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Thread: I want to be an engineer, but not sure what kind

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Bang Head I want to be an engineer, but not sure what kind

    I like art, media design, architecture, music, science, and photography so what am I going to do? If it was possible I wish I could put them all in a pot and hit the wrist with 360 degrees and have the result of the perfect career job. I know for a fact that I like the engineering field but I need some direction.

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    You sound like a much earlier version of myself. I shared those same interests. I was lucky in that I also grew up in the household of a working engineer, so I knew a little about the field. My big decisions at your point were music, law, computers, mechanical engineering, or aerospace engineering. I'm glad I made the choice I did, mechanical engineering. It has really turned out for the best.

    One sad fact for our youth is that unless you really search it out, its very difficult to even get much of an understanding of what engineers do. This despite the fact that absolutely everything in your field of view right now (excluding things of nature) is there as the result of the work of LOTS of engineers. Its a running joke in the department I work in that none of our family members have the first clue of an understanding of what we do for a living. They just know it is necessary for things to work.

    I would recommend several things. You've already done the first: find engineers and ask them. Second, does your school have a STEM program? Check it out. Next, see if you can find a robotics program at your school or somewhere nearby. I say robotics because it involves teams of people all with different skills and interests. It exposes you to the world of design, build, trial, rebuild, retrial, execution. It involves mechanical, electrical, programming, electronics, aesthetic design, logistics, high level theory and hands-on work, even marketing and promotion. if you can't find one get back to me and I'll help you.

    Hang in there. The world needs someone of your drive and initiative!

    Oh - More recommendations:
    Watch "Apollo 13" again.
    Then get an HBO series called "From the Earth to the Moon". Watch the 5th episode, "Spider". It is a very good representation of the story of the design and development of the Lunar Landing Module by some VERY good engineers.
    Then get your hands on an episode of the PBS series NOVA called "Bombing Hitler's Dams". The story of an amazing technical development during WWII along with a modern day attempt to overcome those same problems and repeat their success. Enjoy!

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