Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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tony44
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Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:01 pm

Hello All,
Over the last few years I have sunk a ton of cash into my daughter's education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Their big pitch is what a great ROI they have in terms of education and landing a great job. My daughter's major is Management Engineering with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering. [whatever that means in the job market, I'm not sure.] Is anyone here a alum of WPI and, if so, what did you major in and how are you doing job wise? I know this school is serious business. Everyone there is there for one reason, an education. What can she expect come graduation time next spring?

Go Engineers!

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No, but

Post by davebarnes » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:58 pm

I grew up in Mass for part of my life.
I went to a WPI competitor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
WPI has a good reputation.
Your daughter should have no problems getting a job.
If I were her, I would look at large companies such as GE.

And, then, there is this: http://www.telegram.com/article/2014072 ... 09944/1116
Last edited by davebarnes on Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Millennial
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Millennial » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:19 pm

WPI alumnus here - '07 undergrad and '08 masters in environmental engineering. WPI is certainly an expensive school, but I know very, very few of my peers who had trouble finding a job. Current grads seem to be doing great too.

I really enjoyed my time at Tech and now have a job I enjoy at a great company.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:47 pm

EE class of 85 with an analog electronics specialty.

Very good school with a strong undergrad focus. Ask them what % of grads get a job in their field 6 months after graduating. On campus interviews were tremendous for me and led me to my first engineering job. I later went for my msee at virginia tech with a power electronic focus.

Roi? Who knows. They're what now? 56k or so? My son starts wentworth in the fall which is a great fit for him and stll 44k

Engineering managers have a good salary track but usually come from the ranks of design engineers with perhaps an mba later
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tony44
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Re: No, but

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:58 pm

davebarnes wrote:I grew up in Mass for part of my life.
I went to a WPI competitor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
WPI has a good reputation.
Your daughter should have no problems getting a job.
If I were her, I would look at large companies such as GE.

And, then, there is this: http://www.telegram.com/article/2014072 ... 09944/1116
Dave,
Thanks for the encouraging words....it's funny you mention RPI, I spent last weekend there at a lacrosse event with my son. What a beautiful campus. My daughter was looking for a more cozy feel and absolutely loves WPI. I am confident she will land on her feet but it really makes you wonder, the way things are going out there.

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tony44
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:00 pm

Thanks, too, to Mill and Jack for the replies. This gives me a little more hope....

tibbitts
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:09 pm

I don't know anything about WPI, but it seems that many if not most graduates get hired based on internships. So one question for her would be what prospects she feels she has at employers where she's done internships.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by wilked » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:16 pm

I nearly went to WPI, ended up going to a competitor (RPI). WPI is a great school and well respected. I am not really sure what Management Engineering is, but she should definitely do 1 or 2 co ops. Employers really want that real world experience. Good luck!

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:17 pm

I was gonna say, your daughter should already know the story of what happens after graduation. She should be working as an engineer/intern this summer.

My daughter has worked two summers as an engineer while still in school. They made her take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam while still in school and she passed, so she gets the EIT designation. Her current job is to help design and build a baseball stadium.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:35 pm

livesoft wrote:I was gonna say, your daughter should already know the story of what happens after graduation. She should be working as an engineer/intern this summer.

My daughter has worked two summers as an engineer while still in school. They made her take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam while still in school and she passed, so she gets the EIT designation. Her current job is to help design and build a baseball stadium.
My daughter, like many of her classmates, did not nail down an internship this summer. According to her, the kids that did all have hooks of some kind. Unfortunately, my background and most of my families are not conducive to engineering. We are mostly civil servants and blue collar types. She was very disappointed. As were we. This is one of the reasons I started this thread.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by wilked » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:45 pm

What year is she? She will be a junior?

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:47 pm

^ Look at the first post for a clue.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:01 pm

WPI undergraduate is a first class engineering education. We take them as graduate students without hesitation.
All student engineers should hound faculty and the placement office for job leads. You go see someone every day until you start getting interviews.

Jobs don't just fall out of trees. Employers are looking for students with self start and hustle

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:07 pm

Your daughter can get a part-time job during the school year, too. Is she working this summer? Retail? Food service? Life guarding? For free? Something!
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:20 pm

livesoft wrote:Your daughter can get a part-time job during the school year, too. Is she working this summer? Retail? Food service? Life guarding? For free? Something!
She is working as a union stagehand [my 2nd career to pay for college] setting up and running rock shows in major venues on Long Island. Makes great money for a college kid but I think I'd shoot myself if she did this for a career after going through WPI! I often work along side her. She is a great worker and gets a lot of work through her own diligence. She would be a true asset, I believe, to whoever hires her in her field. You hiring? lol :P

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tony44
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:21 pm

wilked wrote:What year is she? She will be a junior?
Will be a senior this fall.

