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How do I know what classes to take to get on the right path to being an engineer?

How do I become an engineer in the first place? It seems hard to learn what classes to take in the future. I just need some help on what classes to take and how to pass in the future as an engineer.

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Jacob’s Answer

Becoming an engineer is an exciting journey that requires careful planning and a strong foundation in math, science, and problem-solving. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the path:

1. **Explore Engineering Disciplines:** Start by researching different engineering fields like mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical, and more. Each discipline has its unique focus, so find one that aligns with your interests and strengths.

2. **High School Preparation:** During high school, focus on taking advanced math (calculus, algebra), science (physics, chemistry), and computer science courses. These subjects form the basis of engineering and will prepare you for more advanced coursework.

3. **College Degree:** Pursue a bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited university. Common degrees include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Civil Engineering, among others.

4. **Core Engineering Courses:** Your first year of college will typically involve foundational engineering courses in math, physics, and basic engineering principles.

5. **Choose a Specialization:** As you progress, you'll have the opportunity to choose a specialization within your chosen engineering field. This will determine the specific classes you take in areas like robotics, materials science, or environmental engineering.

6. **Elective Courses:** Beyond core courses, take elective classes that align with your interests and desired career path. For example, if you're interested in sustainable engineering, take courses related to environmental sustainability.

7. **Internships and Co-ops:** Seek internships or co-op opportunities during your college years. These experiences provide practical, hands-on knowledge and often lead to job offers after graduation.

8. **Networking and Professional Organizations:** Join engineering clubs, attend conferences, and engage with professional engineering organizations. Networking can open doors to mentors, job opportunities, and a deeper understanding of your chosen field.

9. **Advanced Degrees (Optional):** Depending on your career goals, you might choose to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in engineering to specialize further or enter academia or research.

10. **Licensing and Certification:** Some engineering disciplines require licensure to practice professionally. Research the requirements for your chosen field and consider obtaining the necessary certifications.

11. **Continuous Learning:** Engineering is a rapidly evolving field. Stay updated on the latest trends, technologies, and methodologies through online courses, workshops, and conferences.

12. **Problem-Solving and Soft Skills:** Develop strong problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills. These are essential for success as an engineer, as you'll often collaborate on complex projects.

Remember, becoming an engineer takes dedication and perseverance. It's normal to feel overwhelmed at times, but with careful planning, consistent effort, and a willingness to learn, you can successfully navigate the path to becoming a skilled and accomplished engineer.
Thank you comment icon Great points and great list! 💯 agree it’s about perseverance and a willingness to learn. Every engineer feels overwhelmed at times. In high school, I also recommend taking biology among your science courses for engineering. Many engineering fields are interdisciplinary these days, which means they pull in knowledge from all fields of science. In addition to calculus, statistics is also a useful math class to take and very applicable in the workforce Diya Dwarakanath
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Omar’s Answer

Great job on taking the first step towards your goal: asking for feedback and advice! This journey begins with an honest chat with yourself. Why do you want to be an engineer?
- Is it because you crave the social recognition that comes with being known as the city's engineer?
- Do you feel more at home with numbers and physics than with biology and other subjects?
- Are you seeking a secure future for yourself and your family?
Whatever your reason, it's important to be honest with yourself during this conversation. The best part? You don't have to share your answers with anyone. This is a conversation between you and you, so be kind to yourself. You might even discover a new interest or passion.

If you're still keen on engineering, try to incorporate it into your daily life. Good engineers have a knack for analysis and visualization. So, wherever you go, if you see something well-engineered, be it architecture, civil structures, or mechanical devices, ask yourself why and how it was made. You could also watch engineering documentaries on science channels for more insight.

I've tried to make this advice more friendly and less scientific because I wish I had this kind of guidance 15 years ago when I first joined engineering college. Remember, there's no such thing as a bad question, only bad answers. So, keep asking questions, seeking feedback, and finding peers who share your interests. This can make the journey more fun and interesting.

Omar recommends the following next steps:

Have that honest conversation between innerself and know why you want to become an engineer
Grow that sense of analyzing and visualization
find renewable resources still fun to watch some engineering amazing stuff, check this list https://interestingengineering.com/lists/19-of-the-best-engineering-documentaries-you-should-watch
find nearby similar peers having similar interests
one step at a time and embrace focusing rather than multi-tasking
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you would like to be an engineer. There are many different types of engineers, e.g. Civil Engineer, Electrical & Electronic Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Manufacturing Engineering, Computer Engineer, etc. Each of these engineer types have their own knowledge domain.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Explore more on these engineering streams and identify what you have interest
2. Speak to someone who are working in engineering. Seek the advice your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
3. Attend information session host by Engineering Faculty. Speak to the professors or alumni if possible
4. Shortlist the engineering stream you would like to pursue
5. Find out the entry criteria of the relevant engineering stream in the college and work on those subjects in your high to meet the entry criteria
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Peter’s Answer

Evelyn, you do not reveal what stage of Life you are at, so I will assume that you are a high school student who is possibly interested in an engineering career. Engineering schools typically require a substantial science and math background for admission. You should therefore plan to take 4 years of math in high school. A year of calculus in your senior year would boost your chances for admission. You should also take 3 years of sciences: physics, chemistry and biology. Become an active member of an engineering club at your school, such as Robotics.
There are many branches of engineering: Civil, Mechanical, Computer, Aerospace, to name a few. However, I would not worry too much about committing to a particular branch of engineering while in high school. Your first two years in college you will take a variety of engineering courses which will serve as a good introduction to the various disciplines. In my own case, I did not declare a major until the end of my Sophomore year.
Good luck in your career pursuit.

Peter recommends the following next steps:

Join a school engineering club.
Research some universities who engineering schools you may wish to apply.
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