Author Topic: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?  (Read 4304 times)

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Offline rstofer

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2018, 08:04:14 pm »
rstofer,

Thank you for responding. Yes, I've looked in to community college in my state, though they aren't as well regarded as the ones in California. Maybe I can move just for the community college? And yes, I realize it doesn't get easier as I get older, which is why I'm slightly panicking.

I'm having these very same conversations with my grandson.  He's in Community College and he just aced Calc I.  That's pretty outstanding!  But there's more to do.  Oh, and I get a co-A...  Do grandfather's get credit?

Our conversations are now focused on his major.  He wants to take Mechanical Engineering and I'm pushing for Computer Engineering.  ME is boring and CE is MAGIC!

Community college is certainly a good place to start.  Take whatever is available but start now!
 

Offline trrway_32

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #51 on: May 22, 2018, 08:08:05 pm »
Quote
I feel some assumptions have being made about the original poster, one is that they want to go into further education for the money. If this is true, then I doubt doing an engineering degree will get the best return on their investment. I don't know about the US, but in the UK an engineering degree certainly isn't the best thing to do, purely for financial return: economics and law are probably better options.

If it's not about the money, then it might make more sense to study something completely different, get a comfortably paid job and informally study electronics for a hobby.

Hero,

Yes, a main drive is that I want to go back and finish my degree is for financial improvement. You said you don't think it will give me the best return on investment. What would then give me a better return on investment?
 

Offline trrway_32

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2018, 08:13:20 pm »
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He's in Community College and he just aced Calc I.

I've heard community college is just a continuation of high school i.e. you're surrounded by people who aren't really that motivated. Is this true? Does he feel he's missing out on things like clubs, campus life, and networking with potential companies?
 

Offline Seph.b

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #53 on: May 22, 2018, 09:21:18 pm »
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He's in Community College and he just aced Calc I.

I've heard community college is just a continuation of high school i.e. you're surrounded by people who aren't really that motivated. Is this true? Does he feel he's missing out on things like clubs, campus life, and networking with potential companies?

From my experience gen ed/100 level classes at a 4yr college are just like high school. May as well get the boring stuff out of the way for cheap so you can focus on your degree classes when you go to 4yr. More expensive universities will probably provide a better experience for those type of classes, but at a much higher cost. 
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2018, 09:30:23 pm »
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He's in Community College and he just aced Calc I.

I've heard community college is just a continuation of high school i.e. you're surrounded by people who aren't really that motivated. Is this true? Does he feel he's missing out on things like clubs, campus life, and networking with potential companies?

I used to view Community College as 'kiddie college'.  I don't do this any more.  There are programs like 'rocks for jocks', sure, but for the engineering units to be transferable to the engineering curriculum at state colleges and universities, they have to cover the very same material to the very same depth.  There are standards!  These CC's are serious schools.  That AS degree is earned in sweat and tears!

We (my grandson and I) have talked about clubs, campus life, Greek life and networking and it all comes down the same way.  In E school, you don't have time for that stuff.  There's a reason that engineers are characterized as a little weird and socially inept.  There's just no time for getting drunk on Friday night and sleeping it off on Saturday.  Unless you're a genius and then you will be socially inept anyway and nobody is going to invite you to the party.

Go back to the numbers I posted earlier:  There will be 2 or 3 hours of homework per week for every unit in the course.  For some classes, this might explode to 5 hours of homework.  So, take a 4 unit Calculus class and expect to spend 5 hours in class and up to 25 hours on study.  Now multiply by 3 because you simply must take 12 units (minimum) and you're looking at 90 hours a week.  That's about 13 hours per day, every day of the week.  There's simply no time for a hangover.  A more realistic number is probably just around 60 hours per week or about 8 hours per day.  This is a full time job!  Some semesters you have to take 15 units - it just gets worse.

