Is Engineering a wise choice for me?

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Poll: Is Engineering a wise choice for me?
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Y333EEE
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#1
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#1
Afternoon all. Admins feel free to move to another forum if you deem it appropriate.

Apologies if this is very broad. Basically I left 6th form a decade ago, have worked in Mechanical Engineering as a technician for the last 6 1/2 years, have a Level 2 & 3 NVQ in Engineering Maintenance, NEBOSH General & Fire & a Level 3 qualification in Facilities Management. I am looking at beginning a degree in the near future (still shopping around but looking likely to be Open Uni) but am unsure as to what I want to study.

I was looking at Either Civil or Mechanical Engineering due to my background. However I have been looking at the requirements of the courses and from what I understand there is a lot of A level (at a minimum) standard Maths involved in both. The issue is I started maths in year 12 & absolutely tanked it as it I found everything completely unfathomable. I somehow managed to get a D at AS but did not continue with it as an A Level. I've just re-visited some of it and my head hurts just from looking at it!

Is it wise to press ahead with this or choose a different subject altogether such as accounting (my back up choice of degree)? Hd a look at a past paper for accounting and while it's still not easy the maths involved makes a lot more sense to me.

Or another route I've been looking at is do a HNC & HND and then do a top up year at uni for a full undergraduate degree.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Smack
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(Original post by Y333EEE)
Afternoon all. Admins feel free to move to another forum if you deem it appropriate.

Apologies if this is very broad. Basically I left 6th form a decade ago, have worked in Mechanical Engineering as a technician for the last 6 1/2 years, have a Level 2 & 3 NVQ in Engineering Maintenance, NEBOSH General & Fire & a Level 3 qualification in Facilities Management. I am looking at beginning a degree in the near future (still shopping around but looking likely to be Open Uni) but am unsure as to what I want to study.

I was looking at Either Civil or Mechanical Engineering due to my background. However I have been looking at the requirements of the courses and from what I understand there is a lot of A level (at a minimum) standard Maths involved in both. The issue is I started maths in year 12 & absolutely tanked it as it I found everything completely unfathomable. I somehow managed to get a D at AS but did not continue with it as an A Level. I've just re-visited some of it and my head hurts just from looking at it!

Is it wise to press ahead with this or choose a different subject altogether such as accounting (my back up choice of degree)? Hd a look at a past paper for accounting and while it's still not easy the maths involved makes a lot more sense to me.

Or another route I've been looking at is do a HNC & HND and then do a top up year at uni for a full undergraduate degree.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
What are your career aspirations?
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hihelloheya
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I would say that for engineering courses, especially civil and mechanical engineering you really need to be strong in maths. The courses are mainly maths based and they're maths application and mechanics, not the statistics side.
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ajj2000
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Do you like your current job/ career type?
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skylark2
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Maybe you could start with a single relevant OU maths module at a low level? You might find it's not so bad - and if you do, you haven't invested a huge amount of time, effort and money into it.
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Y333EEE
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(Original post by Smack)
What are your career aspirations?
In a nutshell it's basically to earn a better job. Currently in the forces (if you're interested looking at my post history will tell you more) but going forward the forces lifestyle isn't going to provide the predictability & the stability that I'm after. I believe a graduate job will provide that (better salary, a lot less dicking about & still a career path).

Other than that it's the usual climb the ladder, get a good wage, pension etc etc and having the security to call evenings & weekends my own & not have my holiday cancelled at the last minute because Boris has decided he needs us to go and look for Covid.

(Original post by hihelloheya)
I would say that for engineering courses, especially civil and mechanical engineering you really need to be strong in maths. The courses are mainly maths based and they're maths application and mechanics, not the statistics side.
Fair enough. So I'm guessing A Level standard Maths features quite heavily? Main reason for the question was I had a look at a 1st year past paper whilst doing some research and some of the questions on it fried my brain. I also had a look at the accounting one and while still difficult, it made a lot more sense to me than the engineering one.

(Original post by ajj2000)
Do you like your current job/ career type?
Not really to be honest. See above & post history for more details.

(Original post by skylark2)
Maybe you could start with a single relevant OU maths module at a low level? You might find it's not so bad - and if you do, you haven't invested a huge amount of time, effort and money into it.
Not a bad idea! Any suggestions for which ones to do?

Basically the main reason for the post is that I'm keen to hear from engineering students/graduates as to what standard of Maths is expected on the courses. I've been a mechanical technician for the last 7 years but despised A Level Maths as I'm simply not bright enough.

Edit: On phone, shocking grammar
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Onlyweardesigner
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I would not recommend doing engineering while it's still working from home. The maths is hard enough and you are basically left to teach yourself. The online lectures are garbage and nothing compared to in person learning.

