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SquirrellyMama

Does a college degree expire?

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Ok, so I know there isn't an expiration date on my university degree ? A friend keeps saying this when we talk about kids and college. I have 2 - 4 year degrees, and she has a 2 year degree. I have nothing against 2 year degrees. We have told our kids they can start with that and move on to a 4 year or work. Or, work then move on to a 4 year. I have a kids that is thinking about going the apprenticeship direction instead. I'm ok with that also. As long as they do something.

I personally disagree with her. I cannot imagine going out, and getting a job with 2 degrees that I haven't used in 16 years. 

Her thought is that at least I can substitute teach. That is the last thing I want to do. 

What do you all think?

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You'll probably need to update your skills in order to prove you are still interested in the field.  Get some volunteer, consulting, or temp work in the field you're interested in.  If you cannot, get a certificate in some variation of the same field - many of those you can get online.

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Continuing education is the key. Even those of us who are working in the field are required CEUs annually. Agree with Katy that starting volunteer work or work in a related field and attending seminars / conferences can bring this degree back to life unless it's in a tech field that has moved eons beyond what it once was. In that case, a few classes may be necessary.

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12 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Well, kind of. 

It can become irrelevant.

Quite quickly, really.

 

This is my thought. 

 

16 minutes ago, Katy said:

You'll probably need to update your skills in order to prove you are still interested in the field.  Get some volunteer, consulting, or temp work in the field you're interested in.  If you cannot, get a certificate in some variation of the same field - many of those you can get online.

 

2 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

Continuing education is the key. Even those of us who are working in the field are required CEUs annually. Agree with Katy that starting volunteer work or work in a related field and attending seminars / conferences can bring this degree back to life unless it's in a tech field that has moved eons beyond what it once was. In that case, a few classes may be necessary.

How long do you think it would take to volunteer, temp work, certificates, etc... Would it be easier to go back to school for a 2 year that is more relevant? I guess it would depend on the area. I'm not planning on using either degree, I never was all that interested in them. I'd rather go back and get a 2 year that I'm interested in. I might do that after the kids are out of the house.

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What field is it?  Specifics might be important here.

Otherwise, find whatever opportunities you can, including working towards a certificate, and start applying for jobs.

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6 minutes ago, Katy said:

What field is it?  Specifics might be important here.

Otherwise, find whatever opportunities you can, including working towards a certificate, and start applying for jobs.

I'm not actually trying to get back into the field my degree is in. We just have this disagreement going. 

I think they can "expire" through in activity. She disagrees.

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Your knowledge in the discipline can get out of date.  For a job that just requires a certain level of education, no, your degree doesn't expire. 

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I have an MBA from 1988.  It got me a fantastic job.  Now I’m qualified to drive the shuttle bus for people who usta woulda been my minions. 

So yeah I still have and mba.   But it’s out of date for employment—but dang useful as I’m starting my own business.   NOT being a shuttle driver. Haha

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If you are not staying in the field in which you earned the degrees, I would say a 2-year relevant degree that you are completing now would definitely be worth it in terms of what jobs will be open to you.

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Like others have said, it depends on the degree and what you want to do with it.

If you want to use the specific knowledge, then yes, it is no longer relevant.  For instance if you have a biology degree, and want to be a  research assistant, you will likely need to go back and retake biology, possibly math, and definitely lab classes to hone your hands on skills and learn new technology. 

If you want to work as an office assistant in a bio-medical company, they may want you to have a sciece degree to show basic science knowlege and aptitude. Even if you aren't going to use the science knowledge you will be interacting with clients discussing science topics so the basic interest and knowledge will be applicable.  They may or may not care what field it was in, or if it is current.

If you are applying for a job that just requires checking a box to say "I have a 4 year degree" (completely non-specific) then it doesn't expire.  This is common to be an office assistant in a school, or entry level management jobs.

 

Individual credits do expire.  If you decided to go back to college, you may need to retake specific classes to continue your education. 

