# Civil Engineering

Matt
I am planning on majoring in Civil Engineering in my first four years of college. After I get a bachelor's I figured I would work for about 2 or 3 years and figure out what I really like in the field, then go back to school and major in that. I've heard bad stories about going to work and then back to school, so if you could please comment on that. Moreover, does anyone know the scope of specialization in Civil Engineering? I don't want to be stuck designing pipes for the water district for the rest of my life, as that could get boring. Thanks for your input.

Related General Discussion News on Phys.org
Phobos
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Originally posted by Matt
I've heard bad stories about going to work and then back to school, so if you could please comment on that.
It's not unheard of. However, for many people, it's hard to get back into the school mindset after being in the "real world". Plus, it will be hard going back to being poor once you have had a taste of a real salary (especially if you start accumulating debt). But, if that's what you want, then don't be afraid to do it. It's not a real problem.

A B.S. in engineering is a basic requirement. A M.S. is a nice bonus and would play well in your career. A PhD is pretty much unnecessary in engineering unless you plan to be a university professor or a super tech guru.

Moreover, does anyone know the scope of specialization in Civil Engineering? I don't want to be stuck designing pipes for the water district for the rest of my life, as that could get boring. Thanks for your input.
Off the top of my head...(main parts with sub-disciplines)...

Code:
Structural/Architectural engineering
Construction & Materials
Transportation engineering
Traffic control
Environmental (I have a Masters degree in this)
Water Supply/Resources
Water/Wastewater Treatment
Hazardous Waste Management
Solid Waste Management
Air pollution control
Urban Planning
Geo-technical
Maritime engineering
Disaster Reduction
Education
Power Generation
And there are specializations within those sub-disciplines too.

Anyway, don't worry about getting stuck designing pipes for the rest of your life. If you go that route, then you may do that for the first couple years, but then they'll move you on to other things and let the newbies (read: cheaper labor) do that work. It is often the case that engineers do technical work for a few years and then move into management.

An engineering degree will also give you flexibility to work in many different types of jobs. You may never see a drafting table, if that's what you want.

try checking out this website for a flavor (American Society of Civil Engineers)
http://www.asce.org/

good luck!

drag
Aah... Go for something exciting ! Like aerospace engeneering !
This way you'll stay excited even if you're unemployed !

enigma
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
W00t!

*High fives drag*

"Would you like an ion drive with your fries? I know how they work, you know... just the fries? Okay then... You're missing out!"

drag
I love ion engines ! IBTs, HETs, FETs... I love'em all !

btw, Enigma, would it be extremely rude to ask wether you're
currently employed as an aerospace engeneer ?

Live long and prosper.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Originally posted by enigma
"Would you like an ion drive with your fries? I know how they work, you know... just the fries? Okay then... You're missing out!"

Beware. I know a couple of guys who fell into the sewage business and got stuck. Early choices can have long term implications. As your career evolves, the network of people in your domain can have a large influence on the opportunities to be found. The specifics of a starting position may not be too important, but choosing a good direction is important. Many, many people fall into this trap - I'll do this for a while - and never get out.

Matt
Ok, so I was talking to my cousin who's a civil engineer. It seems that for your bachelor's you get to choose around 3 electives that can gauge what kind of specialization you want to go into. Oh and I checked out that website, Phobos, thanks. I think I'll stay out of water, hehe - I like the look of urban planning ans structural engineering though. Bring on the enviro activists!