New to Online Education

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Rob2, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Rob2

    Rob2 New Member


    I just registered and I am posting for the first time; I have been reading posts and I followed links to different schools and programs. Since I am new to DL and returning to school at ripe age of 42, I would like to hear your opinion/advice. I would like to obtain Masters in Library Science, but I am starting from zero basically.
    I am single and I am willing to devote my free time to studying, that's not a problem, but the financial burden worries me - at my age, shouldn't I be putting $ into my retirement account instead of classes?

    I was thinking of doing this:
    -AAS (66 credits total) with New Mexico State University, online, with focus on Library Technology (26 credits in LS)
    -4y degree Bachelor of General Studies with Fort Hays State University (or other online institution) (using AAS from NMSU)
    -Masters in Library Science - online, University of Washington has MLS program that can be completed online.

    I am not sure what other info I should put here, so I just copied a part of another post :)

    1. What state do you live in? AK

    2. How many college credits do you have under your belt -- and in what areas? 16 credits so far, mostly Gen. Req.

    3. What does your budget look like? full time job, 30k/year, single.

    4. What kind of a degree do you want? (e.g. business? econ? cis?...) Or does it matter? BA and MLS

    5. What is your long-term goal -- other than "having a degree"?
    working in Information Technology field, Library

    6. Do you work well independently? Online? Self-motivated? Organized? I took online classs, I like the independence.

    As I said, the financial part worries me, but I do understand that in today's job market, continuous education is helpful and necessary.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Hi Rob - I'm a bit fuzzy on the AA/BA level although I can tell you that you can get a BA in Library Science at Florida State University (through DL of course). I don't know if you'd be better off getting a Bachelors degree in IT and then going for the Masters in Library Science. Their are a couple of Librarians on the forum and hopefully they'll post their thoughts. Beyond all that I can tell you that there is a Masters program in Library Science at Southern Conneticut State University and a very interesting Masters degree program in Data Mining at Central Connecticut State University. For other MLS programs look at
    Florida State
    San Jose State
    Syracuse U of Arizona U of Northern Iowa
    Sorry about the retirement question. I can't give advice in that area. I've solved my own retirement problem by simply deciding that I'll never retire.
  3. Alex

    Alex New Member

    You definitely need to put $ towards retirement. That doesn't mean you can't also go back to school- it's a matter of where you want to spend your money. In the fields you're interested in, the degrees should get you more earnings potential.

    You might need to give up other things, such as expensive vacation trips, new cars, and clothes that don't come from the sales rack. But if you really want to study, you can probably find the way to both pay tuition and put something towards retirement, assuming you don't have other major financial obligations.

    Look carefully for programs that are reasonably priced- they do exist, but it can take some digging to find them. Since you might be transferring credits, try to find out whether your intended bachelor's institution will take the lower-division credits.

    I recently finished a (second) master's degree, while working on government pay and putting away money each month for retirement. It can be done!

    Best wishes,

  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    If your just looking for general/liberal studies degree to start it seems big 3 of CharterOak, TESC or Excelsior are the way to go. And CLEP/DANTES testing would be cheapest way to earn credits.
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    For starters, at 42 years of age, you're much too old. You should just give up. (Hint: Click on my profile button in the bottom left corner.)

    At age 42, you should, of course, be saving for retirement. Experts say that one should be putting aside 10% of your income
    throughout your working life. But, that said, it is not necessarily an either/or proposition betwixt and between education funds and retirement funds. What one should measure is the inflation-adjusted increase in income over the remaining life of your career versus money expended upon educational pursuits. In short, in inflation-adjusted terms, what is cash in minus cash out if you do get more education? As for your retirement, you might think about starting some sort of business that a biblioholic such as yourself would love and eventually sell the business (to your kids, your partners, your employees, or whomever) whenever you decide you're finally ready for that front-porch rocking chair and a nice cold glass of Country Time lemonade for the next few decades.


    University of Calicut (BG15, 177)
    Charles Sturt University (BG15, 104)
    Christopher Newport University (BG15, 105)
    Florida State University (BG15, 112)
    University of London (BG15, 138)
    Madurai Kamaraj University (BG15, 120)
    Open University (Netherlands) (BG15, 166)
    University of Pittsburgh (BG15, 179)
    University of Pretoria (BG15, 143)
    University of South Africa (BG15, 144)
    University of Wales Aberystwyth (BG15, 181)


    University of Arizona (BG15, 176)
    University of Calicut (BG15, 177)
    Central Missouri State University (BG15, 102)
    Central Queensland University (BG15, 103)
    Charles Sturt University (BG15, 104)
    Connecticut State University (BG15, 107)
    Curtin University of Technology (BG15, 107)
    Drexel University (BG15, 108)
    Edith Cowan University (BG15, 109)
    Emporia State University (BG15, 110)
    Florida State University (BG15, 112)
    University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (BG15, 178)
    Jones International University (BG15, 117)
    Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual University (BG15, 118)
    Madurai Kamaraj University (BG15, 120)
    University of Maryland (BG15, 140)
    Open University (Netherlands) (BG15, 166)
    University of Pittsburgh (BG15, 179)
    Robert Gordon University (BG15, 168)
    University of South Africa (BG15, 144)
    University of South Australia (BG15, 145)
    Spalding University (BG15, 131)
    Syracuse University (BG15, 174)
    University of Tasmania (BG15, 146)
    University of Tennessee Knoxville (BG15, 181)
    University of Wales Aberystwyth (BG15, 181)
    University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (BG15, 148)