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tony44
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:23 pm

Professor Emeritus wrote:WPI undergraduate is a first class engineering education. We take them as graduate students without hesitation.
All student engineers should hound faculty and the placement office for job leads. You go see someone every day until you start getting interviews.

Jobs don't just fall out of trees. Employers are looking for students with self start and hustle
Great advice! I will make sure she reads this thread. Especially this post.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:24 pm

tony44 wrote:She is working as a union stagehand [my 2nd career to pay for college] setting up and running rock shows in major venues on Long Island.
Excellent!
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:31 pm

livesoft wrote:
tony44 wrote:She is working as a union stagehand [my 2nd career to pay for college] setting up and running rock shows in major venues on Long Island.
Excellent!
She also did a 10 week study abroad in Mandi,India last summer in conjunction with the India Institute of Technology. They did a hands on engineering project through Engineers Without Borders. She is also very involved with her sorority, Alpha Phi as well as having a management position with her school's theater department. She is a go getter and shows excellent leadership qualities. I hope this all translates into a desirable resume. I don't know much about this sort of thing.....

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Boglegrappler » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:36 pm

We know the son of a friend who attended WPI and wound up with a good job from GE.

Here's my advice. Get her prepped to take advantage of every company that comes to campus looking for people to hire, which should start early in the fall. Make sure that she sees this a getting people to tell her "no" potentially, and to not get discouraged by it. You want to make sure to take advantage of the recruitment and not end up empty handed in the spring.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:37 pm

Get her the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?"
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Colorado13 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:52 pm

Payscale includes ROI info: http://www.payscale.com/college-roi/full-list. WPI is listed as #18, with a 20-year net ROI = $664,900.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:55 pm

tony44 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Your daughter can get a part-time job during the school year, too. Is she working this summer? Retail? Food service? Life guarding? For free? Something!
She is working as a union stagehand [my 2nd career to pay for college] setting up and running rock shows in major venues on Long Island. Makes great money for a college kid but I think I'd shoot myself if she did this for a career after going through WPI! I often work along side her. She is a great worker and gets a lot of work through her own diligence. She would be a true asset, I believe, to whoever hires her in her field. You hiring? lol :P
One of our Mechanical Engineering graduates is the chief of safety for a big traveling rock music production company. My Tau Beta PI president SIL was a safety engineer for roller coasters. Fun area to work in

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:01 pm

Colorado13 wrote:Payscale includes ROI info: http://www.payscale.com/college-roi/full-list. WPI is listed as #18, with a 20-year net ROI = $664,900.
They should normalize that ranking based on the fact that most graduates land jobs within 100 miles of their school. Most (but not all) of those top-ranked schools are in very high cost-of-living areas where salaries have to be higher.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:03 pm

I forgot to mention,,,I ran out of money while I was there and went on co op. It changed my specialty from digital to analog. Analog engineers were difficult to find, so Being the down years of the early 80s, I wanted to avoid layoffs. Served me well. I've never been out of a job.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by wilked » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:29 am

She shoul dfigure out a way to get here

http://conference.asem.org/

And network the hell out of the conference. Ideally leave the conference with 4-5 solid leads on jobs. Talk to her professors, I bet there is budget to send some kids there

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:30 am

tony44 wrote:
davebarnes wrote:I grew up in Mass for part of my life.
I went to a WPI competitor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
WPI has a good reputation.
Your daughter should have no problems getting a job.
If I were her, I would look at large companies such as GE.

And, then, there is this: http://www.telegram.com/article/2014072 ... 09944/1116
Dave,
Thanks for the encouraging words....it's funny you mention RPI, I spent last weekend there at a lacrosse event with my son. What a beautiful campus. My daughter was looking for a more cozy feel and absolutely loves WPI. I am confident she will land on her feet but it really makes you wonder, the way things are going out there.
Tony

This may hurt, but actually you have made the right choice for college for her.

. My daughter was looking for a more cozy feel and absolutely loves WPI

That really says it all. It's such a difficult time of life, emotionally and academically, and so easy to go off the rails. If she loved a place, has a great time there and gets what is undeniably an excellent education, then college for her has served her purposes.

Given an engineering degree she will, eventually, find remunerative work and a decent career. It might be analyzing data for Salesforce.com or Google, it might not be in her intended field of practice. But I've never met an engineering grad who didn't, eventually, find a decent job. Many went on to get MBAs and become successful in tech companies, finance, utilities etc.

