Engineers come in.

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
nymeria.stark
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by nymeria.stark »

Keepcalm wrote: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:09 am
msk wrote: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:54 am Cruising through a degree course, any degree. My experience at a top university: The entire student body is composed of students who were in the top 5% of their high school classes. Some worked very hard to achieve that, some drifted all the way through high school but were talented enough to end up there anyway. At university, some end up in the top 10% of their degree classes, some in the bottom 10%. The top 10% are both talented and work extremely seriously. The bottom 10% all drift through. The middle 80% have an almost random distribution, some hard working, some drifting. If your buddy has a hard time with calculus, he can't afford to drift. I never found that I had to "work" at calculus or most of the maths courses; attending all lectures and doing the assignments was enough to get As and a sprinkling of Bs. I had to work at, e.g. quantum electrodynamics and similar esoterica. Your buddy is not talented enough to drift through, and it's time he acknowledges that. I suspect similar situations occur even in the Faculty of Music or whatever.
Is not being able to drift a sign that maybe someone is not cut out for engineering? It seems like a field that you either have it wired in you or you don't.
No more than not being able to drift in anything is a sign you're not cut out for it. This idea that all engineers are "wired" to be engineers sounds so fatalistic! Some people might have more of a passion for it than others, but that doesn't always mean it's easy for them--it just means they're more willing to put in the work.

It sounds like your friend has a passion for certain aspects of engineering! And is relatively successful at what he does. If he thinks he wants to be an M.E., he shouldn't worry about not being "wired" for it. We make our own wiring. :)
Just a girl, standing in front of her finances, asking them to make more sense.
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burt
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by burt »

FlyAF wrote: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:16 am Sounds like your buddy is going to be weeded out of engineering school after just a couple of Calc courses.

Wife and I are both engineers. Wife had to work much harder to get through it than I. A lot of it came much easier to me for whatever reason. Wife had to take Diff EQ 4 times before she graduated as an example. I was one that was able to mostly just go to class and do the required work. I didn't study much, but that's not to say that I never did. Some classes were harder than others and the ones that didn't come so "naturally", I definitely put the time in for study to ensure a good grade. I graduated from a top engineering school with a 3.8 GPA while my wife graduated from a decent school with a 2.7 GPA. Fast forward 20 years, my wife is quite literally 5x more successful than I if going off of monetary numbers. She's much better at playing the "game" and being forward facing with the clients, while I'm much more suited to being behind the scenes doing the grunt work. 1 of those pays much more than the other.
After a 40 year career in engineering at 3 mega corps... I concur with your post.
Technical careers top out pretty fast, with the exception of a few Brainiacs.

burt
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burt
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by burt »

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:06 pm
I remember, I think I posted this once before, being admonished by a colleague for having completed a graduate degree with the words A students make grades. C students make money.

PJW
That's a good one. Lot's of truth to that.
(speaking from 40 years in the engineering field)

burt
lee1026
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by lee1026 »

I will go against the grain here. I did my CSEE in 2006-2009, and I absolutely cruised through the first year and half (on a double courseload, no less!).

The classes will get drastically harder as things go on; intro calc is child's play compared to the upper division math classes that you will be forced to take. If you are struggling with the first classes, I don't see how you will pass the later ones. Maybe everyone here is just harder working than me, but I would absolutely drop into something that "suits" me more.

I personally dropped out of Mech-E after statics proved to be much too much work for me. I think the thought process was "I can work hard and be a B student in Mech-E, but I can cruise and be an A+ student in computer science classes, what am I even doing here?"
mlz
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by mlz »

lee1026 wrote: Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:58 pm I will go against the grain here. I did my CSEE in 2006-2009, and I absolutely cruised through the first year and half (on a double courseload, no less!).

The classes will get drastically harder as things go on; intro calc is child's play compared to the upper division math classes that you will be forced to take. If you are struggling with the first classes, I don't see how you will pass the later ones. Maybe everyone here is just harder working than me, but I would absolutely drop into something that "suits" me more.

I personally dropped out of Mech-E after statics proved to be much too much work for me. I think the thought process was "I can work hard and be a B student in Mech-E, but I can cruise and be an A+ student in computer science classes, what am I even doing here?"
Upper division math classes for engineering? Where I went to school, required math classes ended at linear algebra and differential equations, which was considered "lower division". Only the math majors had to take the upper division classes like real/complex analysis, group theory, etc (which I took anyway since I loved math)
lee1026
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by lee1026 »

The requirement for comp-sci was 3 upper division math classes, we got to pick which ones we wanted.
mancich
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by mancich »

Anything worth accomplishing will require a lot of hard work. Engineering is a demanding field. There is no cruising through it..
dcabler
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by dcabler »

34 years in Electrical Engineering here. A timely discussion because my daughter is a rising senior in high school and is considering E.E. and I see some of the issues with her that I also experienced.

I didn't graduate from high school with honors but did well. I did well on my college board exams. Nothing was really a super challenge in high school. I went to the local small university the summer after high school graduation and in the fall before transferring to the flagship university in my state. I did that to get chemistry and the first calculus class out of the way and I did OK there.

Then I transferred to the big university. I had no idea. I had gotten by in high school and even at the small university without any real study skills or habits to speak of. Got a C in the next 5 hour credit Calculus course and had serious thoughts about what I should be doing. I went to work over the summer and decided to stick with it when fall came around. Then I figured out what worked for me. The humanities electives were still pretty easy for me, but the technical classes like additional math, physics, and other engineering classes required something else. For me, it meant doing the homework and working problems over and over again until I was able to recognize patterns almost instantly when test time came around. It meant doing the problems that weren't part of the homework assignment as well, to get extra practice and because sometimes the profs were lazy and used those problems on the tests. It mean barricading myself from everybody once I got back to my apartment and doing nothing else but studying. It was exhausting for me, but it paid off. My grades rose and eventually I was awarded scholarships along the way and I've ended up with some very interesting jobs over the years. :sharebeer And for whatever reason, I have never found work to be as difficult as college was.

But that's just what worked for me. There were others in my classes who, for whatever reason, seemed to just "get" everything the first time and breezed through. Sure, that worked for me in high school and at the small college, but it didn't work for me once I got to the big U.

I'll always remember my first job interview. I was interviewing with a guy who was head of the site. He asked the question, "Are you smart or do you just work hard?". By then the answer was obvious and I was able to relate my story. :D
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burt
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Re: Engineers come in.

Post by burt »

Thought I was smart in high school with good grades.
Got to engineering college and was taught a tough lesson very fast.
Worked very hard for C's and a smattering of B's.
The only thing that got me through engineering college was... the fear of failure.

burt
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