Hi Everybody, I have often found myself reading through the discussions on these forums but never ended up taking part. I came here today because I desperately need career path/education advise. Many of the people who regularly post on these forums appear to be very knowledgeable so I cant imagine a better place to post. I will try to highlight the situation the best I can and will happily answer any questions for elaboration. All constructive opinions and advice are welcome! A brief about me: I am 28 years old and have been working in the metallurgy industry for close to 6 years now. More specifically I work in the commercial heat treating industry where I fill a supervisory technical role where I lead a small team. I do not come from an engineering background, however many of my job duties are typically filled by a metallurgical or materials engineer. Although I have hands and experience in just about all aspects of the company, my primary roles involve coordinating and scheduling production, technical review of engineering requirements (a.k.a contract review), quoting job requests with clients, inside sales, troubleshooting process failures/ corrective actions, reviewing technical specifications for conformance (in relation to AS9100 and NADCAP), and acting as a technical adviser for many of our customers. I have a strong practical and technical knowledge of the mechanical properties of many materials (ferrous and non-ferrous) as well as there capabilities and limitations. In addition I am involved other aspects of quality, training, and root cause analysis. Day to day I could be doing anything from calculating labor and energy cost for a job to helping XYZ company improve the wear resistance of some gears, to solving issues with the manufacturability of tight tolerance components. Through the years I gave developed a deep technical knowledge in my field and have gained respect as a professional from many of the manufacturing companies Iv worked with. I have 5 industry related certifications including the metal treating institutes "Young Executive Series". Here is the thing though... I never graduated college. I dropped out at 19 years old. Back then I was was studying creative writing and wanting nothing other than to be a novelist. After randomly falling into my work It took me the years of working with what I do to realize I should have been an engineer all along. Fast forward to today: I am a year and a half in working towards a bachelors degree in mechanical Engineering. I work full time 40-45 hours and take 12-13 units in school. Needless to say life is busy, however I currently have a 4.0 GPA and letters of recommendation from teachers so its panning out well so far. I opted to go the mechanical engineering route when I realize that I did not want to do what I'm doing forever and I wanted a broaden my education. By the time I graduate I will have officially close to ten years of experience in my field and at my company. My worry is that by the time I have graduated my "limited" experience will actually backfire on me. I would like to ideally be able to step into an entirely different role, yet I have little to no real experience outside of mettalurgy or manufacturing. I have considered leaving my work and finding something different, however my current job lets me leave whenever I need to go to school. I make a decent (but underpaid) salary and I can afford to put myself through college without any student loans whatsoever. On top of that I live in a very expensive area in the country. We make a decent living, however a one bedroom can go for over 2000 here so you get the idea. Its a truly hard choice to stay or look for something else. The decision is made worse by the fact that the work culture can be fairly toxic. What opinion do you all have about how I should move forward from here?. Should I be willing to accept a hit on my financial situation and quality of life to accept some type of internship related more towards mechanical engineering? My wife has expressed she will support whatever decision I make so I have the ability and support to change if need be. Should I look for another company that will put me in a technical role and work with my school schedule? Or should I just keep down the same path I am on now? If so would future job prospecting be hurt post graduation? My understanding is that past a certain number of years you don't gain much of an additional benefit. I don't see any higher promotions than what I have now coming my way as its not a huge company. I could potentially gain more experience with the metallurgical laboratory side of the business and perhaps even heat treatment fixture design. Not much more than that. I may just be seriously over thinking everything but I honestly don't know which path to take. Any Advice would be greatly appreciated!