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GDIklz

14 Questions

Assuming you are an engineer...   189 votes

  1. 1. Do you enjoy your job?

    • Yes
      98
    • Somewhat
      71
    • No
      20
  2. 2. Are you satisfied with your career choice as a whole?

    • Yes
      113
    • Somewhat
      56
    • No
      20
  3. 3. How stressful is your job?

    • Highly stressful
      40
    • Averagely stressful
      110
    • Minimally stressful
      39
  4. 4. What is your highest degree of education?

    • Associate's Degree
      3
    • Bachelor's Degree
      117
    • Master's Degree
      66
    • PhD
      3
  5. 5. What calibur of engineering school(s) have you attended?

    • Prestigious
      70
    • Average
      105
    • No-name
      14
  6. 6. Is your job hands-on?

    • Yes
      62
    • Somewhat
      86
    • No
      41
  7. 7. Is your job rewarding?

    • Yes
      69
    • Somewhat
      94
    • No
      26
  8. 8. Do you find yourself being excited to go to work?

    • Yes
      32
    • Sometimes
      102
    • No
      55
  9. 9. How challenging is your job?

    • Very challenging
      41
    • Averagely challenging
      117
    • Minimally challenging
      31
  10. 10. How do you feel about your overall work-load and responsibilities?

    • Over-worked
      49
    • Average
      105
    • Under-worked
      35
  11. 11. What is your specific engineering specialty?

    • Mechanical
      35
    • Electrical
      34
    • Civil
      80
    • Biomedical
      1
    • Chemical
      4
    • Aerospace/Aeronautical
      1
    • Environmental
      12
    • Nuclear
      1
    • Petroleum
      1
    • Computer
      2
    • Software
      1
    • Industrial
      1
    • Systems
      0
    • Other
      14
  12. 12. Did the school(s) you attended have any significant impact on where you are in your career today and where you will go?

    • Yes (prestigious school helped significantly)
      24
    • Somewhat (prestigious school helped to a small degree)
      48
    • Not really (school name didn't affect my career in any significant way)
      113
    • Yes (no-name/mediocre school hindered my career)
      2
  13. 13. Have you passed any of the following exams?

    • FE Exam
      52
    • PE Exam
      4
    • Both
      126
    • None
      5
  14. 14. Did the FE/PE Exam significantly affect/advance your career?

    • Yes
      59
    • Somewhat
      70
    • No
      54
    • Didn't take either
      4

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42 posts in this topic

Here are some questions I have for you engineers. Thanks for your participation! Feel free to elaborate on any of your answers.

Edited by GDIklz

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Did the school(s) you attended have any significant impact on where you are in your career today and where you will go?

Yes - But it was a "no name" school that had an exceptionally real-world attitude towards my field (Welding Engineering), and it helped my career tremendously. I had multiple offers from very large EPC firms, make more financially than I'd ever have dreamed with for my age/experience level, love going to work, and get to play across multiple industries (a lot of Fossil power, a lot of Nuclear power, and some Petrochem). In contrast, the "big name" school that has a reputation for excelling in this field (where I started, but transferred from), is excelling in producing research-oriented professionals, but stinkers in construction due to a lack of practical knowledge and an unwillingness to get their hands dirty. While I hope to get my Master's from that school, there isn't a day where I think leaving it was a poor decision.

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I would also have to say the projects I worked on helped me get where I am today just as much as the school. The school got me the first job, the first job got me my second job, all 3 got me my current (and best) job, and I'd like to think my current job will help me down the road.

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I always screw up the analysis of these pols; My degrees and in Chemical and Electrical Engineering, PE is Electrical, I work in the Petroleum Industry, but my job description is more "General Project Engineering/Management". Let's just say I do alot of engineering shit.

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Did I pass? What's the cut score?

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U

Did I pass? What's the cut score?

56. But i have no idea if its %, /80, or if its measured in board-ft. The important part is whether you studied for it.

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U
Did I pass? What's the cut score?

56. But i have no idea if its %, /80, or if its measured in board-ft. The important part is whether you studied for it.

Yeah, but why isn't Architectural Engineering listed as a separate specialty? It looks like it's included in the "other" category. Or I guess AEs can just check off every box.. :dancingnaughty:

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U
Did I pass? What's the cut score?