I had amazing grades all the way through college and went straight into third year uni when the lockdown hit. I was lucky to pass third year with the help of friends but now I'm in 4th year I'm 99% sure I'm going to fail as no teaching for 2 years is piling up and I can't cope.
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Smack
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(Original post by Y333EEE)
In a nutshell it's basically to earn a better job. Currently in the forces (if you're interested looking at my post history will tell you more) but going forward the forces lifestyle isn't going to provide the predictability & the stability that I'm after. I believe a graduate job will provide that (better salary, a lot less dicking about & still a career path).

Other than that it's the usual climb the ladder, get a good wage, pension etc etc and having the security to call evenings & weekends my own & not have my holiday cancelled at the last minute because Boris has decided he needs us to go and look for Covid.
An accounting degree will probably have lots of maths, but probably mostly comprising arithmetic. An engineering degree will also have lots of maths, some if it quite complex; so if you're not keen on doing some more difficult maths, an engineering degree isn't a good idea. That said, you may be able to approach the subject with more maturity now, which might help with understanding and persistence. It's not uncommon to come back to studying and academia as a mature student and perform much better.

However, have you looked at technician jobs outside of the military? Armed forces experience is quite highly valued. May be worth a look unless you are dead set on a degree and a graduate job?
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Joinedup
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Might just have had poor teaching and motivation in your previous maths experience.

You could try and work through the book 'engineering maths' by Stroud and see if that makes any more sense to you. It's a first year undergraduate text book but starts from very basic level.
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(Original post by skylark2)
Maybe you could start with a single relevant OU maths module at a low level? You might find it's not so bad - and if you do, you haven't invested a huge amount of time, effort and money into it.
How do you have 8 rep gems with only 700+ posts?
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skylark2
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(Original post by cleveranimal56)
How do you have 8 rep gems with only 700+ posts?
I'm old and boring and not much into the chat threads I'd like to think that most of what I say is reasonably useful. edit: actually this thread is okay, it was another one I was sarcastic on.
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username5050312
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(Original post by skylark2)
I'm old and boring and not much into the chat threads I'd like to think that most of what I say is reasonably useful. (Present thread excepted.)
Highly impressive. :eek:
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Y333EEE
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(Original post by Onlyweardesigner)
I would not recommend doing engineering while it's still working from home. The maths is hard enough and you are basically left to teach yourself. The online lectures are garbage and nothing compared to in person learning.

I had amazing grades all the way through college and went straight into third year uni when the lockdown hit. I was lucky to pass third year with the help of friends but now I'm in 4th year I'm 99% sure I'm going to fail as no teaching for 2 years is piling up and I can't cope.
**** man that's bad! So the uni's just given you some online lectures & left you to fend for yourself? I'd get on to your lecture team/uni welfare team and let them know what the situation is! If they're competent and professional in the slightest then they should help you! Either way don't just sit back as I can tell you from experience you'll 100% make it worse!

(Original post by Smack)
An accounting degree will probably have lots of maths, but probably mostly comprising arithmetic. An engineering degree will also have lots of maths, some if it quite complex; so if you're not keen on doing some more difficult maths, an engineering degree isn't a good idea. That said, you may be able to approach the subject with more maturity now, which might help with understanding and persistence. It's not uncommon to come back to studying and academia as a mature student and perform much better.

However, have you looked at technician jobs outside of the military? Armed forces experience is quite highly valued. May be worth a look unless you are dead set on a degree and a graduate job?
This is a thing I've found. Arithmetic actually makes sense to me and I'm relatively good at it. However all the stuff they taught us at the start of year 12, I swear the teacher was literally plucking numbers from thin air & making it all work! It made zero sense to me! Couple this with the fact it was just the 6th form attached to my old secondary school and it was run down as and the fact I was basically just a little shithouse back then, i was never going to have succeeded in it haha.

I get what you're saying with the maturity as well, if I'd have gone to uni back then I would have just partied the 3 years away and probably have come out with a 2:2 if I was lucky. My cohort was also the first to get the £9k a year tuition fees as well (yes, I am that old!!!!) so that put me off as I was nowhere near ready at the time. If I was to go now I know I'd take it a lot more seriously than 18 year old me would have done.

Your last paragraph, again, I totally get where you're coming from. But, while the pay and lack of dicking around would be great initially, from what I've heard with mates who've recently left is that there's not a great deal of upwards movement in at least 75-80% of cases in these jobs. I know for a fact after a while I'd get bored of it and I don't want to be one of those guys who hops from company to company every few years doing near enough the same thing.

