6 answers

How did you decide what type of engineering was right for you?

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I am a senior in high school and I think that I want to major in engineering but I'm not sure what type. Right now I am leaning more towards civil engineering, but I am just unsure what I can do to see what type of engineering is right for me. #engineering #mechanical-engineering #civil-engineering #industrial-engineering

6 answers

Monica’s Answer

Updated Miami, Florida

Sounds like you have so much wonderful advice already, and here's some feedback from someone who went through the same. I started out as a Civil Engineering major because I had family in the business and knew what they did and wanted to do the same. After the first 2 semesters/1 year of college and getting through all the basic courses that all the engineers take, I got to know so many other student engineers and what they were planning on doing. I learned that with Civil engineering you need tests and licenses to actually work, such as the "EIT" (Engineer in Training) and the "PE" (Professional Engineer). That helped me realize that i wanted to be able to work and make money faster than what it would take to go through those phases of the career, so I started thinking about other engineering fields and learning about the homework and projects of the other friends I mentioned. Then I started the Civil courses, and guess what, my balsam bridge collapsed and I decided that the risk was so great that I did not feel like that was something I would enjoy, always worrying that my work might cause harm to others, and risk my license to work. So I changed to Computer Engineering since I had already made friends there. My best advice is to get to know others after you start out, and don't fret, there's time to be flexible, so enjoy the beginning when the classes aren't so hard. :)

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Okay thank you for all the information and I will always take more information about this topic.

Marla’s Answer

Updated Sugar Land, Texas

It is somewhat difficult to really know what interests you until you get past the basic engineering classes required for most majors. I started out in Aerospace Engineering and then switched to Mechanical Engineering once I took some manufacturing classes. I really enjoyed them so that was where I wanted to focus. Even once you settle on a major, jobs are so diverse once you enter the job market so a major is just a stepping stone to lots of opportunities once you graduate. I would suggest once you get to college check out the student groups for different majors. That will let you see what each does and could spark a new area that you had not considered.

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Thank you Marla Johnston for answering on my comment so fast and giving me good response.

Kaylen’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

It looks like you've already gotten quite a. It of great info, but one of the things it mentioned that I did was actually go through course catalogs and read about the classes that would be required of you for each of the different degrees. That was how I came to love industrial engineering, after reading all the class descriptions of the various types of engineers. Choose one or two schools to pull up course catalogs and read through the class descriptions (noting what's required vs an elective). I found the process to be really helpful to understand the differences.

If you then get down to a couple options, I'd then suggest reaching out to graduates for a better understanding on what job opportunities each major affords and what the day-to-day job would look like (field work vs office vs manufacturing plant, etc).

Hope this helps!

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Okay I will look into that, but thank you Kaylen Malley for answering on my comment so fast and giving me good response.

Farzan’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas

Hi Jacob,

I can share you my experience. Generally, in the first year of engineering one will take many fundamental courses and during this time it becomes more clear what interests you more. Also, there are a lot of common areas among engineering for the first 2-3 years so you can always change major if you thought you would be more interested to pursue another engineering degree.

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Thank you Farzan Parsinejad for answering on my comment so fast and giving me good response.

DAVID’s Answer

Updated Saint Petersburg, Florida

I went into civil engineering but did not decide what area to make a career until my senior year when the lightbulb went off and I have now spent 40 years (not tears typo) as a environmental engineer, so explore all avenues,

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Okay thank you David Weber for the information.

Shehroz’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California
What I did when I was in high school was seek out internship opportunities. I thought I wanted to study civil engineering, I printed a list of civil engineering firms near my house and cold called. I told them I was willing to work for free; file papers help out around the office, I ended up finding one firm that took me on for 4 months. The work I did was surprising cool! They let me do some CAD work and basic engineering calculations; besides what I did I got an opportunity to see what others were doing this gave me a fell for what it would be like If I decided to study civil engineering. From that experience I found out I enjoyed the hands on aspect of engineering more and decided to study mechanical engineering (based on how much I enjoyed getting tours of local fabrication shops). Another reason why I selected mechanical engineering was the flexibility the degree provides you can work in any industry. If I was to go back and study I would recommend mechanical engineering or even mechatronics engineering again due to the flexible nature of the degree. End of the day select an field that you are interested in and to find that out get out in the real world shadow people at their work cold call it will pay off.