I (42 f) have been a SAHM for a decade, want to pursue postsecondary for the first time, what should I go for career-wise?

Ok, I won’t blah blah all this– but suffice to say I never had a chance to go to college or get postsecondary at all after I graduated HS waaaay back in ’99. I always wanted to, but every time, shit hit the fan and blew my plans out of the water.

So now I’ve been a SAHM to a special needs kiddo for 10 years. I’m thinking of my future atm– she won’t need me at home forever and I’m really tired on depending on my husband (we may not even be married much longer, major issues in the marriage and counseling is not helping much) for financial stability, especially since he’s got zero ambition and just works a factory job. Basically, I want to finally do something FOR MYSELF to secure my own financial future.

HOWEVER, I’m also a realist. My passions are nerdy stuff: history (my real passion), animals, literature, environmental, etc. The job market for any of that isn’t the best from what I’ve been reading up on–there’s just no demand for many of these careers in my area, and–for at least several years–I’ll be stuck in this region. Ideally, it would be most practical to try to get a job that only requires relatively “quick” training– associate’s or certification or something. BUT I also haven’t worked in a decade because I’ve had to be at home doing the mom-to-special-needs-kiddo thing.

My options are:

respiratory therapist
dental hygenist
pharmacy technician
Vet technician/assistant
massage therapist

I live semi-rural. My town is sizeable with a good community college, hospital (which is why the push a lot of medical jobs here), and while I’m not passionate about working with people (introvert) or in a hospital (meh) I will do it if it means financial independence without too much time and money spent on a degree. I also have to be realistic about my age and how much time I’m going to have to get into the market before I really am “too old” to be hireable.

Which option should I go for?

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