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Chris - Introduction/career advice

  1. May 18, 2015 #1
    Hi Guys,

    My name is Chris. I am 27 years old and work full time as a night attendant at a backpackers. Although, I really enjoy this job, I feel I can do more with my life. When I was 18, I majored in sports science and graduated at 22. When I graduated, I was totally disillusioned by the "real world" of work and my unrealistic expectations of what to expect as a career.

    This is why, I love this forum because it gives honest advice compared to the propaganda imposed by colleges who just want your money.

    I have been using Khan Academy to improve my math, chemistry, and physics skills. I am looking at going back to college to get a physics/engineering degree.

    I would like to know, for those who have a physics/engineering degree, how long did it take you to get a job in your field after you graduated? Did you work retail jobs before getting your dream job? I watched many people in my generation move back home with their parents. Many of them were unemployed or are still underemployed (working at job that does not require a degree).

    So please do not give me any BS propaganda advice, as I am too old for that ****.

    I just want the straight truth.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2015 #2


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Can you find a way to afford going back to school full time? If so, you can probably graduate with any degree you want in 2.5 to 3 years, full time. Most schools would let you transfer nearly all of your general education and probably other classes as well, so that you would have a big head start on a new major.
    Otherwise, consider looking for work in a more technically challenging area. Evaluate where you really want to work as well. If you like the great outdoors, look into what it takes to become a park ranger. Perhaps a survey work for a Civil firm or CAD technician for an Architecture or MEP firm. (both may only require a couple of years of additional education).
    Chances are you are going to take the path of technician (with technical/vocational education) and gain experience to finally move into engineering. Engineering is never out of reach, just that you need to assess getting the four year degree or going after a technician type of employment and putting in the time. The safe bet is get the engineering degree, then put in the time. W/O the four year degree, it is extremely difficult to make it / prove your competency (but it is sometimes done) to become recognized as a formal engineer.
    To work in a Physics field (aside from a tech), you will need a BS (at Minimum, usually leads to teaching although other opportunities do happen). More likely, you would need grad school for any chance at real advancement.
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