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Whats is the normal age to graduate with a MEng in the United States

  1. May 29, 2009 #1
    With normal I mean the age when most engineers recieve their degree. I have a feeling that it is quite late compared to most other countries?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2009 #2


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    Assuming that one is 18 when graduating from high school, one would be 22 at the end of a traditional 4-yr undergraduate engineering program. Then if one did a 2-yr MEng program, one would be 24. If one did a 4 year program over 5-yrs, perhaps because one worked an internship, then one would 25 yrs old at the end of a 2 year MEng program.

    On the other hand, one could take a job for a year or so, and that would delay the completion of the MEng program, or one could do the MEng on a part-time basis, which would also extend the age at which one completes.
  4. May 29, 2009 #3
    so suppose I graduate at 26, I will be considered older than average. Will that make it hard to find a job that pays well?
  5. May 29, 2009 #4


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    I can't imagine that a year or two will make any difference!
  6. May 29, 2009 #5


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    They can't even ask your age, right? I thought that was illegal. They can only see what year you graduated.
  7. May 29, 2009 #6
    If money is the concern, don't get the master's. I think it's unlikely that any increase in starting salary from a masters would overcome missing out on the two years of income you won't be earning.

    After you get a job, you can always pursue a masters part time, and on your employer's dime. It took me six years to finish, but that's the way I did it. Your mileage may vary.

    By the way, only someone in their twenties thinks there's any difference between being 24 and being 26. :smile:
  8. Jun 11, 2009 #7


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    Who are 'they'? Why would that be illegal?
  9. Jun 11, 2009 #8
    Who do you think? :smile: Your employers! And why would they ask your age?

    In the U.S., most job applications only ask you if you are over 18 or not.

    I don't see why age would make any difference in salary? Affirmative action laws protect against all types of discrimination, including age. (U.S.)
  10. Jun 13, 2009 #9
    Well, that might be true in U.S., but I live in Colombia, and here being over thirty is reason enough to have a hard time looking for a well-paid job. The thing is that here age matters, a lot.
  11. Jun 13, 2009 #10
    I'm pretty sure that's not true. Agedness is not a "protected class" under U.S. law. But of course, discrimination of all types continues to exist despite laws.

    But the discussion is a little silly anyways. At 26, discrimination would be working in your favor.
  12. Jun 13, 2009 #11
    The discussion might be silly, but the point was that they cannot discriminate against age period; doesn't matter whose favor it is in.

    "Pretty sure" eh? :rolleyes:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Jun 13, 2009 #12
    That's nice, but nothing you've posted says that agedness is a protected class. Without such a classification, age discrimination judgments are hard to come by because the law has no teeth.
  14. Jun 13, 2009 #13
    Are you just playing with words here? My point is that an employer cannot say "Nope too old."

    I'm not a lawyer, so maybe you should clarify what you are saying here.
  15. Jun 13, 2009 #14
    Hi, Saladsamurai. Thanks for the interesting discussion!

    It all comes down to who bears the burden of proof. Suppose a plaintiff brings a case of discrimination based on skin color. Say there's a company where all the managers are white but all those with lesser paying jobs are black. To win, the company must prove that discrimination has not taken place. In other words, all the hiring and promotion decisions that have been made are automatically suspect.

    Contrast this with an age discrimination case. Because agedness is not a suspect class, the burden of proof runs the other way. To win, the plaintiff must prove that discrimination has taken place. This is a nearly insurmountable burden.

    Consequently, laws against age discrimination are a bit like laws against betting on sports. The practice is illegal (in the U.S.), but you'd be hard pressed to find a company without a march madness office pool.
  16. Jun 13, 2009 #15

    Well then, I stand corrected/educated. That is quite unfortunate that one needs to fall under a suspect class in order to be protected by the law.

    Almost seems pointless to even have the law. What does it take in order for a class to become protected?
  17. Jun 14, 2009 #16
    It's not quite that bad. It's just harder to win a case if it gets to that point. As in chess where the threat of a move is more powerful than the move itself, sometimes the threat of pursuing a case can have effects.

    Also, you have to consider it from the point of view of the employer, too, who also deserves fairness. Not all claims have merit.

    I agree that a lot of laws seem that way, but having some protection is better than having none. I believe Congress sets the classifications at the federal level. The theory is that it has to be a permanent property of yourself to be eligible. Since a person's age is not a constant, so the reasoning goes, it doesn't qualify.

    This seems illogical to me because you can't do anything at all to change how old you are.
  18. Jun 14, 2009 #17
    Thanks for the info!

    And Link, sorry if this derailed your thread for a bit, but I think you question might kind of, sort have been answered :uhh::smile:
  19. Jun 25, 2009 #18
    Hi all,

    I'm late to post, but what are some of grounds an employer(engineering/scientific fields) may feel justified in discriminating against someone because of their age.
  20. Jun 29, 2009 #19

    Age discrimination is a big deal in the U.S. Employers are not allowed to ask age unless age is explicitly a prerequisite for the job. I've seen many cases like this, employers don't usually have the upper hand in that situation.
  21. Jun 29, 2009 #20

    There must be a specific reason. For example, if one were shooting a commercial and needed an "older" individual to play a particular "older" role, then you may inquire about age citing the reason. The same applies for physically challenging work
    duties but you cannot directly ask age, in that case you would simply have a checkbox on an
    application to check if the physical demands can be met by applicants.
  22. Jun 29, 2009 #21
    Sorry I typed that from my phone, hope that helps.
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