When I went to EE school, it took 141 units to graduate.  I had thought it was 132 but when I looked at my transcript, it said 141.  Either way...  Take 132 units and divide by 4 years and you get 33 units per year.  Divide by 3 semesters (trimester system) and you can just squeak by with 11 units per semester, call it 12.  In a two semester system with a short summer session, you can't do this.  There's no possible way to take a Calculus class in a short semester.  So, maybe you can take a few units of General Education but that's about it.  So, you have to average 12 to 15 units so that you wind up with 27 units during the two main semesters and perhaps 6 during the summer - if there are that many easy courses available in the summer.

It will be interesting to see what the other engineers have to say about their study habits but I'd be willing to bet that most of them didn't do a lot of partying.  If you want to party, take Psychology or History.

By all means, talk to a counselor!  Do NOT take my word for anything, I'm just writing what I recall and what my grandson is working through.  There are other opinions.

Networking... Many E schools have internship requirements.  You spend your summer vacation working in industry.  Probably for free but at least for credit.

Here is the EE program for the University of the Pacific

http://www.pacific.edu/Documents/school-engineering/acrobat/ee%2017-18.pdf

Notice the 32 units of CO-OP as a requirement.  Bottom of the 2d page...

Another reason employers want to see a degree:  They know what you went through to get it!  They know you can work for weeks on end with no break in sight.  They figure if they slide Pizza under the door from time to time, you'll be working on their project.  They'll send in the janitor every once in a while to take out the empties.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 09:33:53 pm by rstofer »
 
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Offline TimNJ

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #55 on: May 22, 2018, 10:21:58 pm »
Well, don't want to get off topic from OP's question too much...but...

From my perspective, I'd say >50% of engineering majors at my school partied just as hard as any other person from any other major. I think it all kind of scales. The workload is absolutely harder,  but engineering majors are also typically smarter to start with. And I went to a school generally known as a very "studious" school, definitely not known for its party scene.

But in the end, like any experience, it's what you make of it. If I didn't join clubs or Greek life, I probably would've been miserable, especially with social media shoving everyone else's fun down your throat. Engineers are human too. We like fun just as much as anyone else. It's up to you to figure out what your optimal balance of fun and work is. While you go to college to prepare you for a profession, there are many other intangible skills to be developed. I think it is important not to overlook those.
 
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Offline trrway_32

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #56 on: May 22, 2018, 11:03:26 pm »
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But in the end, like any experience, it's what you make of it. If I didn't join clubs or Greek life, I probably would've been miserable, especially with social media shoving everyone else's fun down your throat.

TimNJ,

Thanks for responding. Yeah, social media was a big contributor to my anxiety and not doing well the year I went. I had my hopes up that everything will fall into place freshmen year, and I'd work hard and play hard, and get laid, and meet my future wife right away...

It left me with unreal expectations, and I still have trouble breaking them.
 

Offline trrway_32

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #57 on: May 22, 2018, 11:06:57 pm »
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Another reason employers want to see a degree:  They know what you went through to get it!  They know you can work for weeks on end with no break in sight.  They figure if they slide Pizza under the door from time to time, you'll be working on their project.  They'll send in the janitor every once in a while to take out the empties.

Devil's advocate: college/higher ed is so expensive and full of bulls**t to break students into being compliant workaholics i.e. "hey, we got this guy to go into debt, and trained him to jump through hoops and test questions like a show dog. He'll be perfect for bossing around and when he's overworked and worn out we'll have plenty of students left desperate to pay off their loans"

Pardon my rant; I'm really just fed up with socities' disrespect for obtaining education.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #58 on: May 22, 2018, 11:44:10 pm »
These folks are making some pretty nice money!
Not really. $150K is decent living, but not more. Half or third of your after tax money will go towards rent, and with a salary like that you can forget to ever buy a house.

Depends on where you live. I bought a house when I was making only about $50k at the time, though that was almost 14 years ago. No way I'd be able to afford one around here now, but if I made $150k it might be possible. Seattle is one of the most expensive places around to live though.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2018, 12:01:06 am »
Well, don't want to get off topic from OP's question too much...but...