    Nova Southeastern University (BG15, 165)
    Open University (Netherlands) (BG15, 166)
    University of South Africa (BG15, 144)
    University of Tasmania (BG15, 146)
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    There you go Ted,thank you!
  8. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Don't let the money part (financing your education) worry you. Federally guaranteed student loans are usually very low interest loans and the government pays the interest while you're in school. Check into employer reimbursement. Look for the possibility of loans through the school itself. Some schools may even offer you an internal scholarship or a tuition discount. Get a scholarship book. Check out scholarships based on your major, your occupation/employer/union, your race/ethnicity, your religion, any category you can think of. Check out getting a used copy of John Bear's _Finding Money for College_, which is geared to financial aid for adults. It can be found at either or . If you're determined enough, there will be some way or somebody to pay the freight.
  9. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    One point I'd like to add is that there has been mention on this forum (please don't ask who or when) that when obtaining an MLS degree one MUST be certain that it is accredited by the American Library Association (or whatever it's called, I'm guessing here) as the VAST majority or employers state this explicitly as a requirement. Suggestion: Do your homework completely and well.
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Come to think of it, not so long ago, someone posted a thread called "Looking for a few good MLS Programs," in which I posted a list with weblinks of DL MLS programs listed in Bears' Guide. Someone else posted a U. S. News weblink listing DL MLS programs (and other types of DL programs) with notations re professional accreditations. And, yes, it's the ALA that accredits LS programs.
  11. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Hi Rob,

    1. Florida State University is no longer accepting new students to the online BS in Information Studies (Library Sciences) program.

    2. I would suggest that you check out the University of Maine - Augusta BS in Library & Information Sciences degree.

    The Library courses are all online (as are many of the gen. ed courses) and you never need to visit the campus. Tuition for the online library courses are $143/credit. They do tack on a few extra fees tacked on, but it's still pretty cheap. Of course The University of Maine - Augusta is a regionally accredited state school.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the ALA does not accredit undergrad programs, only MLS programs.

    Of course, in the end it's not necessary to obtain a BS in Library Science to gain acceptance into an MLS program. Really you just need a bachelor's in any discipline, likely from a Regionally Accredited institiution.

    Good luck!

    - Tom
  12. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

  14. Rob2

    Rob2 New Member

    My thoughts exactly, Ted :)

    University of Maine program looks good; I wish I had more credits to transfer and be done with it in a few years instead of full 4. I contacted the program coordinator and I am trying to find some fin. aid so I can get started in Fall 05 semester.

    I sat down with my tax advisor and we went through numbers. He was less then optimistic and he didn't see a reason to burn 30K on education that - according to him - won't get me anything in return.

    Having 4year degree in General Studies or Liberal Studies (or Library Technology - that's total nonsense he told me) on my resume may or may not help me with getting a better paying job. According to him, it's too general, not usable for anything, and I should go for nursing, accounting, business administration etc. There are jobs out there that you can do without a degree, just have to find one, he told me. It all depends on who you know. I suppose that's true, networking is important, but I wouldn't trash any degree like that.

    Thanks everyone for your links/ideas; I appreciate your input and I may be back with more questions.

    *goes back to search for fome free scholarship $ *
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    This is the thread and this is the link .
  16. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

    The heck with the tax advisor. He should stick to 1040's and schedule C's and skip the career advice. I'm sure you'll sort out the most cost effective way to do what you want to do. ROI isn't the only measure of the worth of an education.

    Buy now, learn now, finance long term if you must, take a part time job later to pay it off if need be.

    Inertia is a powerful thing, don't let your tax advisor get into your head, causing you doubts about your career decision. Go now before you're 50 and wishing you had started when you were 42.

    I hope he went over IRS publication 970 with you and discussed the Lifetime Learning Credit and such.
  17. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    The tax advisor would normally have an accounting degree, so he would know how to conduct cost-benefit analyses (money out to get the degree vs. inflation adjusted value of additional money in thanks to the new degree). But the big question is whether his assumptions re the economic potential of a library science degree were correct. Go to . On the other hand, even if your economic potential as a librarian or library science professor was not so much more than the economic potential of your present job, there is still the psychic value of having a job you love vs. a job you hate. I mean, yeah, money is money, it all spends the same, and either one will pay the bills, but why make yourself miserable if you have a choice? If you want this badly enough, there will be some way or someone to pay the freight. Go for it!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2005
  18. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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