56. But i have no idea if its %, /80, or if its measured in board-ft. The important part is whether you studied for it.

Yeah, but why isn't Architectural Engineering listed as a separate specialty? It looks like it's included in the "other" category. Or I guess AEs can just check off every box.. :dancingnaughty:

Jack of all trades, but master of none...

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Sorry Benbo for not putting Architectural Engineering as an option :oops:

To those of you that have a master's degree: does your higher degree give you a serious edge in the work force? Is it necessary for engineers to get their master's degree?

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In today's fast changing world of technology, the Master's degree is going to give you a substantial leg up on staying current with new technology and changes in the profession. You ability to think more critically, analyze more complex problems and be able to successfully integrate that information synergistically is more important today than ever before. Get into the best Master's program you can--an MBA can be useful, however, if the school is not one of the top 20 MBA schools, forget it-- the degree is not worth anything. If you are not going to get a technical Master's-- get a good "soft skills" degree. You will never regret it.

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In today's fast changing world of technology, the Master's degree is going to give you a substantial leg up on staying current with new technology and changes in the profession. You ability to think more critically, analyze more complex problems and be able to successfully integrate that information synergistically is more important today than ever before. Get into the best Master's program you can--an MBA can be useful, however, if the school is not one of the top 20 MBA schools, forget it-- the degree is not worth anything. If you are not going to get a technical Master's-- get a good "soft skills" degree. You will never regret it.

I disagree with almost all of the above. A masters didn't help me think critically one bit. If you are already a problem solver by nature, it just gives you a bit more advanced knowledge. Also this whole MBA top 20 thing is a myth made up by elitists to justify their degrees. First, what schools are in the top 20 anyway? We all know roughly the top handful, but anything else is a swag. Someone's got to come in 13th, hell, someone's got to come in 21st. Second, only the top ones (ie top handful) will provide that kind of social networking power you're referring to. Third, just because you have one of the top schools on your resume doesn't mean jack if you're an idiot. Fourth, the skills you obtain from an MBA will be useful regardless whether you got it from a school ranked #1 or #48. You'll forget the nitty gritty details that differentiate the programs as soon as you cross the stage to get your diploma.

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First, what schools are in the top 20 anyway? We all know roughly the top handful, but anything else is a swag. Someone's got to come in 13th, hell, someone's got to come in 21st. Second, only the top ones (ie top handful) will provide that kind of social networking power you're referring to. Third, just because you have one of the top schools on your resume doesn't mean jack if you're an idiot. Fourth, the skills you obtain from an MBA will be useful regardless whether you got it from a school ranked #1 or #48. You'll forget the nitty gritty details that differentiate the programs as soon as you cross the stage to get your diploma.

Well the concept of top 20 is sort of artificial, but for business and law I think it does matter somewhat where you went to school - at least for a first job.

I got an MS in Information Systems. Where I went to school you basically took the same curriculum as an MBA and then decided if you wanted an MBA or MS. I got it at Cal State Fullerton. I don't think my degree would have opened any doors for me like a degree from Wharton or Stanford or someplace like that. I also think the credential would have been somewhat more valuable had I received it from UCLA. It's not an exact science, but one way to rank them is to look at starting asalaries for new graduates. Granted, there is sort of a "which came first" problem here. You generally have to be a pretty high end student to attend Harvard Business School, so HBS grads are likely to do better than a grad from my buisness program.

That said, I believe that I learned some valuable stuff getting the degree, and more than that it was fun. I would do it all over again. But if you're only looking at it from a financial perpective, IMO where you go matters more for B School or Law School than it does for Engineering schooI. 'm talking about the credential only, and mainly for entry level or lower level jobs . Frankly, I think after a while your work experiemce is far more important than your education.

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I have a good friend that was sold a bill of goods on a "MBA" package. He was on active duty, living in Northern VA and he decided to go for some advanced learning to prepare himself for hanging up the uniform. He shopped around and found a great deal. A masters program in business that was half the cost and half the course load of the program that Univ of Virginia sponsered Working Professional MBA program near his home. He gave them a good pile of cash, burned through his tutition assistance and most of his GI Bill, and was awarded...wait for it.....a Master of Arts in General Business (or something like that) from Bill & Teds Most Excellent University (or something like that). He went to a headhunter who specialized in placing retired senior officers and their resume consultant flat out told him not to bother putting that down as an advanced degree.