 

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it depends upon the field.  a field that will get a new grad a decent job - isn't worth as much because of lack of experience in the last __ years.   e.g. 2dd has stem degrees, if she leaves for as little as two years - she's out.  (she also has be to licensed.) 

however, for somethings - that don't pay a lot - it can get you in the door for a generic office job.  receptionist, etc.

 

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I agree that specifics can matter here. Like, my degree is in Advertising, but the types of jobs I did or applied for were in graphic design because I'm not interested in cold calling/sales/commission work. The programs and versions used vary, with everyone pretty much expecting you to be fluent in Adobe Creative Cloud at the moment. Well, sadly, when I went to school I only took a class in Quark and InDesign. Adobe InDesign was not part of my degree program, but I re-enrolled just for it. I never formally took anything in Illustrator and when I enrolled in another community college (this was after having the 4 year degree) with an actual graphic design dept. dh got his job offer the first day of my class so I never learned Illustrator. Now every time I see a job posting for "fluent in ABC" I feel like my skills are not up to snuff and not exactly sure how to get them there. Plus, more and more they expect web design skills, but my focus was on print (I worked a few years for a place that published a 6 day newspaper, their own phone book and a couple local magazines). On the job I only used outdated Photoshop and Quark.

If I were to seriously pursue a job in the field I would be selective about what continuing education I sought out, but I don't think I'd re-enter a 2 or 4 year program. Dh used to constantly ask me if I wanted to get a Master's degree and I'd try to tell him it was not an interest of mine nor necessary in the field imo.

But in your hypothetical question, if the job cared about the focus of the former degree, then you may need to start over. If not, they may be satisfied with skills or experience in a related field to their job opening.

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3 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Ok, so I know there isn't an expiration date on my university degree ? A friend keeps saying this when we talk about kids and college. I have 2 - 4 year degrees, and she has a 2 year degree. I have nothing against 2 year degrees. We have told our kids they can start with that and move on to a 4 year or work. Or, work then move on to a 4 year. I have a kids that is thinking about going the apprenticeship direction instead. I'm ok with that also. As long as they do something.

I personally disagree with her. I cannot imagine going out, and getting a job with 2 degrees that I haven't used in 16 years. 

Her thought is that at least I can substitute teach. That is the last thing I want to do. 

What do you all think?

Nope. For some fields, you have to keep up skills and certifications as well, but having a degree always counts. You can always go into executive assistance, management, etc. with your degree. It's a BA/BS, it counts. Military: you get the allowance. Management: you get the job. Grad school: having a degree counts!

I recently checked and my alma mater will take my 2 year degree towards a second bachelor's, though I got the associate's 20 years ago. It still transfers as a whole set, GPA and all, and I only have two more years to get another technical undergrad degree. That's way cheaper than another master's! So I have my master's and can get a technical undergrad on top of it. In-state tuition. Booyah.

I swear, community college was the best money I ever spent!

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if you want to use it on an application for grad school - it doens't expire.

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2 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

if you want to use it on an application for grad school - it doens't expire.

 

Yup.  I was just going to come and post this.  Instead of another 2 year degree, I would just go for an MA in the field you are looking to transfer to.  I don't know that this would work for all fields, I would think something like nursing wouldn't work this way, but for many, it would be a better way to go.

And no, degrees don't expire.

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Well, if you don’t work for 16 years you will still be in a better position to re-enter the job market with a degree than without one.   So I don’t think they expire.   If you have a degree that gave a  specific skill set, you would want to show they are kept up to date in some way but I don’t think that would require a whole new degree.  

