Some academic advice please

  • Thread starter ZenOne
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Just stay focused and don't let the age thing scare you away. In summary, if you can get your prerequisites done at a community college, it will last one year and be four times more expensive, but you will have a better foundation in the field. If you can afford to go back to college and do the prerequisites again, it will last two years and be cheaper. Either way, make sure you are happy with the decision you make.f
  • #1
Hi, I am new to the forums and looking for some academic guidance.

I am 25 years old and almost done my degree in behavioral neuroscience, however, I want to be an engineer more than anything. I am interested in engineering for many different reasons (I will not bore you with the details) and the only reason it took me so long to complete my undergraduate degree was because I found my course material incredibly boring.

Now, when I am done I will need to redo all the prerequisites for engineering which will take a while (in Canada your prerequisites have to have been done in the last 5 years--it has been longer for me); either way, I am in Quebec (not French) and we have a slightly different system that does not include grade 12--you need a Cegep/College degree to go to university. I was wondering if you guys think I should simply do my prerequisites in university and apply to engineering from there on or if I should go back to Cegep and do the 2 years in engineering sciences to get a good basic grounding before entering an engineering program (really looking at Chemical Engineering at McGill). Bottom line, the prerequisites in university would last 1 year and cost 4 times more than doing them in Cegep, however, it would take one year more in Cegep.

The reason I am so confused is my age--I realize I am no spring chicken, however, I really want to do this. Any help would be appreciated.

Also, the Cegep program involves more classes than just the basic prerequisites (it includes cal 3, organic chem and differential equations 2 etc.)

Thanks in advance.
  • #2
No input from anyone? I'm really confused as to what I should do--any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • #3
If you have the option, do what you love before you get bogged down with responsibilities.
I have kids, and I would love to finish my Doctorate, but it becomes extremely difficult when you have responsibilities.
Keep in mind 2 things:
- cognitive abilities start to decline at about 30, so you need to be able to comfortably handle the math.
- you will never be good at what you do if you don't enjoy it.

My 2 cents - go for your dreams, but be sure that engineering is what you think it is!
  • #4
I am in a similar situation, but from the U.S.

I have a B.A. in the social sciences, but am pursuing a new career in engineering. I do have a bit of math/stats under my belt, but need many, many more courses for this new field of study.

I have decided to finish up the basic pre-reqs at a community college and continue on to receive a BSE at a four year university. I chose this path after consulting two similar options you have outlined. I could have applied to MEng programs and have to take undergraduate prereqs to get caught up, costing more, yet taking less time (similar to you going straight to uni). I chose the longer, cheaper option because I wanted a better basic grounding in the field. I know I am not fit to jump straight into this.

If you are worried about age, so am I (I am 25). However, I think you have to realize that you are...25. That is pretty young. We may be in our mid 20's, but we have a lot going for us--we're more mature, have completed a good deal of college work, and have more life experiences. You need to use this to your advantage and simply recognize that you still have an entire lifetime ahead of you. Even if you enter the workforce a few years later than your peers, you will be backed up by more experiences.

I had a friend who started Electrical Engineering at the age of 24. I mean started. He did his GED while working construction, but within a year of starting down his educational path was doing calculus. You are not disadvantaged for pursuing this now, especially with higher education under your belt.

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