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Give me some hope

  1. Dec 7, 2008 #1
    Well here goes. I have been looking at the posts in this forum and they have been stressing me out about my age. I am 27 and have finished an associates degree and am in my first year as a physics students at a state school. Depending on how the classes are offered I will finish my bachelors around my 30th or 31st birthday. From what I have seen here from other peoples posts in this section is career wise I might be at a huge disadvantage if I am finishing my masters in my early/mid 30s. Anyone else have some personal experience with this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2008 #2


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    Why would you be at a disadvantage because of your age?

    Mature students that I've taught in undergrad tend to do a little better than their younger coutnerparts if for no other reason than because they have more life experience to draw on.

    I've noticed a lot of people tend to subscribe to this notion that if you haven't finished your PhD by the time you're thirty you're at some kind of a disadvantage in life, but I've never really understood it. It's not like we're playing professional hockey and we need the physical advantages offered by youth to remain competative. Sure it's nice to know what you want to do with your life the moment you take your first steps, but most of us take some time in figuring it out and I think the biggest mistake people can make is to believe that they are too old to pursue something like physics.

    The arguments that I understand are things like mature students having families and therefore not being able to relegate their dependents to the freugal student lifestyle.
  4. Dec 8, 2008 #3
    Harv, I'm in the same boat as you. 26, did two years at a community college, and in my first year of Physics at a state school. Don't be discouraged! As Choppy says, it's never too late to make the best of it.
  5. Dec 8, 2008 #4
    My Advisor (a brilliant physicist and University Professor) must of been around 30 when he started his formal physics education, after a career switch from Banking!!! I just can't picture the guy as a banker...I just can't....

    But anyway, that is hopefully some hope for you.
  6. Dec 8, 2008 #5


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    relax. I am 66 and wondering what to do next, and who will hire me when i retire. you have a lot of options. you are a relatively young man who is working at making a career. just hang in there. life is long and offers many opportunities.
  7. Dec 8, 2008 #6


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    Your choices are:

    • Being 30 or 31 with a college degree
    • Being 30 or 31 without a college degree

    Stick with it, harvellt. You know you'll regret it if you stop now...good luck (and stick with PF)!
  8. Dec 10, 2008 #7
    Agree with the above posts.

    Your job prospects are going to depend primarily on what area of physics you study when getting your masters (especially your research area). Your age will be of little to no importance.

    The lost income does stink, but if you work hard the gamble may well pay off.
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