1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it too late to become a Engineer for me?

  1. Feb 20, 2011 #1

    I am 17 in my final year of high school. I was wondering if it is too late for me to change my focus and become a engineer... Since I was a child, I was always interested in designing and building things, always had a creative knack. But unfortunately I was basically raised with the "hood mentality" through out my primary and secondary education. I did minimal work and subsequently have terrible mathematical abilities and scientific understanding. My current GPA is floating in the lower 2 to 3 range.

    My questions are, Do you think I can pull off getting my Mechanical Engineering degree? If I pour my heart and soul into this and study like a mad man? Or is it too late? What kind of path will I have to take?

    Any answers to my questions and help will be appreciated.

    Thank you :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2011 #2


    User Avatar

    Huh? At age 17 it's really not too late for anything. You haven't even started your college studies yet.
  4. Feb 20, 2011 #3
    Of course it's not too late to become an engineer. Depending on what classes you took/are taking and how well you understand the material it may very well be too late to attend university in the fall. Talk to your guidance counselor, and you might want to take a extra year of high-school to catch up.
  5. Feb 20, 2011 #4
    17? I wish I were 34 and I'd start studying Engineering again.
  6. Feb 20, 2011 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What the hell, I expected to see some 40 year old asking if it is too late to become an engineer, not someone who barely can drive legally. I assume since this is your final year, applications for colleges have already been sent or the period is passed?

    You're not going to get into a great university, but you certainly need to try to get into as good of a university as possible (if possible). If not, do the usual 2 years of community college and transfer to a university bit. If your abilities are deficient as you suspect, make your education your #1 priority. Keep in mind, the second you step into a college or university, your high school career is irrelevant. You'll start with a clean slate. One thing students who are deficient in important areas seem to worry about is a university denying you admission into a department because of what you didn't do in high school. Once you're accepted to wherever, nothing is expected of you off the bat. If you're not even ready to take your first calculus course, there are pre-requisites that you will take to get ready. You may have to stay undeclared for a year or so, but it's totally irrelevant. I bet there are only a handful of universities that require you from day 1 to begin at their department.
  7. Feb 20, 2011 #6
    Yeah ... duh? ... it's not too late :wink:

    Basically, if you have a good understanding of geometry, algebra and trigonometry along with some basic physics and chemistry, you are in perfect position to go into engineering, if you have the interest level sufficient to motivate you to study hard once you are in college.

    If you don't quite have that level, then you can still do it if you are dedicated. Take time in the summer to catch up on any shortcomings. No matter what your background, hard work is needed for engineering study at the college level. Talent and interest are probably more important than background at age 17. Still, any mathematical background you carry into the venture can only help.
  8. Feb 20, 2011 #7
    Thanks a bunch guys! I will be sure to pursue this dream! going to transfer into math tomorrow!

    The reason I was so doubtful was because of many of my dim-witted peers completely doubt me and even my father can't believe in me for this.

    I am very happy at the moment and now am very optimistic!!! You guys will be definitely seeing more of me on the forums in the coming years xP

    Thanks for the optimism :)))
  9. Feb 21, 2011 #8

    Of course not :)

    17 is very young you can focus on anything now, the key would be doing something you enjoy though. I studied Electrical Engineering but I didn't like the idea of it as my career so I became a PT which fell in-line with my passion and interests.

    Now I want to stop this line of work and enter into something new, while writing my books. (Maybe open a Tea House in London)

    Go where the wind takes you don't worry so much, just be thorough in what you focus on.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook