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HELP me with my career choice please

HELP me with my career choice please

HELP me with my career choice please

(OP)
I am 23 and am attending the local cc. I am seriously considering going into one of the many engineering fields. My problem is that I am unsure about my choice. Is it a stable field, ie; not many layoffs etc?

A little background. Was never really sure about what I wanted to do when I "grew up". Machinist looked fun so I went to a Vocational school for about half a year. I got bored so I decided to try out the work. That got boring, I also didn't like the rush rush get it done perfecly even though I was still learning stuff. Then Graphic Design looked interesting so I checked it out and went through my first year at cc, mostly general stuff. While taking some classes I found out that drawing, playing with pictures on the computer was very boring. This coupled with the fact that the field is highly competitive led me to Engineering. Am I looking in the right direction?

Any and all comments welcome.

-lost

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

Do you have the necessary Math and Science background to be an Engineer? The two fields you have already encountered may relate strongly to Mechanical Engineering and  if you think CAD is competitive, wait until you get into engineering. I say check out the requirements and duties of engineering before wasting your time taking something you may be bored with.

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

(OP)
    I'm a tad behind in math. I just finished up my intermediate algebra this summer, with an A of course. I'll be taking college algebra, gen physics, gen chem, and engineering I this fall.

    I thought that Engineering wasn't that competitive?

    What are the daily duties? Good parts and bad parts about the job?

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

I am now in college myself and went to a cc for the first two years. I really have no idea how you can be taking engineering courses without having taken Calculus. You realize you will have at least 4 semesters of advanced Math? The job outlook is still looking good but check in your local bookstore for a book on a 4 year forecast. As for duties, engineering covers so many aspects that you can never be sure what you will be doing in a job. Add to this the different disciplines and you see what I mean. Maybe a practicing engineer will answer with more input.

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

(OP)
Yea, I know about the math. I already talked about this with the dept. head at school. He has had numerous people do it the way I am going to.

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

good luck what ever your decision but make sure your CC credits will transfer to an accredited 4 yr. college. Is this an Engineering Technology degree you are thinking about?

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

(OP)
No it is AS degree in Engineering Science. I also have checked out RPI, RIT, and Manhatten College, online. THey will accept me with a full Junior status prvided I have my AS Degree, well so long as get accepted into the school of course!

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

Hey my friend:

A little advice from someone whos been there, done that!  Ok about me...I always wanted to grow up to be a big baseball star.  That never quite panned out and I ended up in mechanical engineering somehow.  We after 4 years of torturous schooling, I finally got my wallpaper, er. degree!  And started looking for a job.  I didn't know what i wanted to be, but I always liked designing stuff (not JUST drawing it up...actually conceptualizing, inventing, etc).  Anyway, we had a couple of design courses in school.  They were pretty neat - the prof gives you a problem and you have to come up with a viable solution to the problem.  For instance, design a stair climbing wheel chair, etc.

Anyway, make a long story short, I figured design must be good judging from those courses.  So I took a job as a design engineer in an automotive company.  Guess what, it is basically a lowly CAD job.  Nothing like the stuff in school.  

You may consider PROCESS ENGINEERING or something like that...its a better way to go.  I would advice you to:

1.  Figure out what you want to be.  You may ask - how the heck do I do that!?  Well, you can start by getting yourself a copy of THE PATHFINDER....its a great book that is supposed to guide you through a bunch of exercises that help u determine what you can get into.

2.  If its engineering you wanna stay in, think about which discipline.  I would reccomend that you stay away from DESIGN...especially in the AUTOMOTIVE industry!!!!!
As a matter of fact, stay away from anything in automotive!!

3.  Ask people who are in the kind of jobs that you can get with your degree and see if you can do what they do for the rest of your life!
If not, then dont get into it or you will be miserable!!

Let me know if you have any more question!
:)
cheers

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

Design is more than just being a CAD jockey. Yes you will work on a CAD machine, and will model, but you will accually design, test and watch your designs being used. There is no other better feeling than to be able to go into a store, dealership, ect... and point to one of your own creations and say. "See that part it's mine I designed it!" Yes in the automotive industry you won't design the whole car. However you will, if you get a design job, design parts and sytems. No it may not be rocket science, but You'll need a PHD to do that.
As far as math, yes you need to understand it. I passed my calculus classes with strait C's. However I made Dean's List every semester my Juinor and Senior year, and passed the PE exam. It's not that critacal. You'll use math programs (Matlab, Maple), or a really good calculator (buy a TI-89) to do any advanced math in any of your design classes.

And yes I do work in the Automotive industry.

Will

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

Well put cadmonkey. I find that most people considering Engineering as a profession have no idea how many diverse applications exist. I always have people asking me to describe what an engineer does and I am usually at a loss since they believe all engineers do exactly the same thing and want a cut and dried answer. Why do you consider automotive a  bad choice? How about Production Engineering? I hear it also has its pit-falls.

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

JoshyD,
  Try posting in the "How to improve myself to get ahead" Forum. Unless you have your heart set on Mechanical , you can get input from other disciplines and maybe find answers you never thought of.
 Good luck, whatever the choice.
Wroberts,
  I understand about the Calculus, but what I was trying to stress was the importance of having a good understanding of advanced Math techniques as you stated.

RE: HELP me with my career choice please

Design Engineering is not a bad thing at all....depending on what type of company you work for. I am a Mechanical Engineer and I used to work for Thiokol Propulsion as a Project Engineer....designing Rocket Motors! There is nothing like designing components to a mechanical system, seeing them built, and then testing them to see if your ideas and analysis worked.

I am currently a consulting engineer.

If you decide to persue a career in engineering by working on a Bachelors Degree....don't expect to go right into design after getting your degree. You may have to do some other "boring" or "menial" tasks first to get some experience.

Biggest piece of advice.....try to do a Co-op or Intern through school with an  engineering company. It will benefit you in two ways: 1) You will find out what it is like to be an engineer/work in that environment before you spend 4 years getting a degree, and 2) You will have some experience when you graduate which will help you land your fisrt job.

Good luck,
Mike

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