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!

Too late for a linguist to study ChemEng at 30?

  1. Dec 1, 2015 #1
    Greetings respected engineers,
    I would really appreciate your advice and experience. I am now approaching 30, and although I have been working as a freelance translator for several years, I'm considering taking a degree in chemical engineering. I have actually been living in Russia for over 5 years. I've always been interested in the sciences, but more on a theoretical level when I decided to take languages (German & Russian) at university instead of an engineering degree. My A levels (UK) were in Physics, Maths, Chemistry and German. I had As in all of them and averaged above 93% for all of the subjects. That was 10 years ago!! How much demand is there for linguist-engineers? What books would you recommend to 'brush up' on my maths and for foundational reading on chemical engineering? Is this careers move a wise decision? (I still want to use my languages).
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2015 #2
    I would recommend the ALEKS pre-calc course to brush up on your high school math and the ALEKS chemistry course to prepare you for college chemistry. It is not too late if you want to do it and if you have a way to pay the bills in the process.

    Language skills are more likely to be in demand on the petroleum side. Look at a map of the oil producing countries and consider if those are languages you know and places you would like to work.
  4. Dec 1, 2015 #3
    That looks like a good resource, so thanks for that.
  5. Dec 1, 2015 #4
    If I'm honest, knowing what I want to do is a tough question. It has been suggested that one knows beforehand what area of the chemical industry one wants to work in. Without firsthand experience, I guess I really don't know.

    Part of me was looking to specialise in a chemical-related field for the purpose of translation. That's what probably led me to chemical engineering in the first place. Now I'm unsure whether I want to be a translator with a ChemEng qualification or whether I should be an engineer who is fluent and proficient in several languages.
    I've always wondered, for instance, how professionals specialise in areas like patent translation.
  6. Dec 1, 2015 #5


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Your idea is good. Maybe you can become familiar with technologies and science involved with engineering, and be in a good position to write or translate instruction manuals; not just because you know some languages, but because additionally, you know how to express and and use the languages with an understanding of the sciences and technologies.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - late linguist study Date
Experience with Late SULI Letter of Recommendation? Jan 23, 2017
Other Is it ever too late? Jan 3, 2017
Math and Language (Specifically Linguistics) Aug 6, 2010