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Electrical vs. civil engineering

  1. Nov 2, 2011 #1
    I need to figure out which of these subjects to study, because they will require slightly different courses next semester.

    Ever since I was little, I've been interested in infrastructure. Bridges, buildings, roads, pipelines, dams, etc. are all just really cool.

    That's the argument for civil. On the electrical side:
    a) it seems like EEs can do anything, they work on civil projects but also have options in manufacturing, programming, etc.
    b) my math and coding skills are better than my 3D visual-spacial skills
    c) civil requires me to take chem II, and I hate chemistry
    d) CE appears pretty unstable (boom/bust) to me, I don't care about making a lot of money but I would hate to be unemployed

    Help? My adviser wasn't very helpful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2011 #2
    I noticed you expressed an interest in civil engineering but not so much electrical engineering. This should be significant in year decision.

    How many college credits do you have? Have you taken statics, dynamics, and strength of materials? If you really enjoyed these, civil may be a good path for you.
  4. Nov 2, 2011 #3


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    If the Civil Engineering direction requires Chemistry 2 which you hate, you may simply view this as a temporary obstacle to move through. Be aware that the two semesters of General Chemistry may be somewhat different from eachother; and if you hated Chem 1, you might find Chem 2 to be either different or less troublesome. No guaruntee - just a thought.
  5. Nov 3, 2011 #4
    I have more interest in the final products of civil. I don't know that the actual work process is any more interesting; if anything, I suspect that I might be better at EE.

    Also, EEs can be involved with civil works (electrical systems in buildings, traffic control, electric transmission, etc.)

    This is my first year of college (I have a lot of credits carrying over from high school, but they don't all apply to engineering). The programs at my university offer very little flexibility in this regard, however.
    The lab is unfortunately pretty similar.
  6. Nov 3, 2011 #5


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    With the transition to the "smart grid", I hear there is a large demand for EE's that specialize in power systems. Maybe this is the place for you.
  7. Nov 3, 2011 #6
    EE is the dopeness imo, but that has to do with what I like -- electronics, programming, etc.

    Go to the engineering pages at your school. Look at the courses required for each program, and read the description of each. Which classes sound like ones you would be more willing to spend all of your free time on over the next few years? -- cause that is what you will be doing. . .
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