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It doesn’t expire but you may not be able to use the classes as prevreqs for another degree.

for example, I have a 20 year old biology BS degree. I cannot use those classes as prerequisites for the CC nursing program here now. No way would I be willing to retake bio 101, English 101, chem, etc- btdt. Those are needed within 5 years to apply for the nursing program

my teaching MS degree however, I took 10+ years off and jumped back in this fall- no one blinked an eye 

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Degrees don’t expire, but individual credits can. Some credits can be applied to both a Master’s Degree and a Doctoral Degree. However, in order to earn the Doctorate, courses have to be taken within a specific time frame. If there is too much of a time lapse, the credit for the course taken as a grad student cannot be applied the post grad degree and the course must be retaken if it is needed for the post grad degree. It has been 22 years since my husband finished his masters and his dream is to teach at a university when he retires from his current job. He will have to repeat some credits that he took for his masters if he goes for his PhD in order to do that. The funny thing? He has served as adjunct a few times and actually taught one of the credits he will have to retake, and one of the books he wrote is currently being used in a different course he will need to take for the first time. By the time he gets ready to go back to school for that PhD, it might prove interesting to see how all of his requirements actually fall out. Academia can be weird sometimes. 

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Maybe not expire but your knowledge may become obsolete and skills may need to be updated.    

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I don’t think a degree expires, but I think maybe qualifications can.  

To use a low paying/low skilled example...

I worked at McDonalds for 2.5 years back when I was a teen, so over 20 yrs ago. None of my experience with the registers, fryers, and other tech would be relevant today.  If I wanted a job there today, they would still need to fully train me on that stuff.  

But other things like customer service skills, cash handling, etc, those things are still relevant.  So even though they would still have to train me on all the basic operations, my experience from 20 yrs ago isn’t expired.  

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

Yup.  I was just going to come and post this.  Instead of another 2 year degree, I would just go for an MA in the field you are looking to transfer to.  I don't know that this would work for all fields, I would think something like nursing wouldn't work this way, but for many, it would be a better way to go.

And no, degrees don't expire.

The field I want to go in to doesn't have 4 year degrees or MAs. Iy really would take me going back to school. It is a very specific skill set.

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I feel like after nine years of no use, mine has. The skills I acquired haven't been used at all in that time. Even if someone was foolish enough to hire me, I would be spending a ton of time at the start of the job, just relearning how to do it. Plus, I never actually worked in that field (graduating during a recession with no work experience isn't something I recommend.)

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

Yup.  I was just going to come and post this.  Instead of another 2 year degree, I would just go for an MA in the field you are looking to transfer to.  I don't know that this would work for all fields, I would think something like nursing wouldn't work this way, but for many, it would be a better way to go.

And no, degrees don't expire.

yes - if you can meet the requirements for the program, that's all they care about. some programs have very strict requirements, some don't.

and requirements can vary from one school to another.

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1 hour ago, TechWife said:

Degrees don’t expire, but individual credits can. Some credits can be applied to both a Master’s Degree and a Doctoral Degree. However, in order to earn the Doctorate, courses have to be taken within a specific time frame. If there is too much of a time lapse, the credit for the course taken as a grad student cannot be applied the post grad degree and the course must be retaken if it is needed for the post grad degree. It has been 22 years since my husband finished his masters and his dream is to teach at a university when he retires from his current job. He will have to repeat some credits that he took for his masters if he goes for his PhD in order to do that. The funny thing? He has served as adjunct a few times and actually taught one of the credits he will have to retake, and one of the books he wrote is currently being used in a different course he will need to take for the first time. By the time he gets ready to go back to school for that PhD, it might prove interesting to see how all of his requirements actually fall out. Academia can be weird sometimes. 

 

and it can depend what field to apply to what degree.  and what school.

2ds is using an older stem class to apply towards his degree, he can do that because it's just a "you must have a lab science" credit.  (he's  retaking it because he wants to bring up his overall gpa for business grad school applications.)

 

for dd's pharmd program . .  they didn't' require an undergrad at all. they were all about meeting the course requirements (which can be done in two years).  she had a two year gap during her undergrad to go to south america, then a year between her undergrad and doctoral program - so some of her lower level chem & bio classes, were more than five years in the past.  she didn't have to retake anything.

