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    Hi guys/girls, I'm looking for some advice about starting a new career in Civil Engineering at the age of 32.

    I'm planning on getting on to a degree programme for next academic year, by which time i'll be 27. I plan to do a 4-year masters degree along with a year in industry, meaning i'll be 32 by the time I leave me course and start looking for jobs.

    I'm fully aware of the entry requirements for said degree programmes and I already have the relevant a-levels - I just need to top up a further maths a-level to hopefully be considered by a decent uni. I've worked in a technical-based engineering role (in no way related to Civil) for the last 4 years and have a lot of experience of working within big and small teams, having to be extremely professional and possessing strong communication skills.

    My question is, will I be employable for an entry level job at 32? Will I be (dare I say it) too old? Anyone got experience with this?

    Would be great to hear from graduates/experienced engineers who may have worked with older people at the same position as them, or perhaps you have some insider info on recruitment requirements for such companies.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
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    (Original post by mateng)

    My question is, will I be employable for an entry level job at 32? Will I be (dare I say it) too old? Anyone got experience with this?

    Would be great to hear from graduates/experienced engineers who may have worked with older people at the same position as them, or perhaps you have some insider info on recruitment requirements for such companies.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
    Hi,

    I am also a civil engineer and just graduated. There were a few mature students on my course, and one of the them (who I know quite well) has just graduated at 28 and has a job as a graduate engineer at WSP ( big civil eng. consultancy). Another mature student got a graduate job with Laing O-Rourke.

    So anything is possible.
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    It's certainly not a negative. It's a bit more real world, working experience. Your age won't affect how well you can do the job (be it 23 or 32!) and a year in industry will be a major plus. You're not exactly on top of the retirement age so there's no downside from an employer point of view, in being a bit older.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    It's certainly not a negative. It's a bit more real world, working experience. Your age won't affect how well you can do the job (be it 23 or 32!) and a year in industry will be a major plus. You're not exactly on top of the retirement age so there's no downside from an employer point of view, in being a bit older.
    (Original post by vortex64)
    Hi,

    I am also a civil engineer and just graduated. There were a few mature students on my course, and one of the them (who I know quite well) has just graduated at 28 and has a job as a graduate engineer at WSP ( big civil eng. consultancy). Another mature student got a graduate job with Laing O-Rourke.

    So anything is possible.
    Much appreciate the responses guys. What you've both said is very encouraging. Anyone else able to offer any thoughts on this? I remember seeing a similar thread a while back but I just can't find it..
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    Very first question, since your experience are not related, then why civil? Why not choose a related degree which can maximize your advantages?

    MEng with age of 32 is not a big deal since most engineering course provides 5 years in full-time and 7 years in part-time. However, most candidates doing part-time are from their individual related fields while most of them have encountered salary and CEng issues before joining the course. They won't choose another irrelevant path unless they are really into it.

    Though you have gained some experience in both team-work and professional workplace, for interviewers, it may not that important since they prefer professional skills rather than irrelevant experience unless you're talking site assessment, CAD drawing/modelling or any other related to construction.

    I hate to say this but the fact most employer hires you is to make more money. Especially in civil, they hope new comers are willing to hardworking more, over-time more, travel more and as a result, age is coming into consideration. 32 is okay but they will not treat you as senior engineer or associate, in fact, they'll treat you as freshmen whom are 24/25. I presume at an age of 32, you will already have your family and perhaps kids, but what if the company asked you to transfer to another branch, or overseas for a year? This is usual in construction fields.

    Generally speaking, the reference salary of current graduates are 22k~25k in massive companies. It may get a bit higher 5 years after, but it's still a newbie number. Your past working years will be wasted if you start a completely new career, and I am not sure if you mind you will find same age people surrounding you are already senior or even director whom take home 35k~50k after you joined the company.

    Sorry for not so optimistic but you are going to face some reality indeed. If civil is your dream then you should certainly go after it.

    I'm quite confused with the said "degree programme", is it 1 year in BSc then rest 4 years are 3 years part-time MSc plus 1 year industry? Or just 5 years integrated master?
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    (Original post by Novezeil)
    Very first question, since your experience are not related, then why civil? Why not choose a related degree which can maximize your advantages?

    Though you have gained some experience in both team-work and professional workplace, for interviewers, it may not that important since they prefer professional skills rather than irrelevant experience unless you're talking site assessment, CAD drawing/modelling or any other related to construction.

    32 is okay but they will not treat you as senior engineer or associate, in fact, they'll treat you as freshmen whom are 24/25. I presume at an age of 32, you will already have your family and perhaps kids, but what if the company asked you to transfer to another branch, or overseas for a year? This is usual in construction fields.

    Your past working years will be wasted if you start a completely new career, and I am not sure if you mind you will find same age people surrounding you are already senior or even director whom take home 35k~50k after you joined the company.

    Sorry for not so optimistic but you are going to face some reality indeed. If civil is your dream then you should certainly go after it.

    I'm quite confused with the said "degree programme", is it 1 year in BSc then rest 4 years are 3 years part-time MSc plus 1 year industry? Or just 5 years integrated master?
    Cheers for the response.

    Civil is my dream, so I have no doubt that what I plan to do is worth it. Have been working in a very repetitive, unchallenging, job for the last 4 years earning £30k average and this will be the same for the next 20 years (huge team and only one management position per team). I.e there is no career progression at all. More importantly it's not something I enjoy and it was always intended to be a job that would allow me to save money and go travelling etc. Which i have now done.

    This skills that I have gained are more on the communication and team-working side of things - two essential attributes to any professional career - so I have no doubt that these skills will give me an advantage when it comes to employment. Particularly along side the degree as it will compliment it nicely.

    It doesn't bother me one bit the fact that I will be put amongst "freshmen" and other graduates when I start looking for these types of jobs. Nor does it bother me that there will be people my age that are my managers or directors. This is life and i've already experienced it.

    My only concern is whether or not I will be overlooked for graduate jobs because i am "too old" or perhaps certain companies are looking for fresh blood in order to mold you in the way they want you to be.

    In regards to the said degree programme - it will be a 4 year MEng with an industrial placement year.
 
 
 
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