Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Kautz

When I dropped out of college 11 or so years ago I did it for a variety of reasons. Among them was a severe lack of interest in the classes. I am, by most anyones definition, a 'non-traditional' student. So the class part of college and me didn't fit. Everything else fit just fine, thank you very much.

Over the years since I've had a moderately successful career as a software developer. Probably half of that time I've been an independent consultant and that fits my style very well. However, and I'm not sure when this happened, whenever I think about what I want to do when I grow up software development is not it. It just isn't rewarding for my soul. I've had this growing, gnawing emptiness and I think it is time to start addressing that.

I have known for a long time that if I went back to college it wouldn't be for Comp Sci. Well, I am going back to college starting December 1st and it will be for a B.S. in Psychology. The school, Walden University, started in the 70's and is solely a distance learning school. They started with PhDs then started to offer Masters and now do undergrad as well. They are accredited, which is good. And they cater to non-traditional students (such as me) and working adults. Every course is 5 credits and is taken over a 6 week period, two classes back-to-back per quarter, 8 classes (40 credits) a year.

The format is asynchronous, meaning you basically get a deadline and a task and off you go. Discussions take place on a meeting board and lectures, etc are podcastish. Apparently this format has been pretty successful and it is right up my alley as far as how I work well. Six weeks is a pretty short time to squeeze five credits of material so I expect it to be pretty intense.

Luckily, a significant amount of class work transferred over and I am just two years away. 16 courses. And only one of which needs to be general education stuff, everything else is focused on my course of study.

As far as future plans go, I have two goals. First, to be able to be certified in a technique called EMDR (whole other topic). And second, to be able to start a private practice. In order to meet those goals, I need to have (or be working towards) my Masters. At this point I don't care about practicing as a Psychologist. A certification as a Mental Health Counselor will suite me just fine and it will be an easier path to follow.

So, maybe, I'll be able to totally switch careers in three or four years.



Kirsten said...

Good for you! At least you know what you want to do when you grow up'm still trying to figure that out while suffocating in my job.

Becky said...

Kudos to you!!!!

darin said...

Go Ryan!!!

Meredith Self said...

exciting news.