So I'm going to go to a small liberal arts college for a BA in physics, then go to Columbia for two years for a BS in engineering. The reason I'm doing this is that the college I'm going to (Earlham College in Indiana, U.S.) has a special transfer program that will guarantee me admission to Columbia as soon as I graduate, whereas applying to Columbia right now would not give me very good chances of getting in. I'm also using the liberal arts college first because their program will allow me to learn an extra language and learn to program in addition to my physics and engineering knowledge, so I'll have plenty of marketable skills. My question is, will having a BA in physics in addition to the engineering BS leave me overqualified for a job? A second question I have is this: I'm 23 right now, just going back to college after working in dead-end jobs for five years. By the time I finish my years at Columbia and Earlham, I'll be just shy of 30. Will someone with recent engineering qualifications at that age face any special challenges getting a job? My specialty will probably be chemical engineering, for what it's worth.