Anyone ever gone back to school for a 2nd Bachelors Degree?

I am really getting close to figuring out what the hell I want to do about my career. But I was wondering if anyone here on the Dope have gone back for a 2nd bachelors degree after working for a few years. If I go back to school next year I will be 28. Thats not a big deal, but I want to do it right and make sure I do something I am very much interested in and enjoy.

I am leaning towards some computer work (Comp sci, computer programming) as I enjoy computers and like learning about technology. I think my background in education and music might be helpful in that field. Also my MBTI and SII tests indicated I would enjoy the profession more than my current one.

Storys please…I need a little pushing!

I’m 30 years old and recently started a master’s degree in neuroscience.

My undergrad degree (which I graduated from in 2001) was in Computer Science, so it’s quite a career jump. There is some IT within the course, but not very much. It’s basically a medical degree.

I was made redundant earlier this year when the company I was working for went bust. Although work is easy to come by in the field I was in, I wasn’t looking forward to starting another job doing the same thing.
Meanwhile I’ve had a lifelong interest in neurology and philosophy of the mind.
When I stumbled, by chance, on a course that incorporated both of these, and had an IT aspect, I went for it.

Recommend it?
Absolutely. It’s exciting, and it’s great to find something to be excited about, once you’re past it as we are :wink:
And if you’ve any doubts as to whether you’ve still got it, interllectually, then that’s a good reason to do it.
When I meet up with my former colleagues and we talk about what we’re all doing now, it definitely feels like I made the right decision. I certainly wouldn’t want to swap, and continue doing something that’s not right for me, rather than take a chance.

Do your research: make sure you pick the right course. Make as few assumptions as possible about the courses.
If you find the perfect course, but don’t think you’re qualified, apply anyway. It’s a different ball game as a mature student, and often, if you’re sufficiently willing, you’ll be accepted.
Get your accommodation arrangements and so on sorted in good time.

After 15+ years working full-time, I went back to university and studied part-time via distance education for an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree.

I’d certainly recommend it. In my experience, the mature age students more than hold their own against the younger students. They’re more committed, have much more life experience and realise that there are a range of different opinions on any given topic. They’re also usually much more efficient in their study habits, simply because they have to be to balance their academic commitments with the rest of their lives.

I spent 9 years in my industry with just a B.Sc. and had pretty much maxed out how far I could go without an advanced degree since I was on the research end of things. So when there was a downturn (in Oil & Gas it’s a given it’ll happen) I used it as an opportunity to pick up a M.Sc. and when I finished things had indeed turned around and good jobs were waiting. The increase in pay along with opportunities for advancement were stratospheric compared to before.

Grad classes were much easier for me than undergrad for two reasons. First, I was more mature, focused and dedicated, habits you hone in the market. Also though, in grad work you’re just taking courses that deal with your chosen vocation. I’d no more advanced math, chemistry, speech, etc beyond their useful application and was instead learning about the subjects that interested me most.

Plus, going back was how I met my wife. :wink:

Why not just go into grad school? Or some sort of certification program that involves graduate level work, but only in certain core courses related to your interest?

My undergraduate degree was in Government, and I went back to school to get a Masters in Information Systems. (I had to take some undergraduate prerequisites before I could start the Masters program.) I suspect most employers would be more impressed with a Masters than two bachelor degrees.

My undergrad was in music…could I do some sort of technology masters program? THe thing is I might want to change my work environment. Being a teacher is okay, but somewhat frustrating. I think I might like a whole new career better.

Call up the department and find out.

My daughter got her degree in Anthropology, with a minor in Art History. About the most usless degree to get, as there may be openings for 10 or 12 a year. :smiley:

After several years of doing different jobs, she went back and got her Masters in Biology, which led to a wonderful job as an endangered-species biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. She has been extremely happy in this field, so that was a great move.

Go for it!

I got a BS in medical microbiology. I took a job in a hospital in a stat clinical chemistry laboratory in the evenings at coincidentally much more money. So I took a second BS in horticulture because there wasn’t much else to do during the day.

I got sucked into IT and never got to apply either degree professionally.

Several decades have since passed. The persons I have know who have most profited financially by having two degrees are persons with two doctorates. One in some profession and the other in law.