The moral(s) of the story:

1) Know what you are buying

2) There is no such thing as a cheap MBA program that is worth a damn

3) For MBAs, school does matter. Elite private schools are great. An MBA from ANY first tier state university is good. (Some are better than others, but none are bad).

4) Do your research before you commit to a private school you never heard of before.

Freon, the Anti-Ozone

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benbo - I think you're saying a lot of what I'm saying, but it also applies to all schools not just business. A guy with an engineering degree from MIT will probably get hired on his first job before the guy with the same degree from South East Northern State University. Business school wise, once you rattle off Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Kellogg, then you get to the gray area of who's next. Those top 4 are the ones that will get those doors open for you on your first job after you get it, maybe even a few down the road, but after a while your performance will still balance out having a Gucci degree.

Freon - It sounds like your friend didnt do as much homework as he should have. In my previous post, I should have stated that it is important to get an accredited degree which it sounds like your friend didnt have. My wife was looking for online MBA programs because we're moving around a lot and I told her anything that wasnt AACSB accredited wasn't worth attending for exactly the reason you're describing. All the schools she applied to are tier 1 and it basically came down to which program worked best for her interests and needs, not whether one was ranked 12 spots higher than another on an arbitrary list.

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benbo - I think you're saying a lot of what I'm saying, but it also applies to all schools not just business. A guy with an engineering degree from MIT will probably get hired on his first job before the guy with the same degree from South East Northern State University.

I don't think wew totally disagree.

I do think it matters a lot more for business school, because buisness school degrees can be a dime a dozen. I know lot's of people with business degrees and MBAs, as well as law school degrees from PoDunk U that are unemployed, underemployed, or working out of thieir field. I don't know that many unemplyed people with ABET accredited Engineeering degrees. In fact, I think I heard a statistic on TV that unemployment for degreed engineers was still between 2 and 3%.

Plus, I don't think a BSEE from MIT is going to get offered 100K plus right out of school any more than if they got the degree from Podunk U. Most engineers start out at pretty much the same pay scale. But many kids get 6 figure offers and bonuses right out of elite business schools. US News tracks this sort of stuff when they rank B Schools.

That said, I think having an upper crust MBA matters more if you want to work for Goldman Sacks or MacKinsey. If you just want to get in as a bean counter somewhere and work your way up the ranks at some company it doesn't matter as much. I mean, US News keeps statistics on the stuff. You can see the starting offers people get with upper crusty MBAs.

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I do think it matters a lot more for business school, because buisness school degrees can be a dime a dozen. I know lot's of people with business degrees and MBAs, as well as law school degrees from PoDunk U that are unemployed, underemployed, or working out of thieir field. I don't know that many unemplyed people with ABET accredited Engineeering degrees. In fact, I think I heard a statistic on TV that unemployment for degreed engineers was still between 2 and 3%.

I think it's interesting you mention this. Within the last few months, I saw a webpage on WSJ.com (I think) that had profiles and blogs of unemployed MBAs, including some with upper crust diplomas.

Found it - http://blogs.wsj.com/laidoff/2010/03/12/la...d-looking-back/ biographies are on the right hand side of the page.

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Navy,

You are right, my friend was an idiot. But that is why doing your research into the program and school is important. There are alot of "Schools", both on-line and brick-and-mortar, that are borderline fraudulent. A while back on this board I talked about a young man that I interviewed for a position as an electrical engineer. I wrote the job description, it said "BSEE from an ABET acredited university". The HR rep who set the interview up saw that he put on his resume "BSEE". But she did not look at the school. I saw "Devry Technical Institute" on the education section of the resume and explained to him that his education did not pass muster. He had a "technical degree", not an "BS in engineering".

Freon

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I do think it matters a lot more for business school, because buisness school degrees can be a dime a dozen. I know lot's of people with business degrees and MBAs, as well as law school degrees from PoDunk U that are unemployed, underemployed, or working out of thieir field. I don't know that many unemplyed people with ABET accredited Engineeering degrees. In fact, I think I heard a statistic on TV that unemployment for degreed engineers was still between 2 and 3%.

I think it's interesting you mention this. Within the last few months, I saw a webpage on WSJ.com (I think) that had profiles and blogs of unemployed MBAs, including some with upper crust diplomas.

