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Broke and in need of an education

Broke and in need of an education

Broke and in need of an education

I created the last post on transferring to a non ABET school, and realize to be a respected engineer I must graduate from an ABET institution. Now my concern is where to go and how to pay for it. I could return to Manhattan College, and end up 70,000$ in debt after graduating (I'm already in debt 35 k for freshmen and sophmore year), or go to UMASS and only be in debt around 50 k.(BTW 100% of education cost is on my shoulders, no one else, and I'm only twenty) My question is, does it really matter to employers where I have a degree from? I am hoping to get into Green Building Engineering and become LEED AP as soon as possible. How much weight is put on your undergraduate degree?  College just doesn't seem to justify it's own cost to me.

RE: Broke and in need of an education

The debt you are indicating could be less than your one year salary after 2-3 years, if you do the right things.  Entry level engineering positions offer more than $50K in New England area. Do your math.

You do need a degree to get started the right way. A few gifted folks can tell you the stories as to how they did well without a degree, but those would be exceptions. Even those would have done even better, had they had the degrees.


Rafiq Bulsara

RE: Broke and in need of an education

Time to go to CUNY...City College has a great Engineering program and you will receive a Bachelors of Engineering (ABET Accredited) vs. a Science degree.   

"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: Broke and in need of an education

If you like cheese and beer, UW-Milwaukeee has respectable underpriced and underrated ABET accredited program.

RE: Broke and in need of an education

In which state are you eligible for in-state tuition?


p.s. Student loans are pretty cheap money.  I'm a fan.

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Broke and in need of an education

35k after two years is a bit hefty.  You need to work on your budgeting a bit.

As The Tick pointed out UW and others have great programs that are not that expensive.  If you have residency in NY, the state universities have good engineering programs that are affordable and you can work while you go to school.  I know that's difficult...been there, but it beats the hell out of being in debt when you start your career.

Good luck.

RE: Broke and in need of an education

I'd see if all 4-year University of Wisconsin (UW) colleges have the same tuition rate. UW-Milwaukee is good, but if you can get into UW-Madison for the same price, it is more widely recognized. Obviously, look at the specific programs and professor's areas of expertise at each and see which is more in-line with your goals too. Cost of living and admission requirements may be differt too.

And there's no shortage of cheese and beer in Madison either. However, I think the breweries are spaced farther apart in Madison, so it's more difficult to do a tri-fecta and get 3 brewery tours in one day.

-- MechEng2005

RE: Broke and in need of an education

Let me start by saying, it matters where you get your degree.  Are you going to hire an engineer from MIT or Bob Jones college?

With that out of the way, let me provide you with a game plan.  Get a B.S. in Architectural Engineering (see link).  Personally I went to Cal Poly, SLO and it has one of the best ARCHE schools in the country.  However, there are others, but I don't see New York or Mass. on the list of states.

Therefore, move to a state that has a ARCHE program with a feeder Junior College.  One you arrive in your new college town, use a phone book and call around to find a civil engineering and architecture firm that could use some drafting help.  Start working and saving money, while you establish residency.  If you don't have drafting skills (computer, etc.) take a couple of course at the JC and then hit the pavement.

Once you have residency apply to the university.  Continue working and going to school...find the work/school balance that works for you.  Its that simple, yet that difficult.  FYI: It should take about 3 to 5 years depending on your current educational background.

Gook Luck & Best Wishes!

RE: Broke and in need of an education

What kind of firm do you want to work for when you get out?  Talk to the Placement office at the schools you are interested in, and see if their students are still being recruited, and by whom.  Ask what their rate of grad placement is.  Ask how active is the alumni job network.


RE: Broke and in need of an education

if costs are the major problem, look at a couple of places around the world which have been accredited to the "Washington Accord" and see if their costs are comparible to what you are currently paying. Just don't underestimate the importance of a quality degree as this is going to be your "ticket" for the rest of your working career.

RE: Broke and in need of an education

Doesn't work that way. The Washington Accord is a federal agreement to recognise overseas degrees. PEs are controlled by the states. The accord does not guarantee that a good overseas engineering degree will be recognised by a state.

Quite a funny if cynical piece of negotiation.



Greg Locock

SIG:Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Broke and in need of an education

That's a huge dollar amount for an engineering degree.  I graduated with zero debt.  I took most of my gen ed classes at the local community college.  I didn't really care about English 101, Art Appreciation, Macro Economics, and the similar.  I saved a ton of money by doing that.  Those classes cost me less than $200/CLASS as opposed to $500/CREDIT.  Once I got to the classes that I knew mattered I took them at the university I graduated from.  I'm sure some people would look down on that, and it may even cost you the opportunity to even interview for a few jobs, but it would save you a LOT of money.  Plus, you really only need to put the school you graduated from on your resume.

I used to be a bit embarrassed about it, because everyone I work with has a graduate degree from a big name universitie, but I've proven that my technical abilities take a back seat to none of them and it really doesn't bother me anymore.  

I bet their student loans are huge, too.

RE: Broke and in need of an education

Join the ROTC and get your tuition paid for.  Some universities will offer free room and board to ROTC cadets.  The also offer a stipend for spending money and a book allowance.

Alternatively, join the air national guard (I don't think they get deployed much).  They offer several different tuition assistance programs, and you'll also probably be eligible for the Montgomery GI bill.

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