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The fact that I have a piece of paper is still good, but most of the technology I learned to implement my degree skill set is obsolete. I would need to retrain in current tech trends to use my degree skillset again. 

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Maybe this will help.  I have a family member that was laid off in the 2008 recession when factories started moving overseas.  Relative did a very specific sort of inventory management & logistics for a fortune 50 company. With 10 years military experience, relative took a job in federal government.  When relative retired 10 years later and discovered they weren't suited for retirement started looking back for a job in old field as factories moved back.  Applied for maybe 3 dozen jobs, interviewed for 3, local candidates were selected instead. Relative signed up for some sort of logistics certificate on Coursera, barely started first class and got hired with a sign on bonus and moving expenses for the old field at a large company. The old experience was enough to get interviews but proving interest by paying for a new certificate was enough to get a job.  I think the single class cost something like $110. No 2-year degree required.  I think generally in a skills based field simply having a portfolio proving skills have been kept up is often enough.

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So, like I said in my first line, I know my degree doesn't have an expiration date. I meant can you still be hired with a dormant degree.

Another question. Do you think it's easier for men or women to get back in after years of inactivity.

My friend and I are having this disagreement on 2 yr vs 4yr degrees. She feels a 4 yr has more longevity than a 2 yr. After going into debt and only working for 2 years before starting a family and staying home I wish I had done a 2 yr. Although, maybe it's because I hated my field of study.

And, I really can't use my Marketing degree to become a dog groomer. I know I'll have to go back to school ?

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23 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

So, like I said in my first line, I know my degree doesn't have an expiration date. I meant can you still be hired with a dormant degree.

Another question. Do you think it's easier for men or women to get back in after years of inactivity.

My friend and I are having this disagreement on 2 yr vs 4yr degrees. She feels a 4 yr has more longevity than a 2 yr. After going into debt and only working for 2 years before starting a family and staying home I wish I had done a 2 yr. Although, maybe it's because I hated my field of study.

And, I really can't use my Marketing degree to become a dog groomer. I know I'll have to go back to school ?

Well, there is no such thing as a dormant degree, as far as I know. If you are asking about re-entering the workforce, that's an entirely different conversation and the answers would depend upon what field you are considering. If you are going to have your own dog grooming business, you most certainly can use your marketing background.  It would also be considered a positive if you take out a small business loan. Any job that has "college degree required" will consider your degree has having fulfilled that requirement. Specific degree requirements, not so much. What are you interested in doing?

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I think getting any job, whether you have a fresh degree, old degree, or no degree, is a lot more complicated than that. The benefit of any degree, old or new, is that it gets you in a door that is closed to others. Whether you get the job from there depends on a ton of other factors. 

My friend’s famous story is that she checked the degree box for a job application when she didn’t actually have a degree (I’m not recommending this, just part of the story). During the interview she told them that she didn’t have a degree and the interviewer asked why she lied. She responded with, “Would you have given me an interview if I hadn’t checked that box?” She got the job. 

 

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16 minutes ago, TechWife said:

Well, there is no such thing as a dormant degree, as far as I know. If you are asking about re-entering the workforce, that's an entirely different conversation and the answers would depend upon what field you are considering. If you are going to have your own dog grooming business, you most certainly can use your marketing background.  It would also be considered a positive if you take out a small business loan. Any job that has "college degree required" will consider your degree has having fulfilled that requirement. Specific degree requirements, not so much. What are you interested in doing?

Sorry, dormant degree as in I haven't used my degree in 16 years. 

I'm wondering if this is because my biggest regret is getting this degree. I hated it while in school and never used it. 

I also resent the fact that I might be seen in a better light than someone without a degree or a 2 year who is better qualified. They might not even get in the door for an interview and I would. 

 

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37 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Sorry, dormant degree as in I haven't used my degree in 16 years. 

