I did exactly what you are doing and I encourage you to go for it!!! I have no regrets!
I have a BS in Professional Aviation from Louisiana Tech and went back to college for a BS in Civil Engineering in the mid 90's because I was a starving pilot, I was later 20's, so very close to your age.
While pursuing the flying dream, achieved the certificates and ratings of CFI, CFII, MEI and ATP where I did fly charter and corporate accruing 1,800 hours, but in the mid 90's it was tough; feast or famine. Back then the university career offices offered tests that correlated your answers with other people who had similar answers for various career fields. My answers aligned with Engineering, like I expected, but I wanted to be absolutely sure as I had no more wiggle room. It was much easier for me to make that career change at 30 something than at 50 something. I cheer and encourage you to go for it!
What would have been good to know: Since I was a non-traditional student, building community and a support system would have been much better. I was living off campus in a house, was looking after an elderly father and suffering through a poor marriage decision, so I didn't have a good support system. I made friends and study buddies, the professors and department were great, but life really, really made everything difficult. So to you, I would encourage you to have life and your support system in place so you could better focus and concentrate on classes.
Fast forward to 2021: Throughout my engineering career, I did not need the Professional Engineering credential, so I have a goal to take the Civil Engineering PE in 2022. I may have to take it more than once, but I am going for it. So additionally to you, something good to know is take the PE earlier in your engineering career.
Best of luck from one non-traditional to another!
Karen Baskin A.M.ASCE
New Bern NC
Sent: 10-18-2021 04:58 PM
From: Tucker Adams
Subject: Career change: second bachelor's degree
I'm 32, completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2011 (please go easy on me, I was young and naïve), and have since worked in a variety of roles, most recently at a local university where I have the opportunity to take classes on a part-time basis. About three years ago, I decided to change career paths, and began completing foundational math and science courses (calculus, physics, chemistry) in pursuit of a second bachelor's degree in civil engineering. I am preparing to transition to full time enrollment to complete my program, and am interested in hearing from the community as I look toward internships and employment.
I have two specific prompts/questions:
1. For anyone who made a similar transition as a nontraditional student or completed a second bachelor's degree: is there anything you wish you'd known or been told when you were in the midst of that transition?
2. For those in management or recruiting: for entry level positions, how important is a master's degree versus immediate employment/experience? I am applying as a transfer student for admission to a handful of schools, some of which offer integrated degree programs, so I'm attempting to weigh the value (assuming I am admitted to more than one) of having such a program available.
Of course, any other advice is more than welcome. I always worry that the most important questions are the ones I didn't even think to ask.
Tucker Adams S.M.ASCE