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  1. #1

    Default Engineering? Engineering!

    So lately it's really come to my attention that I would perhaps like to go to school for engineering.

    I guess I have this grande idea in my mind that engineering should be about innovative invention, finding out how things work, improving upon old technologies, creativity.

    Those are all things I am very attracted to. I know that there is probably a disconnect between my fantasy and reality, but I want to know how big that gap is.

    Does anyone who has had experience with engineering or engineers have any advice for someone interested in this field? What can I expect? What are some of the more forward-moving branches of engineering? Civic? Mechanical? Electrical? Chemical? Am I completely disillusioned?

  2. #2
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I studied civil engineering. There's a little bit of innovation, quite a bit of formulas (in school at least), we did have lots of labs and hands-on stuff, which I enjoyed. In the work force, it seems to really depend on the job you end up with, the company. There are companies that design sidewalk grades or the parts to the machines that manufacture paper cups, and there are companies that help design state-of-the-art bridges, cars, etc.

    It is a very practical thing to study, though, it is fairly good at preparing you for a job, unlike, say a degree in poetry or something.
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    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    No your delusions are right, the most innovative work is probably found in engineering, imo. Alone if you'ld work as an engineering consultant and would need to be informed about what's going on in a technology field, you can go to a new business fair every two weeks at the moment. Topics like electromobility, renewables and process optimizitation towards sutainability have been the big topics as of late. I've studied mechanical with focus on automation and production technology; it's a uncommon focus cause people go into energy technology at the moment due to the chatter about renewables; still I've choosen it cause I like to build robots .

    In Germany engineering is one of the more taxing and long studies, it's not one of the hardest, you can manage it, even with sucky math abilities, if you are just very dedicated to the topic, but it takes it toll. What's important is to know what kind of engineering you want to do, tho they are all called engineering it's not the same. Mechanical and civic is more for people intrested in physics on a newtonian level, while computer or electrical engineering can go deeply into theorethical math. Chemistry for example is a topic I suck at, cause I dont find it too intresting and many mechanical engineers share that feeling. Think you have to like it before you choose a study in this field.

    I wish you luck, engineering is not the easiest choice, but if you aint looking for easy choices it's the right choice and it's paradise to a Ti-mind. If I havent choosen it I prolly would still feel until today that I have nothing really to do with my mind
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    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegorystory View Post
    So lately it's really come to my attention that I would perhaps like to go to school for engineering.

    I guess I have this grande idea in my mind that engineering should be about innovative invention, finding out how things work, improving upon old technologies, creativity.

    Those are all things I am very attracted to. I know that there is probably a disconnect between my fantasy and reality, but I want to know how big that gap is.

    Does anyone who has had experience with engineering or engineers have any advice for someone interested in this field? What can I expect? What are some of the more forward-moving branches of engineering? Civic? Mechanical? Electrical? Chemical? Am I completely disillusioned?
    No, it sounds about right.. The couple of engineers I have known have made claims that all of the above are true. A couple of my friends went on to become engineers. One civil, one having something to do with computers. I've known a couple of network engineers as well who claim the work is really abstract, but at the same time, a lot of attention to detail is needed. The civil engineer tested (and also strikes me as) ESFJ. The computer girl I've always suspected to be an NT of sorts. (Even before she decided what she was going to do.) Both network engineers, I suspect to be ENTJ and INTJ. Seems to be a great field for NT's.

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    Member Kuthtuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegorystory View Post
    So lately it's really come to my attention that I would perhaps like to go to school for engineering.

    I guess I have this grande idea in my mind that engineering should be about innovative invention, finding out how things work, improving upon old technologies, creativity.
    Well, what i have to say is that when studing engineering u'll probably change your point of view and when you start working even more.
    I've been in the field for about 4 years and i've had thoose kind of expectations to. You see in my point of view creativity in the field of engineering is more of a perk than a must-have. Allot of detail is expected and way more paperwork after that, beacause most technologiess and ways of working are defined in something called "Standard" and when you cross the standard line just to see if ther is a better way to do it there is a small chance of a crucifiction hehe. Some times the standard is some stupid way of working that for some reason was stablished, and when your forced to work in thoose types you can get frustrated. Allthough in some rare cases the standard just doesn't cut it and thats when creativity comes in and thats probably where we ENTP shine cause an oportunity of inprovment is called for.

