Isn’t it great to hear about a fellow baby boomer who is still learning, still producing, still looking ahead?! That all fits in the case of Bob Touro of Jacksonville, Florida, who wrote to us here at BoomerCafé about his continuing quest to improve himself, and observe others. That’s what he’s doing for his dissertation — yes, he’s 67 and going for a doctorate — because This Boomer Is A Life Learner.
I entered the world in 1947 following my dad’s return from WWII. My life to date has been an interesting journey with very little planned; rather, it evolved. In high school I was average; passing was all that mattered. Upon graduation from high school I chose to go to Junior College for two years for an associate degree, unsure if I was ready for a four-year commitment.
I completed my program, pleased with my achievement. I began my career as a Junior Accountant, having majored in accounting and management. But I soon learned that an Associate Degree was insufficient to allow me to climb the corporate ladder quickly, so back to night school I went for my B.S.. My career blossomed and I determined that making beans was more important than counting them, so I changed direction and went into sales, which eventually transitioned into marketing management and the rest, as they say, is history. I was quite fortunate and successful in the disciplines of high tech, continuing to ply my trade for what has now been 46 years and counting.
In the early 90s, I survived the dot.com bomb, albeit too close for comfort. I decided it might be time for another backup plan and returned to school in 2002-2003 at 55-years of age to earn a Master’s in Education with an emphasis on adult learning and distance education. My degree program was 100 percent online, and I loved every minute of it. Then I applied for a position with another 100 percent online university program and began instructing in marketing and e-Business, in tandem with my day job as VP of Marketing for a Microsoft Partner firm. Thus I preach what I practice to my students based upon my real world experience.
Turning 65 the year before last, and recognizing that a Master’s wasn’t going to suffice for a continuing career in collegiate academia, I went back to earn my doctorate in management with a concentration in emerging media. I now am in my final year of study, currently working on my dissertation, which is entitled, Seniors, Entitlements and Social Media – Oh My!
My research is focused on the demographic shift from a relatively younger to an older majority populace; the effects and challenges of entitlements; and how social media may be an effective tool to connect, communicate, inform, and educate those of us who are older to be better prepared in this vastly different era where 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day through 2031. My research survey questionnaire can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XYVRZMT.
I invite fellow boomers to participate . Never in my fondest dreams did I ever think of teaching, let alone earning a doctorate at what will be 68-years of age at graduation. I guess it is true; you are never too old to learn new things.