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In the engineering field, are there hands on career opportunities for students coming out of school?

I know in the beginning of most careers it take a while to work up to do what you truly have a passion for and since I have a passion for being hands on in my career, I'd like to start in the beginning of at all possible. #engineering

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Fwb’s Answer

Hey Diamond!


The answer depends on if you're currently about to finish highschool or college. The odds of you being able to get hired on as an intern are much more likely after you've got some engineering coursework at the college level under your belt, and these internships are CRITICAL in your professional development prior to college graduation. Not only will they provide you with invaluable work experience and hands on exposure to real jobs, but they will also give you a better understanding of your chosen field and help you make decisions about your career based on that knowledge!


If you're only coming out of highschool my best suggestions would be getting in contact with the HR reps at local engineering businesses (don't forget that there are all types: civil/construction, electrical, mechanical, petroleum, aerospace, computer, etc.) and just inquire about positions for which you would be a good candidate. If all else fails, and you know someone in the industry that you're interested in, get in contact with them and attempt to find out more about potential work-study opportunities that they or their organization may be able to offer, or any contacts that THEY have that can do the same.


The professional world is all about experience and making connections with other people, so start networking early and do it often!

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Peter’s Answer

Diamond:


It depends upon what you mean by "hands on". If you were to join an engineering consulting firm, even fresh out of school, you would certainly be assigned to one or more ongoing engineering projects that the Firm was working on. While an inexperienced engineer fresh out of school would probably not be assigned a complicated task early in his or her career, he/she would certainly be working on real engineering problems and designs. As you gained experience, you would be assigned more complex assignments and be able to work more independently and use you burgeoning engineering experience.

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Kevin’s Answer

Hi Diamond!


You might consider a career as an Engineering Technician. This is definitely a hands-on role where you could be building, testing, patching and repairing, plugging different pieces together and taking careful notes on what works (or what doesn’t work!). This can actually be a 2-year associates degree compared to a 4-year bachelors (though often it can take 5 years). It really comes down to what you enjoy, so never lose sight of that!

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