    So if you think of starting in the field keep that in mind, an engineer must be a someone who will do great in folowing standards but will shine when the oportunity rises.
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    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Well I think paperwork is a thing you have to get used to in every job, yet you are right it does withhold a lot of creativity and there is much in engineering. Depends in which field you work later, I think especially in consulting and in working with people it's more fun to me while I do my engineering hobbies at home.

    You should try work in german administration, what I am doing atm. It's like the God of paperwork -.-
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    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    All the engineers I work with operate technical machinery and/or analyze results from technical machinery and try to optimize various process details. Others I've known designed circuits for various electronics.

    I think ENTP woulds generally enjoy being more "design engineers", but that might be rather formulaic most of the time.

    I think classes, especially EE or physics [relates to engineering] are very math intensive, but actual day to day work most of the time isn't. And you usually have computers to help you when it is more math intensive.

  8. #8

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    YES! Thanks everyone so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    I've studied mechanical with focus on automation and production technology; it's a uncommon focus cause people go into energy technology at the moment due to the chatter about renewables; still I've choosen it cause I like to build robots .
    Interesting! I'm kind of looking into robotics as well. Well, things like prosthetics - "robots" that help in human ways. But I've been leaning the most towards electrical or mechanic. Electrical because of the theoretical math part (and it seems to have a wide variety of applications) and mechanical because it seems to be the most useful if I were to go into something like robotics engineering.

    I wish you luck, engineering is not the easiest choice, but if you aint looking for easy choices it's the right choice and it's paradise to a Ti-mind. If I havent choosen it I prolly would still feel until today that I have nothing really to do with my mind
    It's really awesome to hear this. I want to challenge myself very hard. I think it's probably one of the only ways I'll make it through school. If I feel like I'm wasting my time and am not mentally stimulated enough, I'll probably drop out. I already did that once and it was good, cause now I have a better idea of myself and my interests, but I don't want to do it again. I am REALLY excited about engineering. I'm REALLY excited of what it'll have to offer me and (hopefully) what I'll have to offer it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuthtuk View Post
    So if you think of starting in the field keep that in mind, an engineer must be a someone who will do great in folowing standards but will shine when the oportunity rises.
    Yeah, I think I've realized by now that getting a job with NO paperwork and TONNES of freedom to be creative and independent is sort of a fool's wish. But I figure engineering's strong points will make up for the more bureaucratic points (that every job seems to have). At least I'll HAVE an opportunity to shine, you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    I think especially in consulting and in working with people it's more fun to me while I do my engineering hobbies at home.
    Do you mind telling me a little more about engineering consulting? I've never heard of it before! Sounds interesting...

  9. #9
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Well if you have a technical degree, are specialized in a field intresting to society atm and have good soft skills, yaou're basically predestined to be a consultant. Especially institutions are looking for you then, to get a better idea about new technologies and to have an expert in the house. I currently have an awesome job with my hometown, who have a department that especially deals with new technology and its practicability for the industry of the town. I can work completly independent there and basically the job is about getting all relevant informartion on new technologies and then you try to found a network of people around it, which eventually do a fair together that builds some reputation and eventually companies settle down in your region. It's a pretty amazing job and a lot of fun, only downside is I am doing no practical engineering work but rather use my theorethical knowledge to organise our efforts.

    Consulting is definitly a more people oriented job and you work more like a businessman (means you gotta learn all that nifty SJ rules about clothing and such which kinda is getting on my nerves at times). In Germany we have a billion kinds of institutions for anything and cluster and networks of people, so tho even if I'lkd decide after University to work fulltime in consulting, I'ld always find a job. Kinda tough decision tho, cause as an engineer you'ld like to work on some real projects. Yet reality is prolly more like Kuthtuk mentioned, composed of paperwork
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  10. #10
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    I've got a couple of engineering degrees, in Electrical and Systems. It seems that Systems Engineering and Computer Engineering are growing fairly quickly.

    I'd preferred "consulting" rather than "working for any one particular company." If you play your cards right with the whole "consulting" angle, you can maintain some sort of flexibility, work on a variety of projects, and at least avoid some of the terrible, terrible paperwork..

    If you're in college, go for some sort of co-op program where you can test the waters and gain experience while you're in school.

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