New University of Utah engineering graduate Scott Ferguson shifted his career from motorcycle mechanic to mechanical engineer when he discovered he couldn’t help his daughters with homework.

“I had a conversation with one of my daughter’s elementary school teachers and realized I didn’t have the math skills to help them with their homework,” he said. “It was embarrassing as hell but true.”

So Ferguson, 50, who took only one year of college at Utah State University after high school, gathered up the courage to go back to college after nearly 20 years as a motorcycle mechanic. With the hope of starting a new career in a more stable industry, he attended Salt Lake Community College, received an associate’s in pre-engineering and then transferred to the U in 2015.

Earlier this month, Ferguson graduated with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, and he says he now has multiple engineering job offers. “My family is really proud of me, and they had to sacrifice a lot to help me get through this,” he said.

Nearly a thousand students graduated from the College of Engineering this year, prepared and excited to head into the workforce or continue their education. Ferguson is one of many non-traditional students who have graduated from the U’s College of Engineering after a bold decision to change careers late in life. He also is now a proud member of the U’s Engineering Alumni Association.