I'm not saying I thought I could become the next Stephen Hawking or anything like that. But one can dream...
By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
What I love about science.
Of all the scientific disciplines, the ones that I've tended to read about the most are physics and psychology. I realized that I see these as the two most basic aspects of science: physics seeks to reveal the underlying structure of, well, everything; psychology seeks to reveal the underlying structure of how we perceive, well, everything.
After years of on-again, off-again college classes, and as I quickly approached a sobering mile-marker in life (my 50th birthday is less than 2 years away), I knew I had to make a decision about which degree I wanted. And I had to commit to getting that degree as soon as possible.
The degree I chose.
My reasons for choosing it were personal, practical, and professional.
- Personal: I like the science of psychology, reading about the brain, learning about human behavior.
- Practical: It was one of the degrees for which I needed neither additional math credits nor foreign language credits.
- Professional: With an advanced degree I think my job prospects in research are pretty good.
The psychology department at Kennesaw State University seems to be solid. KSU itself is considered to be a top up-and-coming school.
My plan is to apply to a PhD program after KSU. I've looked at three: Emory University, Georgia State University, and Georgia Tech. Each is very different, so I need to do more research to find out more about them. A PhD program is appealing to me in part because they cover tuition and pay a stipend.
I have a back-up plan.
If I cannot get into a PhD program for psychology, my back-up plan is to get the online Master's of Library Science degree from the University of Kentucky. A friend of mine did that and now works for a university library. He loves it. He's known me for over 25 years and recommended that I look into it.
Steacie Science and Engineering Library at York University
By Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
While it isn't my first choice, I know I'd enjoy working in a university library. Plus, it would be a tenure-track faculty position at most universities.
Decide what you love.
So, tell me: Are you considering going back to college? What are you thinking of majoring in?
Next: A multi-part series on what it takes to get the most of going back to school.