Going Back to School for Engineering

If you’re tired of working a job that you don’t like, getting additional training as an engineer can open up many work options. Many jobs are stable and offer high-paying employment.

Whether you’re bored at your present workplace or looking for higher pay, getting an engineering degree could be for you.

You could learn to design robots, send spacecraft into space, or work on roads and buildings in your local area. There are many different types of engineers and various ways to become one.


Many engineers grow up wanting to know how things work. They are good at math and science.

1) Traditional Education.

Most engineers have a college degree from a university. A high-school degree should allow you to apply to countless colleges and universities to reach this goal. A GED can allow you to go to community college and then transfer to a four-year school.

There are many programs to choose from.

2) Online Education.

While most engineers receive their education through normal colleges and universities, there’s an increasing shift towards on-line education. In these programs, you can earn your degree from home. You can maintain your current job and pay while you go to school.

This opens up many opportunities for people and adds a high level of flexibility to getting an engineering education.

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What to Expect in School

Depending on the educational program, you might have to take multiple classes per semester or just a single one.

  • Many programs at universities require full-time employment.
  • Community colleges allow you to take as many courses as you want.
  • Most online courses allow students to work through one course at a time.

Depending on your family or financial situation, you can choose to take as heavy as a course load as you want or can handle.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Being a professional engineer can lead to a good career, but going to school for it can be difficult. Regardless of the type of job you want to have, the right education can help. Some of the plus sides include:

  • Improved job options
  • Higher pay
  • Increased job respect

Of course, there are downsides as well. Some to consider include:

  • High number of hours of course work per week
  • Cost
  • Difficulty

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Choosing a School

The first step in choosing a college or university to attend is deciding the field of engineering that you’re interested in. Most schools offer choices, such as mechanical, electrical, aerospace, chemical, computer, and civil engineering.

1) Program.

Most schools will not require a final choice on which degree to work towards for at least the first year. The general courses offered during the first year are the same for most programs.

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2) School.

Every school is different. When you start to narrow down your options, you’ll want to think about:

  • Cost
  • Location
  • Program options
  • Internships

University in your home state will cost you less than schools in a different state. Public colleges also tend to cost less than private colleges.

3) Finance.

There are many options to help you pay for your education. Many student loans are available to those who need them.

If you’re unable to move from your location, consider local community colleges as well. They tend to have even lower tuition costs.

4) Class.

Each engineering program in a school will have a specific set of classes that you’ll have to take. Make sure that these classes will leave you with the skills you need to enter your desired career.

5) Internship.

Often times, having an internship will greatly increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams when you’re done with school. Many schools work with companies to make it easier to set up an internship. Companies will hire past interns who they liked.

6) School that fits you.

Some schools are very hard to get accepted to. Depending on your educational goals, the most highly ranked college/university may or may not be for you. Consider the size of the school and the size of the classes when making your decision. Some offer large classes, while others provide more chances to talk to teachers.

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Preparing for School

Once you’ve been accepted to a program, there are a few things you can do to get ready. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a math class, take the time to review basic algebra and geometry.

Before the start of classes, make sure that you have all of the books and study materials.

Returning to school as an adult student to become an engineer can be hard, but the rewards can be worth the effort. An engineering degree can prepare you for many different jobs that pay well and are interesting.

Regardless of your life situation or age, studying to become an engineer could help you reach your dreams.