I'm wondering if this is because my biggest regret is getting this degree. I hated it while in school and never used it. 

I also resent the fact that I might be seen in a better light than someone without a degree or a 2 year who is better qualified. They might not even get in the door for an interview and I would.  

 

 

I, too, have a BBA in marketing. By the time I finished school I had ethical issues with the marketing profession as a whole and never worked in the field. However, I did use my degree in that it has opened doors for me that would not have otherwise been opened and I have certainly used much of the knowledge I gained in various business related courses I was required to take throughout my career and my lifetime. My academic background in economics, finance and statistics has served me well in both my professional and my personal life. Honestly, I wouldn't understand much of what ends up in the news without that background. It has prevented me from being culturally, financially and politically illiterate. While I would have been better served changing universities and majoring in public relations, then working for a non-profit, I don't regret sticking it out that last year and getting the degree. I do think that I am better educated and have career and life experience that both qualify me for many jobs that others aren't qualified for, even if that one differentiating qualification is the knowledge I obtained  through studying for my degree. The degree portrays me in a better light than those without a degree for jobs that require a degree. There jobs for which I am qualified, not qualified, and over-qualified. All of those jobs will be filled by someone - I might as well get one I am qualified to do, KWIM? The employer is the one that determines the qualifications for a job, not the employee. If an employer requires a degree, then those without a degree, while they may have applicable knowledge and experience and may be able to do the nuts and bolts of the job, they do not meet the employers qualifications, and so they really aren't qualified. I guess I don't understand why you resent the fact that your degree opens doors that are closed to others. Do you think that all degrees are intrinsically without value and that employers should not require them? Do you think employers should not be allowed to set the minimum requirements to be hired for a job? Where are we going here?

 

 

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I think there are several ways I *still* use my outdated degree, several things about it that have been of benefit to me.  I really can't say that I don't still use my degree, because getting it changed me.  I used to be afraid of taking on difficult tasks, but after taking graduate level statistics 15 years after my last math class, I came to believe I could conquer any subject that I had to.  That was useful to me in the job I got from the MBA, but it is useful to me to this very day, as I am learning very technical stuff about photography.  

Someone I love has never "used" her music degree.  But she has been able to progress through life with music as an avocation, getting decent jobs that she could not have had without the degree.  To tell the truth, I think  employers ask for a degree because it shows that you can sustain an effort over a course of assigned work, doing what you are required to do, and with a reasonable amount of success.  They use it as an indicator of your work ethic more than as an indicator of knowledge base.  Of course, this is not the ONLY reason they require it--for technical degrees, that is an obvious requirement.  But when a manager requires a degree for an entry level sales job, or (what we used to call) a grunt job, a degree gives them some assurance that you can stick to something.   

And with that degree, 30 years ago, I got a job that I would not have got without it.  In that job, I had to think BIG, to have a hand in directing the course of a nascent business sector, and given that I did THAT, I now have confidence that I can manage my own teeny tiny business...I don't think I would have had the confidence to try this without that experience.  

I've long felt that at bare minimum, a degree keeps doors open.  If you don't have one, you can't even APPLY for a job that states it as a requirement, regardless of your own knowledge that you CAN do that job.  I've talked people into hiring me once I get the interview, even if I don't have allllll the qualifications, but I had to get in the door.  

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4 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

So, like I said in my first line, I know my degree doesn't have an expiration date. I meant can you still be hired with a dormant degree.

Another question. Do you think it's easier for men or women to get back in after years of inactivity.

My friend and I are having this disagreement on 2 yr vs 4yr degrees. She feels a 4 yr has more longevity than a 2 yr. After going into debt and only working for 2 years before starting a family and staying home I wish I had done a 2 yr. Although, maybe it's because I hated my field of study.

And, I really can't use my Marketing degree to become a dog groomer. I know I'll have to go back to school ?

