1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal 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!

Nearly 30 but want to study Physics

  1. Dec 14, 2011 #1
    I finished High School and didn’t do too badly in my GCSEs; B in Maths, C in Science. I didn’t particularly try though, I just wasn’t interested at the time. Eventually, as a consequence of falling into a CAD Technician’s role I completed a HNC in Construction & The Built Environment. After a while I was producing images and 3D models of proposed new builds which lead to what I’m doing now, graphics. I’m 27 and I work for myself, earning good money and I can manage my own time, pretty much picking and choosing projects. This means I have the time and finances to begin studying a subject that I’m genuinely excited by. There are a few subjects that interest me but I can’t think of a better lifetime’s pursuit than attempting to help understand the universe, even in some tiny way – making the tea and coffee if necessary! I would gladly begin right where I left off and go to college to study Physics from A-Level standard, as I wish I had when I was 16. I also think I’d have to, in no way is my level of understanding University standard, nor do I think I’d be eligible for admission. My question is, how feasible do you think this is? If I make the time and I’m genuinely interested, can anyone think of a reason why attempting to forge a career in Physics later in life may not be advisable? It may seem like a weak question but I don’t want to rush into any decision without considering the consequences first.

    I also don’t understand the procedural processes of higher education or what viable career prospects Physics can offer. Really I’m just after your thoughts and advice.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    You might want to start out with a nightschool course on introductory physics - there's little committment, but it might give you a better idea of what the long term study will look like.

    There's no reason why you couldn't do it. 27 is young.

    One of the bigger issues to consider is family. Normally as people move into their thirties, it's the time in their lives where they settle down and start a family (if that's what they want to do). That means that in addition to the stresses of full time study, you'll have to deal with the stresses of parenthood and while on a student's income (or lack thereof). People do this successfully of course. But it's a hard road.

    Something else to add: studying an academic subject like physics is not job training. Physics itself does not prepare you for a specific career. It can be extremely helpful in whatever career path you pursue, but the industrial world rarely seeks out physicists specifically. You seem to have the advantage though of already having a solid career skill set.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook