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 Post subject: Back to School
PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:41 pm 
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Location: Aurora CO
I've always said that "Knowledge is Power" after I picked it up from an old friend of mine. With the current job market looking like CRUD, and the future of the USAP contract, and my continued employment, up in the air, I'm giving some serious thought to going back to school.

I only have an AS in Mechanical Design right now, and with virtually no Drafting positions open in this part of the country, and almost all manufactureing being done off-shore these days, there's just not a lot of opportunity out there for a 50+ drafter dude.

I'm really thinking that I need a Bachelor's in something. I've looked into GIS, (Geographic Information Systems), as I already have a working knowledge of it, however, none of the more notable schools offer a BS in this field, only MS and higher. To get a BS in Engineering means going to school during the day to get the actual 'Meat and Potatos' classes which is impossible and still keep a roof over my head. Especially with the company not paying a cent to get me there.

So, what I need is a Bachelor's in something, that I can get on-line or at night, quickly, and cheaply. Once I have that, I can pick up a MS in GIS in pretty short order, within a year or two. With that under my belt I'll surely be more marketable.

So any ideas, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:52 pm 
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Don't know exactly where your talents lie but if you could get certified as a "network guy" you could pretty much name where/when you wanted to work, especially if you were willing to work nights. A CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) qualification or something like it might give you the flexibility you need and would tie in nicely with GIS. Plus, it could be done without getting a Bachelors if that was appealing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:58 pm 
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Location: Skagit Co WA
Ice;

Since you refer to 'drafting' with respect to mechanical design, it's to be assumed that you're proficient with one or more mechanical design software applications. Is/are there community college(s) in your area where you might find a position teaching the stuff? Not great pay but might keep the wolves away for a spell. You would have some time during the day to attend the 'meat & potatoes' classes to get the BS.

Have you considered private consulting? You have a skill that's needed many firms on a somewhat sporadic basis depending on work load. Perhaps you could get the word out that you're available to do overload work for a few offices in your area. Consulting ends up freeing whatever time you need to pursue the BS. The pay can be surprisingly good but ... you get no perks or bennies -you gotta factor this in to your rate. Anticipate long late hours but healthy rewards if successful.

I don't mean to be disrespectful, Ice, and I've certainly been out of the loop with respect to educational options for quite some time. So I can't speak to the credibility of On Line certificates. I would definitely opt for evening or extension classes where one makes eye contact with other class members and the instructors.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:55 am 
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Ice,

Not sure about the college system in Colorado, but here in VA they offer a program called teletechnet. Students can attend evening and weekend classes for Bachelors programs at the local community college. The classes are either streaming live video or taped lectures. The live video offers the opportunity to interact with the actual class, while the taped lectures require follow up communication. Usually the live lectures are recorded also.

Most of the instructors will allow the student to take either recorded version home and view if the schedule allows. So if you are required to work late you do not have to miss out on all of a class. It seems to work fairly well.

Might be worth looking into what is offered in your area.

Sandy


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:56 am 
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Don't know what's available in your area, but many large companies ( including my last employer )have large well equipped carpentry/woodworking shops as part of their operation. They build mockups, models, shipping containers, etc. for internal use by the company rather than for sale. Aerospace, auto, and others will usually have one or more shops for this purpose. Education wise, I can relate to your desire. I finished a degree while working full-time and taking a full class load. Took me 2 years. It's very draining and also hard on a marriage/family.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Thanks for the advice guys. I'll take it into consideration. I'm also looking at the VA for the new Post 9/11 bennifits, most of which I didn't even know about until today. After 9/11, I was "Stop-Loss'ed" for 22 months and kept on Active Duty. I retired about 6 month after I'd returned to a Traditional ANG Status. After I'd retired, the VA intoduced lots of bennifits that I'm elagible for and I didn't even know it until today.

Wish me luck, I may be able to pull this off with some finacial aid from the VA, provided they don't play the games with me they did when I tried to use the VN era GI Bill. :roll:

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"I love the smell of Sawdust in the morning, it smells like, victory." Image
WWA'ers I've met: Popeye, Ed Avery, Stephen Wolf, Rockfish, Rodedon


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