My HND took me two years, and I could have used it to “jump” into the final year of a degree course, but instead over many years of working and on-the-job-training, I got my incorporated engineer status.
The HND wasn’t easy, but far more enjoyable than doing my A-Levels as a major part of the course was ‘teaching yourself’ – which suited me very much! I suppose if I did an easy course, then how will then I be able to prove what I’m capable of, so I reckon pushing myself a bit all the time is the way to go!
It took me 4 years to get a degree in Civil Engineering then about 5 years to get Chartered. WHen I did it you had to do a period on site and a period of design. It was and still is hard to do this in much less than 5 years. So if you graduate at 22 you should be qualified at 27 or 26 if it all goes well. It is hard and takes commitment outside of your day job. It is the route to promotion, more pay, more opportunity and more responsibility. No pain no gain – as in everything.
I was 27 when I got my doctorate. It’s a long time to wait to get a proper job, especially when all your friends from uni are higher up the career ladder with more money and lots of toys.
I remember a friend of mine coming to stay with me in the third year of my DPhil, and I was in a shared house with a tiny room of my own, and she said ‘Don’t you ever want your own place?’
It took a lot not to throw her out. Of course my own place would have been nice – eight years of fighting over food in the fridge and who’s turn it is to clean the bathroom can be pretty miserable – but it is worth it. Honestly.
Well after I finished my GCSEs I went to college to do A-levels for 2 years, then university for 5 years – so 7 in total after I left school.. It sounds like a lot but I wanted to make sure I stood the best chance of getting a good job, and I graduated with a Masters degree. One of the years at uni was spent working in industry, which was a great experience.
It was hard work, I struggled with different things at different times. One of the hardest things was going away to uni 200 miles from home with no friends and family. But you soon make new friends and get into the swing of it! Engineering degrees are pretty full on – you can’t spend all your time sleeping or in the pub but it is definitely worth it in the end.