There's certainly no reason to torture yourself vs. RPI. They are both excellent schools (there are more high tech jobs around Boston, though). They are both expensive. Maybe if the choice was against U of Illinois Champagne-Urbana (paying in state tuition). But, then, it's easy to be lost in the huge mass of students and have a miserable time.

Also WPI has a 'problem solving' approach to engineering education which is precisely why employers love to hire engineers.

In terms of financial ROI we might look back and say a cheap state college might have been better. But being happy in those crucial years will have a big impact on her self esteem and her progress in life subsequent.

The die is cast. Maybe financially it was a good investment, maybe a bad one. But you only get one shot at those years, and whereas with a first job most people probably switch after 2 years, you can't get those years of education back.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:36 am

wilked wrote:She shoul dfigure out a way to get here

http://conference.asem.org/

And network the hell out of the conference. Ideally leave the conference with 4-5 solid leads on jobs. Talk to her professors, I bet there is budget to send some kids there
That's an interesting idea because if she does go there and networks well (especially during eating), she will be practically unique in the world of undergraduates. I write that because I have organized and chaired and participated in international and national meetings over the years. I am always interested in education and helping out the younger generation. But when they (=grad students, the rare undergrad) go to such meetings, they are such newbies that unless they have a real mentor taking them around to meet people, they are so out of their element that they generally stay to themselves and get nothing useful out of it.

If WPI had a workshop on "How to Attend a Conference and Network" that she participated in, then that would help. I think that "Parachute" book has something on this, too.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by wilked » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:50 am

livesoft, not sure I fully agree. Networking is a skill you can cultivate daily. Going to the supermarket later? Network with customers, strike a conversation with the checkout people. Hitting the gym? Network with the trainers, other people working out. At its core it is about making a connection. If she were to go to this conference and simply talk to and learn about people, by natural extension talk will come around to her studies, her impending graduation and thoughts of a job. I don't see any need for a special Networking at Conferences seminar, networking is a core life skill that can be developed anywhere, anytime.

A good exercise is to decide that today (and tomorrow, and the day after) you will give three completely honest compliments to 3 people you don't know well.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by livesoft » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:43 am

I completely agree that networking is a skill that one can cultivate daily. Very few people actually do it though. And the younger a person is, the less confidence they have. But they have to start somewhere. You might guess that I am overconfident and easily meet people. I rode my bike yesterday and did networking when a guy passed me, but I eventually caught up and we "networked" for a few miles. This morning I walked my dog and we networked with about 6 other dog owners and a lone walker. I'm networking whenever I type messages on this forum.

"If she were to go to this conference and simply talk to and learn about people, …." Yep, that's a big IF. As I wrote, many people sit by themselves in the back of seminars, don't talk to people, are not the Dale Carnegie types, are too embarassed to ask questions, and so on. In fact, many engineers are this way. They go into engineering people they are not a people person.

When I go to a conference of less than a thousand attendees, one of my goals it to try to talk personally to every person at the conference. That's a lot of networking that many people will not do.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:18 pm

wilked wrote:She shoul dfigure out a way to get here

http://conference.asem.org/

And network the hell out of the conference. Ideally leave the conference with 4-5 solid leads on jobs. Talk to her professors, I bet there is budget to send some kids there
Wilked,
Thank you so much for this link. I showed it to my daughter and she is in the process of filling out an app for membership as we speak. And thank all of you for taking the time to address this issue!

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Dopey » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:47 pm

I know I wouldn't hire a fresh grad whose major was Engineering Management. What is she going to manage?

I'd rather hire a mechanical engineer and send him/her to get their masters in engineering management once they prove their worth.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by joe8d » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:22 pm

Dopey wrote:I know I wouldn't hire a fresh grad whose major was Engineering Management. What is she going to manage?

I'd rather hire a mechanical engineer and send him/her to get their masters in engineering management once they prove their worth.
Yes, that's how I think it would work.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:06 pm

Dopey wrote:I know I wouldn't hire a fresh grad whose major was Engineering Management. What is she going to manage?

I'd rather hire a mechanical engineer and send him/her to get their masters in engineering management once they prove their worth.
The only thing I can say to that is that great leaders are born, not made....thank you just the same for your input :sharebeer

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Professor Emeritus » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:07 pm

Dopey wrote:I know I wouldn't hire a fresh grad whose major was Engineering Management. What is she going to manage?

I'd rather hire a mechanical engineer and send him/her to get their masters in engineering management once they prove their worth.
FWIW IMHO that is the approach that GM used that led to the ignition switch disaster. Retraining design engineers to think outside the box on the role of safety in design is very difficult. Managing the design process to make sure the right questions are asked up front is a separate skill

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:52 am

Dopey wrote:I know I wouldn't hire a fresh grad whose major was Engineering Management. What is she going to manage?

