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Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

My father (a civil engineer) and I (civil engineering student) have been discussing a juncture I may take regarding my college education.

I decided to go into C.E. two years after high-school, so instead of graduating Spring '13, it will be Spring '15. I've taken all my GenEd and all science classes at a community college, and my last years of college will be all core engineering classes.

The question is: is it advisable that I get an associate's in Science or Engineering from the community college and work a bit? Or that I finish out the B.S. and graduate? I already plan to intern while doing the bachelor's, since employers look for that, but otherwise I still feel finishing out the normal bachelor's is the right thing.

Also, quite frankly I feel bad that I'll be graduating two years later than I otherwise would have. Will this hurt my career opportunities?

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

I would tend to finish it all in one shot, but everyone's different. You WILL need the 4 year degree to get licensed, if this is your intention.

Also depends on what you want to do within civil engineering. If you want to do structural (which is usually considered a part of civil engineering), I'd go to school right now. The amount of knowledge gained in the last two years by far dwarfs the first two. Others can chime in for other disciplines (hydrology, geotechnical, transportation, etc.).

For the structural firm I work with, we would not hire somebody with only an associates to do anything other than drafting (or admin-type stuff). We don't even like to hire people with only bachelors. Masters is becoming standard for structural engineers.

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

The longer you take, the less likely you are to finish.

Two years late is nothing. When you get to grown-up college, you will meet many more students who did not start when they were fresh out of high school.

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

I got an associates in electronics technology first and couldn't get a job, since it was not enough education. Your experience may be better than mine. Lack of employment and comments made about the AS helped me decide to go into engineering. Isn't procrastination one of those seven deadly sins? winky smile

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

The two years difference in graduation shouldn't be an issue at all. I graduated with my ChemE 12 years after I should have, and haven't had any issues with job offers (but some interesting conversations with recruiters/HR folks). And, the time off in the "real world" made me a much better student the second time around. As others have already said, the AS degree won't get you much in the way of a "real" engineering job, so it's better to finish your BS now. It's also MUCH easier now instead of when you have a house payment/SO/kids/etc. Trust me. BTDTGTTS


Quality, quantity, cost. Pick two.

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

Just a heads up of going from a two year to a four year is that it may take another 2.5 to 3 years to get thru the engineering classes. Reason being is that you will have to start with the freshman engineering classes which are prerequisites to the sophomore and so on. The college will not let you take the classes out of order thus lengthening your time. Also, since you have taken all of your math, chem., physics,…etc already, in order to stay as a full time student, you may have to take more extracurricular classes just to be compliant. However, going thru a two year was the right thing to do to cut cost for your education. Even with spending more time at the much more expansive four year.

"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."
“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity”

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

I got my engineering degree 13 years after I should have. Didn't make a bit of difference.

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

If you want to get into engineering, finish the BS. If you want to make money, quit school entirely and learn to program computers.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

In Civil Engineering, perhaps even more than any other discipline, it is vital to get professional registration. Some will have success without it based on ability or good looks but for the rest of us, registration is the key to advancement. And when you look at the requirements for registration, graduating from an ABET accredited program makes all the difference in terms of when you can start to sit for the exams and subsequently how early in your career you can get this important distinction.

My opinion, unless it will put you tremendously in debt, go with the 4 year ABET accredited degree, take your EIT exam, and have a great career.

Eastern United States

"If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then that builder shall be put to death!"
~Code of Hammurabi

RE: Should I finish out my C.E. Bachelor's?

I graduated from a local community college in 5 years with an associate in Civil. The jobs that are available with that degree (In my area - Results may vary) include counting rebar on shop drawings, Drafting, Surveyors Assistant, Home Depot Paint Department.
If any of these areas interest you then go for the 2 year degree. Otherwise I would recommend continuing on for the BS
For me the BS took another 4 years with full and part time employment along the way. The payoff in salary, job satisfaction and personal self esteem were well worth the effort. If I could I would kick my past self in the pants to get moving on the 4 year degree sooner.
I personally did not find it any harder to find a job being an "older" graduate (27). Some employers look for an employee who is more established; so in a way the delayed graduation may have helped me.

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