Part if the reason for this thread is that we also get ELC (enhanced learning credits) and the PF FEHE (publicly funded further education/higher education) schemes in the forces. ELC is a grant of up to £2k per financial year (I still have a couple of years before I reach that entitlement, I only have access to a £1k grant at the mo) for 3 years to be used to put towards courses to further your career. You can use them in service (although the course has to be of benefit to the military) or up to 5 years after you've left (you can study whatever the hell you want in this case!!!). PF FEHE is the same thing but it's a fully funded course up to & including a full undergraduate degree (tuition fees only)! I'm basically exploring all of my options as may consider completely changing direction in my career if I have the opportunity. I just want to take the time to make sure the decision I make is the right one so I don't waste my time or support schemes.

Anyway, sorry for the lecture, but like I've said, I'm just keen to make sure that when I come to use the schemes, the decision as to what they'll be used for is the right one.

(Original post by Joinedup)
Might just have had poor teaching and motivation in your previous maths experience.

You could try and work through the book 'engineering maths' by Stroud and see if that makes any more sense to you. It's a first year undergraduate text book but starts from very basic level.
I reckon this (coupled with the fact I was just a complete shithouse back then) was why. It was the 6th form attached to my old secondary school and it wasn't a great environment overall really.

Thanks for the suggestion! Can you pick it up at Waterstones?
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Y333EEE
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(Original post by skylark2)
I'm old and boring and not much into the chat threads I'd like to think that most of what I say is reasonably useful. edit: actually this thread is okay, it was another one I was sarcastic on.
(Original post by cleveranimal56)
Highly impressive. :eek:
I hate to be this guy, but can you please not spam this thread, cheers
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Y333EEE)
**** man that's bad! So the uni's just given you some online lectures & left you to fend for yourself? I'd get on to your lecture team/uni welfare team and let them know what the situation is! If they're competent and professional in the slightest then they should help you! Either way don't just sit back as I can tell you from experience you'll 100% make it worse!


This is a thing I've found. Arithmetic actually makes sense to me and I'm relatively good at it. However all the stuff they taught us at the start of year 12, I swear the teacher was literally plucking numbers from thin air & making it all work! It made zero sense to me! Couple this with the fact it was just the 6th form attached to my old secondary school and it was run down as and the fact I was basically just a little shithouse back then, i was never going to have succeeded in it haha.

I get what you're saying with the maturity as well, if I'd have gone to uni back then I would have just partied the 3 years away and probably have come out with a 2:2 if I was lucky. My cohort was also the first to get the £9k a year tuition fees as well (yes, I am that old!!!!) so that put me off as I was nowhere near ready at the time. If I was to go now I know I'd take it a lot more seriously than 18 year old me would have done.

Your last paragraph, again, I totally get where you're coming from. But, while the pay and lack of dicking around would be great initially, from what I've heard with mates who've recently left is that there's not a great deal of upwards movement in at least 75-80% of cases in these jobs. I know for a fact after a while I'd get bored of it and I don't want to be one of those guys who hops from company to company every few years doing near enough the same thing.

Part if the reason for this thread is that we also get ELC (enhanced learning credits) and the PF FEHE (publicly funded further education/higher education) schemes in the forces. ELC is a grant of up to £2k per financial year (I still have a couple of years before I reach that entitlement, I only have access to a £1k grant at the mo) for 3 years to be used to put towards courses to further your career. You can use them in service (although the course has to be of benefit to the military) or up to 5 years after you've left (you can study whatever the hell you want in this case!!!). PF FEHE is the same thing but it's a fully funded course up to & including a full undergraduate degree (tuition fees only)! I'm basically exploring all of my options as may consider completely changing direction in my career if I have the opportunity. I just want to take the time to make sure the decision I make is the right one so I don't waste my time or support schemes.

Anyway, sorry for the lecture, but like I've said, I'm just keen to make sure that when I come to use the schemes, the decision as to what they'll be used for is the right one.


I reckon this (coupled with the fact I was just a complete shithouse back then) was why. It was the 6th form attached to my old secondary school and it wasn't a great environment overall really.

Thanks for the suggestion! Can you pick it up at Waterstones?
Yeah but tons of second hand copies are around at the usual online places as well.
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Onlyweardesigner
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(Original post by Y333EEE)
**** man that's bad! So the uni's just given you some online lectures & left you to fend for yourself?
That is exactly what they do.
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Smack
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(Original post by Y333EEE)
This is a thing I've found. Arithmetic actually makes sense to me and I'm relatively good at it. However all the stuff they taught us at the start of year 12, I swear the teacher was literally plucking numbers from thin air & making it all work! It made zero sense to me! Couple this with the fact it was just the 6th form attached to my old secondary school and it was run down as and the fact I was basically just a little shithouse back then, i was never going to have succeeded in it haha.

