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Chemical Engineering Career Paths - Worth it?

  1. Sep 16, 2013 #1
    I am a student at the University of Waterloo, and thinking of transferring into chemical engineering.
    I am very interested in the emerging field of BCI technology (Brain-Computer Interfaces) and would hope that a degree in chemical engineering would eventually get me a job working on a project involving BCIs.

    Technology is obviously developing at an increasing rate, and by the time I graduate in 5 years, job markets will likely have changed beyond what they were like when I started my undergrad. I want a degree that is not employable now, but employable 5 years into the future.

    ^^I know it is very hard to predict the future of job employ-ability, but we can make inferences based on the direction technology is taking us, correct?

    I also love nanotechnology, and my school has a nanotechnology engineering discipline, but it is also the hardest program to get into and I do not possess the academic record to grant me access to it. Also, I don't know how employable a nanotech engineering degree is, since it is relatively new.

    The brain is obviously a complex chemical system of neurotransmitters, hormones, and electrical signals based on sodium and potassium voltage gradients. I believe that the first real AI systems (if you could call them that) will be a fusion of bio-intelligence with computer technology.

    Brain-Computer Interfaces, being such a interdisciplinary technology, involves neuroscience, computer science, signal processing, biochemistry, and circuits/computer engineering. I can also see software engineering playing a role in the future of this field, as augmented reality systems become available to consumers (many people in the field of science, such as Ray Kurzweil, have predicted this)

    ^^Some of you may hate on Ray Kurzweil and think his predictions are fantasy, but you must admit that he is brilliant and has been fairly accurate in his predictions thus far.

    If this field is not becoming well established by 2018, I would venture into the petroleum field of chemical engineering instead, which I also hold a great interest in, although not nearly as much as BCIs.

    ^Since Canada is largely a resource based economy, largely in part to Alberta's petroleum industry, it is definitely a way to make a great salary, as petroleum engineers usually do, according to statistics.

    I know this is somewhat of a complicated question, but UWaterloo is considered to be one of the best chemical engineering programs in Canada, tied with UofT. I want this to launch me into the career I want to build for myself.

    Thanks for Reading,

    - Ryan
    University of Waterloo Engineering
  2. jcsd
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