I Have a Bachelor's Degree-do I Dare Change Careers??

Updated on April 14, 2012
J.K. asks from Cuyahoga Falls, OH
10 answers

Hello! I am currently a SAHM with a BS in Education. My boys will both be in school full time most likely in 2 years. I definately plan on returning to the workforce but I now feel pretty confident that I do not want to teach anymore. I don't want to spend my life savings on more education, but I know that continuing education is essential to change careers. I still would love to work with children and my undergrad work was in health education.

I have considered many options, such as school psychology, occupational therapy assisting, ultrasound tech, etc. I guess I would like to hear from anyone out there that has either earned a degree only to change their mind later on in life, or anyone that works in an allied health field.

Is there any certification and/or training that takes into consideration your already earned degree? I don't want to break the bank!


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answers from Portland on

I, too, have a BS in Home Economics Education. I made the switch to law enforcement without needing any outside training. I was trained once I was hired. My department required a BA or BS but it didn't matter in what field.

I've worked with Children's Services Workers who had a degree other than in social work.

I suggest that you contact a university and ask what there experience has been with graduates changing fields. Also look on line at the various ideas you've had for the requirements of that field.

Later: After retiring from law enforcement and raising my children, I planned to substitute teach because I could choose when I worked, didn't have to do lesson plans or be responsible for grading. Instead I made being a grandmother a nearly full time job. I love being Grandma and my daughter loves having me to fall back on.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I was in a little bit different situation. I still have 38 (32, in three weeks when this semester is over!) hours left until I get my BS. Last summer, I decided to go back to school (starting this spring), but my goal was to finish a degree in the quickest time. My options were A. finish my BS or B. start a different degree-looked at xray/ultrasound tech, etc. Actually, the tech programs/certifications are not that fast! It was going to take me much longer to start something new than to just finish my BS. I always heard about how fast you could get through the other programs, but in my research, I didn't find that to be true. Like someone else said, if you are going to get more education, I would defnitely go for a Masters. It could be in something totally different from your BS- but I think you would be better off and it would be quicker to get a higher degree than a lateral degree.
As a side note, my mom has changed her career three times in her lifetime. Each time she decided to make the switch, she obtained more education (always higher- she has a Master's and PhD). She has been extremely successful at each career. It can be done!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My mom had a BA and teaching certificate - she had taught gifted kids. After staying home with us for 12 years, she went back to our community college and got a degree in computer science. She went back to work after 2 years and had a 20 year career, retiring as a senior systems analyst and then VP for Cap Cities/ABC. So yes you can go back to school - don't pick something 'cheap' - pick something you want to do for the rest of your working life and that you will love.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I agree with the others that have said to work on a master's degree or certification of some sort. I would look through the want ads to see what other fields are available that your current degree will complement. Many people work in another field that isn't necessarily compatible with the degree they hold. For example, my husband has a degree in accounting. He got a job in the accounting department at his company and realized he did not like the work. His interests/hobbies had to do with computers, so he switched over to the I.T. side of the company. He started out doing programming and coding and is now in a senior management position managing all of the programming teams and what not. He works mostly with executives that hold MBA's and such.
You also might give subbing a try. I, too, am a former elementary teacher and chose to stay home with my kids. I have decided not to go back to work full time when they reach school age, but sub instead. It gives me the freedom to pick and choose the days I want to work and still available to do things with my kids and their class activities. I find it very rewarding. It is all the best parts of teaching and the pay is nearly the same as what I was making full-time. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

If you want to get into nursing there are many fast track programs for people that already have a bachelors. Most that I know of are 2-3 semesters and you get a BS in nursing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm contemplating the same decision right now. I have a BS in Business with an emphasis in Marketing and find that after having kids I just don't have the same business drive I used to...I don't want to climb the corporate ladder anymore so I'm going back to school this summer. Do what your heart's telling you! It'll all work out. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My husband, who just turned 40, is going back to school to become a doctor. Find your dream and follow it.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that if you'd like to take a few hours of classes you could get a Masters in one of the related fields. I know that is more education but it is a step up and not a totally different side step.

As you said there are many fields out there and you have a wonderful opportunity to select a new area with your head on straight. You know the intricacies that would be involved in a different field.

My FIL has a BS in Education and he got his Masters in Special Ed. He taught at the elementary school on the Julliard Campus for a while then he taught at the Kentucky School for the Deaf. He had a wonderful career after retiring from the Navy.

I think you have enough knowledge about what you are interested in to make some good choices. If you truly don't want to be in the classroom anymore and have that kind of life then by all means, make a change. You can always choose something new and different too but do expect to spend just as much time in the classroom as you did before on the core classes.

If you already have a degree they don't require you to take other core classes over sometimes, if it is within the same college. For instance, if your BA/BS is from the College of Education you have the options within that College to choose from and may only have to take the main classes for any other major with in their scope.

This is what OSU in Stillwater Oklahoma says about heir College of Education fields of study:

"COE Academic Units:

The College of Education offers 29 program areas that range from athletic training to teacher education. Our program areas are housed within three academic units including the School of Applied Health & Educational Psychology, the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership and the School of educational studies."


This is the graduate programs they offer in that College:


You are fortunate that you have options at this point in your life. I hope you will consider all the paths available to you.

My friend did her Masters degree in one summer and one fall semester. She is a vice principle now and loves it.

Another friend teaches at 2 different schools in country towns who can't afford to hire teachers full time. She makes more money and has more flexibility that if she was in just one classroom every day.

Another friend got certified to be a superintendent and is loving his job. He is able to do so much more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I have a bachelors in Podiatry from the UK, which I can't use over here, so I start school in Aug to become a dental hygienist. I am 38.
Dental hygiene is a great career for those with a young family, great hours and great pay rewards.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

there are many many careers that are more interested in the commitment you took to get your degree than the degree itself. and more than half of today's college grads work in fields other than, or tangentially related to, their degree subject.
go for it!

1 mom found this helpful
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