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Old 03-25-2014, 05:18 PM   #21
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That is where I am. I don't hate my job, but I am not passionate about it. I don't see any good way to get into something I am passionate about with my current education and skillset, so this masters program would put me there.
Don't forget the difference between the situations say five years after you're done.
Compare some passion with added skills to less passion and stagnant skills.

Doing nothing does not mean that everything will be the same over time (entropy at play).
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:15 PM   #22
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I've been at 21K-26K since 2011. 2010 I was unemployed and living on my savings and odd-jobs the first 6 months.

You can live on 22K, especially if you have someone else covering some expenses like rent.

Your cap on rent and utilities is 600 a month. Get smart about heating the place. blankets on windows, make sure your doors seal well and either fix it yourself or bitch about it to management. Get used to it being a bit cold inside. I am blessed with an actual working fireplace that not just cosmetic. I more or less heat with wood that I get free from neighbors who have huge old crappy cottonwood trees. In ME I bet firewood can be had cheap.

No idea on how to get cheap internet at home. I assume its essential to a masters degree. That sucks.

I get no-cost health insurance, and that's ficken huge. So thankful for that. Sucks to be everyone else in this income bracket.

You don't eat out more than 2 times per month and that's not more than 20 bucks. Sadly, this includes bar tabs. You can usually get a decent burger and a beer for 20 bucks or a tad more at a small local place. Learn to love cooking, and budget time for it. it also heats the place a bit. In my home you will find basically nothing pre-made. Its all crap and its expensive in terms of $ though cheap in terms of time. You buy potatoes and produce and eggs and cheese and bread. Meat is a rare treat, though you can make a damned nice steak dinner for less than a trip to a bar.

Used Tires. Kiss those nice Rivals and the 6ULs they ride on goodbye folks. Edit: Just got new tires. I lack discipline.

Doing this and with 0 debt I can save about 300 a month right now, even with the odd occasional gotcha expense.

Regarding school: Most of its a totally suckers game for people. We are creating a whole new lower class with degrees worth less than the tuition. Which is fine, previously our economy was dependent on getting people into homes they could not afford. This is great, we get sort-of-well-educated people handing over every dime while being productive now rather than saving. It might be enough to prop up our economy for 5 years or so.

Your situation is obviously very different from that. But I would strongly suggest you do some informational interviews with firms that might employ you with the degree that would not without and see what you can really find out first hand. it sounds like you are on track to do exactly that.

Without doubt, getting someone else to cover the costs of training and education is the way to go. Working on that myself right now

Last edited by Sparetire; 03-26-2014 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:08 PM   #23
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You know it's not free tuition if its costing so much money... Probably be better off if you kept job and paid your tution and did it part time. Mind blown.

Spare tires poverty life sound like mine....but I was *banking* much more than 22k a year.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:56 PM   #24
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IMHO you need to decide if the education is worth it. If you lose interest and decide to break the lease on your life after 1-2 years, are you willing to start over at entry level with a touch of real world experience and a touch of research experience?
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:49 AM   #25
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Seriously dude:

If this will open the door to a more enjoyable career, DO IT. You're getting PAID to go to school and get an education. Yes you're giving up income in the meantime, but essentially you're giving up, what, $120k in exchange for your schooling??? (3 years of 40k/year lost income).... That's nothing. I'm going to be paying some $90k for tuition only for my wife's schooling, plus books, plus still have to provide for our way of life over the next 3 years.

You have an opportunity to get PAID to go to school to do something you love. How can you possibly pass that up? Live as cheaply as possible. Have the GF pitch in a little more. If necessary, take out a few student loans to make up the difference.

Enjoy your new career, and PROFIT. The quality of life to be gained by doing something you enjoy should not be understated IMO.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:57 AM   #26
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I'm all for going back to school esp if you feel stagnant/unhappy in your current situation and there's more earning potential in the future. Imagine how you'll feel in a 5-10 years doing the same stuff you're doing now. You'll want to turn a gun on yourself everyday walking into that office.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:58 AM   #27
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Oh, and in case I didn't mention earlier, this is the same program/degree/position I was trying really hard to get into 3 years ago, but they couldn't get funding together, so it fell through. I gave up on it and resigned myself to my vanilla career path for a while, but then the friend offered it up last week.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:36 AM   #28
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I bit the bullet straight after undergrad and got my masters straightaway, but it allowed me to get the job I wanted (and still have). It has been worth it every moment. I've paid back every bit of what it cost me and am only 32, so i'd say go for it wholeheartedly.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:23 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by skidude View Post
Oh, and in case I didn't mention earlier, this is the same program/degree/position I was trying really hard to get into 3 years ago, but they couldn't get funding together, so it fell through. I gave up on it and resigned myself to my vanilla career path for a while, but then the friend offered it up last week.
So why're you waiting? There could be worse things then taking a chance and finding it wasn't for you.... You didn't say but I assume still get to live in the great state of Maine?