From my perspective, I'd say >50% of engineering majors at my school partied just as hard as any other person from any other major. I think it all kind of scales. The workload is absolutely harder,  but engineering majors are also typically smarter to start with. And I went to a school generally known as a very "studious" school, definitely not known for its party scene.

But in the end, like any experience, it's what you make of it. If I didn't join clubs or Greek life, I probably would've been miserable, especially with social media shoving everyone else's fun down your throat. Engineers are human too. We like fun just as much as anyone else. It's up to you to figure out what your optimal balance of fun and work is. While you go to college to prepare you for a profession, there are many other intangible skills to be developed. I think it is important not to overlook those.

I'm biased against having time to party.  I was also working 40-60 hours per week, with a wife, kid, two cars and a house to cover.  It wasn't pretty!
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #60 on: May 23, 2018, 12:27:03 am »

Devil's advocate: college/higher ed is so expensive and full of bulls**t to break students into being compliant workaholics i.e. "hey, we got this guy to go into debt, and trained him to jump through hoops and test questions like a show dog. He'll be perfect for bossing around and when he's overworked and worn out we'll have plenty of students left desperate to pay off their loans"

Pardon my rant; I'm really just fed up with socities' disrespect for obtaining education.

Hey, it's your thread!  If you want to go back to school, fine!  If not, no biggie...  No matter how expensive college is, it's cheaper than not going to college.

I was working as an electrician installing huge NC machines.  Hundreds of horsepower of cutting heads machining vast pieces of aluminum to an unbelievable precision, all driven by a 1" paper tape. Circa 1969...

I went to EE school specifically to learn how the machine controls worked.  It was a hobby, really.  I could have kept my electrical job indefinitely and still been well paid.  But I wanted to know how these systems worked.  After a couple of years I had the information but I stuck it out for the BSEE.  The 4th year was really a drag...  I swear, if it had taken another semester I would have junked the whole idea.

I started grad school just because my employer had a flyer on the bulletin board and paid all the expenses.  It was a night program aimed specifically at engineers in the aerospace industry.  I signed up.  This was the very beginning of the microprocessor era and hardware engineering was interesting.  I got to take the courses I wanted, not just a preordained list.  It was fun!

I never did work in my major.  I did a wee bit of consulting (code weenie mostly) and that's about it.  Everything else has been electrical or project management.  I only used Fourier Analysis one time in 40 years.  The rest of the time I sold my skills in the electrical trade.  Not by bending pipe and pulling wire but by having a lot of other people bending pipe and pulling wire.  And the other trades as well...

My education was the cost of entry.  Without the paper I would never have been hired.

I would never have been involved with engineering a wafer fab in a foreign country.  I would never have made 13
 dive trips to Malaysia, sleeping on the sandy beaches of small islands, eating food supplied by the American School, drinking wine supplied by the American, New Zealand and Australian embassies (there was a contest), dove from a week long live-aboard sailboat near Phuket, Thailand, lived in a hut and dove in the Maldives ending up with 113 dives in one year and still got the fab built.  Best time of my life and it damn sure wouldn't have happened without the paper.

You just never know how things are going to turn out.

And, yes, I just got lucky!
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #61 on: May 23, 2018, 12:48:51 am »
I don't think it's always cheaper to go to college than not. There are loads of people that go to college and get some degree that isn't really very useful, and end up in a job where the degree might have been a small amount of help getting in but not something that pays enough to really be worth it. Some people go to college with the wrong attitude, or get through school somehow not really knowing much of anything about their field of study. There are some jobs where you absolutely need college, but there are also a lot of jobs that I don't see much real benefit. Personally I think a nice middle ground would be to have more 1-2 year degree or certification programs and then something along the lines of white collar apprenticeships. I'd also like to see less of a stigma on the trades, those have always been perfectly respectable and necessary careers but then at some point the push for everyone to go to college led to some real shortages. The cost of college is also out of control, if it's going to be necessary for nearly anyone then it should be provided either free or at greatly reduced costs. We already provide 12 years of public education, why not toss in a 2 year degree for those who elect to do so? Then they can go take additional schooling if they want a BS or MS or whatever.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #62 on: May 23, 2018, 01:07:18 am »

