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26 Year old father contemplating pursuing MED

  1. Jul 14, 2014 #1
    Hello, I'm brand new to the site. I found it on Google while doing some curious research on the title of the thread. First off, as it states I am 26, I'm married with an 8 month old daughter. I started out in mechanical drafting at 19, worked to a junior status as a piping designer, dabbled in valve and equipment design/maintenance, and now I am a project manager for a smaller pipe company. My question is relatively simple and I'm hoping to get some feedback from experienced professionals. What are my chances holding a 40 hour+ a week job as a PM and pursuing a bachelors in ME? Is this doable? I'm not looking to be a full load student at this point, it's just not feasible. I believe I have the drive and my background will help me. I would like to move into a position to be involved on the technical side/decision making side that comes with mechanical engineering and move further from the cost/time part.

    Thanks in advance for any replies or wisdom.
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  3. Jul 14, 2014 #2
    Honestly, in general I think the chances are low. My first thoughts are; Your wife is not working so you dont have child care on your plate right? Have you found a program that offers required upper division classes at night? That is hard to come by. Or are you going to go to class during the day? How are you going to do an internship? Internships and senior projects are an important part of engineering curriculum and professional development. How and when are you going to network, collaborate and hang out with your peers at school? That is also an important part which facilitates job connections, learning the material and getting sufficient/good grades.

    I think it could be done. But you certainly have a lot to juggle to make it happen... By only studying part time it might take you 8+ years of an intense time consuming lifestyle away from your family working, commuting, going to class and studying 60/70+ hours a week. On-line engineering programs are starting to become more viable with a few even being ABET accredited, so look into that for sure. If I were in your position, I don't think I would do it.
  4. Jul 14, 2014 #3


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    I say why not give it a shot. 6 hours a semester should not be an overload. You can pick off a lot of classes at night by this route. Yeah, it might take 8 years and you would be 34 years old by then. On the other hand, you will be 34 no matter what you do over the next 8 years. Even if it takes 10 years, you still have about 30 work years ahead of you. It will eat up a lot of spare time, so if you love golf, mountain climbing and scuba diving, it might be a problem. I did the same thing at your age. When I got it down to 50 hours I got impatient, quit work and went to school full time. Talk about failure not being an option.
  5. Jul 15, 2014 #4
    Considering he has a young daughter and a 40+ hour job I doubt that is what he would be sacrificing. He would be sacrificing time with his family and being there for his wife and daughter. I also have a young daughter and am back in school. Its terrible to be apart from them so often. I am going to school full time and working part time though, I hope to be finished it just a couple years or get a job sooner.
  6. Jul 15, 2014 #5
    You honestly need to cut down your work hours and think about your financial situation. Ie less spent on taking the wife out, unnecessary things like makeup, clothing, movies, eating out, cigarette s if you smoke etc.

    You can make it work but you may have to move into a smaller and more affordable dwelling place for starters and not eat brand name products.
  7. Jul 15, 2014 #6
    Modulus makes a good point. If the thought of not spending time with your family scares you then don't. There can be a huge possibility your wife may cheat or end up leaving you because you are not spending enough "time catering to her needs."

    Also you have to be of strong will. Things in your relationship may go sour at some points, so you cannot be a pansy pants and let that distract you from your goal.

    If you proceed there is no turning back.
  8. Jul 16, 2014 #7
    Guys, thanks for the words of wisdom. A lot of good points and information. I've got some time to think about it, as I would not be able to begin pursuing it until the start of 2015. My wife works also (I supported it all through her schooling), child care won't cost me a thing as that is handled by a family member. The university in the area is 10 minutes down the road and I have the option of a flex schedule at my job within reason. My background as a designer working for engineering firms opens me up to some networking abilities in my area and as a project manager in my field I deal with engineers at several clients on a daily basis. I'll take the opinions offered as I mull the option over with my wife. Again thank you.
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