University?

Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:59 AM   #30
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So why're you waiting? There could be worse things then taking a chance and finding it wasn't for you.... You didn't say but I assume still get to live in the great state of Maine?

University?

Good luck!
I'm not waiting. I am going to submit my re-application today. Yes, I would stay in Maine. I would have to move back up to Orono (yeah, university of Maine) from my current location 3 hours south of there. I like the Orono area better anyway.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:26 AM   #31
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Student loan. Seriously. Go to the school and talk to a financial advisor. They will help you get a loan to pay for your food, rent/mortgage/electric bills/books/etc. while you are a full time student. That 22k/year is meant to be spent on things that will keep you sane, (tires/gas money/occasionally going out to eat/obamacare...oh wait, if you're making 22k/year, then I'm paying for your healthcare instead of you.../model rocketry club membership dues/etc.) You shouldn't be trying to stretch pennies when you're getting your masters - you might just have to spend a little bit less on two-week vacations to Lanai.

The wifey just started her masters part-time. She was racking her brain for months trying to figure out how to pay for it all. It's almost as if we "old" people are convinced that student loans are meant for teenagers coming out of high school. Once I explained to her the costs/benefits of a student loan, it was a no brainer for her - and she's continuing her full-time job in the process.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:42 AM   #32
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I will see how I fare for a little while on 22k first; I just hate the idea of debt hanging over my head when I graduate. I don't have any loans now.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:48 PM   #33
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Canadian here, so a bit of a different context. Just make sure the school from which you get degree has some currency in the field, if you know what I mean. When I finished my Bachelor's (Economics), all my profs told me to the do M.A. and told me to do it at one of a handful of schools. If I didn't go to one of those, they told me not to bother.

I have no regrets about doing my M.A. It has opened so many doors.

- Masters in Eng are pretty rare and are sought after, at least around here
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:47 PM   #34
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Absolutely do it. In the engineering field a MS is the sweet spot from a cost/benefit perspective. A MS is significantly more valued than a BS and then the incremental benefit of a PhD is relatively smal. I don't know if you mentioned how long the program is but you should be able to finish a MS in two years which is a drop in the bucket in the big picture. Don't be afraid to take some student loans, consider it an investment in yourself.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:27 PM   #35
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I'm not waiting. I am going to submit my re-application today. Yes, I would stay in Maine. I would have to move back up to Orono (yeah, university of Maine) from my current location 3 hours south of there. I like the Orono area better anyway.
Yeah, Portland isn't the same as Orono... Anyway, good luck to you and FWIW I agree on the 'no debt if I can do it' thing. It leaves you with a lot more options later on.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:15 AM   #36
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loans
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:01 PM   #37
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Yous a ninja.

I haz a sad for you for that much loans. Worth it?
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:35 PM   #38
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I'll bet I could live on 22k/yr in a place like Orono. I might dream of more sometimes, but I'll bet I could live comfortably enough on that. Knowing that it's not forever, that there's a clear and distinct finish line would make it easier.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:28 AM   #39
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I'll bet I could live on 22k/yr in a place like Orono. I might dream of more sometimes, but I'll bet I could live comfortably enough on that. Knowing that it's not forever, that there's a clear and distinct finish line would make it easier.
My thoughts exactly. If I were going up alone, I would find a 3 bedroom house or something and get a couple roommates, rent would be $300/mo, I'd eat really cheap, carpool everywhere (and ride my bike to school/work). Instead my fiancee doesn't want a roommate, but she will be making decent enough money that we can afford $1000/mo in rent anyway I guess. Just got engaged on Friday, so I still haven't really transitioned my thoughts to "our money" yet but I imagine that will help a bit. Then I won't feel like I'm mooching quite as much.
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