Safe bet or high risk? Getting back into education.

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by Honey Bear, May 27, 2010.

  1. Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm thinking of getting back into education. I know it's the right choice but I thought I would see what all of you think.

    I'm not happy with my current role. Technically I am an interim building manager, because I generally work alone and my role is geared towards the upkeep of properties, rather than providing an array of services for residents. Though most people tend to go "Ahhh!" when I describe the role.

    Anyway moving on. I have a strong dislike for the role and have always believed to go on to become a police officer once the met begin recruiting again. Unfortunately that doesn't look like it will be happeneing for the next few years. So I though of getting back into education and studying to further progress my future career.

    This is where the trouble starts. My girlfriend reignited my ambitions, saying "Why not study physics?" This threw me.

    My intentions never were to leave my academic career entirely, but merely to pause until I had a place in the met police. I was stubborn, so I kept applying. All that time spent doing nothing for myself! Now I'm in the postion where u can't afford to give up work but I'm yearning to fulfil my dreams.

    So should I take the safe bet and pickup where I left off, take my A levels in psychology, sociology and something else I haven't yet decided upon? Or should I start from scratch, retake my math and science gcse and get the A's I promised myself; then carry on to take math physics and psychology (personal interest) at A level? I know it's a great feat to achieve, especially because I'll be an adult student. But this is what I have always dreamed of. And now I'm torn.

    I was always allowed to make my own decisions in life. From an early age I picked my schools, what I studied, ect. And they all turned out to be bad decisions. But this matters far to much. What if I make another mistake and waste another decade of my life when u should be concentrating on my career?

    Advice please. Be brutal! You're talking to an idiot who needs a slap in the face.


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  2. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Club Veteran

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    I'd start by looking at what job you're ultimately after then find out exactly what qualifications and experiences are required for the job. There are many roles in the Police force, so maybe find out more about what aspect interests you.

    If you don't do that you're at risk of spending years doing GCSE and A-levels but not necessarily any closer to your chosen job, but just poorer for trying and loosing valuable time in the job market.

    What about becoming a part-time Special Police Officer?
     
  3. OP
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    Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I promised my self I would become a volunteer officer if I went the mechanical engineerig route. If I went for policing I always intended in workin my way up the ranks. Hopefully specializing in organized crime.


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  4. rossyl

    rossyl Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    1. How old are you?
    2. What job do you want out of this?
    3. Why didn't you do all of this (GCSE's, A Levels) in the first place?
    4. Realistically do ou think you can go through 2-3 years of education, study hard and get the A's?
    5. What happens if you get B's?
     
  5. OP
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    Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    1. I'm 21

    2. I'm torn between becoming a mechanical engineer hopefully senior engineer for the RAF. OR.... Organized crime specialist in the met. Hence the different sets of qualifications.

    3. I did do my GCSEs. But if I go into engineering I would like to refresh my brain and improve on my Cs. I know, despite meeting the basic requirements, it won't do, and I'm out of practice. If I go into criminology my B in English will suffice. While I didnt explicitly mention this it was obvious from my previous posts.

    4. Considering our government don't seem to want to improve our police service and police services will not be recruiting nationally I'm pretty sure I'll have a lot of scope to study. Again, I believe this was stated in previous posts. In fact the NPIA (Police SEARCH) actaully ask what you have done since your last application to improve your chances. I don't believe they are looking to recommend people who will suffer from a stagnant career. I'm not going to sit around doing nothing while time passes just to be a police officer. If I try and fail I can still be a police officer. Either way I still would have done something about a career I want.

    5. Criminology I think I can get away with beig mediocre. Engineering I need straight A's.

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  6. Mudster

    Mudster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm 40 and I didn't know what I wanted to do until I was 30...I just meandered from career to career for the first few years of my working life.

    Eventually I worked out I couldn't work for other people and did my own thing.

    The fact you're 21 means you'll probably have two or three career changes ahead of you. Don't get hung up on looking for something for the rest of your life, do what's right for you now.
     
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  7. st4

    st4 Banned

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    I personally wouldn't give up paid employment on for FT education. I'd say its a bad choice, whilst you may not like your work, it puts money in your pocket which is at the end of the day why folk go to work.

    Could you not do some night classes/part time college course that may assist with your ambitions.

