Career & Education

We have made it to shore tour! Well almost, it officially begins once my husband is back from deployment, so we’re so close. A shore tour will mean more time at home and more flexibility. We’re excited to start on a new phase of our lives and his career.

Since my husband will have a little more free time once he starts shore tour, we’ve decided that it would be a perfect time for him to start a master’s degree. He will be working towards his master’s in engineering management, which is a mix of engineering and business classes. Because he’s a submarine officer, he’s had enough training that he will only have to complete half of the classes in the program, and he also did his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering.

It’s been a few years since we’ve both been in college, but I’m hoping the transition of going back to school will be somewhat smooth. Thankfully, his program is available online or on campus. (The college is relatively close to our house.) We thought this would be the best option for him since he’ll be able to access professors easily and can use the resources at the college’s campus. All the courses he is taking are self-guided, so he will be able to complete his coursework on his own time. If everything goes well, he should be able to complete the program within the next two years.

Submariners are constantly going through different trainings. In fact, the first two years he was in the Navy he spent mostly in training and in classrooms learning all the ins and outs of a submarine. Since then he has gone through two additional training programs, and he will be attending another program in March before his shore tour duty. Although he has been through several programs in the last few years, these were all his primary focus at the time. So, unlike these programs, his master’s will be something on top of his job rather than being his exclusive focus.

While I would like to get my master’s within the next few years, we decided it would be best for me to wait. I have a pretty crazy work schedule, and I don’t think I would be able to manage my current job along with coursework. In addition to that, we didn’t want the financial burden of having two tuitions, and one of us needs to maintain and manage the house while the other is in school. We have a few friends who are both doing some sort of schooling at the same time and I’m not sure how they do it.

Have you and your significant other gone through schooling either together or separately? How was the experience for you? What would you do differently? I’d be curious to see how other people have handled this experience.