucrative business, so I think it would do you better to try this way first.
  10. Saikou macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2007
    Not everybody lives in the UK. College = University = School, all interchangeable.
  11. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    I apologize in advance if no one cares. Anyway, school just means where you go to study, and can be anything from pre-school through University. Universities are comprised of Colleges, and colleges are a collection of educators who specialize in one area of study.

    However, Merriam-Webster doesn't necessarily agree or disagree with me.

    It's kind of like the blurry distinction between hamlet, village, town, city, etc.
  12. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    You missed off pob ;)

    So you're going back to do a degree, which (in the UK) is taken at university. I was the youngest person on my course when I graduated (21) where the average age was probably mid to late 20's. Even back at college there was a woman of 35 and some guys around 27-32.

    I wouldn't worry too much about oversaturation. Plenty of people do design courses and end up on different careers. I studied graphic and media design but I'm now working in the games industry as a independent developer. One friend from my course got a job teaching art at highschool, another became an advisor to our local library and art gallery.
  13. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    To me, a College is a lower level institution. You can't get a degree from a College, for example.
  14. DocStone macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2006
    Republic of Texas
    Get some braces too! Just kidding.

    Really though, I have a Ph.D. and I have just returned to school. I enjoy taking classes part time and keeps my brain challenged. I see lots of older people in classes, especially in the evening. I am in my thirties and I fit in well. I guess it's because I am childish at heart. (and the rest of me I imagine)

    Go for it!

  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    well from my experience, some are universities aka University of Kansas, Colorado State University, Duke University, etc

    However, there are places like Colorado School of Mines and Colorado College where you can most certainly earn degrees and advanced degrees in fields of study

    There are also "academies" such as United States Air Force Academy

    in addition, there are also Institutes, like MIT, Georgia Tech, Cal Tech, etc

    All of which you can earn 4 year degrees and more. The names don't really matter as far as university, school, institute, academy. etc

    I will say that at my university as well as others, there are colleges such as the college of engineering, the college of liberal arts, college of natural sciences, etc.

    However, college in this sense isn't the same in context as say Colorado College. However, community colleges arent the same level as the others as they offer 2 year programs as well as 4 but no adavanced for the most part. Once again, college in the context of community college isnt the same as the college of engineering or a school like Colorado College lol

    lol hopefully some found that interesting
  16. gibbz macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2007
    First, life is short and you only get to live it once ... do what your heart says.

    In regards to the school, college, etc .. most institutions are referred to as Universities. Within the University lies Colleges consisting of Schools of specialties. For instance, I am a Ph.D. student in the School of Meteorology in the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. There are some variants, but this is the general structure idea in the U.S. Informally, it is acceptable in the U.S. to refer to your education location as university, college, school, whatever. Based on the above structure, there is nothing wrong with that informality.
  17. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    it's just the difference in terminology between where you live and those from the USA..... from a wiki.answers page;

  18. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    I did. M-W lists it as 'post office box'. I doubt if many folks live in one of those. I'll bite: what does it mean?

    For alm99: if it's what you're interested in, it generally doesn't matter if the field is saturated. If nothing else, you could do it as a hobby and try to turn it into a career.
  19. angelneo macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2004
    For the graphic/web design industry, what happen most is your portfolio, That piece of certificate doesn't matter much to potential employers. If you feel you are accomplished enough, try to build your portfolio in your free time while still holding on to your job (given your current situation).

    If you are going back to learn about web/graphic design in which you have only a slight clue of how the industry/job is, I suggest you try to do some self-learning and research first.
  20. jaydub macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    I recently graduated with my Bachelors in Marketing. I was 30 when I finally graduated. I never felt that much older than any of my classmates, and really age only became an issue when my classmates saw me going from work full-time to class full-time as well. Combining both made me very motivated and driven, and I think that helped me get through much more easily than I could have when I was 18.

    It's never too late.
  21. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    Do it!

    School is only 4 years or less, because you have most of the core courses out of the way already.

    Or, can you take a Master's degree program on top of your Marketing degree that will fulfill the Graphics requirements of the new career?

    Do you have to go to a community college or can you get into a prestigious school? Looks better on the resume, gets you in the door.

    No matter what, you are only 29. You will be working for the next 35 years or so. That's longer than you have been alive so far. Just get the education to do what you want to do while you can and don't look back.
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I agree with leekohler on this one.

    Everything I have heard from friend in the industry or going into the industry is the degree does not mean much. It the portfolio that matters. Your degree in marketting should help get your foot in the door.

    I do know that at most the degree will just get your foot in the door.
  23. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    School may be the right place to build up a portfolio, if you don't have much of one, and pick up the piece of paper at the same time. I know how hard it can be to try to build the portfolio, work, and family (used as a verb!).
  24. alm99 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2008
    Thanks to everyone for their feedback and ideas.

  25. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    I think he probably meant more along the lines of a Masters in Graphic Design or some similar degree. Since you already have a bachelors you don't really need to go back for another one, you could likely take a few basic courses in the graphic design area and then move to a Masters program of some sort. It may take less time and will likely look better to a future employer than having two bachelors degrees.

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