1. How can I obtain knowledge, degree or no degree, for less than 40k?


You might find something here:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/other-blog-specific/a/msg1341170/#msg1341170
YouTube and Website Electronic Resources ------>  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/other-blog-specific/a/msg1341166/#msg1341166
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #63 on: May 23, 2018, 01:16:12 am »
I don't think it's always cheaper to go to college than not. There are loads of people that go to college and get some degree that isn't really very useful, and end up in a job where the degree might have been a small amount of help getting in but not something that pays enough to really be worth it.

Throughout this thread, I have been talking about STEM and, in particular, engineering.  Yes, it is possible to graduate with a degree that leads nowhere.  Try Psychology...  At best you can get a job as a social worker.

Quote
Some people go to college with the wrong attitude, or get through school somehow not really knowing much of anything about their field of study. There are some jobs where you absolutely need college, but there are also a lot of jobs that I don't see much real benefit. Personally I think a nice middle ground would be to have more 1-2 year degree or certification programs and then something along the lines of white collar apprenticeships. I'd also like to see less of a stigma on the trades, those have always been perfectly respectable and necessary careers but then at some point the push for everyone to go to college led to some real shortages. The cost of college is also out of control, if it's going to be necessary for nearly anyone then it should be provided either free or at greatly reduced costs. We already provide 12 years of public education, why not toss in a 2 year degree for those who elect to do so? Then they can go take additional schooling if they want a BS or MS or whatever.

My lawn guy and his helper are making $50/hr each doing my yard work.  The thing is, I don't want to do it and they do.  The price seems outrageous until I think about having to do it myself.  I'll just pay for it!

I have always maintained that the electrical trade was the one to have.  My father was an electrician and he trained both of his sons.  As he said it "I'll teach you all you'll ever know about the trade.  I won't teach you all I know!".  Worst case, my brother and I had a trade we could always fall back on.

Community college is fairly inexpensive.  It's $46 per unit plus books, student fee and parking permit.  Books are a big deal - used may be a better way to go.  A good textbook is near $200 but, in the case of the Calculus book, it is used over the entire 4 classes (I believe).  If you figure about 60 units in CC, you're talking $2800 for tuition, I don't know how much for the student fees and probably $150 in parking plus, perhaps, $2000 in books (just guessing).  So maybe $5k for the AS program.  Financial aide is usually available but even if it isn't, $5k isn't a lot when it's spread over 2 or 3 years.

Tuition at the state colleges is fixed at $5742/year (more than 6 units per semester) plus probably $2000 in books so another $14000 for the BS degree.  Total around $19k, call it $20k.  I don't think $20k is a big number when you look at the 'mean' salaries for most engineers.

Where students get into trouble is when they borrow as much as they can, pay out of pocket as little as they can, party their brains out and major in Art History.  Of course they're going to be carrying a lot of debt for the rest of their lives.

 

Offline TimNJ

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #64 on: May 23, 2018, 02:33:38 am »
Quote
But in the end, like any experience, it's what you make of it. If I didn't join clubs or Greek life, I probably would've been miserable, especially with social media shoving everyone else's fun down your throat.

TimNJ,

Thanks for responding. Yeah, social media was a big contributor to my anxiety and not doing well the year I went. I had my hopes up that everything will fall into place freshmen year, and I'd work hard and play hard, and get laid, and meet my future wife right away...

It left me with unreal expectations, and I still have trouble breaking them.

I absolutely know how you feel, and you definitely aren't alone. People tend to avoid talking about the emotional and psychological struggles young people are faced with in college. These struggles are especially real if you go away to a four-year college. And it's way more complicated than just putting your head down and getting your school work done. Maybe if you're a robot. But for us humans, comparing yourself to people around you and your own expectations, can be absolutely crippling. For me, it kind of felt like I was part of some f****d up social experiment. Luckily, had a group of friends there to catch me. But, obviously, not everyone does.

