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Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Graduating at 20

anon20anon20 0 replies1 threads New Member
So I graduated high school with an Associates Degree when I was 18 and started college at that age as well. I transferred into my college with a lot of credits which made me sophomore standing, and in the spring I will be junior standing. I just talked to my advisor about graduating by 2021 and she thinks I shouldn't do that, she thinks I should double major or pursue my masters. Because according to her employers will discriminate against me because of my age, and it won't be likely for me to find a job at 20. Is this true? I honestly just want to graduate with my bachelor's at 20, so I can jump right into the workforce and not have to pay back so much in college loans. Have any of you graduated college at 20, if you have I would love some advice because I am freaking out over this.
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Replies to: Graduating at 20

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23276 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I was 20 when I graduated. Took 2 years of 'just working' before I went back to school.

    If you don't want the second major, don't do it. I wish I would have gone through college a little slower but I just didn't have the money. If you want to move on, do it.

    Employers are only allowed to consider if you are between 18 and 65. Some states require liquor servers to be 21, but most don't have requirements for other workers. Anyway, it will be a problem you will grow out of.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9389 replies502 threads Senior Member
    A twenty year old can get a job. Maybe not the job they will do for their whole life, but like any other person, your future jobs will hopefully build on earlier jobs. I don’t see a reason to freak out. Graduate early if you like and just let life happen.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7662 replies62 threads Senior Member
    How will employers even know your age? It’s illegal for them to ask. Most people don’t put dates on their resume.

    What could hold you back is summer work experience so make sure you have good internships.
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  • PublisherPublisher 8536 replies91 threads Senior Member
    It is your life and your decision to make.

    I think that your advisor is presenting reasonable options worthy of consideration by you.

    What is your current major ?

    Any career goals ?

    How much additional debt would you incur if you remained in school to complete a second major or to earn a masters degree ?

    It doesn't hurt to examine all options as you do not know the results of your upcoming job search and, once employed fulltime, life often gets in the way of plans to return to school for an additional or higher degree.

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  • CUandUCmomCUandUCmom 37 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I graduated at 20 and had no issues from an employment perspective. You have access to all the career resources of the school and, as others have said, there is no reason employers specifically know your age. They will know that you went through college more quickly, but I don't see why that would be a negative. Like @twoinanddone, I also finished college more quickly because I was paying for it myself and saving a year of tuition was huge for me. If you are not interested in a double major or advanced degree at this point, I wouldn't do it. I did choose to go back several years later for my masters (MBA) and am glad that I didn't just extend undergrad to earn that degree - an option that was suggested to me, as well. Working for a while, clarifying my goals, and gaining real world experience, etc. made my graduate school experience much more valuable.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1665 replies17 threads Senior Member
    It depends on you, if you want to go get a job then do so, if you enjoy being in college and can afford it then stay. Life is about experiences, not just about getting a job that pays the bills, so try to do what is most enjoyable, if you can. But if staying will make you depressed because you see your loans increasing then go and get a job and think about coming back later.

    I took the latter path - I finished high school at 16, worked for a year then finished my undergrad at 20, and didn’t want to leave, so I stayed and did a PhD. That was much more fun than undergrad, with more time to do things and more knowledge and self-confidence. And it probably helped my career in the long run. But I didn’t have any student debt, and my grad stipend was enough to live on. So I could take the time to do what I enjoyed (and having already worked for a year, I knew that college was way more fun).
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5624 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I graduated at 20. I don't think that it made it any more difficult to find a job than it would have been if I had been 21 or 22. No one ever asked how old I was. Admittedly it did not occur to me to look for a job as a bartender.

    However, getting a first job after graduation can be tough for any student. That is one reason (not the only reason) that coop programs and internships are so valuable -- they give a student some work experience that can help them land a job after graduation.

    You might want to see whether you can take a semester off and participate in a coop program or get an internship.
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  • CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 50 replies4 threads Junior Member
    "Because according to her employers will discriminate against me because of my age, and it won't be likely for me to find a job at 20." I don't know anyone who graduated in 2 years (although I do know someone who graduated in 3 years, and he seemed to find a job fine), but I find this hard to believe. Who cares if you graduated in 2 years instead of 4! Because you're 2 years younger (which is not very much) than most college graduates? Big deal.

    Do you already know what major you want to pursue? And if so, did you make a 2 year class plan that will meet all your major requirements (keeping pre-reqs in mind)? Because even though you said you have a lot of credits, not all of them may be needed for your major (for ex. If you have more credits for a gen ed requirement than the number of credits required for that requirement, the excess credits don't really matter unless they meet another course requirement). Also, depending on pre-reqs, you might not be able to graduate in 2 years regardless of the number of credits you have (ex. If you have to take Class A before Class B, Class B before Class C, Class C before Class D, and Class D before Class E, it would be impossible to graduate in 2 years because you can't take Class E until the 5th semester).

    Also, keep in mind that graduating college in 2 years instead of 4 years means less time in college available to pursue extracurriculars, internships/co-ops, leadership opportunities, etc. (as well as having to enter the workforce sooner), so if you do plan on graduating in 2 years, you should make sure you use your time in college well since your time in college will be shorter.

