I'm in a situation, and I'm having an unusually difficult time deciding what to do.
I'm 38 years old, and I work as software developer for a major university in my area. I've held this job for about 3 years now and things are going great. I have been working in the computer/tech field for the past 15 years, however, I do not have a college degree nor any certifications. Lately, I've been thinking that I want to pursue a more research-oriented computer science career, rather than just programming...like maybe programming in robotics, or AI, or something like that.
So last month, I decided to take some courses at the university I work at and persue a degree in computer science since I would have gotten a 75% educational discount(since I work here), but my application for admissions was turned down becuase my high school grades were not that great.
So now, I'm rather bummed and I don't know what to do. I spoke with a person in the admissions office of the university where I work, and he said that I could goto a community college for 2-years, and then re-apply to my university, with a better, but not guarenteed, chance of being accepted.
I also have the opportunity to goto this community college with a 90% discount because I have family whom work there.
Now, that sounds great, and almost obvious...just goto the community college for 2 years, get good grades, and apply again after those 2 years at the university I work at.
However...I'm 38...that means I'd finish the community college at age 40! And then, even if I get in at my university, I wouldn't be able to get a bachelor's in Computer Science for another 2 or 3 years...which means I'd be 42 or 43!
So I started thinking, well maybe I should just get some certifications. Then I could at least put those on my resume. But I think degrees are looked at with more respect that certs. at least when working at a college or university.
But really, I don't know what would be best for me.
So, I feel old, and maybe I should just stick with what I'm doing until I retire...and if I ever need to change jobs, just rely on my experience.