Help 47 yr old man decide on degree?

Last year I went back to local community college for 1st time ever at age 47
I took 3 hrs per semester. Just stuck my "toe" in it to
see how it felt.
It felt "good".
I took Accounting 101... and then Econ 101. Got "A" in both.
This semester I hope to take 6-9 hrs per semester. But its getting down to the wire and I must make a decision as to where I'm going with this. So I need some opinions and advice on what to take class wise.
My "ultimate" goal in life would be to work for myself. To have assets that make me an income. But until then I need to add "value" to myself so that when I sell my "time" to someone else I can make a decent wage.
I view a college degree as just another "tool" in the "toolbox" that I can use if needed. And not something that guarantees me big wages. Heck I know people who mow grass for a living making big money and have no degree at all. Still going back to school is something I "want" to do in case this "working for myself" fails and I must return to the "work for someone else world".
Altho I currently work in the engineering dept as a "CAD tech"..... sometimes I wonder if engineering is all its cracked up to be. I see my bosses who are engineers working long hours with very little "respect" for their expertise.
I also have a STRONG interest in computers and networking.
My original thoughts abt going back to school was to get a combo business and IT degree. Something I could "sell" to the "man".... but also something that would benefit me and my ultimate goal of owning my own business.
But lately I've been "waffling". It was a remark made to me by an older retired man who got an accounting degree in his younger days. He told me that he originally was going for a business degree but the counselor said he should get an accounting degree instead. When he asked why he was told" cause an accountant can be a business man..... but a business man cant necessarily be an accountant".
Well..... I'm wondering if that's true of engineering as well. Can an engineer just as easily be a production manager but a production manager cant be an engineer?
Bottom line..... I'm leaning towards taking all the math and accounting classes I can. To cover BOTH fields for the next two years until I make up my mind.
I would forget the english and humanities and social studies until last. Altho I like these subject I have to put myself on a fast track since I'm 47 yrs old. And I feel I could easily take those classes when things "firm up" in my mind where I'm going with this "life adventure".
I'm going back to school one way or another. I've made up my mind I'm doing this if I have to take one class per semester forever! <G> But I cant afford any dead end turns on this path.
So what say all? Is my logic flawed or does it make any sense? That is to study accounting and engineering rather than business and IT?
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What works for you doesn't necessarily correlate with what degrees you have or what subjects you intend to study. At 47, (the same age as myself), you may find that you will experience age discrimination.
Whether they are hiring junior accountants or journeyman engineers, if they are hiring at all, many companies want fresh, young faces, recently trained and non-demanding of the higher wage levels.
What you have to offer depends on your own motivation and skill levels.
Do you like accounting? Are you good at it? During tax time anyone can put a shingle outside their house and do tax returns or you can specialize in corporate tax law... Most of the accountants I know have all their business just before the day taxes are due, just like pyrotechnicians for the 4th of July. On the other hand, you could do payroll or cost accounting and join a firm that needs these services and work year round.
Do you prefer engineering? Can you build things? Understand mathametical concepts? Do you like to work with tools?
Instead of studing just accounting, maybe go for an MBA (where you will study accounting, finance, investment, technology) and an engineering degree. I admire you for going back to school, its just that you might find yourself the oldest guy in the class.
Beachcomber
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Understood on the age discrimination no doubt. But I'm going back to school regardless so I still have to make a decision as to the "path"
My goal in taking the accounting classes would not to BECOME and accountant.... but to open doors to be hired in various business functions in a typical office..... sales, purchasing, etc.
And yes I do have an interest in engineering....... but frankly the accountant and sales people where I work get lost more "respect" and have more "authority" than do the engineers I work for.
I guess what I'm trying to do is...... to cover ALL bases as best I can. I realize its very early in this venture..... but I have to make a decision as its time to get started on the math NOW if pursuing and engineering degree. Lot of math to take the next 4 yrs.
BUT..... but...... I want something to fall back on if the engineering filed isn't viable for me. Hence the thoughts abt "chunking" as much accounting stuff in there as I can between the math classes. I'm hoping that if engineering isn't what I want to do..... I can work in the office in some business capability with accounting classes and all the math will never go to waste anyway. Right?
I'm only gonna take 6-9 hrs per semester this year. But if this year goes well I may go full time next year and work part time.
I did very well in high school. Took calculus in high school but that was 30 years ago!! So I will be starting out with college algebra this fall and working my way up. I also took a lot of electronics in high school and am a general class ham operator.
Understand completely on the age discrimination. But work is paying for the classes. All I have to do is make the "effort".
Just need to hammer down the "strategy" class wise.
More advice please?
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OK
If agreeing with the above..... what would YOU do at age 47 if in my shoes or doing it over again?
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On 7/10/05 8:17 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,
Some cut.