    If you know what major you want to pursue, have made a 2 year class plan for that major and are confident that you can graduate in 2 years with that plan, not interested in any double majors, and willing to cut your time in college in half in exchange for saving a lot of money, then I don't see any reason why you shouldn't graduate in 2 years instead of 4.
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1022 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Whether or not this is a good idea depends on what kind of field you are looking to go into, how you compare with other new grads looking to get into that field and you personally. Are you involved on campus? Have some leadership? Have you found ways to get engaged in your major/field outside the classroom? Do you carry yourself with confidence? Do you/will you have strong references?

    I don't think saying employers will discriminate toward you based on age is really accurate. However, having been on the hiring side of things, hiring committees use all sorts of measures to filter out applicants. Some of those things might be lack of experience compared to other applicants. Another might be presenting as somewhat immature during an interview. I worked at a company once that hired a young grad and regretted it after the fact. He was passed over for opportunities, but I suspect he would have been just fine a couple years later. He needed a lot of hand holding and direction and was not very self aware.

    All this said, not everyone has the financial luxury to just continue their education and that's totally understandable. Think about building a full new grad resume over the next 2 years. Talk to placement services at your school if that's available and see if they have any tips for you.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78670 replies698 threads Senior Member
    edited October 4
    anon20 wrote: »
    So I graduated high school with an Associates Degree when I was 18 and started college at that age as well. I transferred into my college with a lot of credits which made me sophomore standing, and in the spring I will be junior standing. I just talked to my advisor about graduating by 2021

    Have you planned out your courses so that you can finish your BA/BS by then? Many students with lots of credit from college courses taken while in high school, AP scores, etc. find that while they may have lots of credit units, they have less useful subject credit that can help them graduate as early as the credit units may suggest, due to course sequencing for their major, etc.. So you may find that five or six semesters instead of four semesters is more realistic.

    Obviously, if going to college requires accumulating substantial debt or is otherwise a financial strain, you do want to finish as soon as you can. But it is not always advantageous to graduate early if cost does not force the issue. Whether it is depends on many other things like your major and intended career path.
    edited October 4
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4150 replies89 threads Senior Member
    My kid is on track to graduate at 20 (3 years of college), so this topic is of great interest to me. Going in, he (and probably I) was gung-ho about finishing in 3 years, he was on mission, just wanted to get school over with and find that $100K+ job out of school as a CS major.

    However, now that he's a year+ into Berkeley, there are some things he's finding out. For one, since he has nothing left but classes from his majors (he's double majoring in DS), taking 4 technical classes a semester is very challenging, and I feel he might wind up learning less since he's constantly scrambling to get projects or labs or homework in on time. So he winds up doing enough to get by rather than really enjoying a particular class or classes. He is TA'ing/mentoring this year as well, which adds about 6-8 hours to his time per week. The fact that he finds mentoring enjoyable (plans out things well ahead of time) and working with students while scrambling to finish assignments tells me that he enjoys the teaching aspect of things more than the stuff he's trying to learn, so that's sort of a conundrum as well.

    The other bothersome thing is that he's recruiting this semester (looking for internships) and as a sophomore who's really a junior, he's slightly "behind" the true juniors who have already taken all the pertinent classes needed for successfully interviewing. Unfortunately, many/most of the big boys are done with hiring for internships by October/November. As you might suspect, the competition for the top internships whether it be at Google or Facebook, etc is fierce. It will be interesting to see what develops in this next 18-20 months.

    Finally, as time goes on, he's getting more attached to the school and making more friends, which also makes leaving earlier sticky.
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  • CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 50 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 You made a very good point: If OP plans to graduate early, he might, like your son, have to take a larger quantity of difficult classes per semester than he would if he graduated in 4 years (something that OP may or may not be able to handle and should consider). I myself questioned, if I do go back to college (I dropped out after completing my sophomore year), whether or not I should try to graduate after my junior year instead of after my senior year to save money (I can if I decide to switch from a CMPE major to a CS major). However, I'm leaning towards not doing that because if I do try to graduate after my junior year instead of after my senior year, I would have to take 2 advanced level programming heavy CS classes per semester instead of 1, and knowing how time consuming doing programming projects for advanced level CS classes can be for me (I'm kind of a slow worker), I'm not sure if I can really handle 2 advanced level programming heavy CS classes per semester.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78670 replies698 threads Senior Member
    However, now that he's a year+ into Berkeley, there are some things he's finding out. For one, since he has nothing left but classes from his majors (he's double majoring in DS), taking 4 technical classes a semester is very challenging, and I feel he might wind up learning less since he's constantly scrambling to get projects or labs or homework in on time. So he winds up doing enough to get by rather than really enjoying a particular class or classes.

    Presumably, four technical courses per semester in CS and DS would include two or three with computer programming or large projects, which generally tend to increase workload.

    But be aware that humanities and social studies courses could also have large projects.
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  • HPuck35HPuck35 2013 replies15 threads Senior Member
    I was an engineering manager. I hired applicants because of what they knew and not how old they were. You'll do fine graduating at 20.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1156 replies16 threads Senior Member
    edited October 7
    I had just turned 21 at graduation and had no issues finding a job (from an Engineering Manager ;)).

    Being 17 as a Freshman caused more problems.
    edited October 7
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