Interestingly, I don't think I would've had all of those insecurities if I had decided to stay at home and/or went to a community college where social status isn't as "baked-in" as it is in four-year universities. Do I wish I did that? No. But I only say that because my college experience ended up being a good one. BUT, it could have very well been awful, had a could of things not happened.

I say all this because: If you feel that the pressures and anxiety associated with four-year colleges is going to be overbearing, maybe I'd suggest staying away from that type of environment. Community college or a "commuter" school will perhaps help you to stay focused on your studies.

And regarding the ladies, you WILL find someone who loves and appreciates you. It might not be on the first try, or the second, but that's okay. Be with someone who YOU want to be with, and not who you think others would want to see you with. Be honest with who you are. Let who you are shine through and almost inevitably someone will notice and appreciate who you are. Speaking from experience, making a lot of blunders on that front... ;)
 
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #65 on: May 23, 2018, 02:58:46 am »
Good life advice in the last few posts.  I will add that different colleges and universities offer very different experiences.  Your first college experience may have resulted in part from a terrible mismatch between you and the institution.  Not surprising since most people don't really understand what they want or need, and it is even rarer in those of the age to go to college first try.  It is also very hard to evaluate a schools culture from the outside. 

You may be in a better position to evaluate these things now and would find the school experience much more rewarding.
 

Offline trrway_32

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #66 on: May 23, 2018, 07:23:30 pm »
Quote
Good life advice in the last few posts.  I will add that different colleges and universities offer very different experiences.  Your first college experience may have resulted in part from a terrible mismatch between you and the institution.  Not surprising since most people don't really understand what they want or need, and it is even rarer in those of the age to go to college first try.  It is also very hard to evaluate a schools culture from the outside.

You may be in a better position to evaluate these things now and would find the school experience much more rewarding.

Thanks for the response.

Yeah, I've been wondering that lately myself. I either didn't get into the school I wanted, or felt that the competition to get into the schools I actually wanted was so high that I didn't even try, let alone even know other universities existed. In hindsight I wish I applied to all the schools I really wanted. It feels like I've settled too much in life. Maybe it's me, maybe I'm just too picky and have too high expectations about what I'll get out of college. I dunno.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #67 on: May 24, 2018, 12:07:47 am »
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He's in Community College and he just aced Calc I.

I've heard community college is just a continuation of high school i.e. you're surrounded by people who aren't really that motivated. Is this true? Does he feel he's missing out on things like clubs, campus life, and networking with potential companies?

Partially true.  Community college is a mix of that you cited, and a group of "already in the work force folks" trying to make more of themselves.  This already in the work force group is very motivated because they have a goal and they are there because they wanted to.

As to clubs, campus life, etc.  If you are going to college for that, you are wasting money.  I may be out-of-date (already retired), but I am sure very few will hire you because you had a wonderful campus life in the last few years.  Same for clubs.  Companies typically do not recruit at community college (aka: junior college).  Some don't see the two-year degree (associate degree) as a real degree.  But, some companies do hire interns from community colleges.  That is a way in.

Community College typically have a much lower admission criteria and much lower cost.  It is a good place to get the non-major related requirements filled.  You do have to make sure the 4-year college you intend to transfer to will accept those credits.  Besides filling non-critical requirements, check with the school to see what local firms hires interns from them.  According to various reports, the lower-income end of the US job market is beginning to till towards employees.  It may spread to higher end markets.  When that happens, companies will reach "lower" and take more interns from 2 year colleges.

The most important part is, once you decide this is your mission (ie: gaining knowledge or gaining employment), stick to it.  Push hard.
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2018, 12:54:44 am »
Community College typically have a much lower admission criteria and much lower cost.

Both are true but the important part is that for the units to be transferable, the content needs to be equivalent.  There would be no point in a state college or university accepting students from community colleges if they didn't have the skills to succeed.  In which case there wouldn't be any need for community colleges.

