I am 30-years-old and I have all the resources to finish my degree in a couple of years if I go to school full-time. I have been pursuing entry-level IT jobs the past few weeks but most of them I am unqualified for because I have no experience and no degree. I am considering putting the process of applying to various jobs on hold and just going back to school full-time. Would this be a more efficient use of my time?
I agree with Andrea, there are no right or wrong but based on perspective and your circumstances. If you are applying to roles but not getting offers because you are unqualified, finishing up your degree could help you gain additional skills. Perhaps while you’re in school FT, can you obtain an internship? However, if you’re able to obtain a job (full-time, part-time, freelance) that could help you start gaining relevant work experience. Keep in mind, your career is a marathon not a sprint. You may need to take baby steps, getting your feet wet in a job to help you get your foot in the door, to start gaining experience that can elevate you in the long-run. Keep in mind, if you get a full-time job at a company, sometimes they have tuition reimbursement within their benefits that could help you save some $$. If you have the resources to go to school full-time, I would suggest leveraging your time in school to obtain internships that can help build your resume. Leverage this time to network and conduct informational interviews within the industry. Relationships will open up doors.
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I do not know that there is any black or white answer to your inquiry, but maybe you can find an ideal balance. If you have all of the resources to finish your degree, that would make the most sense to me, as you still have the opportunity to maybe gain experience during the course of an internship or other work experience.
My other recommendation would be to network with other students and get their perspective and rationale for how they selected their academic and professional approaches. I would also HIGHLY recommend emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our formal mentoring program and to see if you qualify for it.
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