2 answers

I was wondering what is the best option- civil or industrial engineering and what people do in each sphere.

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2 answers

Jose’s Answer

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Hi Daliya,

Great question! Though these two fields are both in engineering, they differ in many ways. If you decide to go for Civil Engineering, you may find yourself in jobs that pertain to the structural aspect of civil engineering, which involves buildings, bridges, skyscrapers, etc. You may also go into transportation, which involves roads, railways, airports, etc. In a nutshell, you would be designing and analyzing any of the above.
If you decide to go for Industrial Engineering, this filed is a bit more broad, as you learn a bit about many engineering branches (mechanical, civil, electrical, etc.) In this field you may find yourself working on projects to improve processes in assembly lines for manufacturing, making them more efficient and cost-effective. You may also find yourself designing and improving things like valves, a/c units, computer chassis and shells, etc. In this field, you also learn a lot about supply chain and management of funds, which helps in seeing not only how your designs and processes help in the short term, but also how they will help in the long term with making the company money and reducing waste. I myself am an Industrial Engineer, and I love what I have done in my job, but again, the decision should be based on what peaks your interest the most.

I hope this helps, and best of luck!

Jose recommends the following next steps:

  • Research Civil Engineering, the different fields of it, and what civil engineers have done to this day (accomplishments, recognition )
  • Research Industrial Engineering, and the different types of companies that hire this field. Also what accomplishments have been done by Industrial Engineers
  • College Curriculum for both Civil and Industrial Engineering so you can see what type of classes you will take and if you like them
  • Pro/Con list of what you would and would not enjoy for each field of engineering
Thank you very much for the information! Daliya A.
You are very welcome! Jose Pedroza
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Abbey’s Answer

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To build on Joe's answer, which rocked. I alsocwent to school for industrial engineering. I concentrated in sustainability for my master of engineering and many colleges offer these types of courses (often in the business classes.) I have had the chance to experience many areas of the business through my few jobs since graduating in 2012. I interned at a consumer products testing company helping design tests for stores who want to buy products for a store brand--from dog toys to the tools used to tile your bathroom. I was an internal safety auditor for a tech company. I have worked to redesign packaging after customers complained about getting too much junk. I have set carbon reduction goals and managed the projects to complete them. I almost got a patent for helping recycle tires into printer ink. I work with other industrial engineers who source the components in your phone and make sure the latest toys make it to shelves in time for Christmas despite natural disasters. My friend from college designed the manufacturing line for an electric car from scratch.

Industrial engineering is the best, but I might be biased. In general, engineering is a versatile degree to have, and I'm grateful for all the opportunities it has given me to do cool things and solve problems.

Abbey recommends the following next steps:

  • Take precalc (for me this only mattered during school but youll do a lot of it)
  • Explore all the types of engineering
  • Tour as many schools as you can. Youll meet professors and they are often inspiring to hear from to help you decide
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