Quote

  It is a good place to get the non-major related requirements filled.  You do have to make sure the 4-year college you intend to transfer to will accept those credits.


Around here, the community college can tell the students exactly which courses are transferable and for which course at the state college level.  In some cases they can also tell the student how the courses line up for local private universities.  This stuff is all worked out.  The student just needs to sit down with a counselor and get the program set up properly.  This is important!

There are two schools of thought:  First, just take the General Eds at community college and do the major courses (including lower division) at the state college or university.  This works but it takes longer due to the sequential nature of certain programs.  You really need to take the proper courses early on.  At our local community college, Calculus I is a first semester course.  This assumes that the incoming student has a good handle on Pre-Calc and, if they don't, Pre-Calc is a two semester program.  So there's another year...

Second, instead of just looking for transfer credits, work through the program to get an AS degree.  This is one of those binary things, you have a degree, in your hand.  Yes, it's just an AS but it is a degree and it changes how your work is viewed at the state college or university.  At least that's the way it works around here.

As I said, I didn't have time to party and I don't imagine any of today's EE students do either.  Maybe over the breaks but certainly not every night or every weekend.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 01:07:26 am by rstofer »
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #69 on: May 24, 2018, 01:09:17 am »
An additional point: BlueSkull mentioned ROTC.

That is indeed a way to fund college, but make sure you really want to be in it.  You are required to serve in the military a certain amount of time upon graduation.  You can't quit at-will like if you are working a McDonalds.    If you do want to serve, this is pretty sweet.  You get paid while you attend college.  Work your backside off (if you are Navy) waking up before sun rise to run the tracks, and you may even get a cruise during summer in a windowless ship.  You are sure to have a job upon graduation.  If you don't want to serve, that is a pretty hard way to earn money; and then you are forced to take a job that you don't want for X years upon graduation.

I do know a guy, accepted by MIT, and needed money for college.  He funded his MIT education by joining N-ROTC (Navy ROTC).  He found his life in the Navy.  He is now a Navy Captain.

I was giving someone a ride to the recruiting station (and to the unit for Q&A) last school year.  I sat there and listen in.  Let me share with you what I know.  You have to find out the applicable rules for yourself.  This is based on my understanding and may be incorrect.

Last year, NROTC will (upon selection) pay a salary (~$400/mo, I think) as well as your tuition plus some extra (book fees, I think).  Upon graduation, you are require you to serve somewhere around 4 years to 6 years depending on the path you choose.  I think you have to be 27 or under and pass their physical ability test.  Again, you should check the rules - even if what I remember for last year is correct, it is probably updated/changed by today.  NROTC includes U.S. Marines.  The Navy side focus more on engineering and related (the unit I saw).  The Marine side, well, more physical.

Those not selected can still get in (unit commander's decision) and then try to work your way into scholarship.  The recruiter said (I overheard) that freshman year is no-obligation.  By end of second year, you are committed.   Everyone who stay in 3rd year are with scholarship, or with special permission.  (I think it means if you are not selected before starting your junior year, you are pretty much out of luck).

Whatever path you choose, stick to it.  Success is a choice.  Bill Gates didn't finish college.  Jack Welch on the other hand got his PhD to get to the next step of the ladder.  Both did rather well.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 02:08:10 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #70 on: May 24, 2018, 03:50:53 am »
A crazy idea that worked for me. 

I had trouble in and out over 15 years going to college.   I had the ability to travel around the world on free flights (military) and I could not get that out of my mind.  Once walking across campus, I turned around (dropped out) and flew to Thailand.

 What really worked was I went backwards.  The most interesting courses are senior and grad classes.  So I took those first and worked my way to the freshman classes.  I always crashed a course on the last day except for one course that required written proof from someone.  I had to see a counselor once and his exact words were "what the hell are you doing".

It made going to school interesting and at 49 I got a BSCE degree.  It was not easy but it worked because it kept my interest up. 

