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Confused chemE major ! Please advice

  1. Aug 30, 2012 #1
    Well, I graduated in May with a degree in chemical engineering with minor in mathematics and CS from a small college in TN, (gpa 3.75) with 20k in debt . I have just received my green card 2 months ago. Previously I was on student visa, thus I could not allow to work off campus / also I could not find any internship to earn relevant experience . From May, till now, I have started to look for jobs with no success. I just want some advice in order to solve this situation.

    I know that grad school may not be a good option either, since the industry is almost run by BS plus you need relevant exp. In the worst case, if I have go to grad school, I want to do a MS/PhD in computational engineering or chemE with concentration in computational theory.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2012 #2
    Hi Bruce,
    I am a chemical engg and i have faced and seen people facing similar situation.
    Now i am far removed from that field now.. anyway what comes to my mind..
    1) In US, reference is a big deal.. sites like dice etc.. are not effective..
    have you made contacts.. if you decide to do MS, make sure you visit conferences and network ..after giving presentation.
    2) what was your final year project? try to find a job in similar field.. and learn to exaggerate a bit.. if you did something in heat transfer.. make it specific to refinery application and then target.. many times, HR is like .. ok this guys resume says hydrogen plant design, so lets shortlist
    3) Keep option of doing totally differen stuf.. like MS in comp science open. i wont advice MBA as you are fresh and will face same situation again. later try to find job in SW company like aspen etc.. touting your SW knowledhe
    4) see if you can get a research engineer job in univs.. so you do some project etc.

    Wish i had thought of all this when i was struggling.. but anyways.. all the best
  4. Sep 3, 2012 #3
    Hi chaturnar, nice to meet you, ^_^ , can you be more specific what field are you in now? May I guess that you are now in the IT sector ?

    Thanks a lot for your advice, my senior projects were design and optimizing a plant producing an acid (this one mostly done by simulator), another one is using some new chain of bacteria to produce ethanol by fermentation and evaluate kinetic activity.

    I am not interested in doing an MBA either, since I heard that people benefit from it the most if they are professionals and can get into a top 10 MBA programs.

    I did the ethanol one, because one of the advisors told me biofuel field was booming, but it seemed to me that was a really bad choice.

    In final years, I realize that I like to do simulation jobs as you said with aspen or ansys .., (that's one of the main reason I overloaded to earn a minor in math and CS. However, if i want to get in to that game, a graduate degree in computational science will provide more useful knowledge. What make me confuse is that I don't know if I finish the MS , i still have to face the same problem like you said.

    BTW, I know that people have a computational degree/applied math, doing numerical analysis , finite element analysis. If I have that degree, can I get a job in normal software industry (not simulation, think mobile computing or google, microsoft ) ?

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