I am less than a year away from completing my MBA while working full time. My undergrad was a double major in PoliSci and Communications and there was a 12 year time lapse between graduating with my BS and starting the MBA program. Time I’ve spent building a career in IT. I took some business courses as prerequisites and while that lengthened the process it was well worth it.

Let me encourage you to go for it, and to go for a Masters. Decide what you want your masters in, find out the requirements, and take the prereqs if necessary. It will be hard going back to school, but it is incredibly rewarding. Especially in an advanced degree program. The students are all people who want to be there very badly, and who have a broad range of backgrounds. I’ve found those facts have added immensely to my educational experience. Talk to the program administrators, many times you can get certain pre-reqs waved based on your experience by talking to a professor.

Good luck!

I’ve been sort of thinking about this too. I have some interest in going into a more biological based field such as bioinformatics but my undergrad degree is in social sciences. I have a few bio and chem classes under my belt but I know that I’d have to take at least some prerequisites if I wanted to go a more “science-y” route. Also bioinformatics would require some computer science background as well of which I have none. I wish I had a clearer idea of what careers existed back as an undergrad. What a waste. I am not sure that my interest justifies going back to school for at least 3 years though. Maybe I’m just unhappy where I am (doing administrative work).

I didn’t go back to get my second bachelors degree – I just stayed in school.

In my last semester of what would have been my senior year of undergrad, I added a third major (computer engineering) to my existing two majors (physics & maths) – i.e. I’d pretty much finished my physics/maths curriculum when I added the third major. This allowed me to spend the next two years taking only engineering classes, as I’d already taken all the maths/science/humanities stuff they make engineers take in an attempt to de-geekify them.

So two years later, I graduated with two BS degrees – one from the liberal arts college in physics & maths, and a second from the engineering college in computer engineering.

I made a similar leap: I had a BA in Linguistics and got a second BS in Computer Science. Here’s a little more about that.

You can certainly ask whether you go directly into a master’s program. However, I can attest that, while my background in linguistics helped a lot (language theory, Boolean logic, etc.), it wouldn’t have prepared me for master’s-level work. I just didn’t have any of the basics to build on. I do now, though, and I will probably start working on my masters in the next couple of years.

I think computers are a buttload of fun, and programming appeals to both my logical side and my creative side. It’s not just about solving a problem, it’s about doing it faster, more robustly, more elegantly. I think many people would be surprised to find out how much they’d enjoy computers, so if you’re already interested, you’re probably on the right track.

As I said in my link, feel free to PM me if you want to know more.

Me, but only because I work at a university and they paid for it. I would have gone straight into a masters program, but I’d taken ZERO courses in that particular subject the first time around. And, it’s not a discipline where just a BA will make you attractive to any sort of employer. I’m just not very highly motivated, and working towards a degree was what I needed to keep me engaged.

I’ll graduate in the spring, exactly 10 years after getting my first BA. I’m thinking about an MA in a different field, now.

Basically, I like school more than I like work.

How much background and experience do you have in programming? I’ve known a lot of music majors who have ended up in a programming or IT field because they seemed particularly gifted at it despite a lack of initial formal training.

You may need to take some additional coursework to be qualified to obtain a masters, or to satisfy coursework prerequisites, but I think you’d definitely be better served by trying to get into a graduate program rather than go back for a second undergraduate degree. No less a luminary than Nobel laurate Eric Kandel went from an undergraduate degree in literature to New York University Medical School and Harvard College, ending up with an M.D. in psychiatry and doing ground-breaking research in memory as a fundamental process and how it relates to cognition. So before you do anything, start talking to advisers and graduate students in the field you want to enter, especially (if possible) to schools you’d like to attend.


Alas I am simply a computer keener who likes science and tech. I did all my maths and sciences in High School (like 10 years ago). I did a dual degree in education and music. I did some simple (don’t laugh) Qbasic programming when I was very young. Thanks so much for this advice. I am going to begin looking into how I can get some computer training and maybe eventually get a masters.

I just went ‘back’ for my first. (ok, hadn’t gone in the first place)

I was 26 when I started community college and 31 when I graduated from a state University. That was only a year ago. I have a huge amount of debt and can’t possibly imagine going back again. College has it’s place, and I’m not saying I’m not intellectually curious, but I’m not going to pay 11k a year to learn something I can learn online.