Should I Become an Engineer?

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CWatters
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For many UK engineering courses the entry requirement is good or top grades in maths and physics.
 
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Hello, I have the opportunity to get an engineering degree for free from my job, something I never expected to have. It's something I dearly want to pursue, and I'm not afraid of working through all the math and whatever else is in the way.

What worries me is I see many people saying this is something I will have to dedicate my life to for several years with very little free time at all. This is a worry as I work full time and have a young child, I already have no free time. Is an engineering degree possible for someone in my situation? I'm not afraid to work hard, I just need to know if it's viable from a time standpoint.
 
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@Theravenhouse You are in a tough spot, but I think it would be a disservice to you to encourage you to pursue this degree opportunity unless you can find a way to re-arrange your life. Every engineering student I've ever known (and that is quite a lot as I taught for many years) has found the engineering curriculum to require their undivided attention.

You ask if it was possible, and the answer is obviously it is possible. The more significant question is whether it can be done without damage in other areas (such as your job and your family) and that answers has to be that it is not likely. I think that is the reality.
 
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@Theravenhouse You are in a tough spot, but I think it would be a disservice to you to encourage you to pursue this degree opportunity unless you can find a way to re-arrange your life. Every engineering student I've ever known (and that is quite a lot as I taught for many years) has found the engineering curriculum to require their undivided attention.

You ask if it was possible, and the answer is obviously it is possible. The more significant question is whether it can be done without damage in other areas (such as your job and your family) and that answers has to be that it is not likely. I think that is the reality.
I'm very glad to be able to talk to someone who's worked in academia about this. What is the feasibility of stretching out the education process? I'm very young and my job pays well enough so I'm not concerned with getting this done as soon as possible. If I could take just 2 classes a semester, would that be adequate for educating me and would it be any more realistic with my time constraints? Obviously it would be less work, but would it still be too much to handle with my life style?
 
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In part, you need to speak with an academic advisor at the school you have in mind. The bigger question, I think, is really up to you. You said in the first post that you have no free time now.

Consider this. Two courses would be at least 6 credit hours in most cases (6 class hours per week). The usual expectation is that you will put in a minimum of two hours outside of class for every hour in class, so that is another 12 hours. Can you realistically expect to find 18 free hours a week in your life? Only you can answer that.
 
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In part, you need to speak with an academic advisor at the school you have in mind. The bigger question, I think, is really up to you. You said in the first post that you have no free time now.

Consider this. Two courses would be at least 6 credit hours in most cases (6 class hours per week). The usual expectation is that you will put in a minimum of two hours outside of class for every hour in class, so that is another 12 hours. Can you realistically expect to find 18 free hours a week in your life? Only you can answer that.
Realistically, yes I can find that time with some sacrifices, and this is important to me so that's okay. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me about this.
 
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Good luck, whether you pursue the degree or not.
 
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Office_Shredder
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You might also want to talk to someone at your company about this. Presumably you are not the first person to take advantage of this opportunity, and they will probably have good insight into how much time work plus school took.
 
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CWatters
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Here in the UK we have an Open University which mostly runs courses for people in employment by post/internet. Some years ago my wife did a management course while she was in full time employment. It was quite a lot of work but not impossible.

If your employer is offering to pay you to do a degree i would discuss your concerns with them. It is possible they will give you time off work (paid or not) when you need it to study.
 

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