    Remember, when it comes to interview time giving up work may not look the best, a candidate with continued work experience in current employment is more favoured.
     
  8. OP
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    Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I should have made this point clear. I cannot afford to give up work. The fact that I am "interim" is just a fancy way of saying floating temp. I can cut back on my hours and still pay all my bills comfortably.

    Part time or evening sessions are the only real way I was planning on studying. I have already spoken to all the relevant people to get this done, and it is workable.

    My job is very flexible. Thankfully it's just about the only redeeming quality of the job.

    Mudster. I love that you just thought of the only thing I never considered. What if I change my mind. I'll be thinking about what I can do with the qualifications should I not want to go into the currently selected careers.

    Thank you all. You're making me think hard about all of this. Just what I wanted :).

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  9. tim.100

    tim.100 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I rarely respond to 'life questions' here, but in view of the fact that the UK is in a frightening hangover situation economically, I would stay in work.

    Have you considered some light qualifications in Facility Management in order to boost your current prospects? There is a dearth of FM professionals with proof of their skills.
     
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  10. bouncer

    bouncer Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I can help with the slap :D


    sTeVe
     
  11. st4

    st4 Banned

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    Your work sounds a good stepping stone whilst you study but you are also not moving back, just taking on some study but not losing out in employment.

    Would agree with this entirely, particularly the second part and his present role a great way to get into this.
     
  12. Benzowner

    Benzowner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A mechanical engineer will require a minimum of HND(C) or a degree. Your garde C's will get you onto ONC which used to be a two year day release course followed by another two year HNC course. Your current employer may let you have one day per week off to study, probably without pay, worth asking, they can only say no. The alternative then is evening classes which may take three or four evenings per week, probably two hours per lesson. I would contact your local adult learning centre and make some enquiries. You havn't said if you are still at home or not. If you are still at home, bite the bullet and do the ONC/HNC/degree. My daughter did exactly this, she left school at 18 with three A levels and was intending to go the Uni. In the July she decided Uni was not for her and went to work in an accountants office. Two years later she decided to go to college and took a diploma course in Equine Science which led to a degree course which she finished aged 25 ish. She is now working in a job which was her hobby and getting paid for it, how I envt her, I work to live she works for enjoyment and gets paid as well:D:D Give it some consideration, when you get to thirty and you think Oh, I wish I had.......... too late kiddo, been there done that....as many of us have. Opportunity is like a train in a station, you either get on or it goes without you.
     
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  13. stevieb15

    stevieb15 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So true, I still had dreams of playing cricket for a living at your age and really didn't start a proper career until I was in my mid 20's and since then have been through manufacturing, mail order, builders merchanting, back into manufacturing and then bought a business, therefore the only qualification I needed was the ability to embrace change!
    As you've already stated you need to work so have a go at something you will enjoy in the Open University, you may as well do that as give up just as much time in the pursuit of lesser qualifications, and ,most employers will view that approach to self improvement very positively
     
  14. Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Coming from someone that has been through both full time education and part time education, both while working and not; my thoughts are that you are looking too far back.

    Lots of employers nowadays look less and less at formal education, and more at experience and industry qualifications. What I've seen is that most employers say they want either a first from a university + experience, or a 2:1 from a "top" university (Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, etc)...

    But in reality, when presented with a candidate with some experience, good soft skills and potentially an industry qualification; they'll jump for that.

    Have a look at these two sites:
    Adult learning : Directgov - Education and learning
    Regional London Courses Training Lessons Classes List

    Instead of GCSEs & A-levels (which will bash your self-esteem; trust me, I've been through 2 graduate schemes and soon a third one... I always tell myself it's a step forwards, but it's still a pain) look at developing straight into your career.

    On spotlight you will find part-time Mech-Eng courses, Psychology, etc. Most universities will ask for you GCSE/A-level grades, show them what you have and then inform them that you've developed since then and briefly state what your achievements have been since then.

    Don't forget to look at the Open University. My GF just went and did her undergradute degree with the OU, (at 25) and my previous GF went through the OU as well; they're actually quite good. Their pitfall (which is why they don't seem to rank too high on most charts) is that they accept thousands of students every quarter; which means they get both the good and the bad. Hence, if you work hard, you can get a great education from them, but if you don't you wont. Simple really; but it means that the average isn't as high as it could be.

