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Too old?

  1. Oct 18, 2007 #1
    Hi everyone, this is my first post.

    I'm after a bit of advice and hopefully this forum may provide me with a consensus.
    Over the last couple of years I've become really interested in physics and after toying with the idea for sometime and continually deciding I'm too old, have finally decided to embark on a BSc Physical Science degree with the Open University.

    I'm 26 years old and would like to have a career in physics. I do not have any experience, however I'm fully prepared to do the Masters and more once I have completed my degree. I should mention that I am intending to complete my OU degree in less than 4 years by taking almost the maximum allowed credits per year.

    Am I too old for this career change to be a serious endeavour?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2007 #2


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    26 is NOWHERE near too old. I saw a guy graduate in engineering when he was in his 50's. Good Luck to you! Also, remember that there is a difference between a "physics' degree and a "physical science" degree. Make sure you are signing up for the one you want and not the other.
  4. Oct 18, 2007 #3
    I say to you go for it. You don't wat to be looking back and thiank about what could have been. Also, 26 is not old at all. Are you up to par on your math?
  5. Oct 18, 2007 #4


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    Yeah, 26 is nothing.
  6. Oct 18, 2007 #5
    I started my BSEE at 26 and am currently in my 3rd year. Like G01 mentioned, I see guys older than me all over the place.

    My best friend since 7th grade's mother went back to school at 45 after he had graduated high school. She went from making $20k a year and hating life to making >$100k and loving what she did.

    What a terrible world this would be if 26 was too late to change the direction of your life.
  7. Oct 18, 2007 #6


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    A number of years ago, I had an 86 year old man in one of my classes. He died one week before graduation and they presented his diploma to his widow. Was that "too late"? No, he enjoyed the last years of his life more by going to college.
  8. Oct 18, 2007 #7
    I started back when I was 23, thought I was too old as I had to start out in intermediate algebra. Glad I stuck with it though, it seems my maturity at the time gave me an edge against other students. Didn't have my parents to pay for everything, so took everything more seriously. Anyway, don't think 26 is too late. There have been people in their 40s in my classes.
  9. Oct 18, 2007 #8
    Not to get off topic to much, but G01 what is the difference?? I never heard of 'physical' science before :confused:
  10. Oct 18, 2007 #9
    How long does an undergrad eng degree take on average, 4yrs?
  11. Oct 18, 2007 #10
    BEng Honors is min four years. Of course, you can take longer if thats to much.
  12. Oct 18, 2007 #11
    Another vote for not too old.

    Do take some time and make sure you understand what you'll be doing after the degree though. People's perceptions of physics and the reality can be wildly different.
  13. Oct 18, 2007 #12
    Absolutely not. Also, quit toying with it, you'll just get older. ;)
  14. Oct 18, 2007 #13


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    Note that the OP is probably from the UK, where bachelors degrees take 3 years full time study.
  15. Oct 18, 2007 #14
    terry81: I enrolled in college at the age of 30, completed an associate's degree, and am now one year away from completing my bachelor's at the age of 35. I'm also considering a 2 year master's program after that. No, 26 is nowhere near too old!
  16. Oct 18, 2007 #15
    Yeah, in the US at least. Here's my university's four year plan for EE. It can be done in three years if you take two 9 hour summers and one 12 hour summer (governments, english and maybe an elective in the 12 hour summer is not totally unreasonable).
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  17. Oct 18, 2007 #16
    I finished by BS in math and physics at the tender age of 42. I'm now 45 and getting my masters in nucear engineering (probably finish next year) and then I may proceed on to one on physics, or straight to phd.
  18. Oct 18, 2007 #17
    where are you taking your masters?
  19. Oct 18, 2007 #18


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    What about your source of income while you are a student? Part time or full time work? What kind? In the field or something else?
  20. Oct 19, 2007 #19
    thnks guys
  21. Oct 19, 2007 #20
    Ok you might not be too old to study engineering but what about getting your first job. I mean is anyone really going to pick up a 26 or 28 year old graduate when all the others are 22 ?

    Anyone gone to school late and gotten a good job offer ?
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