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Can I still become an engineer? View All
Or rather, what steps should I take to prepare for a career in engineering?

I'm a 24 year old high school drop-out (with GED) who has never been to college. Over the years I've taught myself how to work with PC hardware and am currently studying towards a CompTIA A+ Certification. I've also taught myself, with limited success, a handful of programming languages such as C++ & Java, however my understanding of the underlying concepts are severely limited. My ultimate goal is to find a career in robotics, aerospace, or computer engineering. My thinking is that I should first pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

What advice would you offer to someone with my goals given my relatively late start? Am I correct in trying to pursue an electrical engineering degree? Can I expect to face great difficulty being accepted into a engineering degree program given my lack of education?

Thanks in advance.

7 years ago - 2 months left to answer. - 3 responses - Report Abuse
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If you are interested in upgrading your education and skills from that of a computer technician to an Electrical / Computer Engineer you should go to a local community college to discuss your interest and see what additional education you would need qualify to enter college as a freshmen.

I am confident that at a minimum you will need to take additional classes in math and English.

You may want to go up to W. Lafayette, IN to talk to a counselor in the Dean's Office for Engineering.

Yes, it is going to be a lot of hard work, but if you take your time and develop your skills properly you can be successful.

Niel Leon
BSME Purdue 1978

7 years ago


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Yes, you can still become an engineer. I am a 54 year old ninth grade high school drop out (with GED), and received my BSEE five years ago. I spent 4 years in the Navy and 23 years as a carpenter before I decided to go back to school for a degree in Electrical Engineering. When I was 45 I went to the University of Florida and asked the dean of the College of Engineering if I could come back. He told me my math skills were too old. Not me, my math skills. He told me if I went to the local community college and got my Associates in the Arts (AA) degree he would have a place for me. That was the best advice I have ever been given.

A community college is more able to help students like you and me who need to build math skills to the level accepted for an engineering program. Also, an AA degree will include all of the required general education courses such as English and humanities courses that you would otherwise have to take at the University. You will then enter the University as a Junior.

Most Universities have a local community college that they partner with as a feeder school (it reduces enrollment pressure on the University and they can generate more degrees with fewer University level class hours). In that case, getting an AA degree is an automatic acceptance to the University. I imagine the specific rules vary around the country, but that is the basics. Just be sure that the CC you select has such a relationship with the school you want to go to and that the courses you choose meet the Universities curriculum requirements and are transferable.

One last thing, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form TODAY! Even if you don't think you will need it. Schools only accept FASFA information once a year, so if you file now you will be set for next fall semester. You can't get ANY financial aid without the FASFA. No loans, no Pell grants, no scholarships.

7 years ago


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Being an engineer might be a bit more hard.Your profile suits a CS engineer than an electrical..besides Electrical is much harder..
to find a career in robotics, aerospace, or computer neednt be an engineer..get a certification in OOPs..
Get some basic experience..and that will do..

7 years ago


  0     0  does not provide engineering advice. The Ask@ service is a forum for members to exchange ideas relating to the world of engineering. We caution users not to accept any responses that they receive without further validation, and not to rely on any engineering advice that they may get from other members of the Ask@ forum. specifically disclaims any obligation to validate or verify any information posted within the Ask@ service. encourages users to seek the services of a professional engineer for any engineering advice they may require.