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    Basically I'm wondering what people consider to be an appropriate age to enter the labour force full time. I am feeling quite keen to carry on in higher eduaction, though not necessarily through the traditional masters+PhD route. If I decided to do another undergrad after the first one, plus a masters, for instance, I'd be 25-27 years old on applying for my first non-intern, non-part-time job. Is this too old?

    (Of course there are mature students but most of these already have work experience prior to entering uni. I would effectively be spending 7-9 years in higher education).
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    Not if you've got additional qualifications to add weight to your application.
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    Some people decide to stay in Uni until their early 30s! It all depends whether you're able to fund yourself and how much debt you're willing to get in to. Remember a lot of students I'm sure would love to stay on for full time education but unfortunately, with rising student debt it just isnt practical.
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    (Original post by Cage)
    Not if you've got additional qualifications to add weight to your application.
    You mean things like summer work placements, internships, societies and sports clubs?
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    I got my first proper 100% bone fide full time job at 26, I'm not unusual. If you've done a PhD then you are going to be in your mid-20's when you finish anyway.
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    If you've been in education the whole time and you've not just been lazing about, then I don't think there is such thing as "too old." Why do a second undergraduate degree though? You will, of course, be missing out on a lot of potential earnings and you may be at a disadvantage if you're competing for jobs against 22 year olds who also have a BA + MA.

    I'll be 21 or 22 when I get my first proper job, depending on if I get a master's or not. I'll be a trainee teacher at 20/21 though.
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    (Original post by KwungSun)
    You mean things like summer work placements, internships, societies and sports clubs?
    That and also the extra academic qualifications you'll have. I mean, a second undergrad and an MA demonstrate your work ethic etc pretty well. In Germany, lots of people stay in education until their late 20s at least. It's becoming increasingly common, though not something i intend to do beyond, perhaps, an MA. Hard to say yet - it depends how my undergraduate degree turns out, I suppose.
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    (Original post by more adventurous)
    If you've been in education the whole time and you've not just been lazing about, then I don't think there is such thing as "too old." Why do a second undergraduate degree though?
    Academic stimulation and getting access to a wider range of careers. I'm doing social science stuff at the moment but feel I am missing out by not having done any physics/engineering (and vice-versa had I done physics/engineering straight away). I have serious interest in both fields and would like access to careers open to physicists/engineers.


    (Original post by more adventurous)
    I'll be 21 or 22 when I get my first proper job, depending on if I get a master's or not. I'll be a trainee teacher at 20/21 though.
    Don't you feel that's a bit young though (ignoring funding for the moment)? As Cage said, most students in central Europe, especially males with military commitments, don't finish their degrees much before 24/25. You'll most likely be in a job for the next 40+ years. On the other hand, if you know you want to be a teacher then why waste time I suppose..
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    I would want to be in something solid by the time I was 24/25. Anything older is too old IMO - If you are doing education the whole time then I spsoe a little odler is OK - but early 30s is a piss take.
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    (Original post by KwungSun)
    Don't you feel that's a bit young though (ignoring funding for the moment)? As Cage said, most students in central Europe, especially males with military commitments, don't finish their degrees much before 24/25. You'll most likely be in a job for the next 40+ years. On the other hand, if you know you want to be a teacher then why waste time I suppose..
    There isn't really any other option for me though.. I'd like to do a master's but I don't know if I can afford it (international student fees). Doing a Phd doesn't interest me. So the only options for me are to work or marry someone rich. :p:
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    Where I work (international firm) British grads are on the whole the youngest, average age when starting 22 (a gap year, 4yr degree or 1yr MSc), Americans 22/23 (4yr degree), continental Europeans 24-26 (5 years of higher education with a gap year or two isn't unusual), Indians 24-25 (Bachelors, Masters then an MBA without much/any work experience on the way). I like the British system where if you're ready to enter the real world age 21 with just a 3yr BA/BSc that's entirely fine, further qualifications aren't essential to get ahead.
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    The age at which you should get a proper job is the age at which you leave full-time education, possibly plus one gap year. No need for absolutes.
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    (Original post by Cage)
    Not if you've got additional qualifications to add weight to your application.
    Yes, but I think two FT undergrad degrees might spell "LAZY *******" to a lot of employers. Far better I think it would be to finish the undergrad degree and spend a further year to get the Masters - at least you would be advancing academically. I think I'd think twice about employing someone who has just spent 7 or 8 years propping up the SU bar unless they could show me a PHd for their efforts - but that's just me.

    My advise, for what little it's worth, to the OP would be to finish the undergrad degree and get into the job market. If he feels so inclined there is nothing to stop him doing another undergrad and a masters with the OU (which as a matter of fact is what I did)
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    (Original post by The Regend)
    Some people decide to stay in Uni until their early 30s! It all depends whether you're able to fund yourself and how much debt you're willing to get in to. Remember a lot of students I'm sure would love to stay on for full time education but unfortunately, with rising student debt it just isnt practical.
    You ain't kidding. I'd be a professional student if I had the means to do it. I'd be quite happy with a 40 year career as a student.
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    (Original post by Howard)

    My advise, for what little it's worth, to the OP would be to finish the undergrad degree and get into the job market. If he feels so inclined there is nothing to stop him doing another undergrad and a masters with the OU (which as a matter of fact is what I did)
    Thanks for your response. I'm not sure though how easy it is to get into engineering with an OU degree, since it's all distance learning and they don't offer accredited MEng programmes. How did you find the learning/teaching experience with them though?
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    (Original post by KwungSun)
    Thanks for your response. I'm not sure though how easy it is to get into engineering with an OU degree, since it's all distance learning and they don't offer accredited MEng programmes. How did you find the learning/teaching experience with them though?
    I think they do offer an accredited MEng actually.

    http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?Q01M03

    The OU is really a great university btw. Most people speak positively of the OU. Their course material is superb and the OU is actually ranked # 1 in the country for student satisfaction. Distance learning isn't necessarily a "second best" option. All OU degrees are accredited in just the same way as a FT degree is.
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    (Original post by The-Lennon)
    Come on..... an open university degree is worth nothing. Its just a get out clause for wierd people to get a 'qualification'.
    Now that's definitely nonsense. I personally know someone who advanced from clerical staff to senior technical staff at a large international organisation after taking a degree in physics with the Open University.
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    Remember folks, look at Lennon's reputation, and don't feed the troll.
 
 
 
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