I get what you're saying with the maturity as well, if I'd have gone to uni back then I would have just partied the 3 years away and probably have come out with a 2:2 if I was lucky. My cohort was also the first to get the £9k a year tuition fees as well (yes, I am that old!!!!) so that put me off as I was nowhere near ready at the time. If I was to go now I know I'd take it a lot more seriously than 18 year old me would have done.

Your last paragraph, again, I totally get where you're coming from. But, while the pay and lack of dicking around would be great initially, from what I've heard with mates who've recently left is that there's not a great deal of upwards movement in at least 75-80% of cases in these jobs. I know for a fact after a while I'd get bored of it and I don't want to be one of those guys who hops from company to company every few years doing near enough the same thing.

Part if the reason for this thread is that we also get ELC (enhanced learning credits) and the PF FEHE (publicly funded further education/higher education) schemes in the forces. ELC is a grant of up to £2k per financial year (I still have a couple of years before I reach that entitlement, I only have access to a £1k grant at the mo) for 3 years to be used to put towards courses to further your career. You can use them in service (although the course has to be of benefit to the military) or up to 5 years after you've left (you can study whatever the hell you want in this case!!!). PF FEHE is the same thing but it's a fully funded course up to & including a full undergraduate degree (tuition fees only)! I'm basically exploring all of my options as may consider completely changing direction in my career if I have the opportunity. I just want to take the time to make sure the decision I make is the right one so I don't waste my time or support schemes.

Anyway, sorry for the lecture, but like I've said, I'm just keen to make sure that when I come to use the schemes, the decision as to what they'll be used for is the right one.
A degree might provide better upward mobility than a civilian technician job. Or it might not; you might get in with a good company who will provide further training and promotions. And, as is often said on here, a degree is far from a guarantee of a job. You'd also need to be OK with being a student for three years, and the financial realities of that on your lifestyle compared to employment.

That sounds a bit gloomy, I know, and a degree could well propel you upwards in your career. If you are going with the degree option, then as I said previously, if you'd like to avoid complex maths then an engineering degree isn't a good idea. Accountancy should be fine if you're with with arithmetic. Are there any other degrees you might be interested in?
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Cambridge9
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(Original post by Onlyweardesigner)
I would not recommend doing engineering while it's still working from home. The maths is hard enough and you are basically left to teach yourself. The online lectures are garbage and nothing compared to in person learning.

I had amazing grades all the way through college and went straight into third year uni when the lockdown hit. I was lucky to pass third year with the help of friends but now I'm in 4th year I'm 99% sure I'm going to fail as no teaching for 2 years is piling up and I can't cope.
I completely agree and am in the same boat. These tough courses are not really designed to be learned from home. Which engineering are you studying?
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Y333EEE
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Yeah but tons of second hand copies are around at the usual online places as well.
Tidy, I shall have a look!

(Original post by Onlyweardesigner)
That is exactly what they do.
Oh right! Has always been like or just since Covid buggered everything up?

(Original post by Smack)
A degree might provide better upward mobility than a civilian technician job. Or it might not; you might get in with a good company who will provide further training and promotions. And, as is often said on here, a degree is far from a guarantee of a job. You'd also need to be OK with being a student for three years, and the financial realities of that on your lifestyle compared to employment.

That sounds a bit gloomy, I know, and a degree could well propel you upwards in your career. If you are going with the degree option, then as I said previously, if you'd like to avoid complex maths then an engineering degree isn't a good idea. Accountancy should be fine if you're with with arithmetic. Are there any other degrees you might be interested in?
Don't fret about sounding gloomy mate, I'd much rather hear about the true reality than a rosy picture!

To be honest I only jumped straight to Mech/Civil engineering as my background is as a mechanical technician so it just seemed a natural thing to do. But from what I gather they deal with more of the design & management side of things rather than actually getting stuck in & doing the engineering. I suppose off the top of my head the only other things I'd have an interest in degree wise would either business or Geography as they're really the only 2 subjects I enjoyed enough to finish A Levels in. Trouble is it looks like they're not as sought after with employers as Eng or Accounting degrees.

That said I've just had a look at at the courses you can put the ELCAS funding towards & there's a HNC & HND in engineering that is essentially the 1st & 2nd year of a uni degree. After you've done those you can do the final year of an undergraduate degree & have a full degree. It also appears to be fully coursework based with no exams (I suck at exams, even though I was consistently in the top 3 if both my trade courses). You'll have to bear with me as I'm still slowly finding out dribs of info on this & what jobs it can lead to as I literally only discovered it like 15 mins ago.
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Y333EEE
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#20
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(Original post by Cambridge9)
I completely agree and am in the same boat. These tough courses are not really designed to be learned from home. Which engineering are you studying?
To be honest after hearing all this I'm starting to sway away from engineering as a degree as it sounds like a total nightmare to do in your own time!
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