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How an engineering graduate is different from other graduates in terms of job oppurtrnities?

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Greg’s Answer

The answer varies somewhat from decade to decade, but engineering (and tech or STEM in general) has been excellent for at least 30 or 40 years and probably 60 (since Sputnik). It's by far the strongest sector of the US economy right now.


That said, there are other strong fields. I believe business majors tend to do pretty well from year to year, too, since businesses are everywhere. Reportedly nursing is very much in demand right now (and likely to stay that way, given the aging of the US population), though getting into a nursing program in the first place can be tough. The "professions" (doctor/lawyer/vet/etc.) also remain strong contenders, but unlike engineering, nursing, and perhaps business, they all require both college and graduate work (med school, law school, or vet school, respectively). And both getting into those programs and doing well in them can be rough going; the medical professions in particular seem fond of insanely long hours, and all of them tend to be highly competitive and even cutthroat.


Liberal arts fields, on the other hand, can be difficult to find employment in. If that's your passion, by all means study it, but also think about majoring (or at least minoring) in another field that might have better job prospects. The last thing you want is to end up with a less-than-useful degree, possibly a lot of debt, and no real job opportunities. (But on the other other hand, a mixed degree can give you an advantage in some situations. For example, being able to speak intelligently on some non-employment-related topic a potential hiring manager brings up--perhaps architecture or the history of the local area--can subtly influence their perception of your intelligence and breadth of knowledge, which might be enough to get you hired. You'd be surprised how frequently serendipity is a factor in the job market.)

Greg recommends the following next steps:

Prior to college, read up on various fields that sound interesting to you; once in college, take some intro courses in different areas and see how you like them.
Talk to family, older friends, etc., about their own job experiences, passions, the tradeoffs they faced, and so forth. People LOVE to talk about themselves! But keep in mind, too, that times have changed; in particular college is vastly more expensive these days than it was 30 or even 20 years ago. A 5-year "explore my options" path that someone took in the 1980s is probably not as practical now, for example, simply due to costs.
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Eric’s Answer

Hi Ari!

I can't answer for non-engineering graduates but from my experience I have had minimal trouble finding a great job in my engineering field. I was hired before I even graduated college, this was because I applied for an interview at an academic conference. I highly recommend taking internships during the summer, they are basically job guarantees.


Best of luck!

Eric recommends the following next steps:

Apply to internships
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