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An interest in engineering

  1. May 13, 2013 #1

    Ive been considering a degree/ career in engineering but I have some concerns;

    1st: Im 30 years old meaning if I start now I probably won't get started in my career till I'm about 34-35.


    2nd: its been a long time since high school and the closest thing Ive had to a math class is the one in my apprenticeship which is basically trade related ( geometry, calculating BTU's, calculating expansion etc)

    In any event I really want to go back to school and I have a strong interest in math and science. what Id like is some insight from anyone thats been in a similar situation or maybe just some information as to how hard calculus is? What I could do to possibly better prepare myself for the classes? basically anything about the schooling and career.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2013 #2
    The real question is if you'd rather work for the next 20+ years as an engineer or not. You've got enough time out there until you retire (if you decide to), so I say go for it. If you want it, do it. It's better than arriving at this same impasse 10 years from now and wishing you'd taken the other path. Besides, if you decide to go for it, you can back out in a couple years if you decide it's not for you. There's no shame in that.

    Calculus can be fairly tough, but it's not impossible. High school kids can learn it, so it can't be too hard ;-) Any time anyone asks what they can do to "prep" for any class, I tell them to prepare by blocking out some serious amount of time to read the book and ask the teacher/professor/TAs for help. There's not really anything you can do except prepare to ride the wave when it hits.

    Engineering can be really fun and rewarding, but so can a lot of other things. It really depends on your wants. It's not a decision I'd take lightly, but if you've got a strong interest in math and science, it's probably a good fit.
  4. Jun 6, 2013 #3
    start right now!
    I was 26 when I went back to school for a second bachelor's in engineering, and my mathematics background helped immensely.

    sign up for night classes at a community college- get your math (through calc II), and physics (through E&M) out of the way. Take the time to learn them inside and out, but don't try to take them at a university (since they're treated as weed out classes!). This is also a great way to find out if engineering is for you- if you can't cut it in calc II, then I suggest looking into engineering tech- there's less theory, therefore less math involved.
    One of the most important things I can suggest is read the chapter before the lecture Simply doing that will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the curve. Even if you don't understand it, you'll know what questions to ask.
    If you don't understand things, go to your professor's office hours; that one-on-one help might just be what you need.
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