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How did you become an Engineer?

In more detail, I would like to know what degree you were going for and why it interests you, as well as how much scholarship money you received and how you got it. I would also like to know if being an Engineer is worth carrying a bunch of stress. One more thing, if you could redo things in your past (referring to applying for college and pursuing degrees), what would you do differently? #engineering #mechanical-engineering #computer-engineering #software-engineering #aerospace-engineering #chemical-engineering #industrial-engineering #nuclear-engineering

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Larry’s Answer

I used my GI Bill benefits to pursue a degree in apparel manufacturing engineering technology. Working & then owning a business in this field was lucrative at the time. When most manufacturing went overseas I managed to transfer my skills into aircraft manufacturing which stayed in the US.
In hindsight, I wish I had better HS preparation & keen awareness of where opportunities were heading. I urge you to research carefully your options & build a skill set that you can deploy in other industries & jobs.

Thank you comment icon Ok, thank you Tyler
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Jayavignesh’s Answer

So you can understand my point of view, I graduated in 2014 with a BS in Chemical Engineering from a top 10 ChemE undergrad program. The importance of the prestige of the school can be debated, I compromised and went to a University I liked more (geography and culture wise) even though I got admission into a higher ranked program that was in an area I liked less.


"Is engineering worth carrying a lot of stress?"
Only you will be able to decide if it is worth it. If you mean economically, you probably won't get super rich working primarily as an engineer, but you can be comfortable if you are realistic about your lifestyle choices. I stuck with engineering because I loved learning the material, the satisfaction that came after staying up nights on end figuring out complicated problems, and knowing I could pursue work that enables our modern way of life and hopefully improve it.


"how much scholarship money you received and how you got it"
I spent a lot of time in high school through college applying for as my scholarships I could. My high school grades got me a large scholarship from the University I attended so I only had to make sure I got about 10K a year in scholarship money to pay the next year's bill (I got paying research jobs in the summer, did A LOT of tutoring, got a Federal Work Study program job, and worked in the University food court for pocket money). My parents were able to support me by taking me to scholarship interviews during high school and college, so that was critical for me to accomplish this.


"...what would you do differently?"
Bite the bullet and get my Masters before graduating. This will probably become more common/almost needed very soon in the working world.

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Peter’s Answer

I kind of backed into engineering as a career. My undergraduate degree was in Molecular Biology and I worked in a research laboratory prior to getting my masters degree in engineering. Even so, I was sort of a generalist and worked in the studies/science group of the consulting firm that hired me. During that period, I worked closely with a lot of engineers. It became evident that the engineers commanded the higher salaries and the project lead positions. So I took the EIT Test and a year later I took the PE Test, passing both and becoming a licensed Engineer (Civil). This branch of engineering covers hydrology, which was (is) my area of expertise.


Pete Sturtevant PE

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Simon’s Answer

I originally was interested in architecture and loved making house plans. I was not a good student and didn't wasn't to go to college. I was a good draftsman and worked as a draftsman for several companies. After a few years of drafting I realized that the only way I could be in charge of a design was to be an engineer. I went to 15 years of night school while working full time as a maintenance designer/engineer. I would not recommend this route but shows what ever you put your mind to, can be achieved. I retired at 58 as the North American Engineering Manager for a major multi national chemical company after working for the same company for 35 years.

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