Literally, the HIGH cost of a new career.
Recently, I had something of an epiphany. I realized searching around for jobs I really didn’t want and probably weren’t going to get anyway was not very productive.
What to do?
Well, maybe it was time for a career change. A total career change. Which of course means going back to school. How fun! How exciting!
When I went to college at the University of Arizona in the mid-90s it was a fairly good deal. There was even an incentive for those of us who were in-state residents. We got a break on our tuition, a sizeable one if memory serves. Those days are long gone.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Colleges and universities are in the education and money making businesses. Hey, they have to eat too.
To illustrate but one example, I have been looking into the job of occupational therapist. For more on that career, click here for some exceptional information.
There are two nationally accredited schools for this particular job here in Arizona. This is important if you want to take the national certification examination for occupational therapy after you graduate.
One is the Arizona School of Health Sciences, or A.T. University, in Mesa. The other is Midwestern University located in Glendale.
I have personally toured the campus of The Arizona School of Health Sciences and found it to be inviting, the staff friendly and helpful, and above all the school was not large and overwhelming so I knew I would be getting a more personal and intimate education there.
So now the bad news.
The O.T. program is a 28 month long program. The cost for the 2009-2010 school year was $24,600. The cost for the 2011-2012 school year is $26,530. The third year, or 4 additional months of the program, will cost around $8000. So a jump of at least $1630 in two years. I would expect the program to go up in price each year.
It certainly won’t be going down.
Midwestern is even costlier. There current tuition is $30,917 per year. I might add it is not easy to find that information on their website, as if the cost of the program was the last thing to think about.
I forgot to mention, there is also a $1,050 supply fee added to each year of tuition at the Mesa program.
And let’s not forget books and such. I was told by a current student at The Arizona School of Health Science that books cost him per quarter anywhere from $40 to $300, which at the high end would be $1200 a year additionally.
Books have become ridiculously overpriced. And I am saying this as someone who has pursued being a working novelist for over ten years!
My wife purchased a new book for a nutrition class a couple years back and it was well over one hundred dollars. I call that insanity.
So, to recap – one year at The Arizona School of Health Sciences to pursue a advanced degree in Occupational Therapy would be roughly $28,780. I forgot to mention there are fees to apply as well, but let’s not squabble over a few hundred.
The full cost of the program, minus all other living expenses, would be roughly $67,057.
You can buy a house for that in today’s market. You can buy a lot of things. I am thinking new Corvette here.
It’s all relative though. If at the end of the day I had a career that was rewarding and satisfying, that paid me good money to do something I loved doing, well, it is more than worth the expense.
I was informed at the school there are financial aid programs that can help cut those repayment costs, assuming you don’t have $70,000 in disposable funds laying around. There are also employers out there who may be willing to pay back some or all of your student loan if you can commit to them for a set number of years.
Nothing worth having or doing comes easy.
I would add to that nothing worth having comes cheap!
FYI – Why is a trip to the dentist so expensive? The cost of that program at Midwestern: $67,000 yearly. Ouch!