Posted by Al St. George, PE (220.127.116.11) on January 10, 2003 at 13:28:07:
In Reply to: Re: What to do with my career! posted by Al St. George, PE on January 10, 2003 at 13:11:44:
: : Hello everyone. I have stumbled upon this site while trying to research some information about civil and mechanical engineering.
: : I will be finishing my last year of high school in about 7 months and I really need to consentrate on my future. So I have come here wondering if any of you would mind answearing a few questions about civil and mechanical engineering.
: : First of, I want to know what exaclly can one do with a degree in mechanical engineering. What kinda jobs will I be able to obtain and what exaclly will I be doing. I know this question will be hard to answear since mechanical engineering is such a big area, but I just need some insight into what exally can one do with an mechanical engineering degree?
: : Same question but with an civil engineering degree?
: : Next I was wondering what I will be learning in University if I was to choose this route. How long is program to obtain an bachelor in engineering? 4 or 5 years?
: : Here is my last question which is causeing me the most problems. To enter an engineering program in University of British Columbia I must obtain a 85% average. This is not a problem for any subjects I am currently taking except english! Math, Phyics, Chem I am getting over 85 %. So I was wondering how important is English in obtaining an engineering degree. Second if I am not able to go directly into university and take one year of college and transfer to university do i start in my second year or do i still have to do the 4 years in university!
: : Thx you for your time!
In answer to your post, I presume english is a second language, and I urge continued study in English regardless of math and science concentrations in college. This includes several of the English subjects like rhetoric, speech, debate, etc. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of language skills.
What separates the engineer from the tinkerer is the ability to analyze the problem and give some dimension to the problem at hand. Math and science and the applied sciences that derive from them give you the background necessary to make judgements. But experience is very important, and you should plan to divide your time in college with co-op work in industry.
Civil engineering is the oldest specialty followed by mechanical and electrical in that order. The first engineering school in America may have been the Military Academy at West Point.
If you have the option, take courses in creativity and exercises in preliminary design. The leading engineering schools have competitions that turn out to be great learning experiences.
Finally, I urge that you seek the PE license after graduation. It is the proof that you are prepared to analyze and solve real engineering problems.
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