Anyone with a family to support done a degree?

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  • Anyone with a family to support done a degree?
  • wiggles

    just looking for anyone with experience, I did A levels then went straight into work as didn’t really have anything I wanted to do enough to study a degree in it.

    Now I have two kids and a missus and I’m the one bringing in the money, which isn’t much as just an office job which I’m happy with for now but not really somewhere I intend to stay forever…

    So thinking about at some point in the near future (still in my early twenties so not too old…) doing a degree to try and improve things for us all in the long term, but not sure how I would cope short term.
    Anyone have experience of doing this later on when they have more commitments etc? how did you cope with financing?

    Just a consideration at this time and would be very careful in trying to do a degree leading to real job prospects rather than ending up back where i started.

    Any advice opinions appreciated, thanks


    I can’t really comment on how to cope as I like you started working straight from school. But where I’m working now will fund university courses and degrees for you so long as its relevant to the work you’re carrying out. is this an option for yourself or were you thinking of a completely different career path?


    Something totally different hopefully. Currently working in HR so not exactly very interesting, my A levels were in Biology, chemistry and physics (and AS level in maths) so looking at something science/engineering related probably

    Premier Icon Lifer

    Open University? (have no experience but always wondered myself!)

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Did my BEng part time (1 day a week); took 4 years.
    Didn’t have children though, & obviously work gave me the time off.
    On my course, the full time students only did a few more hours than us each week.

    My Wifes just started a Nursing degree, & has to go in to uni two days a week.

    Having tried (& failed) to recruit a Design Engineer earlier this year, & from knowing other managers at work in the same boat, Engineering (degree level) is chronically short of decent talent. It’s a great profession to be in.

    If you could find a flexible job, even if the pay isn’t great, I’d go for it. Your not in uni all the time, so you should be able to get by with things like Working Tax credit etc.

    Good luck. 🙂

    I run my own business and have just done my masters degree – one day a week (250 mile round trip :cry:) for 2 years and i’m just doing my dissertation.

    The way i manage to get it all in is early starts…. I was up at 4.30 this morning completing Tenders for work and got finished just in time for a 15 minute skim of singletrack.

    I have a wife 2 kids and a busy life.

    All i can say is anything is do-able with the appropriate amount of effort. Financially it is very likely to be a smart move doing a degree, especially in engineering/science. A good long sit down with pen and paper, plus a discussion with the uni regarding funding may be a good start.

    Good Luck with the future, and hope it works out.

    I did a chemistry degree (after doing chemistry physics and biology a levels) as a single mum of two. The funding worked so that I was treated as a normal student and extra money was awarded as a grant to support the kids so I didnt have any more of a debt at the end compared to everyone else.

    As a couple I guess the difference these days would come from child tax credits. HMRC do have a calculator online (which always seems to underestimate the final award though so bear that in mind too).

    worth a call to both the student loans company and to the child tax credit lot just to see where it would leave you. I dont regret doing it at all and in fact because I had children and they were funded by grants it actually worked out better to go to uni full time than trying to fund and find the time for an ou course

    Premier Icon Trekster

    MrsT did an HND at college whilst kids were young followed by an OU degree whilst working in a shop when kids went to school. Got a job as a civil servant then a couple of promotions.

    Son did an apprenticeship from school as an electrical draughtsman for an industrial boiler manufacturer. When work looked like drying up and with the possibilities of redundancies starting to creep in he started to look around for another job. He had also moved in with his girlfriend,now wife and had a house. He got a job with a civil eng company who were impressed with his autocad skills which is what they were looking for. The company then payed for him to go to uni and get a degree in civil eng(structural). This took 5yrs of day release travelling from Carlisle to Bolton. He has 2 children. Daughter in law was also doing a degree in mental health nursing and topped that up recently with one to allow her to dispense medicine.
    The company has gone through a rocky patch due to 1 partner retiring and the other having a heart attack!! So he started looking around for another job but there is not much work in the construction industry locally, he just missed a few opportunities. However his old job became available so he has returned to his first employer on favourable terms.

    Daughters partner is working for Rural Affairs(NB farmers thread)He went part time and completed a law degree. Finished just as the “crash” was in full swing and jobs in the area dried up. Fortunately Rural Affairs recognised his skills when a job became available even though they were terminating those on part time and short term contracts.

    Daughter is a primary school teacher having gained an MA arts and design followed by a PGCE and has signed up for a degree in teaching. She had a year out in the middle of all this due to ill health, excema, got pregnant during that period…..

    Me? I`m the dunce of the family with a mere C&G motor mech 🙄


    I did something similar, went from job to job after A’levels never really doing exactly what I wanted or earning enough so as I approached my 30th birthday I agreed with my wife it was time to stop messing around, get my degree and choose a direction. It was a four year sandwich course degree. luckily we didnt have kids and the wife worked and supported a fair bit. The sandwich year had me working which helped as a stop gap. It wasnt easy but has been worth while as I earn considerably more than I used to and now 12 years or so later my life is much more ‘comfortable’. After 12 years doing this I’m starting to get bored but its a job now not a career and I’ve come to terms with that. 😉

    Others have good advice:
    choose your degree around job prospects / career when you leave – I chose a a uni with a really good practical element and good industry contacts
    speak to the uni your thinking about doing it about support
    talk to the government agencies/loan companies about support
    many degrees theoretically give you time to work part time but remember your reading for a degree and theres a lot of reading, so decide how much time you’ll commit to the degree versus work and your life
    look at a open university degree, maybe an option and allow flexibility

    ohhh and good luck.


    Thanks for the all help and advice.
    Just found out I have an interview for a permanent job (currently on a fixed contract) where i work now but working 4-10 so could work out well giving me most of the day to fit in uni stuff potentially!


    Just make sure you choose either….Med school, law, engineering, maths, physics, chemistry or finance.

    Do not do anything soft if you want to earn good money. Maybe accounting if you want to enter a boredom induced coma.


    i went back to college at 22 to do HND, which set me up nicely for career change.then went back at 33 to do foundation degree (another career change), then at 36 started my masters, now doing chartership.
    All with kids in tow and full time work plus loads of house renovation projects going on.
    only had 2 nervous breakdowns, but worth it. good luck. If you want it enough then find the subject interesting is half the battle. like life, there will be parts of your course which you will question, but stick with it to get the tick in the box.

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