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massive confusion!


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Hello All,
I need some major expert advice!
I am 24, Bachelors in Accounting from Oxford Brookes, ACCA qualified, working. I have been keeping this inside me for a long long time now that I just hate my field! I want to study something totally different now and I have realized that it should be related with science as I had studied science till my A levels, with subjects Maths, Physics, chemistry. Something related wid civil engineerng, structural, architectural, or something like that. I need some advices on what should be done, and can these degrees be done online so that I could continue earning a good amount to finance my  program. Please I think it is already too late and I think its gonna get worse the more late I take my decision. I think one needs a bit of passion and interest for the work they do.......I have no passion at alll.........no interesttttt at ALLLL.........now everytime i see someone studying science i feel like crying =( I need major help

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It's not too late. You're only 24 (feels weird for me to say that, as I'm 24 too :-P). There are people on these boards who are applying to graduate schools in their 40s or 50s or beyond, which just goes to show that it is never too late. All you need is a pulse and some determination. :)


If you're not interested in your current field, then there's no reason to continue with it. Why stay in a career that will only make you unhappy? It sounds like you really can't stand accounting anymore, so do yourself a favor and get out. It's better that you realized this now (in your mid-twenties) than later.


That said, I do want to say (as a scientist, but in a different field) that there is a huge difference between taking science courses/reading about science and actually doing scientific research. I know a lot of people who are very interested in science but really don't like doing original research. At times it can be incredibly frustrating or incredibly tedious. For me, all of the stress is worth it for the "thrill of discovery," but still... getting there can be rough and that "thrill of discovery" is maybe only 5% of the total time spent doing research. I live for that 5% of the time, but not everyone feels that way. I'm not trying to discourage you, but I do want to make sure that you're aware of what a career in science is like.


But, if you're really interested in it, and are willing to put up with all of the frustrations of the job because you also like that thrill of discovery, then you should definitely go for it. I'd highly advise against online programs, though. Most online programs are nothing more than money-making schemes, and usually the quality of the education that you receive from such programs is... not so great. There are probably exceptions, but most online programs are crap (in my opinion). Also, I don't think that a science degree is something that you can really do adequately via an online program. You need to physically be in a lab actually doing the research; I don't see how that could possibly be emulated online. Online programs may be fine for fields like English that only really require books, but something like civil engineering will inevitably require lab equipment and whatnot that you can only take advantage of in-person in a real laboratory.


So, my advice would be to apply for several in-person master's programs in civil engineering. There are programs out there that are funded (either fully or at least partially)... those are the ones that you'll want. Unfunded master's programs are rarely worth it; there's simply no reason to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt for a graduate education, unless you think that you'll come out of it with a very high-paying career.


This thread from the biology forum may also be of use to you. It contains advice given to another person who was considering returning to graduate school in a different field. The fields are different (education and biology vs. accounting and engineering), but a lot of the advice is still very applicable:


Good luck!

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I would advise you to find research opportunities (unpaid, at university research labs), to have a feel for what it's like doing research.  As zabius said, taking science classes is nothing like doing scientific research.  Doing well in those classes doesn't necessarily mean you will be great at research.


And what is it exactly that you are interested in, science wise?  Saying you love science is like saying you love everything (which doesn't mean anything, really).


And no, never too late to follow your dream :D

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