Found it - http://blogs.wsj.com/laidoff/2010/03/12/la...d-looking-back/ biographies are on the right hand side of the page.

Yeah, there are always examples like that. If it wasn't assumed to be so rare it wouldn't be noteworthy.

Obviously, I have no statistics on this. I base it on personal experience and stories from my 2nd favorite website - College Confidential - where people discuss this sort of thing all the time. But granted, that is sort of an elitist website.

Still, if my kid asked me -

I can go to MIT for engineering and incur $150K debt or go to Cal State and incur only $15K debt I'd probably always recommend Cal Poly.

If he said I can go to Wharton for an MBA and incur $150 K debt, or get that MBA from Cal State, I'd be more likely to tell him to consider the UPenn degree.

Interestingly, after I took my GMAT I got all sorts of letters from these hoity-toity schools inviting me to apply. Of course, given my undergrad GPA there was no way I would have considered applying, but even if I had a chance to get in, in my case it wasn't worth it since I was already working at a reasonable salary at a job I liked. But for a kid? I don't know.

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Yeah, there are always examples like that. If it wasn't assumed to be so rare it wouldn't be noteworthy.

Obviously, I have no statistics on this. I base it on personal experience and stories from my 2nd favorite website - College Confidential - where people discuss this sort of thing all the time. But granted, that is sort of an elitist website.

Still, if my kid asked me -

I can go to MIT for engineering and incur $150K debt or go to Cal State and incur only $15K debt I'd probably always recommend Cal Poly.

If he said I can go to Wharton for an MBA and incur $150 K debt, or get that MBA from Cal State, I'd be more likely to tell him to consider the UPenn degree.

Interestingly, after I took my GMAT I got all sorts of letters from these hoity-toity schools inviting me to apply. Of course, given my undergrad GPA there was no way I would have considered applying, but even if I had a chance to get in, in my case it wasn't worth it since I was already working at a reasonable salary at a job I liked. But for a kid? I don't know.

I've tried quitting College Confidential, but it's like crack. To use Yogi Berra math, 90% of the people don't know what they're talking about on there, and the other half are asking about what those folks dont know.

I agree, debt vs school name is a huge factor, but have you looked at starting salaries of some of those schools? Just for giggles I looked at HBS and MIT grad salaries, and with the exception of those going into the financial sector, they're really not making that much considering the investment made at those schools. I'm wondering what the long term statistics are, I havent seen anything like that published.

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I've tried quitting College Confidential, but it's like crack. To use Yogi Berra math, 90% of the people don't know what they're talking about on there, and the other half are asking about what those folks dont know.

Yeah, that's probably true. I'm glad there wasn't such a thing when I was a kid applying to school. To read that website you would think a 2400 SAT is below the median.

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We've got a recent MIT grad making about $35k here.... It doesn't do you any good to go to a big-name school if your ambitions are to move back home and stay there, taking whatever job you can get.

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We've got a recent MIT grad making about $35k here.... It doesn't do you any good to go to a big-name school if your ambitions are to move back home and stay there, taking whatever job you can get.

After a stint at MIT, that's about all you can afford.

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We've got a recent MIT grad making about $35k here.... It doesn't do you any good to go to a big-name school if your ambitions are to move back home and stay there, taking whatever job you can get.

After a stint at MIT, that's about all you can afford.

The guy probably has a degree in English from MIT (Who does that?!?!?)

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I'm finding the poll results interesting, especially the large number of people responding that passing the PE (or FE) exam did not have any positive effect on their career.

Seriously? I did not get a raise when I passed the PE, but it really did change everything in terms of respect, doors opened, jobs offered, etc. My PE license has been the best thing I have ever done for my career, aside from performing the work itself.

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I'm finding the poll results interesting, especially the large number of people responding that passing the PE (or FE) exam did not have any positive effect on their career.

Seriously? I did not get a raise when I passed the PE, but it really did change everything in terms of respect, doors opened, jobs offered, etc. My PE license has been the best thing I have ever done for my career, aside from performing the work itself.

I think there needs to be a subquestion on that asking if you work in an exempt field. Being military I dont need a PE and I dont get any career benefits for getting my PE. I did it for myself so I can feel that I can work in the engineering field and legitimately call myself an engineer. That's not to say that non PE's aren't engineers, but I feel that being a non licensed PE is similar (but not quite equal) to being a lawyer or doctor without a license.

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