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Alaaldin Tairi

Professor Szybisty

Pre-English Section II

27 July 2017

The Highlights and Challenges of Engineering

I have always been indecisive when it comes to making decisions that would impact my

future. During high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue higher education, but found it difficult

to pick a route. However, it was in high school where I discovered my true passion. It began with

my math teacher recommending that I join the engineering academy. As a result, I trusted his

advice and began taking classes. Those classes changed my entire perspective of viewing school.

They were relevant, challenging, and very interesting. I found myself using math and multiple of

other skillsets to solve real life problems. As a result, my decision was finalized and it became my

goal to become an engineer. Although many of my classmates enjoyed taking engineering classes

as much as I did, most of them chose different routes for a numerous of reasons. Therefore, it drove

me to ask myself, is it truly worth pursuing an engineering major in college?

Many individuals like myself seek to become engineers. For someone to make such a life

changing decision one must consider all the pros and cons of choosing a path. Although what

drives people to set such a goal varies from one person to another, it is essential to fully understand

what exactly they are aiming for. For beginners, it is important to understand that there are

numerous types of engineers that work in a variety of different environments. In addition, it is

important to keep in mind what it takes to become an engineer and how might it impact one's lives.

For instance, the skills and abilities individuals are required to have to become successful in the

profession. The chances of finding a job after receiving the degree. The fulfillment and enjoyment
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individuals get from becoming engineers and what working as one would look like. The difficulty

and obstacles individuals face to become engineers and many other things.

Engineers impact peoples lives and make it much easier. They solve real life technical

problems varying from bridges constructions to building prosthetic arms for the disabled. It is their

job to develop technology that makes peoples everyday lives easier. In addition, they work on

very serious issues such as climate change, which threatens humans entire existence. They impact

every individuals life in various of aspects. Therefore, those who dream to become engineers must

think about how they are going to impact the world.

When choosing a college major one of the most impactful factors in making such a decision

is predicting what one's financial status might look like after graduating and beginning work.

fortunately, engineering is one of the top paying jobs. The average starting salary for most

engineers recorded in a NSCE survey in 2013 is $62,535 making it one the highest salaries. Certain

Engineering fields had even higher salaries. For instance, Petroleum engineers earned an average

of $93,500 (NSCE). Engineering unemployment rate is one of lowest as well in comparison to

other professions. As technology continues to advance, it requires even more talented people and

creates a huge room for potential engineers that will work towards improving technology and

fostering the world. There is plenty of opportunity and jobs for engineering majors. In addition,

engineers starting salary is very decent, and allows individuals to live comfortably.

Engineering dropout rates have increased tremendously in the past decade. That is one of the

main obstacles that anyone who seeks to become an engineer has face. An HEFCE survey shows

that Engineering students are the most likely to drop out in their first year, with a whopping 12%

dropout rate compared to the 8% of other professions. Many people lack the required skill sets and

abilities to become engineers. One scholar states, With increase in scientific knowledge and
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technological complexity, engineering degrees demand ever more courses (Silbey). Engineering

majors are very challenging and require the completion of very difficult classes. In a study done

by another scholar, students excuses for dropping out varied from unwelcoming cultures in

engineering departments, to complicated engineering curricula (Meyer alet.528). In addition,

the engineering field is very competitive and has a lot of bright people. As a result, it makes

individuals chances of becoming successful very slim compared to other professions. It also

requires a lot of effort and very high standards that one must meet.

Job satisfaction is an important factor that individuals must consider when deciding on a

profession to pursue. Lucky, engineers seem to be enjoying their jobs. Not only does the profession

provide great financial sustainability but it is also very enjoyable. A part of this is the fact that

engineers are usually presented with different problems every day. In result, their jobs rarely get

boring or repetitive. EE-Evaluation Engineering 2013 salary survey showed that 85% percent of

engineers are satisfied with their jobs. Jobs are an important part of peoples lives and it is

important for people to pursue a job that will bring satisfaction.

Being an engineer comes with a lot of pressure. Engineers work on huge projects that could

impact the lives of many people. For instance, when building a structure such as a bridge, or a

building, it is the engineers duty to make sure that such structures are safe. One of worst

engineering disasters was the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge. The collapse of the

bride resulted in the death of 13 people and injured 145 others. A scholar explains, The under-

designed thickness of plates, their corrosion, and the over loading due to traffic and construction

loads at time of collapse were the reasons for the bridge collapse. (Salem et al.). Engineers are

responsible for structural integrity and making sure their creations do not collapse. Such a task is

not easy and errors are more common than people think. If mistakes are made in projects, not only
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does it cause harm and cause destruction, but the engineers responsible for such mistakes would

be held accountable. Therefore, Engineers are required to stay precise and to complete each project

with great accuracy to avoid common mistakes which puts them under constant pressure.

When considering pursuing such a major people must consider the amount of free time and

how busy their life is going to be. Engineers lives are very busy. They are required to spend a lot

of time working on complex problems, not only during college but afterwards as well. Usually

their projects have time limits and must meet very high standards. As a result, most of their time

is dedicated to work.

Engineering has its advantages and disadvantages like many other professions. When

individuals make the choice to become engineers they should consider how it is going to impact

every aspect of their life. While it is a very competitive and difficult field it provides individuals a

decent financial stability and allows them to make an impact on the world. Given the pros and

cons, how far will anyone go to achieve a degree in engineering?


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Works Cited

Nelson, Rick. "Engineers Just Want to Have Fun." EE: Evaluation Engineering, vol. 51, no. 8,

Aug.2012,pp.1821EBSCOhost,search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&A

N=95268825&site=ehost-live.

"Engineering Students Are Top of the Drop-Outs." Professional Engineering, vol. 12, no. 22, 08

Dec.1999,p.5.EBSCOhost,search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=2

639504&site=ehost-live.

Meyer, Matthew and Sherry Marx. "Engineering Dropouts: A Qualitative Examination of Why

Undergraduates Leave Engineering." Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 103, no. 4,

Oct. 2014, pp. 525-548. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/jee.20054.

Guirao, Begoa and Jorge Escobar. "Civil Engineering Students in the Final Year of Thei

Bachelor's Degree: Evaluation of Group Project Wor under a Retrospective Dimension."

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice, vol. 143, no. 1, Jan.

2017, pp. 1-9. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000305.

Silbey, Susan S. "The Elephant in the Room: Constraints and Consequences of a Four-Year

Undergraduate Engineering Degree." Engineering Studies, vol. 7, no. 2/3, Aug-Dec2015,

pp. 164-167. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/19378629.2015.1062488.

Salem, H.M. and H.M. Helmy. "Numerical Investigation of Collapse of the Minnesota I-35W

Bridge." Engineering Structures, vol. 59, Feb. 2014, pp. 635-645. EBSCOhost,

doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2013.11.022.

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