I'd rather hire a mechanical engineer and send him/her to get their masters in engineering management once they prove their worth.
You find here, at least in the UK, that many of them go straight into management consulting. Engineering with management usually means an engineering degree plus a few business courses: accounting, finance, marketing etc.

Or other jobs that don't necessarily require an engineering degree but the mindset and skills of an engineer are useful. My bet would be that, 5 years out, relatively few engineering grads are doing 'engineering' as opposed to: customer support, sales, software development, other business functions.

The skills of a team leader or manager are different from those of a doer. People can be not great at the latter, but very good at the former.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Dopey » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:49 am

Professor Emeritus wrote:
Dopey wrote:I know I wouldn't hire a fresh grad whose major was Engineering Management. What is she going to manage?

I'd rather hire a mechanical engineer and send him/her to get their masters in engineering management once they prove their worth.
FWIW IMHO that is the approach that GM used that led to the ignition switch disaster. Retraining design engineers to think outside the box on the role of safety in design is very difficult. Managing the design process to make sure the right questions are asked up front is a separate skill
I agree, but how do you know which questions to ask if you've never done the job?

I am a mechanical engineer. The technical skills of the trade come difficult to me, but I am successful at my job because I am going down the management path of my career. I can't imagine being a 22 year old fresh grad and managing some of the complex engineering projects I've led. I wouldn't know where to start and I highly doubt I'd receive any respect/credibility.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:01 am

"I am a mechanical engineer. The technical skills of the trade come difficult to me, but I am successful at my job because I am going down the management path of my career. I can't imagine being a 22 year old fresh grad and managing some of the complex engineering projects I've led. I wouldn't know where to start and I highly doubt I'd receive any respect/credibility.
Dopey"

Don't worry my daughter in not after your job :wink:

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:45 am

tony44 wrote:
Dopey wrote:I know I wouldn't hire a fresh grad whose major was Engineering Management. What is she going to manage?

I'd rather hire a mechanical engineer and send him/her to get their masters in engineering management once they prove their worth.
The only thing I can say to that is that great leaders are born, not made....thank you just the same for your input :sharebeer
But people can become better managers, with help. Although the classic business school curriculum probably doesn't help, much. For this reason B Schools have introduced more courses and experiences on 'soft' skills.

The reality is that for all this talk of 'leadership' most of the time what we need is good managers. Relatively low key people who set our agenda and empower us to get it done. THAT is what is so often lacking.

Leadership has become this buzzword. There's ample evidence to show that the quest for charismatic leadership is a trap. Certainly in business-- a lot of very charismatic people tend towards borderline sociopathy*. And maybe in politics and other fields, too. The charismatic model of leaders tends to focus either on the truly successful like Steve Jobs, who were also somewhat pathological (descriptions of Jeff Bezos have a similar flavour). There are lots of counterexamples of charismatic leaders who turned out to be egomaniacs people were afraid to challenge, and the organizations quite dysfunctional. Most organizations need people who are 'get on it, get it done (well)' rather than inspiring visionaries.

We all talk leadership and when one divisional head (ex consultant) started talking about his 'Leadership Team' I put my head in my hands.

Management is an undervalued skill, to my mind, because it sounds boring and teachable. But most of us have our best and most productive years in work under good managers, not necessarily inspiring leaders.

Maybe the issue is what is leadership? Because 'Good to Great' seemed to show that a quiet, low key style of top management was better for corporate performance.

Note the most successful teams in many environments (Israeli military comes to mind, ditto a friend flying the No Fly zone over Saddam's Iraq for the RAF) tend to switch around depending on what is being done. The person 'in charge' shifts with the circumstances.

* it's always dangerous to use extreme examples so caveat what I write here. But both Hitler and Churchill were charismatic leaders. Watch the adulation on the faces of the audiences in 'Triumph of the Will'. Yet day to day Hitler was a petty bully whose tampering was a major reason Germany lost the war. Similarly Churchill was a bully full of crazy ideas, many of which cost the Allies significant effort (and lives) to no great benefit (the Greek Islands campaign, the whole Italian campaign etc). FDR let George Marshall and his staff set the strategy for the war, mostly, whereas Churchill was always meddling and given to bullying his subordinates. You get a feel from Alanbrooke's diaries (Imperial Chief of Staff) just how difficult Winston was: only a man of such stern Protestant Irish upbringing and military service could have managed it.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by ejvyas » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:55 am

My wife studied at WPI (MS-CS). She got an internship and job offer from the internship company before she graduated. Its a good school and well-known in the area.