Wait, I can't tell if that last line is a joke or not. Would you be interested in dog grooming? My friend runs her own business grooming dogs and it has nothing to do with her degree (interior design). She has an area in her garage set up for it and bought a vehicle wrap for her vehicle which she drops off in different parking lots to advertise. She's got pretty steady work, but it is physically demanding.

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Somewhat, my degrees are in math and computer science. I've taught computer literacy and web design at the college level for 20 years. I'm currently a 3/4 time professor with no benefits. So I have a lot of computer background, but with such an old degree and having taught only freshman-level classes, I'm basically a non-starter for an IT. I've largely been applying for instructional design and online learning management jobs.

And I am having a HORRIBLE time finding full-time work. It's at the point that I'm applying for anything above minimum wage in my town while still putting in applications for professional-level work. It's a tough market for those of us who stepped away to raise our children.

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G5052--"liked" your post not to like it but to agree.  I am not one bit sorry that I stepped away to raise my son, BUT I do think I was a little too stubborn about being "stay at home mommy" and I now wish I had kept my hand in, at least 10 hours a week, doing consulting, which people were BEGGING me to do when I left my job, but nooooo.  Now, they are retired and I have no references and I'm really out of date.  

THAT SAID, I also have to remember that I was pretty sick for a few years there (autoimmune) and really could NOT have done anything more than I was doing for about 5 years...so it's more of a muse than a regret on my part.  

But yeah.

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5 hours ago, TechWife said:

 If an employer requires a degree, then those without a degree, while they may have applicable knowledge and experience and may be able to do the nuts and bolts of the job, they do not meet the employers qualifications, and so they really aren't qualified. I guess I don't understand why you resent the fact that your degree opens doors that are closed to others. Do you think that all degrees are intrinsically without value and that employers should not require them? Do you think employers should not be allowed to set the minimum requirements to be hired for a job? Where are we going here?

 

 

I do think companies can set minimum requirements, but I also think there are jobs that should not require a BA/BS when an AA/AS would do. 

No, I don't think all degrees are without value. 

Why does it upset me that I would have a better chance of getting an interview over someone without a degree? 

I'm not sure why I feel so strongly about it. I always have. I wish I had a better answer. 

3 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Wait, I can't tell if that last line is a joke or not. Would you be interested in dog grooming? My friend runs her own business grooming dogs and it has nothing to do with her degree (interior design). She has an area in her garage set up for it and bought a vehicle wrap for her vehicle which she drops off in different parking lots to advertise. She's got pretty steady work, but it is physically demanding.

Not a joke, really want to get in to it. I'll wait until the kids are out of the house though. The closest school is 2 hours away. I don't usually say it out loud though. My dh is a dream killer. I also sem to surround myself with dream killer friends.

 

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1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Not a joke, really want to get in to it. I'll wait until the kids are out of the house though. The closest school is 2 hours away. I don't usually say it out loud though. My dh is a dream killer. I also sem to surround myself with dream killer friends.

 

Ok well I really never heard of it requiring special schooling. Never thought about it. Like I said my friend didn’t do that. She did have a little experience in a vet office or something but that was it I think. And she loves animals. I think she started grooming dogs before owning one! She has had cats but only recently a dog. 

You may be able to do it without schooling. Seriously. Maybe you could get experience in a place that does it. I don’t know if you want your own business or not. She applied for an LLC, got some stuff set up in her garage, advertised in/around her neighborhood & made business cards. At one point she drove to clients but now I think requires them to come to her? 

I don’t know if you can get that kind of experience at an animal shelter but maybe certain doggie hotels or pet shops that offer that service? 

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4 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

 

Not a joke, really want to get in to it. I'll wait until the kids are out of the house though. The closest school is 2 hours away. I don't usually say it out loud though. My dh is a dream killer. I also sem to surround myself with dream killer friends.

 

 

There is a 2 year program to become a dog groomer?  

