Dentistry as a Mature-Aged Student: Advice Request

Discussion in 'General Dentistry Discussion' started by j2211, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. j2211

    j2211 New Member

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    Hi All,
    I'm in need of some serious advice. I'm 33 with a family and a job that pays around 110k. I'm becoming increasingly dissatisfied with my job so I'm considering dentistry. Is it worth it for someone at my age? Will there be jobs for grads? Any input will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    J
     
  2. Mana

    Mana Resident Medical Officer (UNDS MBBS) Administrar

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    You'll probably find that dentistry is now starting to be somewhat in oversupply unless you are wanting to live in a rural area.
    Also, it'll be a 5 year full time investment and you'll end up with a salary that is much lower than your current one (at least to start with). It's not feasible to be working full time and studying dentistry at the same time, so you'll need to make sure you can support yourself (or your family/partner can support you) while you do that degree.
     
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  3. Ruth

    Ruth Maderator Emeritus

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    Much lower? Hmm depends on the job you get. I hear grad jobs in Aus pay pretty well (better than in NZ lol) - like not that much lower than what you are earning now. But yes very big commitment, I had a classmate who worked on weekends and a half day or two as a physio (his previous degree), otherwise his partner was supporting them.

    Jobs are certainly becoming harder to get, but if you're happy to move, or to work part-time, then you should be fine. As a 'mature' student you will probably have an upper hand as well since you already know what the job search process entails.
     
  4. defraggle

    defraggle New Member

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    I doubt that your earnings in dent will be < 110k after the first few years, but there are few things to consider:

    Dent +ves
    - Flexible Part Time Working Arrangements
    - Not being project driven - so on the large part work stays at work
    - Not wedded to large employment centres - so seachange/greenchange outside large metros all possible
    - As a mature aged student, you're probably way more organised, better with patients with the added life experience.

    Dent -ves
    - Physical toll: back, posture, ergonomics, RSI (so basically look after your body)
    - Increased competition: initial job market challenging (so network like crazy)

    I was 34 when I quit IT and was earning about 180k/year. I worked out the opportunity cost but came to realise that I was better of in dent in the medium/long term.

    Dent was something I always wanted to do, and I was getting burnt out from crazy overtime and very long 18 month projects where in the last 6 months of each project it was 60hr+ weeks and UberEats every night. And having a young family I saw that Dent was more fitting with my stage in life. Unfortunately it was come at an enormous short term opportunity cost of lost income, but luckily my wife has been able to support us. It's not easy though- if you end up having to move interstate for study, the relocation costs and living costs rack up, you lose your friend/family support network, and as a mature aged student you CAN feel a bit left out of the action, particularly if you are committed to family/work so you don't end up engaging as much on the social front. I was working part time in IT until end of 3 year but was really burning the candle at both ends at that stage
     
  5. ady

    ady New Member

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    Hi I am a dentist here, from experience I can tell you that you need not worry about your age, we had people in the 40-50 age bracket in our graduating class and several people in there 30s. Most importantly you need to ask yourself 'why' dentistry? Lots of reasons to do it, ideally you need to be driven by the desire to care and help people who need professional care for their oral health. Of course there are people who want to create businesses out of dentistry and nothing wrong with it, just figure out whether you want to be involved with a career that is so hands on, dealing with people's mouths and oral health. Jobs will always be there, your best bet is to start working for the public health as a new grad, that's the best way to break into the workforce, get valuable experience that you may not get privately, build a skillset and then look into the private sector in the meantime if you're keen . Hope that helps!
     
  6. cheapskate8

    cheapskate8 New Member

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    I had a good friend who started at 33. He wasn't the oldest in the course either. Sure it's certainly possible and once youre out pays well. But I would want you to be sure you really want it. 4yrs back at uni with no income is tough and dentistry itself can be stressful even for me who loves it. Will there be jobs? Yeah for sure, but the quality of the job depends on either who you know or how far you're willing to move. I live in regional coastal nsw, earn great money and am very busy. Many in syd would be doing and earning half.
    If you want it, it is certainly there for the taking.
     

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