Eyeing a career change from Engineering: Am I being reckless?
August 29, 2014 9:19 PM Subscribe
I recently graduated and I've been working as a Jr. Engineer for a few months now. I realize now that this is not a career/field I want to be in and have been strongly thinking about going back to school to get a Computer Science degree. The problem is that I have 35k in loans from my previous degree and I need to make a decision soon. Am I being reckless for wanting to do a career change so soon?
I recently graduated with a degree in engineering and I've been working as a Jr. Engineer for a few months now. I've always felt like engineering wasn't right for me (at least my field specifically) and working a few months into my job has concreted this sentiment. I've been falling asleep on the clock, dreading waking up in the morning and I can't wait to get out once it's time to go home. After some self-reflecting I realized that I've always been forcing myself to study in university and never found engineering to be enjoyable. I also realized that my old passion in high school (programming and tech-related things like computer hardware) was what I should have gone into. In fact, the course I enjoyed the most in university was the one programming course in my first year.
I've been eyeing going back to school to get a degree in Computer Science as I also want to learn the theoretical side to programming. The problem is, I have about $35,000 in student loans that I need to pay off from my previous degree on top of rent/car insurance/gas. My current job provides a steady paycheck to pay off those loans but I know I'm being underpaid for someone in my position while working longer hours than most of my friends. My irregular work schedule (8am to 7pm, Monday to Thursday) prevents me from taking any night classes and I haven't been able to find any weekend courses in my area. I have strongly been thinking about quitting my job, moving back to the city and working part-time/going to school part-time. I have to make a decision soon as my 5 month "probation" is almost up and given the project-based nature of my company, I need to make a clean break. At the moment, I have a few thousand dollars in savings I could temporarily live off of. If I go back to school my loans/interest build-up would freeze until I graduated again but I know that I'll be adding on more debt for another degree.
Others have suggested taking another job in the same field but the job market is kind of dead in my area (i.e. Ontario) and it has become apparent I don't want to do engineering (Chemical, Environmental, project, etc.) I hate my life right now because of my job (the stress bleeds into every aspect), I'm in the middle of nowhere and I'm filled with regret. I want to act fast before I become complacent with where I am all because of a steady paycheque - I've watched too many people fall into this cycle while mitigating their stress with things like drugs and alcohol.
Am I being too reckless by doing this? Do you have any suggestions or personal experience with a drastic career/educational change like this?