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14 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Ok well I really never heard of it requiring special schooling. Never thought about it. Like I said my friend didn’t do that. She did have a little experience in a vet office or something but that was it I think. And she loves animals. I think she started grooming dogs before owning one! She has had cats but only recently a dog. 

You may be able to do it without schooling. Seriously. Maybe you could get experience in a place that does it. I don’t know if you want your own business or not. She applied for an LLC, got some stuff set up in her garage, advertised in/around her neighborhood & made business cards. At one point she drove to clients but now I think requires them to come to her? 

I don’t know if you can get that kind of experience at an animal shelter but maybe certain doggie hotels or pet shops that offer that service? 

 

11 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

There is a 2 year program to become a dog groomer?  

Actually, I think its 18 months. I haven't looked in awhile. I don't want my own business. I've had a home business before, and the taxes are killer.

I had a friend ask around trying to get experience in the business, and she didn't meet with much luck. That is why I'd rather take classes. 

I still have some time before my youngest graduates, so I'm secretly planning. Once she can drive I might try to get a job about 45 minutes away in a PetSmart that has grooming, doggy daycare/hotel. I thought that would be a good start. 

This is the first time I've said this out loud. 

Kelly

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There is a certificate program here that teaches dog grooming. 2 days a week for about 3 hours each day for about 3 months.

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1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

 

Actually, I think its 18 months. I haven't looked in awhile. I don't want my own business. I've had a home business before, and the taxes are killer.

I had a friend ask around trying to get experience in the business, and she didn't meet with much luck. That is why I'd rather take classes. 

I still have some time before my youngest graduates, so I'm secretly planning. Once she can drive I might try to get a job about 45 minutes away in a PetSmart that has grooming, doggy daycare/hotel. I thought that would be a good start. 

This is the first time I've said this out loud. 

Kelly

Step 1 to reaching your goals. Write it down. (I need to follow this advice myself!). That's progress right there. 

I had no idea there were classes for this, but the fact that you know about the classes/program is cool. 

 

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The way I would put it is, the degree doesn't expire, but if you can't any longer function in the skills it gave you, you can't function.  Even if it was only a year ago.

ETA: But this is one way that I think a degree, like a BA or BSc, is intended to be different than a diploma or a trade skill or professional program.  It's mostly not about discrete skills.  That's not always true now, but that's the idea.)

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I graduated 30 years ago, earning my BS degree.  I only worked full-time in that field for the next 4 years before leaving to raise my children.  Then 8 years ago dh lost his job.  I dusted off my degree, & reapplied for my license & found it easy to re-enter the workforce.  Yes, I have had to settle for casual work, not full-time, but there were many factors that caused this.  All my full-time experience & training was done outside the country where I currently live.  This is more of a barrier than the 20 years I took off work to raise & homeschool my own children.  At my age I am happy with regular casual work as I really don't want the stress that a full-time position brings with it.  I believe that while licences & certifications do expire, degrees do not expire.  A degree is a piece of paper that tells people that you have successfully reached a certain level of education.  A degree isn't a guarantee of acceptance or competence in a certain job.  Dd has a BSc degree that she has never used.  The certifications & other more practical qualifications that she gained ofter graduation are what she needed to be hired & keep her job.  her degree isn't useless as it tells people that she has the educational ability up to the BSc level.  It opens up opportunities for her that would not be possible without a degree.  Ds#1 does not have a degree, but instead a trade certificate.  He is more limited as to how far he can advance in his line of work with out further study, but his qualifications, like a degree, tell people what the highest level of education he completed.  His qualifications would open doors in other trades as well, just may need a bit of specific training to make the switch.  Ds#2 has no real plans currently to use his degree after graduating, but like dd, having a degree will open some doors that wouldn't be options with no degree.

A degree does not guarantee higher pay, though, as ds#1 has the highest income in our family & has for the past few years.  

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Some good news re how long a degree 'lasts'...

I just got some work on the basis of my 24 yr old first degree in poetry ?

Haven't ever used it before!

So maybe these things don't expire!

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