Friday, September 08, 2006

Promoting the Field of Engineering

The website touts itself as a resource that should help pre-college students decide whether engineering is good career choice for them.

The link that immediately caught my eye was Engineering Life Profiles. The target page is titled "Life of an Engineer," and it sports a list of links to the job descriptions / professional biographies of seven practicing engineers.

As an eletrical engineer, I was curious to read the profile of Carl Allison (Electrical Engineer).

Mr. Allison is employed by Walt Disney Imagineering, which is hardly a typical destination for an average engineering graduate. I'm glad that he's happily employed producing things that entertain people. Unfortunately, many engineers wind up in a cubicle dungeon, spending days just poring over one parts list after another in order to identify and replace pure tin-leaded components with components that have leads plated with palladium silver. And this is for some space hardware hardly anyone will ever see. There are engineers that spend their entire careers studying the long-term reliablilty of resistors, or think of ways to reduce the cost of an assembly by a few cents.

If you're a pre-college student who thinks engineering might be a good career, make sure you talk to a few engineers first. Don't just read glitzy promotional websites and think that's how your life will be. Try to shadow a few real engineers during the summer before your final year of high school. Although the summer camps that TryEngineering has listed are probably too oriented to having fun, they're probably better than nothing. They at least help you determine whether you have the aptitude for cool design and problem-solving aspect of engineering.

1 comment:

Tirsden Frozenrayn said...

I would add "read as much Dilbert as you can stand" to the list of things pre-engineers should do.

The new Yahoo Mail beta version lets me add your blog as an RSS feed! *claps* I deleted the rest they had in there by default, if I want news I'll turn on the TV.