Dave Hogan enjoyed playing the drums and worked as a full-time musician. “Banks don’t care for musicians when it comes to extending credit to get a loan for a car,” said Hogan, who then got a job as a manager at Richardson Bike Mart.

(Photo Courtesy of Dave Hogan)

(Photo Courtesy of Dave Hogan)

Hogan was looking to find his purpose, then he saw a case worker position advertised for the Dallas Police Department. Over 100 people showed up for the orientation of which only two people would be picked to fulfill the positions. Hogan got the position of Youth and Family Counselor in the First Offender Program.

Hogan began to realize that without an advanced degree in social work or counseling, he would not be able to progress in his field. Going back to school at night and on weekends while working and raising a family was a challenge. It took him five years to complete his master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance from East Texas State University, now Texas A&M Commerce.

Once Hogan earned his master’s degree, he was able to advance into the Social Work unit of the Dallas Police Department.

“The world opened up to me,” said Hogan. After working six years with youth and families, the degree gave him the opportunity to grow. “I do field work that is very satisfying. I also work with people in crisis situations, those contemplating suicide and those that are homeless and living on the street.”

He helps connect people to resources to get them back into living a productive life.

“It is a great feeling knowing that I have helped someone particularly in crisis,” said Hogan.

Hogan realizes that jobs have gotten competitive. Now, in his position as he looks to hire people, he looks at those that have advanced degrees.

“I was out of school for nine years when I went back. I tell people to get as much education as possible. Going back to school will open up greater opportunities for you,” said Hogan.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com