More cut.
A rhetorical question if you don't mind. Why does the respect angle concern you? Are you on good terms with the man you see while you're shaving each day? If so, nothing else matters much. I'm just a little older. Find something you like to do. Retirement will hit before you know it.
Dean
-
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On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 21:45:15 -0500, Dean Hoffman

Also, you say you work at a place where the accountants are respected more than the engineers. The world is a pretty big place and not all workplaces are like this.
If you equate respect with getting paid for working long hours, you could find a union job as a maintenance engineer in a larger city.
I've known many engineers that have lead satisfying work lives and are still intellectually curious in retirement.
On the other hand, (and this is just a generalization), I've seen many accountants go through a mid-life crisis in their 40's or 50's because they feel trapped in their own specialty and have nowhere else to go.
Beachcomber
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On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 20:17:44 -0500 snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:
| Altho I currently work in the engineering dept as a | "CAD tech"..... sometimes I wonder if engineering is | all its cracked up to be. I see my bosses who are | engineers working long hours with very little "respect" | for their expertise.
Obviously, upper level management doesn't have any respect for the real people that do the real work. It's a special club they have, and everyone else is a commodity.
| I also have a STRONG interest in computers and | networking.
So do millions of other people. Many millions.
Do not listen to the lies of a few corporations claiming it is hard to find people in the USA. They just aren't looking for anyone. MAYBE in 20-30 years, when places like India and China and Africa have exhausted their growth capacity, and costs there start rising, then it may turn around. THEN it will be _our_ turn to screw the man back.
| My original thoughts abt going back to school was to | get a combo business and IT degree. Something I could | "sell" to the "man".... but also something that would | benefit me and my ultimate goal of owning my | own business.
If you want to work in IT, networking, software development, or most fields of engineering, including electrical, you will need to move to India and submit yourself to a lower cost of living. That means any savings that would last a lifetime in India will last just a few years in the USA.
| But lately I've been "waffling". It was a remark made | to me by an older retired man who got an accounting | degree in his younger days. He told me that he | originally was going for a business degree but the | counselor said he should get an accounting degree | instead. When he asked why he was told" cause an | accountant can be a business man..... but a business | man cant necessarily be an accountant".
This is somewhat true. The accountant is more prepared to be a business man than a business man is prepared to be an accountant. But for a small business, it won't matter that much.
| Well..... I'm wondering if that's true of engineering | as well. Can an engineer just as easily be a | production manager but a production manager cant be an | engineer?
Perhaps.
| Bottom line..... I'm leaning towards taking all the | math and accounting classes I can. To cover BOTH | fields for the next two years until I make up my mind.
What you are leaving out that you probably need is marketing.
| So what say all? Is my logic flawed or does it make | any sense? That is to study accounting and engineering | rather than business and IT?
Studying these things is fine. Just don't expect very many jobs to be available in IT or engineering. Corporations are moving them overseas as fast as they can. Even some of the economics analysis and marketing jobs are going. Lots of Wall Street investment analysts are now in India. Lots of tax return processing is in India.
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So your point is that I need to get into something that makes me unique and desirable?

I agree with this. Sad but I agree

If I agree..... then WHAT would you go back and study at my age? (47)
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