    Anyhow, I'll stop rambling. My advice is look at industry qualifications (potentially with government run adult learning courses to support them; which is how I got a City & Guilds Welding Certification). If you really want, look at the OU-style higher education.... with a good cover letter and a well tailored CV, you can get in without reaching any of the pre-requisites. (I would advise to hire a good CV writer for this if you don't feel 110% sure about it)

    M.
     
  15. OP
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    Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Well I came here to ask for help to make what I felt would have been a 50/50 decision. I still walk away none the wiser. But I do have a different perspective.

    It has been too much of a headache organizing my future, but ultimately rewarding. I still firmly believe I need to get back into the rhythm of leaning and studying, but I don't think I'll be going down the conventional academic route.

    Thank you all for posting your own personal different views and experiences. Usually, most humans never take the advice of others. But, I spent most of the day, since my last post, looking at the OU and other established learning environments.

    I know if I do go for policing it will most likely be through the OU. However, I'm still unsure about weather that method (or similar) would be wise with mechanical engineering.

    Now I'm still left with the decision of what I want to study.

    I'm still undecided...:p

    For now, I’m going to look into how I want to study in regards to both subjects. I’ll be looking at course syllabus and content, and hopefully I should get excited about one now that I’ve started looking at the different paths I can take to get where I ultimately want to be.

    I need a re-think before I give any further thought to what I want to do.
     
  16. NormanC

    NormanC Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    But you still get some idiots!!

    My son has a 1st class Masters in Physics and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics. GCHQ in Cheltenham refused to consider him because "You only obtained a Grade D in History at A Level" .....
     
  17. Soltan

    Soltan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    For what it's worth, my take is to do something you're good at or that you enjoy. If you're good at it but don't enjoy it, at least it will be easy and you'll be working to pay for your free time hobbies. If you enjoy it then it doesn't really matter if you're not top of your class or best at what you do (although enthusiasm usually counts for allot).

    With regards to the police role, I suspect many breaks would have to come your way to get your ideal job in the right department and what are the chances of that. Would you still be happy if you ended up in another department for 5 years (traffic, forensics (I have no idea about how the police are organised!)).
    At least with the engineering (the caveat at the start about enjoy or be good applies) I suspect you would be more likely to land a role in the RAF I would have thought.
     
  18. OP
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    Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks guys. I appreciate the advice.

    I think I've made the decision I needed to make. After talking to a religious woman about doors it suddenly came to me. The door of opportunity to join the police service closed on me, multiple times. I need to be realistic. Soltan has a very good point. Progression in the met is going to be very difficult. But I know it would have been an environment I would have thrived in. And have thought about moving from department to department, that doesn't bother me that much. What does bother me is what if my situation changed and I move on from organised crime.
    The RAF seems to be a more structured approach. With specific paths and opportunities.

    However I have considered that if I go through formal education, which I doubt I will, I will study for both until I need to make a definite choice.

    If I go into engineering, I will most likely go for the apprenticeship through the RAF as an Aeronautical engineer. This is a direct path to one of the things I want to do :D.
    I'm still trying to make that leap and have my mind made up. Although as I said I'm pretty much there. I just want to be 100% sure of what I want to do. So I'll still be researching this thoroughly.

    I would have never considered alternative to formal education had it not been for you guys.

    Thank you.

    Each and every one of you special little buggers :p.
     
  19. Dryce

    Dryce MB Club Veteran

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    Have you also thought about the Royal Navy?

    I have worked with quite a few RN and ex-RN people, CPOs and Officers, and all seem to have enjoyed their careers. The TV programmes tend to show them larking about - but behind the scenes - particularly in engineering and on-board submarines - it's a very serious professional business.
     
  20. OP
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    Honey Bear

    Honey Bear Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have, and I like the idea of a highly regimented structure. But the Navy isn't really my sort of thing. Though I know they go in good and come out to be great. it's not that I dislike the Navy in any way. Just that I was brought up in an RAF environment, so its deep rooted into me. In case you're wondering what kind of background, I was a volunteer cadet, from an age of 11/12 till 18. I'm really keen on going back and giving back what I was given. I want to have a career first. Who knows I might be instructing them on the principals of flight on day.
     

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