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Is Civil Engineering hard? Question
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Posted by: Ghostrider

08/20/2003, 01:52:38

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Is Civil one of those "Bust your ----" kind of degrees? I have heard that Civil wasn't that hard, not as hard as mechanical or aero at least? Thanks alot!

Modified by Administrator at Wed, Aug 20, 2003, 06:50:38

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Re: Is Civil Engineering hard?
Re: Is Civil Engineering hard? -- Ghostrider Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: Ghostrider

08/20/2003, 17:28:24

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Thanks for the replies, but perhaps I should have elaborated more. Okay, here's the story:

My first priority, the occupation I want more than anything is to be a fighter pilot for the USAF. While in college, I am going to participate in ROTC and do everything I can to get a pilot slot. One of the big factors that comes into play when applying for pilot training is your GPA. The AF can care less about what your major is in. Seriously, I know it sounds unfair, but there are guys with music degrees flying F-16's. Anyhow, the fighter pilots I have spoken with recommend getting something that shouldn't be too hard to get a high GPA in, but something that will give you a good career if flying, for some reason, doesn't work out. I asked about engineering degrees, and they basically said that anything with the word "engineering" in it, is tough. I have heard alot of stories about guys with liberal arts degrees who end up working a "Mcjob" because for one reason or another, they can't fly anymore.

Now, about civil. I have done alot of research on civil, and it seems pretty awesome. I like the fact that it's so broad, and most of the jobs you will get seem to be extremely rewarding. Imagine, looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, or Sears Towers, and know that you took part in the design and implementation of the project, or better yet, a job as an environmental engineer would be great, I'm sure the satisfaction you get from being an environmental engineer is only matched by very few jobs. I don't mind math or science. As a matter of fact, in high school I took 7 years of math, and 2 years of physics. I would like to get a degree that allows me to use my imagination and creativity. I would like to do something that is very hands on, I really wouldn't find too much satisfaction in "flying a desk."

So, in summary, yes, flying is my first priority, and I would hate to major in something that would be almost impossible to get a 3.5 plus in, and see someone with a music degree flying an F-16 while I'm doing something else,  all because I chose engineering. Let's face it, there are some degrees, like astronautical engineering, that are impossible, no matter how smart you are, to get a 3.0 plus in. But at the same token, if flying didn't work out, I would hate to be stuck in a "Mcjob." So, is civil really that hard?? Is it very very very difficult to get a high GPA in civil? Sorry for the lengthy post, but I would apprectiate all of your input.

Very Respectfully,

Leo R.

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Re: Is Civil Engineering hard?
Re: Is Civil Engineering hard? -- Ghostrider Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: proddesign

08/20/2003, 17:08:04

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do you like working outside and digging in the dirt and mud?...Any degree is hard in it's own way...what you want to look for is not the easy degree, but the one with classes you don't mind taking and will enjoy...that way, hopefully you enjoy the field you end up in and don't mind going to work.

Anything is hard if you don't like to do it or don't want to do it.

A physics expert and math expert may say mechanical engineering is easy...but give them a shovel and some back breaking outside 95 dirt digging and they'll bow down to the Civil guys...(no offense to anybody, these are extreme examples).

What i know about Civil engineering is septic system designs and redesigns, it could go into sewer layouts, piping, topography, soil tests, environmental protection, culvert designs, drainage plans, soil filters and barracades and irrigation, fixing corrosion problems...I'm sure there's much more...that's just all i played with while working for a Civil E. There's also a lot of legal responsibility...they come to you for expert advise and it needs to be right or you may end up in court.

Walking out into a muddy subdivision lot where a septic system failed and having to reach into the foulest mess and feel the soil texture to determine if it was perkable was probably the worst experience...other than that it was pretty neat and fun.
There may be better ways to do that now.

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bust your ... ?
Re: Is Civil Engineering hard? -- Ghostrider Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: RKimball

08/20/2003, 14:23:56

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I highly recommend that you pick a degree program based on what your talents and interests are. There is far too much competition for jobs by talented newcomers for anyone to expect to make a steady and stable income in a trade they picked based on the difficulty of the degree program. There are plenty of engineers already in the marketplace that have picked their degree program for the wrong reasons. The combination of lacking an engineering logic mind set and talent too often results in the well meaning individual making a living flipping hamburgers or some other low qualified job. While it is possible that any or all of us may need to resort to such tasks to survive a times, deciding to be an engineer in any field without the corresponding talents is one sure fire way to set yourself up for disappointment or as a go-for to a more talented achiever, never to advance any higher.

I know this is harsh, but life is much more harsh to those that make bad choices. Think through your decision, you have to live with it, and hopefully feed a family with it.

Figure out what your talents are, you DO have talents, (YOU DO HAVE TALENTS) capitalize on them. All branches of engineering require a good grasp of math, and a determined analogical mind set coupled to a natrual basic understanding of and interest in physics.

I can only use myself as my best example, because I know myself best, not because I'm anyone special. However, as said example, I sometimes can not sleep until I understand a new concept of engineering. My parents tell me that I took my toys apart and put them back together when I was three and four years old. I was fixing friend's toys at six. I often forget to eat while developing a project. This happens because I driven by an analogical mind set, for the good or for the bad. I understand machinery better than I do people. I had no choice but be an engineer, I was driven to be one and would not change it for the world.

If on the other hand I had chosen to be an account I would have either flipped hamburgers or starved until I moved into an engineering field.

Choose carefully.


** The worst suggestion of your lifetime may be the catalyst to the grandest idea of the century, don't fail to listen to suggestions. -randy-

Modified by RKimball at Wed, Aug 20, 2003, 14:36:20

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