Engineering Sucks

Discussion in 'Public General Chat' started by chrisbeebops, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. chrisbeebops
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    So... I'm a junior in college, and I've finally come to the blatant realization that engineering sucks majorly. Every semester I'm faced with a mountain of impossible coursework. I'm working hard to maintain a 3.0 GPA, which is pretty hard at my college... all courses are curved to a mean, and there are tons of Asians that study 24/7... no outside class activities, no socializing, just studying.

    Meanwhile, my friends in business majors are going out partying every night of the week, and are keeping a 4.0 easily. The bars close at 1a, they are all home and asleep by 1:30a, and I'm up working past then. And, when we finally graduate, they'll be making more money than me. Hell, maybe they will even be my boss.

    Should I switch majors? Why bother suffering for 4 years when you can have fun and make more money after graduating? Discuss. Anyone else in engineering feel the same way?
     
  2. Aluniver
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    I also discovered in my last year of undergrad that I didn't like my major, but since I was so far invested into it, I finished it anyway. You can always do something different for graduate work, especially something easy like an MBA. Just because your degree is in something, dosn't mean you actully have to do it. I have a degree in education and spent less than one year in front of a classroom before I was able to move on to something better.
     
  3. Sirius
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    I did software engineering... it wasn't really that bad, and even fun at times to be honest.

    There are, however, those who would argue it isn't "real" engineering. They may be right, but hell, there's a market for it so it doesn't matter to me.
     
  4. s o k a r
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    I used to be civil/architectural engineering. First off it sounds like you are in an equally difficult field. I don't really count software engineering in the bigger money fields but I can almost guarantee you will be making more money than 90% of any business major. Business majors are a dime a dozen and are the joke of a degree if you ask me. Don't switch because they have it easy or you think they will make more money.

    Do switch if you don't like the major. I was a junior in my engineering degree and realized I really just didn't enjoy it at all. I switched to microbiology and am having a blast. I plan on getting my doctorate in virology and couldn't care less that other people have had it easier because I finally enjoy my degree. My pay will probably be less than my original degree but again I enjoy it and that's the key.
     
  5. The Communist
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    My friend was a computer engineering major. But he decided he didnt like the subject matter or where the field was heading so he switched. If you really want to switch make sure it is to something fun.
     
  6. sid the rat
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    I didn't particularly enjoy a lot of my coursework in Chemical Engineering, but I did enjoy the challenge, and I knew it would be a very versatile degree once I got out of school. I am now happily working R&D at a lab that does custom order DNA, which has very little to do with Chemical Engineering, and I adore my job as it's pretty much what I've wanted to do for years.

    I would not have gotten my foot in the door without my degree and the skill set I bring to the team, because the other people in the team have different backgrounds.

    We made shirts my senior year with the top 10 reasons to be a Chem E, and one of them was "you can always go back and get your MBA for fun" ... I completely agree with sokar here; business majors are cannon fodder IMO, and the butt of many an engineering student's joke, but the real point is find something that will make you happy. Suffering through some difficult coursework to get you toward the goal of a good job is well worth it, and jobs are going to care less about your GPA and more about your relevant coursework and your experience, if any.

    Do yourself a favor and make friends with some of the people in your program and study with them - it's a lot easier to work through the problems and study as a group than it is to try and absorb all the material on your own. You retain the information better when you explain the solution to other people, and you help them understand it better too, that's win-win. Plus, with a lot of engineering course work, there are multiple ways to solve the problems, and it's always nice to get other perspectives :)

    Which engineering program are you in?
     
  7. Valindria
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    I am a Computer Engineer. I feel your pain. For me the fun classes I had were some of the programming ones and some psych. I would say tough it out. Yeah it sucks but after I graduated and got my 1st job I was so glad I stuck with it.

    Some of the issues I had with GPA was I took summer classes at a community college for 3 summers after high school. The classes at the cc were easier (basic English, calc, etc) and I did well. When I transferred them the credit would transfer but it would not effect my GPA.

    I also did summer classes at my university after my JR year. I recommend it if you can do it to lessen the amount of classes each semester. So while they are harder then business, you should have a few less.

    Despite what people say, GPA isn't that important. It helps with getting your 1st job. After that you have experience and it shouldn't matter as much. Eventually no one will care. It is possible to get a job with out an internship too.

    So if you can get through it and think it is something you would want to do after you graduate I say stick too it.
     
  8. Vandarin
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    Hey Chris, this is a sign of 1 of 2 things - 1. engineering just isn't for you or 2. you need to put more time into studying than social life. Ultimately you are preparing for the real world and nobody is going to pay you based on how fun you are as a friend, but what you can show them you know how to do and actually do it.

    Only you can really tell which is true. If its 1. then change majors now. You don't want to be 5-10 years into a career and then hate it. If you hate it now and just can't see yourself wanting at all to take it further than maybe a change is what you need. However, if 2 is the real issue then bust your butt hardcore now. It will pay off. Out in the real world, the guys making good money are doing so because they prove themselves important by knowing how to do a lot of crap, have the answers when nobody else does, and they way they do that is study and practice and keep up to speed with the crowd. You don't have to have a 4.0 although that helps, and you don't have to be better than the asian students. Make friends with one, study with him, it won't hurt. Don't go crazy, you do need free time, but know when you have to study and do it. It sucks but the rest of your life is going to be hard work, so build a good foundation right now, whether its eng. or something else you switch to.

