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Working while pursuing engineering degree?

  1. Aug 15, 2008 #1
    I have been pondering about the idea of it being possible to have a job while you are
    pursuing an engineering degree. Now it doesnt have to be full time but it can be
    part time, like some finances to help out with ordinary college student bills. But what
    about the people who work close to full time or maybe 30 or so hours a week with a full
    engineering curriculum a semester? Do you all think it is possible to give the amount of effort
    to be successful in an engineering disclipine while working a part time job also?
    1. Can you squeze the amount of study time needed into your schedule?
    2.Can you be an "A" or "B" student in your engineering classes at the same time?

    What do you all think?............
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2008 #2
    Any responses or opinions???
  4. Aug 17, 2008 #3
    Look at polytechnic schools and see if students there are working. If they are, then someone who's doing engineering must be working and graduating all right.

    I knew a guy at UMBC who held down a job while doing an engineering degree. Very rough (I had a DiffEQ class with him at the community college and he had to drop), but I think he kept decent grades and graduated.
  5. Aug 18, 2008 #4
    I work 40 hours a week (nights) Monday to Friday, and attend school for Engineering full-time Monday to Friday as well. There are a couple catches however (for me at least).

    1. Four class per semester limit (meaning five years to graduate plus a couple summer classes).
    2. I operate a wastewater treatment plant. Aside from rounds every hour or so (and provided nothing breaks or a process hasn't tanked), I hammer out some lab work and then I'm free to do a few hours of homework while I monitor things from our control room. This allows me to finish homework for one of my classes.
    3. You have to be disciplined enough to work between classes and during those half hour breaks that are common throughout the day. This allows me to finish homework for another class. Saturday is spent doing homework for the third and fourth class. I usually finish in time to go out Saturday night and have some fun - if not, it's spent at my desk.
    4. You need a day without school or work to rest and relax - lest you go nutty (my day is Sunday).

    Oh, and make sure you have adequate transportation to get yourself between school, work, and home (if you're commuting).

    My current cumulative GPA is 3.93 (A). So far I have finished Calculus I & II, Linear Algebra, Physics I & II, Chemistry I & II, Intro to Engineering, Intro to Business, some programming classes, and a bunch of General Education Classes. I'm signed up for Multivariate Calculus, Computer Modeling, and my last two Gen-Ed classes this fall (should be a fairly easy semester compared to last spring). So doing well is certainly possible. We'll see how well I handle junior/senior level classes though.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  6. Aug 18, 2008 #5
    I worked about 35 hours a week and took 16 credits during the fall and winter and 8 credits for spring and summer while getting my degree. The first couple years are alright and being able to do homework at work really helps although for me that wasn't always an option. However, the last couple years were very rough because of large projects especially with senior design the last semester. My last semester I was taking 4, 400 level engineering classes, all with projects, one was senior design, while working 35 hours a week. During that semester I lost about 20 pounds, I looked like I was dead, had no life what so ever, in other words pure hell. It can be done and probably is worth it if you start working professionally after college. I know some may disagree but work experience while in school accounts for a hell of a lot more then a perfect GPA and I have the offer letters to prove it.

    I made it through school in 4.5 years with about a 3.2 GPA. If you want to get ahead of everyone else I suggest working, if you like to enjoy life then don't. However, if you do decide to work be prepared to go 2 and sometimes 3 days without sleeping and don't expect to have a girlfriend or any fun at all for that matter.
  7. Aug 18, 2008 #6
    very helpful info
    kudos to you all for having
    the effort to work like you did
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