The hardest and first course I took was a grad class on a 68000 and it blew me away and I had to drop and change my major. No more grad classes after that.   :-DD

At the end I knew if I dropped out that would be the end (no degree) so for many years when my dad was ill,  I made sure I took at least one class.

Things worked out and at least I am not homeless and at the end of my career (water treatment plant inspector) was interesting.  The bad thing was the age discrimination at work.  Also I was able to buy a DZ1054 and drive a beat up 1999 Chev.

So if there is a will, there is a way.

You really do not have to follow the sheep because there is no Australian Shepard (FYI - the smartest dog) chasing you.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 06:37:42 pm by ez24 »
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #71 on: May 24, 2018, 06:07:46 pm »
...
It made going to school interesting and at 49 I got a BSCE degree.
...
...
So if there is a will, there is a way.

You really do not have to follow the sheep because there is no Australian Shepard chasing you.

Ez24, Wow!  BSCE @ 49!  I admire you for your tenacity and will!  Hats off to you.

"So if there is a will, there is a way."   This is too often missing.  Success is a choice, too many college kids too often just drift and only sadly discover it too late.

So, to the OP, I encourage you to shake yourself down, convince yourself this is, or this is not the path you want.  Your post indicate you are thinking and thinking hard.  Shake yourself down to the point you are confident of the rightness of the goal.  Once you decide the goal, push hard.  Where there is a will, there is a way.

Check with the community college and see if you can "audit" (aka, "sit in") a course.  That is, to sit in the class room without signing up to be a student (and without paying.)  Some colleges allow that.  Some professors even welcomes it.  This may help validate your decision to go via community college or not.

I sincerely wish you success!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 06:22:55 pm by Rick Law »
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #72 on: May 25, 2018, 12:53:24 am »
I've seriously considered going back to school and getting a degree once I've paid off my house and can afford to work part time although by then I'll be in my late 40s so I'm not sure how much value it will add. I've got nearly 20 years of experience in software, developed a couple of hardware products myself and got a patent for one of them and there are gadgets I've designed all over my house but I still don't generally call myself a "real" engineer. I did about 2 years of college toward EE before financial realities ended that and I took a "summer job" at a large software company that accidentally lead to a career change. School was so long ago now that realistically I'd have to start over at the beginning to re-learn all the stuff I haven't used since then and I don't think I'd want to make EE a fulltime job anyway as it's something I enjoy so much as a hobby. CS would probably make more sense at this point.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #73 on: May 25, 2018, 01:04:25 am »
I've seriously considered going back to school and getting a degree ...

My prediction (let us know in 10 years which one is correct)

- If you do you will be glad (and your wallet) that you did

- If you do not, you will regret it

When you are 70, I hope you will not be sitting and regretting. I do not regret it.

I do not think you would face the same age problem that I did.  I started at the bottom at 49, sounds like you will not be at the bottom.



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Online IanB

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Re: Cheapest way to gain knowledge/education?
« Reply #74 on: May 25, 2018, 02:27:34 am »
School was so long ago now that realistically I'd have to start over at the beginning to re-learn all the stuff I haven't used since then and I don't think I'd want to make EE a fulltime job anyway as it's something I enjoy so much as a hobby. CS would probably make more sense at this point.

This is an interesting comment. If there's stuff you haven't used since so long you've forgotten it, is it stuff you haven't needed to use, or stuff you have needed to use but didn't know how to do it?

If it's stuff you haven't needed, then relearning it now would be pointless unless you make some kind of career change where it becomes useful?

If it's stuff you have needed, then I would hope you have tried to learn it by yourself and you wouldn't need to go back to school (college) for it. Because college tells you what you need to know, but you still have to do the learning. Whether someone stands up in front of the class and writes on the board, or whether you read the book by yourself, it is the same hard road to understanding. College doesn't make the learning easier, it just provides a structured program, forces you to work to a schedule, and provides people you can ask for help.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 


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