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Engineering Making up my mind for engineering and my future career.

  1. Dec 28, 2012 #1
    I have been at battle with myself for the past year trying to find myself and find what it is that really fires me up inside. I recently got interested in engineering. More specifically mechanical engineering. I have two friends, one a Chem E and the other Mech E. The ME loves his job and works in energy. The Chem E.... well he just doesn't seem all too enthusiastic lately with anything so I will not use his feelings about his job.

    I at one point around 23 decided to go for nursing, well after getting halfway done with it I decided against becoming a nurse. I just really felt I was not pushing myself to the limit. That very next semester I made the switch to more in depth sciences so to speak. I did not ever really need that much math for nursing. Just intermediate algebra.

    I then started to think about what would be a good career and what would provide well for me and my family in the long run. I was and still am really good with chemistry. That is my strongest attribute so far. I thought about becoming a chemist or even biochemist. After working in a laboratory for the past year...... knowing people who actually have bio degrees and such making barely 30k a year. That really sucks. Many people said they would have chosen a totally different science or field all together. I see why, I have no degree and make more than some that work there and of course less than others. The point is.... I went all the way from nursing, to looking at becoming a doctor, to being a chemist/biochemist.

    I honestly can say that recently since I have read and learned more about engineering, the more fascinated I have become with it. I am 27 and I feel I have wasted so many years. I know I need to make a decision now before it gets too late in life. I get down sometimes because I am so far behind in mathematics, physics, ect. I met with the engineering advisor here at my local university and I felt happy but also scared to death because.... I do not like saying something is hard, to me that is only creating a mental block, but some of the classes look very challenging.

    I really want to go for this, but at the same time, I am afraid WHAT IF I am not that great at it,but at the same time, WHAT IF I am great at it. The only way to know is go for it, but being my age I am afraid of failing. I am sure a few of you know this. I really am just looking for some insight from people who may have been down a similar road.

    I could settle for being a chemist, but I would be miserable, I could push to become a doctor, but it would be for all the wrong reasons. I cannot think of another job in this world that I could do and be happy with. I enjoy math, granted I am a long way behind on it. However at the same time I can learn and I want to. For those who are mechanical engineers or engineers in general, please offer up some advice or support.
    "Push through the maths and do not let fear hold you back" yada yada. Im tired what can I say.

    For all of you, is it worth it and was it worth it?
    I also apologize for any typos, I have been up for close to 24 hours and need to get to bed. This lab job takes a lot out of me. I don't mind working hard for something I enjoy, but when you don't love it, it drains you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2012 #2
    Engineering is good career and provides stable income. 27 is still young so there is no need to worry.
  4. Jan 2, 2013 #3
    I have found working as an engineer a satisfying and interesting job. If the typical MechE tasks of working with machines, manufacturing lines, CAD/CAM, and the like are interesting to you, then go ahead and get the degree. You will need at least a Bachelors, and you may want to consider a Masters. Don't be too concerned with being "behind" in math. A high school graduate who enrolls in college needs to take all the pre-requisites to understand the material, so you really aren't in a poor position. Everyone studies the same things to get started.

    If you have a knack for or an interest in chemistry, chemical engineering can be an interesting field as well. Some ChemEs work on process lines in much the same fashion as a MechE would, but there very different kinds of opportunities for their different skill set as well.
  5. Jan 2, 2013 #4
    More than the study itself, there is the issue of who you work with. That can make a huge difference. Doing something that you love, but having to work with malevolent idiots isn't going to last long.

    We work to help each other, and to do useful things for our society. What that field is, exactly, almost doesn't matter. What matters is that at the end of the day, you feel like you have done something good. You won't always feel that way, but on balance, year after year, if you feel that way more often than not, you're doing it right.
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