I know it is hard to be in school and not have an income for a few years. Sometimes it feels like you will never get finished. You work so hard and make no money. In fact, you pay the school for the experience. But over the course of a lifetime it is worth finishing your degree or getting a second degree. Why? Because people with graduate degrees make far more money over their working years than those without the degree. So when you average it out over your career it makes sense to sacrifice now.
One option to help you in the meantime is to consider getting a job now with a company that hires engineers and provides tuition reimbursement for continuing education. Let's say you take a job at a technology company as an assistant to an engineer or executive and go to school part time. In this scenario you would instantly have some income and with tuition reimbursement through your employer your school bills would then be greatly reduced. So that helps in two ways. Obviously your income situation would improve and you would have the additional benefit of a foot in the door at a company that could potentially hire you as an engineer when you graduate. Even if that company doesn't have a position available when you graduate you still reap the benefit of an improved resume and a recommendation from an employer who knows your potential. Just make sure you do a great job even though that first position isn't exactly your end goal.
Another way you could improve your financial status while continuing your studies is to get a job at your University. Most schools give employees free tuition or greatly reduced tuition as a benefit. Your engineering department might have positions available. Many people are not aware of this, but it is a fantastic benefit to working in aacdemia. Some schools even extend the tuition benefit to your family members. Just remember the advice from above. Make sure to do your best work even though it's not your dream job. Then you will improve your resume and have good recommendations from your employer.
But for you, the best news is that engineering is just about the hottest field around. I recently heard that engineers can make $200,000 - $300,000 per year. This is a supply and demand issue. There are far more companies in need of engineers than there are qualified workers. So don't despair! Think of this as a small bump in an otherwise smooth road. I hope this helps and best of luck to you!
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