Hi Elphas, I've been warring with this for months. I have a great job as a Product Manager in Fintech making just over 6 figures after my last raise with promises of a promotion coming mid-year (we shall see!) Due to financial circumstances and a limited support system I was not able to go to college after high school. I have been taking ~2 classes per semester since 2018, and last year, transferred to a 4-year school for their computer science program.
At my current rate, I will not graduate until 2027 and the prospect of this double workload for 5 more years makes me feel hopeless and unmotivated. Not to mention the inability to travel for work or take vacations due to classes being back in person.
I'm struggling to balance the demands of Bachelors' programs geared toward students fresh out of high school which require me to be in-person and have limited classes outside of working hours. Although I'm lucky to have flexible working hours, I started a new role last month with increased responsibility and I want to impress my new leaders. It's been implied by some that I'm not employable outside of my current company as a PM because I lack a bachelor's degree which is frustrating but I know it at the very least limits my options. Once I hit the 4-year mark as a PM, I started to have recruiters reach out to me and interviewed with one but once I met the hiring manager, they were uninterested in me and didn't engage with any of my responses adding to this insecurity.
I've looked for advice for working professionals going back to school but they assume work is hourly/non-career based or that you're in a Master's program where there is consideration for work. I've also looked for online programs but worry going to an online school is as bad or worse than no school at all since the lack of a degree has piqued some folks' interest in my career journey. I'm proud of myself for getting into UMBC and potentially being a first-generation graduate as well as building my career and financial foundation. I've considered taking 2-3 years off to finish my last 70 credits but then I would have to take out loans and lose my company's tuition assistance and have a break in my resume. I've also considered dropping out if get to a salary/title where I feel safe but that's subjective. Option three is ambitious but I've thought of dropping school and writing a book based on my own experience managing lower-income personal finance (under 50k total income, paycheck to paycheck ) which would a.) be extremely rewarding, and; b.) lend credibility and authority to my resume as a PM in Fintech.
I appreciate you all for reading and would love to have your insight. What would you do in my situation?