This is topic Job advice in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.

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Posted by NewYooper (Member # 6529) on :
In November of 2009 I retired from the Military and started going to school full time in January of 2010. I've completed four semesters of an Electronics Engineering program at Northern Michigan University.

A few months ago I decided to "test the waters" and put together a resume and have been shopping it around with some success. I've had a several interviews now and I turned down a job offer a couple of weeks ago for a job that I was originally quite excited about because I know that it is something that I would enjoy doing, I simply felt that the offer they made was not enough to entice me to quit college a second time (the first time was to join the Navy) and move my family yet again. Today that company called me back and upped their offer, and not by any small amount. Their original offer was for $48,000.00 per year plus benefits and bonuses, todays offer is $62,500.00 plus benefits and bonuses. Quite the jump.

My dilema is this. I'm 41 years old, I have three children, the oldest who will be graduating high school next year. The original $48K offer was less than what I am worth, and not enough to convince me to quit school and move. The $62.5k offer is more along the lines of what I believe that I am wort currently. So now the big question, would staying in school for the last 3-4 semesters increase my value enough to make me turn this job down? This job does have upward mobility and the potential to become a management level job within 3-5 years and it is EXCELLANT pay for the cost of living in the area that I would be living.
Posted by msquared (Member # 113) on :
Oh to have that problem. [Smile]

A couple of questions. Do they want you even with out a degree? Also, what type of guarentee is there? I mean, I keep hearing stories of people who make the big jump only to have the position go away 6 months later when the company downsizes.

If they take you with out a degree and then the position goes away, you are stuck with only half a degree and no job.

See if they will work with you to finish your degree.

Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
On your end of the matter, college credits are generally transferable; the company may even be willing to pick up part of the tuition for you to finish off the degree part time. This is definitely something that you should discuss with the company, but it should be pretty easy to negotiate, overall.

I'd worry a little bit about dislocating kids in High School, that can be a bit disruptive, both on a social level and because programs at different schools don't align well. I think this is the trickier issue, and it's probably something that you should have a family discussion about; there are possibilities such as you moving ahead and renting a small apartment until the rest of you family can follow or something to that effect.

Given the overall state of the economy, that's a great offer, but family considerations are the biggest element, and I think whatever the final decision is, you'll have the best reception if everyone in your family feels like they were included in the process.
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
My advice would be to finish the degree if it's going to be a BS in Engineering. Without the actual degree you'll have little flexibility in the job market since most engineering companies strongly preference a degree with experience over just experience. Essentially, you'll be stuck at this company which might be fine in the long run, but might turn out otherwise. Whereas, if you have an EE degree you'll always be able to get a job somewhere.
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
As JWatts alluded to, even seemingly stable or growing companies can experience sudden reversals in fortune. Take that into consideration.
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
If I were you I'd take the job. $62.5k + bonuses is a pretty competitive salary for a recent college graduate in engineering. Depending on how good the bonuses and opportunities for promotions are, it could be very competitive. You'll kick yourself a couple years from now if you stay in school and then have a tough time finding a job. It's a scary time to be a recent college graduate.

If having a degree is important to you for its own sake or for job security, keep in mind that some very decent schools are starting to offer on-line programs.
Posted by ken_in_sc (Member # 6462) on :
Take it. Finish your degree part-time during off-duty hours. Use the GI Bill.
Posted by RickyB (Member # 1464) on :
You left out how old you are, how many kids and how many years of relevant militrary experience in addition to your course credits. 62.5 sounds really nice if your wife works as well, maybe not that amazing if it's 90% or more of the family budget...
Posted by NewYooper (Member # 6529) on :
Well I think that school is going to be put on hold again. I just received a second job offer from another company. I attended a hiring conference yesterday for a management training program for a major steel company. Of the 11 job candidates that were in attendance, I was the only one who did not have an engineering degree, and I am the only one who they offered a full management job to. The rest are being offered the management training positions. Their offer is really good, better than the one from the other company in fact.

What a confidence boost to be the one without the degree yet still get the best job offer.

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