MS ME: Full Time or Part Time?

  • Thread starter mooktank
  • Start date
I'm a recent BSME grad with a good job. I'm debating graduate school. I could move away and go full time or I could take 1 class a semester and continue to work full time at the same school I got my BS from.

I'm not sure academia is for me. I thoroughly enjoy learning but homework is annoying unless it serves a purpose other than getting a grade. I learn topics without having to do them necessarily. For example, I pulled off an A- in heat transfer while doing no homework and studying roughly 2 hours for exams. Fluids was similar but I did a lot of the homework although it didn't count towards my grade. That should tell you something about my 'rebel without a cause' nature. The time I saved by slacking at school I spent on building vehicles, making movies, recording music, etc. Things that I really love as much as I love science. I even built my own wood boiler to heat my Dad's shop (I'm a TIG welder as well).

I have many ideas and projects that I'd like still to do on my own (a hydraulic hybrid off road concept vehicle, various alternative energy conversion devices, etc) and I think the best way to do this would be to continue working and buy my own shop to work on my ideas instead of working in a university lab as a slave to the funding. Besides science and engineering, I still like to spend a lot of my free time on music, video, writing, etc. I may be putting another band together soon as well.

I'm just not sure I could sacrifice all the things I love (just about everything) to focus all my energy on school. If I know what there is out there to learn, I will be interested and learn it, I just won't have a piece of paper saying I did it. Then again, that will only get you a job working for someone else and that's not ideal in my mind.

I realize it's impossible to learn and do everything but everything is interesting and nothing can stop curiousity.

Any wisdom from the elders here?
if you're willing to fund yourself and deal with the trouble of publishing results without any institution backing, i say go for the shop idea.
I'm thinking more entrepreneurally rather than just trying to 'publish results'. I think I'm going to do an MS full time and see how it goes. It should be worth it and stimulating enough.

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