    I did college, BFA in graphic design, and worked for 7+ years. I learned to hate it over time, liking it ONLY as a freelance deal. So I joined the Navy, and am going to use the GI Bill to fund a masters in 3D modeling and animation, something more technical than graphic design, where I was pulling my hair out trying to conceptualize and visualize every damn job from ground up. Now here I am halfway through my time with the Navy and have the GI Bill to help me start a new path. Don't be afraid of changing. I'm gonna guess you are younger than me, at 36. Ya I'm a bit older than what I should be but life isn't holding me back, I have a plan and I'm going to make it work. That is the key man, have a long term goal and then find out what it takes to get there, and do it. Don't let anyone get in your way, including your own fears or doubts.
     
  9. Vangelis
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    Here's what I finally learned:

    1. Treat college like a job
    2. Schedule as many 8am classes as you can; try to have all courses completed by lunch
    2a. Drag, crawl, carry your happy ass to class every day no matter what!!!
    3. Job = get up @ 6 am and do nothing but school til like 5-6 pm. However, when that end of day whistle blows, you are off!!!
    4. Party your ass off from 6 pm til whenever (every night if you want)
    5. Wake up, wash, rinse, repeat . . .

    You have to have fun at college; it will literally be some of the best times of your life. Not setting aside me time, party time, sex time, crazy time, etc. will wear you down. True, some kids are just anti-social and all they know is studying. This is their and their way of thinking. They don't understand the American working environment. Good grades and hard work will only take you so far, in the end its who you know and who you network with. So what if dude in your class has a 4.0, he's a social retard. He'll get a good, technical job when he gets out but won't advance that fast or necessarily that far b/c he's such a social noob. You on the other hand will eventually pass him up and maybe one day be his boss because you know how to talk to people, rub elbows and company events, and be a likable guy (a face).

    I do have to agree w/ Vandarin on one point . . .if it's not for you, get out. It's not the end of the world. You have your whole life to live, and quite honestly, none of this means anything anyway. To take liberty with some Fight Club lines: You are not your clothes, your major, your job. You are you at the end of the day, so define who you want to be.

    My background:

    Culinary Arts Degree - 1997
    BA Philosophy & Religion - 2000
    EMT Course - 2002

    12 Years in the Food industry; have done everything in a restaurant except own one
    4 yrs as a line medic in the Army (SEPT 11 pissed me off)
    3 yrs as an Infantry Officer
    Currently a Military Intelligence Officer

    Future: Uncertain
    Getting out of the Army for sure; had my fill of deployments (prob going again in Spring)
    I've toyed with going to either Medical School or Law School (Cuz i can do anything I put my mind to. I not only learned this at a young age, i BELIEVE it to this day)
    I've also toyed with using my Top Secret clearance to my advantage and getting a lucrative job with one of these security agencies of defense contract firms
    I can always get a Federal Job cuz of my service

    Ulitmately:
    I will one day open the doors to my own restaurant

    At the end:
    Did I have fun?
    Did I make a difference to those I cared about?
    Did I love and was I loved?
    Did I make the biggest noise I possibly could have???

    I know that was probably more than you wanted to know, but I hope somewhere in this crazy post you will find something that drives your intent into making a decision.

    V
     
  10. Kazzier
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    I have a friend who, once finished his engineering course applied to work on construction of a oil rig. Within one year he how owns his own house, has been promoted twice and couldnt be happier with his job. 3 Months work at a time (hard work addmitadly) and then 4 months break.

    If you can find a decent job once you have finished your education, your laughing.

    But depends what kind of engineering you refer to.
     
  11. Neptuno
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    My lessons from college:
    Schedule in a fucking nap time. For one year, this was a gap in my schedule, but I found better nap times as the years went on: "Freshmen electives."
    I think I pulled B's in classes where I attended only on exam days for most of those...

    I spent 5 years on my engineering degree: 19 to 22 credit hours per semester for 2 years... that was fucking bullshit... so i had 3 years of 12-14 hours afterwards with a 20hr/wk IT job and 30-40hr/week for gaming (some overlap there :p)

    I found that I sucked at somethings, but had other skills that paired well with friends'. So get a study group... that will make or break you. I've got a few really close friends that hated me when we met since I seemed like slacker asshole. Actually, I think they just accepted it eventually, but the idea of having people to distribute work load across all your courses is awesome.

    Overall, it's about learning the process, not the specifics. Each of us had our strengths and helped with each other's weaknesses. Engineering isn't for everybody... don't kill yourself over it. You should work hard, but you should also be able to slack hard
     
  12. Tapper
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    I feel your pain man, I'm a Systems Engineer (Soph) and the OP is the story of my life. However Neptuno seems like he had the right idea, nap time for example, will save my butt during the late nights playing Aion.
     
  13. Neptuno
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    yeah, i also tried to plan around heavy mondays: I would allnighter Sunday after sleeping in really late.. then crash at from like 6pm Monday to 5am Tues and go work out. This works for crazy Saturdays too. Also, research which classes can be nap time. I had some I would sleep in the class and others where I'd go home to sleep during that class.

    Materials Engineering myself. I had a class dealing mostly with structures (atomic) that I would doze in most of the time or do homework instead of notetaking. After making fun of me for answering questions half asleep when everybody else sat there confused all semester, the professor told me to look him up when I was ready for grad school. Thats the other lesson that nap time provides: A wise professor can be understanding toward a nap if you are good at the material. However, my mistake was the military... they have no appreciation for nap time during class :(
     

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