But the important part is to keep looking for a job/internship.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by wilked » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:02 am

Dopey, a newly graduated Project Manager in that situation would have a mentor and wouldn't be expected to lead those projects. From your perspective that is more work, but from many company's perspective that is necessary pains to develop a strong young leader in their own mold

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Post by davebarnes » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:33 am

I have a BS and MS in generic engineering from RPI.
When I was 23, I worked for a small (30 employees) company and got to manage (pretty much on my own) a project that was worth 1/3 of the total company revenue.
It was a great experience and the items were delivered on time and within budget.
Youngsters can do project management successfully.
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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Polaris » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:52 pm

My siblings both have undergrad Computer Science degrees from WPI. FWIW, neither had technical jobs when they were still in school, but had no problem finding employment upon graduation. I have a BSEE from UMASS and had technical jobs in school after my Sophomore and Junior years and also found a good job after graduation. We are all now senior IT consultants making a comfortable living doing similar jobs for similar pay. The main difference between us was that I didn't have any school loans when I graduated.

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Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by ubermax » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:18 am

I graduated from WPI with a degree in Mathematics and had a career as an actuary - it was essentially an applied math route that I took and it was a good fit for me , no regrets , compensation was good and it was low stress .

Tony , your question seems to be aimed at prospects for your daughter upon graduation next year and I get a sense that you're putting a lot of that responsibility on WPI ; my response below is broken down into 3 components :

(1) The importance of the particular school vs the abilities/drive of the student .
(2) The current job market - in general and for particular majors .
(3) The change in engineering education over the last 50 years, i.e. your daughters' competition .

(1) I think grades and a particular school can maybe open certain doors initially but in my opinion ROI over the long term will fall on the shoulders of the person.
(2) When I was at WPI Electrical Engineering was very hot but it may not be the case over time and for any particular graduating class .
(3) At the time I was there , for engineering it was MIT, RPI, & WPI not necessarily in that order after MIT , they were always and still are at the top - on the West Coast there
was Cal Tech but in our world it was just those 3 - we did always beat RPI in football :happy ; but then things changed , lots of other colleges and universities
improved and developed their Engineering departments and so over the last few decades the pool of Engineering students has gotten bigger and the competition for jobs
more intense.

I would guess that your daughter has a solid educational foundation from all sources , pre-college , college , etc. and will do fine ; I personally wouldn't worry about ROI , life is a long race not a sprint .

Professor Emeritus
Posts: 2628
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:43 am

Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by Professor Emeritus » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:30 am

Dopey wrote:
I agree, but how do you know which questions to ask if you've never done the job?
.
Ah, this is the $64,000,000 question . How do you develop qualified experts who are actually self critical of their own field?

I've tackled this problem in Engineering design, Medical systems and higher education itself. The TITANIC is a case study I use in the lack of critical thinking skills by highly qualified technical experts. So is the Ford explorer/fire stone tire debacle. The motto of the FDA device bureau is "don't get sick"

Engineering management programs are an attempt to understand this problem

Topic Author
tony44
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 6:19 am

Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Post by tony44 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:52 pm

ubermax wrote:I graduated from WPI with a degree in Mathematics and had a career as an actuary - it was essentially an applied math route that I took and it was a good fit for me , no regrets , compensation was good and it was low stress .

Tony , your question seems to be aimed at prospects for your daughter upon graduation next year and I get a sense that you're putting a lot of that responsibility on WPI ; my response below is broken down into 3 components :

(1) The importance of the particular school vs the abilities/drive of the student .
(2) The current job market - in general and for particular majors .
(3) The change in engineering education over the last 50 years, i.e. your daughters' competition .

(1) I think grades and a particular school can maybe open certain doors initially but in my opinion ROI over the long term will fall on the shoulders of the person.
(2) When I was at WPI Electrical Engineering was very hot but it may not be the case over time and for any particular graduating class .
(3) At the time I was there , for engineering it was MIT, RPI, & WPI not necessarily in that order after MIT , they were always and still are at the top - on the West Coast there
was Cal Tech but in our world it was just those 3 - we did always beat RPI in football :happy ; but then things changed , lots of other colleges and universities
improved and developed their Engineering departments and so over the last few decades the pool of Engineering students has gotten bigger and the competition for jobs
more intense.
I would guess that your daughter has a solid educational foundation from all sources , pre-college , college , etc. and will do fine ; I personally wouldn't worry about ROI , life is a long race not a sprint .
Point taken - Thank you for your input

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