Hello everyone, love this Forum topic as there are so many shared life experiences that one can learn from. So here I am hoping that someone can help shed some of their own life experience in my direction...
I am currently 24 years of age, working in the Air Force, overseas in the Republic of Korea. I went to the Pennsylvania State University, and studied security risk analysis with an emphasis on intelligent analytic modeling. Unfortunately I was unable to graduate, due to my own fault. I was unable to finish my degree due to 1 class requirements (passing with a C) that I was unable to pass, and my inability to secure an internship (also a graduate requirement)due to my less than stellar GPA. I was lazy, immature, and quite more preoccupied with living out the college experience. Not going to class consistently, leaving my studying to the last minute, and going out to party most of the days of the week. This being said I had a wakeup call, when I found myself jobless/degreeless after 4 years. My overall GPA was a measly 2.6 in change. This was a dramatic change from my success in high school, as I graduated in the top 10 of my class, and scored over a 2000 on my SAT. I am not an unintelligent person, I do believe that I lacked the maturity and was unable to deal with all my new found freedom away from home. Looking back college did change me, it was not all bad. I do feel like I gained a lot of life experience, but at a heavy cost.
Fast forward to the present, I am currently serving my 4 year term in the Air Force because I saw it as my only viable option for a second chance. A second chance is not something that not too many people get. I would not allow for my parents to support my schooling financially, after poorly performing academically for 4 years (& neither would they). I have two younger siblings, that both deserve their chance at attending a university of their choice. By serving my 4 year term (trying to separate early after my 3 years of Active Duty for my full 9/11 GI Bill to acquire a higher education) I will have an opportunity to head back to school paid in full(tuition/books/monthly stipend) and have my second chance. I have changed since my adolescent days; I now have the discipline and work ethic that is required to succeed. I have experienced the type of life I do not want to have. All my failures have fueled me, and have made me motivated to do my very best. I will be transferring my credits from Penn State to City College of NY (where I reside). Where I will graduate with a degree in an engineering specialty. I am here hoping to grab some insight in the form of which specialty I should pursue.
I have always been interested in medicine, so biomedical was my first choice. After conducting some research it does not seem as there are many jobs open currently in biomedical engineering, as it is still a relatively new field. Gaining entry into an entry level job is an important criterion of mine. As I have been paying my student loans, and will need to continue after I graduate. My next two choices are between chemical engineering or computer science. I know there are some members here that have graduated with a computer engineer or computer science degree. I was hoping I could have some real insight on what your experience has been in your respective field (from beginning to where you are currently). I am also very interested in knowing if we have any members who have a degree in chemical engineering. I am well aware that all the majors I have listed are at the very least, of above average difficulty in obtaining. This time will be different, as I am willing to not only put in the work required but to master my craft. Any insight would be greatly appreciated and beneficial. Insight pertaining to: job security, job outlook over the next few years, salary, promotion capability, and how easy is it to secure an entry level position at a competitive company? I have conducted my own research, but would like to hear some firsthand experience from those who actually work in those specific fields.
I also hope to be a reminder to those on this site, that being intelligent (regardless of how you define the word) is simply not enough. You must be willing work, and work hard. Time has and always will be the greatest commodity. There is only a limited amount, and I myself wasted 4 years that I will never get back. I will be 26-27 attending college once more, and this will be a constant reminder of my past failure that I will face every day, and hopefully atone for. I hope my life experience can serve as a warning to the younger members on this site, that success does not come easy, that not everyone is so lucky in getting a second chance, and if that you are deemed lucky enough for a second chance, that you don't squander it.