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Career/Degree Adice; Petroleum vs General

  1. Nov 15, 2011 #1
    This is unfortunately going to be a very broad question, but I'll do my best to specify.


    I went to engineering school (Colorado School of Mines) out of high school (2008 grad) because I didn't know what else to do. I'd been there before, and thought it was a good engineering program, especially compared to my tours at CSU and CU, but didn't want to be an engineer. I told my dad in High School it was a good school but all I knew was I wasn't going there. I've always wanted to teach and work with kids, although I knew I was short on the experience side of things (which I believe is invaluable in teaching) so I didn't want to do that right out. Going from student straight to teacher seemed silly-how could I explain the relevance of my material if I'd never seen it firsthand?

    Anyway, graduated, didn't find anything else (not that I knew what to look for) and came to Mines since I wanted to do Something. I'm still a Sophomore, having taken time off instead of my Junior year (2010-11) to work in oilfield for Halliburton (which I liked) and do a NOLS semester (which was OK). I was also so burned out by that point I had to get out (I almost failed the previous semester). I learned a lot during my year off, especially at Halliburton, but still didn't see a direction I wanted to go yet.

    So I'm still here, still burned out, working hard and passing, but very discouraged at my prospects upon graduating (2015 at my current rate), since I dislike engineering. I was always better at Reading/Writing, so engineering is unnatural for me, and it seems like a shame to spend 6 years on something I'll get away from as fast as I can upon graduation.


    If I can take the FE, how would that be seen in general? I am considering taking it and transferring, doing a Bachelor of General Studies so I can just graduate and get out. I'll be able to take classes like child psych, TEFL, and sociology that will be more relevant to me and get me into the Masters of Education program I want to do. The FE would be a nice way to say "here, I can show show you what I know with this."

    Second, I know burning out is common. I'm no different. But has anyone on this forum finished the degree they didn't want to use and been glad they did/regretted it, or vice versa quit and regretted/been glad they did?

    This will be food for thought for me. Appreciate comments.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2011 #2
    You mentioned you "dislike" engineering, it is "unnatural" for you, and it is a degree you don't want.

    Based on this and since you are roughly half way through the engineering program, I would change your major now to what you enjoy and interests you.

    Engineering is a great field, but it is not for everyone. After being an engineer for 20 years, I enjoy it as much now as when I was in college. But some people simply do not have the interest in the field to sustain earning a degree and working in the profession. When I was an undergraduate, many of my friends started engineering but after a year or two noticed it was not their thing, changed their major, and were much happier.
  4. Nov 15, 2011 #3
    Which makes sense; we used to use the same rationale in high school wrestling. You won't make it if you don't love it. (At the time, I figured those who quit just didn't want to work hard).

    The above mentality and my fear of quitting for something unknown are what have kept me here so far; I'm applying to different schools that offer a BGS (bach. gen studies) since that is the only non-engineering degree that my credits look like they'll transfer to well. It's a little difficult to figure out so fast, but my hope is that with such an open ended degree I can study what I like, and more important to me in the short run, do things I DO enjoy, like volunteering at orphanages teaching or oilfield in the summers.

    I should've asked, anyone with experience in online schools/independent study or especially BGS I'd like to hear what you have to say about it.
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