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Going back to school

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by farmerjerome, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    So, I'm thinking of going back to school (duh). Just the thought of this is making my stomach churn. Not the school part, I've always been booksmart not commonsense smart.

    It's a degree certificate, and would only involve a semester. It's in medical coding, which I've heard is a very fast-growing field and I know there are always tons of openings in our area. One of the girls I worked with said that while she was going for her certification, employers were literally picking people out of classes to fill positions. I'm not expecting that, but I think it would be decent market.

    Anyway, I have an okay job. Okay in the sense that I really like it and it's VERY stable. Not okay in the sense that it pays like crap and I've probably reached my ceiling as far as promotions go. And it's become very catty lately. I'm thinking of asking my boss for a leave of absence for the Spring semester to do it. I'd actually consider doing it in the Fall but I know I'm going to be out of state and miss three classes already.

    I've wanted to do this for at least a couple of years now, and out of nowhere my bat-shit crazy saint of a mother offered to pay for last week. Only problem is, I have several medical conditions and I don't know what I'd do for insurance (or cash for that matter) while I was in school.

    Anybody else trying to better their situations or care to offer advice? Or just tell me to get off their lawn?
  2. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    I don't know much specifically about medical coding, but always encourage people to go into medical-related fields. My wife is a registered nurse; she makes twice as much money as I do and will never have trouble finding a job. She's in graduate school now to be a nurse practitioner, and when she's done with a year is going to be making even more money than I do and will likely have employers not only battling over her services but they'll also pay back her student loans.
  3. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    The demand for medical coders seems to be pretty high. If all it takes is a semester, it sounds good. Even better if your mother is willing to pick up the tab.

    Just please try to maintain some health coverage. While it will be a little more difficult to be turned down for pre-existing conditions, it's just too risky. Healthy people can't afford not to have health coverage, but those not so fortunate can ill afford to take the chance.
  4. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    I have a cousin who completed extensive training in the medical clerical field about six months to a year ago. She was gainfully employed in the health care industry for years before that...but only with minimal training. She thought she might improve her standing with schooling and was really proud of herself for going the extra mile.

    Well her life has turned into one big unemployment mess. She did indeed get hired on at several places right after her schooling, but it was the same story every time. They'd put her on part time and promise her full time after a few months or so. Instead they'd pull the rug out from under her right before she would be set to go full time. I assume the offices just move onto the next eager person right after that.

    I have an aunt who is on the training side of things. She's doing fantastic. Flies everywhere. Stays busy and she's well into her 50s.

    I suppose it's a real crapshoot in that field.
  5. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    Well that last story makes me think twice. I took a chance and talked to someone that I worked with about this, strictly to find out about the leave of absence policy at my shop.

    Ultimately, I won't make any decisions until late October/November, when the Spring schedule comes out. What I think I'll do is go down to the bare minimum fulltime hours, which will probably be 30 hours a week. During that time, our payroll is aw full anyway, so hopefully is shouldn't be a problem. I can get a 30-day leave of absence without too much of a hassle, and use that time for my on-the-job training.

    I'm really hoping this works out. Even if I do get promoted at my current job, I'm two promotions away from making money that I can seriously live on.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    My daughter, who always had an aversion to formal education, went to a technical school for medical coding two years ago. She finished six months ago at the top of her class and was instantly in demand for a number of positions. Solid money there, too.

    It does work, fj.
  7. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of going back as well. Mrs. Chiquet works at a college and I can go for free. I am debating on getting my Masters of Journalism (kind of a waste, but would be nice to have); a teaching certificate (higher pay as a sub) or just getting a 2-year degree in something medical/computers as a kick-start to a new career should I ever leave the biz.
  8. LeCranke

    LeCranke Member

    FJ, listen to this:


    From what I understand medical coding is the No. 1 second profession for journalists. And despite Jr's daughter's success (good for her!) I also understand the field is getting flooded...my sister is the lead paralegal at one of the nation's largest hospital chains and she says coders are as out of work as everyone else.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of going back to school to get a master's degree in business, partly because of how quickly I've moved up at my current position.

    There's always the option to take classes online and/or part-time, which would allow you to maintain your income and your health insurance. In this shaky economy, you need both.
  10. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    You know, this is a good take on it, too. From my daughter's experience, here's my suggestion: Be sure you put yourself in position to get certified in medical coding, medical billing and even phlebotomy. That's the way any school worth its salt will set up its program, anyway. Give yourself multiple options.
  11. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    My suggestion, never go to to school as a means to an end, you'll likely be bored/unhappy/unfulfilled. You go to school to learn about something you enjoy.

    Medical coding? Do you know what the job entails? Will you enjoy getting out of bed every day and will it be a challenge for you?
  12. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    End it there. If you're not 100% sure don't go.
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