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How difficult are overall engineering classes in college

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Dave’s Answer

I agree with all of the answers above ... I would also point out that not all Engineering schools are created equal. When choosing a school, make sure that you are choosing one that interests you ... size of class, types of projects that students complete, lab facilities, more focus on theoretical vs practical. Talk to students who are there and teachers and advisors. Schools really want to take time these days and make resources available to ensure a good fit. Good luck!
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Karthik’s Answer

Hello,

It really depends on the combination of coursework you take in your college. From my personal experience as a Masters graduate (EE) - Usually the coursework's that you are interested, if it is a high demanding course it wont all be available to you at the time (semester) you desire. So you have to pace your coursework in such a way you take at least one course of your interest and one elective (required by university for you to earn a degree) and the remaining one as easy as possible. By "easy" I meant there are courses which really doesn't need much of your time. More like practical courses. For me it was PLC (Programmable Logic controller and Autonomous system) which was just programming and robotics and it was really fun . This combination will offload your payload and make you concentrate on the course you are interested in. The courses that were of importance to me was embedded processors and controllers (totally 5 of them base and advanced), the remaining courses were supporting courses for programming and required by university to complete the degree. I am not a bright student, I was an average student in my bachelors (EE), but I used this time to identify my real interest which was getting into embedded systems and I was able to achieve it.

So what I am trying to say is, it may look difficult seeing from outside, but once you get into the details and break up into small pieces it becomes easy. The above is the worst case scenario, but if you think about the best case here which happened for me where my elective courses also turned out to be my favorite classes because the professors here are so good that they can make you learn anything from scratch. I had so much time to invest on my personal projects and I even ended up working at my university's Research Institute in robotics project. Even after doing this I was able to apply for jobs and crack few interviews. To summarize, what really matters is time management and a bit of combination work (which your Graduate Advisor can help with).

Karthik recommends the following next steps:

I would suggest you to identify you real interest and find few universities or atleast one university that have the courses offered that align with your interest. You can start with your fav universities first
Do a little research on the topics covered on the course work you like [you can find this in univeristy website or professors personal page]
List all the electives needed for your completion and try to roughly calculate credits
approach the professor or Graduate advisor and see if the combinations you think are right and possible
The above steps might take a weekend. but doing this yourself will give you a good perspective of Engineering classes.
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Drew’s Answer

I may not be the best person to answer this question, Engineering classes were and are difficult for me. My shortfall was always math. If you have a good aptitude for math, engineering should be easier. I have heard of graduates who complete engineering school with a 4.0 average. To me these are phenomena. When I applied to my first engineering school, the Dean told me he would not admit me, but state law required he admit anyone who graduated from high school in that state. Perhaps I should have listened to him. I am glad I didn't. Today I am a licensed Professional Engineer with a successful engineering consulting business for 30-years. I am a Fellow of one engineering academy, Diplomate of another and hold Board Certified in two other engineering fields. I am about to complete my second Masters Degree in Engineering. Math has not gotten easier. But, it is worth the effort.

Drew recommends the following next steps:

Learn all the math you can.
See the Occupational Outlook Handbook for information on engineerng careers.
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Ken’s Answer

Overall engineering courses are more difficult than most college courses. They are objective and very math oriented with many requiring multiple semesters of calculus as prerequisites, and for good reason because integral calculus and beyond are the basic building blocks for understanding and applying the concepts. There tends to be less grade inflation than in other courses so while students in many other majors will get nearly straight A's and graduate with 4.0 GPAs that is much rarer in engineering, at my school earning a bachelor's in engineering with anything over 3.0 was considered a great achievement.

Naturally every person and every situation is different but in general engineering courses are among the most challenging you can take at college.
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LaTonya’s Answer

Jabari,

Please review some math dictionaries below that will help you in your math classes.

Also review the course catalog or the program advisement sheet for engineering. Try some of the colleges near you to get a feel across the board of what's offered. It will reveal the descriptions of the courses for that major.

I have included below a link to a junior college and a university. Should you decide to start in the engineering direction, you will be able to transfer to the larger university. I am just introducing another idea since I don't know fully your situation.

Kind regards,
LaTonya

LaTonya recommends the following next steps:

Use Math at Hand as a reference: https://www.amazon.com/Math-at-Hand-Mathematics-Handbook/dp/0669508160
Use Algebra to go as a reference: https://www.amazon.com/Algebra-Go-Mathematics-Handbook-Editor/dp/0669471518/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=algebra+to+go&qid=1639268242&s=books&sr=1-2
Check out San Fran State's program: https://engineering.sfsu.edu/computer-engineering-sequence-courses
Check out a junior college's curriculum: https://www.ccsf.edu/degrees-certificates/engineering
Hi LaTonya! Thanks so much for providing the student with all of these great resources. Do you have any insights that would answer the student’s question about class difficulty? If you could edit your answer and add that information, I’m sure the student would appreciate your input. Thanks for being a part of the CareerVillage community! Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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Kartikaya’s Answer

That’s a good question, before entering into an engineering college you won't be able to know. It's a lot different than what you think and you are not only learning engineering skills but also soft skills.

I will keep it simple as there are already a lot of good comments.

Engineering is comparatively more challenging than what you have faced so far. You will find out that there are a lot smarter people around you and they are willing to help. Also, if you are struggling with something there will be professors, faculty members, senior students always there for you.

You will also realize that the library is the best place in college, you will find yourself mostly there.

Engineering is about problem-solving. It can be in the field of computers (CS or IT) or electrical or electronic devices (ECE or EEE) or bridges, roads (Civil), and 20 others. You will have to decide what you like and what you would like to solve.

In the end, just wanna say that you will be fine even you find engineering difficult, I would still recommend it.

"If it wasn’t difficult, anyone would do it".

If you ever decide to pursue engineering…Welcome to the club!
We need lot more engineers than we currently have and there are cool problems that you can help solve
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Mark’s Answer

Electrical Engineering used to be one of the hardest 4 year degree both in terms of number of credits required as well as the rigor of classes.

No pain no gain. Computer engineering/ electrical engineer remains as one of the top starting salaries to date.

If you are a problem solver, like math, and think outside of the box, you are a natural.

I hope this helps
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Mayra’s Answer

From a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest, engineering classes are 7-10 depending on the subject of the course. There are some engineering courses that you will find interesting and you will enjoy learning about them so it will be easier to learn from those courses so the difficult level might be a 7. For the difficult on a scale of 10 engineering courses, that wouldn't come easy to me, I would read the chapters, attempt to work the problem, and if I did not get it then I will reach out to my professor or peers. Additionally, I would seek help from my peers from classes, and/or peers from the Society of Women Engineers and from the Society of Hispanic Engineers. In college, you will built a strong support systems from professors, to classmates/peers, and/or organizations that will help you get through them and learn the material. You can do it!
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