Hello everyone, I am excited to be a part of this forum. I am in my early 40's and have worked in social services and mental health most of my life. I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. My plan was to go to graduate school after that but life and other responsibilities happened. I started off in case management at a state agency but then decided I wanted to work in mental health, assisting young adults with dual diagnoses. I went through IC&RC to become a substance abuse counselor. This required 4000 (approximately 2 years full time) hours of direct work experience and 300 hours of clinical supervision before I could sit for my exam to become a CADC III. I enjoy the work but am considering if I should pursue my graduate degree to become a licensed addiction counselor or even an LPC eventually. My only hesitation is my age, and the fact that I know graduate school is a different animal that undergraduate work. I also need to weigh the pros and cons of remaining an addiction counselor as is or going farther. Costs, realistic expected pay difference, and time are all considerations. I also want to be realistic about the work and time involved, especially as I work full time and have teens still at home. I would of course want a brick and mortar school as I believe there is a difference between having Auburn University on a transcript vs some online school(sorry). My new place of employment also offers tuition reimbursement. For those of you that waited a few years or more after getting your undergrad to pursue a graduate degree, how was it. Were you able to keep working full time?