Would a gap of 2 years after an undergraduate degree adversely impact my chances of getting admitted into a graduate school?
I’ll elaborate from my perspective in terms of getting into programs and getting great jobs post programs.
The 2 years off doesn’t help, but won’t destroy your admission chances. How much it hurts does depend on which field within engineering – I didn’t see it listed. Doing anything technical or quantitative would be better than retail unless you plan to move into management or sales. If sales interests you, you should apply for engineering sales positions (you may want to do that anyway!) so you can at least be in the right field. That won’t help you get a real engineering job nor will it help get you into graduate school, but perhaps it’s a good personal fit.
Every engineering program I’ve encountered teaches code. At the very least find a way to use a verifiable skill – such as coding – within your engineering field of choice through a work-for-hire or temporary placement such as elance/odesk.
If you have very exclusive skills that require clearance – security clearance – then you may need to find a non-engineering way to get the clearance. That process can be expensive so you may be having trouble getting a job near you because firms are not spending money on clearance right now.
Get creative and get back into engineering if you enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, consider what your technical skills can bring to the table for firms who need to manage engineers or engineering products.
Please login to submit your question