#1
Hi gang-

I am sort of at an interesting point in my life. First, let me say that things are generally good. I am in my mid-twenties, I have a civil engineering degree, a good job, a house, a girlfriend and a young child. Id say the main thing I am lacking in my life right now is free time to do the things that I love.

I have the opportunity through my work to pursue a Masters degree in a sort of specific aspect of my field. The masters degree would be great. Better job security, a little more money, better chance of advancement; however, I dont think I am very interested in going that direction as an engineer. In fact, I seem to be interested in only about 50% of what civil engineering has to offer.

In my free time, guitar/music and recording are huge hobbies of mine. Im pretty realistic about music and dont expect that to support my lifestyle. However, my interest in music has revealed another major interest that seems to be growing in me: electronics, specifically audio electronics/equipment right now, but electrical equipment nonetheless. A part of me has been questioning whether or not I should have pursued electrical engineering instead.. I find myself seeking out knowledge on the web or on youtube, whether it be technical/theoretical/mathematical knowledge pertaining to the field, or even just historical information on how it developed. These are things I dont even do in my own field. Plus, electrical engineering seems pretty lucrative in its own right.

I am very profecient (or at least was in college) at math/calculus/physics, and i have excellent (autocad) drafting skills. I was wondering if anybody here with experience in either of these fields, with some life experince, and/or even experience changing careers had any words of wisdom/advice they could offer

Thanks!
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#2
In this economy just be happy you got a job maybe do electrical engineering Open University degree but really I'd work on moving up the ladder in the field you're in because civil engineering is good and for your family it'd best that you move up rather than sideways

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#3
I'm studying electrical & electronic engineering atm and it's pretty dope

As for the life advice, pretty much anyone knows more than me, so ask them lol

Seriously though, maybe online courses? I'm doing an intro to robotics one atm (on top of electrical) and I'm learning a tonne and having fun doing it. Plus, if all goes well it should increase my employability as a graduate. Don't know it this applies to you though, seeing as you already have experience in another field.
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#4
Your family is really hampering your ability to change fields. Having a family and a full-time job is going to take up all your free time and there's not much you can do about that.

What is it you dislike about civil engineering? What is it about electrical engineering that fulfils you? Is it possible to get a job in something civil that also pertains to your passions in electrical? Engineering has so many job opportunities compared to other fields that there's a good chance such a thing exists for you.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 27, 2015,
#5
If you've got the desire and the means, get the EE.

Nothing wrong with Civil Engineering, but if it's not your thing find something that is.

And people with multiple proven skillsets are always in more demand than more limited individuals.
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#6
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Your family is really hampering your ability to change fields. Having a family and a full-time job is going to take up all your free time and there's not much you can do about that.

What is it you dislike about civil engineering? What is it about electrical engineering that fulfils you? Is it possible to get a job in something civil that also pertains to your passions in electrical? Engineering has so many job opportunities compared to other fields that there's a good chance such a thing exists for you.


Well, if I were to do something like this, it would certainly be online courses. Same thing as if I were to pursue my graduate degree. I commute alot, so I can literally listen to a whole lecture and let it soak in and then go back to parts I need to complete an assignment.

In terms of what I like about electrical.. Its hard to explain. Like, I work in the field 50% of the time to witness construction. My efforts to intelligently design these things for construction are actually pretty enjoyable; but seeing them being built and actually seeing the finished product just doesnt really do it for me. I dont feel any sense of joy or excitement when I look at a bridge or sidewalk or building. I appreciate the effort and hard work that went in, but not much else. But when I pop open an electronic and look at the board- its like, "holy ****. This is great." When I see "High voltages, danger" it is a little intimidating, but at the same time, the humbling feeling i get from knowing it could really hurt me is kind of warming, and I want to harness that power.

Also, by da way- a lateral move to electrical from civil at my level could still mean a $10-30k pay bump, depending on the job
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#7
Quote by Watterboy at #33570540
But when I pop open an electronic and look at the board- its like, "holy ****. This is great."

You guys are weird. I'll never understand the appeal.

Online courses are probably your best bet for the long-term, but I'd do some job seeking in whatever free time you have and find something that might pertain to your interests more closely.
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#8
Quote by Arby911 at #33570516
If you've got the desire and the means, get the EE.

Nothing wrong with Civil Engineering, but if it's not your thing find something that is.

And people with multiple proven skillsets are always in more demand than more limited individuals.



I say go for it, and who knows, maybe someday get the masters in EE instead as well
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#9
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Also, by da way- a lateral move to electrical from civil at my level could still mean a $10-30k pay bump, depending on the job

So it's what you like and it's more lucrative. This seems like a no brainer.
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#10
Do the masters, get your charter. Do not be side tracked into electronics - treat it as another hobby, like music.

(I have electronics degree, stats master and a CEng from the RAeS and most of the what I do is mech eng so it is possible to cross boundaries but it takes too much time - you need to be looking at being in management by the time you are 30, retire at 50 and do as you like.. if you don't have one get a job with a BIG company)
#11
Quote by PSimonR
Do the masters, get your charter. Do not be side tracked into electronics - treat it as another hobby, like music.

(I have electronics degree, stats master and a CEng from the RAeS and most of the what I do is mech eng so it is possible to cross boundaries but it takes too much time - you need to be looking at being in management by the time you are 30, retire at 50 and do as you like.. if you don't have one get a job with a BIG company)


Lol- being in management at an upper tier engineering contracting or consulting firm in my area by the ripe age of 30 is incredibly rare or extremely difficult. Thats just not gonna happen, and its not because im undermining myself. Those upper positions come with many years experience and a lot of luck too
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#12
You need a co with professional development then if you can't get up to junior management by 30, middle by 40, senior by 50. But even if you don't you should be able to be a specialist and get paid a lot for that; you only have to take an interest on what your company does really.
#13
Quote by PSimonR
You need a co with professional development then if you can't get up to junior management by 30, middle by 40, senior by 50. But even if you don't you should be able to be a specialist and get paid a lot for that; you only have to take an interest on what your company does really.

I think corporate structure is a lot different where you are. Its just not like that at all at my company, or most companies in the area even. 30 is still young to even become a project manager; and project managers definitely dont make enough money to retire at 50
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