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College/Job Guidance

  1. Jan 9, 2010 #1
    First off, let me tell you a little bit about me.. I am a Junior in high school currently taking Trigonometry and Pre-Calc (the 2 highest math classes in my school because I go to an extremely small private school) and averaging a 102% between the two. I've also taken Algebra I & II and Geometry with the same results. I plan on taking Calculus I at a local community college my Senior year and would like to attempt to "test out" of College Algebra.

    I say these things not to build myself up or to brag but to make a point that math is kinda my thing and I want to pursue a career involving mathematics. Now like most high school kids my age, I am having trouble getting fixed on what I want to major in. Seeing how math came so easy to me, my math teacher, who served as an Engineer in the Navy for 20 years (not sure which discipline) directed me to an engineering workshop at the Peter Kiewit Institute to help me get a better look at what engineers do. The program consisted of 3 seminars: Sustainable Design, an intro to Sketch-Up (great program), and Interior Building Codes & Zone Ordinances with Cost Estimation. Now going to this I expected to do some actual design and run through some examples.. No... :( During the Sustainable Design seminar we were to come up with a way to turn an office building more green but we did not give any design specs or do any math whatsoever. And during the Interior Building Codes & Zone Ordinances with Cost Estimation seminar, we spent 1.5 hours looking up prices in a 600 pg reference book. Going to this workshop actually made me less interested in Engineering, especially architectural and civil because it seemed like most of it was not very math based but more focused on materials sciences.

    Now Geometry has been my favorite math so far and I definitely would like to do plenty of math in my career. As of now mechanical engineering looks the most interesting to me. I do not want to estimate costs for a building but would rather design one. I would rather design a rover that can dominate any terrain, not find out which alloy is more 'green'. So based on my opinions and interests, is engineering right for me? If so, which one and why? If not, what would be and why? What college paths are right for me? No matter what your answer, please post your honest, unbiased opinions and thank you for reading. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2010 #2
    You do want to do engineering or architecture, you just don't like that icky "real world" part of it. You have to think about your budget and materials when designing things, 'cause your boss or client will give you a budget and certain alloys work better than others in a mars rover. Realistically the project manager or other guys on your team will focus on that and you can probably be the mechanics guy, but you can't escape it all together.
    Mechanical engineering has less of a materials focus than civil or architecture (those are the three that look most up your alley) but you still take a course or two in it and it all (budget, materials, etc) shows up in your senior project and some other projects courses.
  4. Jan 10, 2010 #3
    Which is what I figured. So anyone else have any ideas? Any other jobs that would suit my interests and strengths? I came here because I knew this is where the math and science guys chill and you are the ones that will be able to help me the most. lol
  5. Jan 10, 2010 #4
    You might consider majoring in math, too, but you can't really know if it's right for you until you've taken an introductory proofs class (which usually has a few semesters of calculus as a pre-requisite).
  6. Jan 12, 2010 #5
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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