1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Engineering -> Consulting

  1. Dec 30, 2007 #1
    Engineering --> Consulting

    Hi, I'm an EE student thinking about my career after I graduate.

    I have had one internship in the aviation industry and one internship that I will most likely accept with a major defense contractor, doing radar/sonar type work. Ultimately, after I graduate, what my *original* plan included was to work as an engineer for a few years, then obtain an MBA degree from a top tier school. I don't think I want to be an engineer my whole life, but rather experience new roles and responsibilities while helping run an organization. Obviously, not after I graduate with my bachelors, but in due time when I have gained enough experience and exposure in the industry.

    After doing some research online of available jobs, I've considered another career path...

    Should I go into the Consulting industry straight after I graduate? Consulting meaning management, global strategy, etc. I've been to many company websites where they hire "Associates" - no required degree specialization, just a bachelors degree. I figure with the strong analytical and problem-solving skills that I currently posses and will posses as I finish my academics and internship will be a positive factor for me.

    How does this career path sound? Have you taken this path or know someone who has? Even if I take a job with a company as an Associate, I do intend on pursuing an MBA - regardless. As far as what industry I would like to stay in, that is not a problem for me. I would not mind working in any industry, as long as I enjoy it and the benefits are existent. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    A consultant needs to be an expert in his field or subfield. Work as an employee for at least a few years before trying to be a consultant. One of your first goals after graduation with your engineering degree should be to get an engineering job; maybe later, another engineering job. This gives you enough professional development to probably make you anything from somewhat useful to extremely useful as a consultant (I'm being very general). Different companies, different projects, different routines which you could examine and modify ---- more experience and more knowledge ---- possibly become an expert at some things.
  4. Dec 30, 2007 #3
    Yep - I've seen it from that POV, as well. Actually, I've always seen it through that POV and swore by it, until recently. Ultimately, I want to get an MBA and there is no set requirement about what field you need prior to the MBA. This leaves me a pretty flexible playing around.

    Defending my first post, I do not really care to be an engineer if I can land one of these jobs with a consulting companies. I like engineering, but to be honest, the only reason I did it was to have a stable career and the flexibility to go to law or the business side. You can't go wrong with an engineering degree. I didn't want to be one of those English majors who definitely wanted to go to law school throughout their undergraduate years only to find out that they didn't get in or lose interest in it (happened to a friend of mine).

    Here are my other options, if you don't mind reading them (no specific order!):

    1) ELDP Program* for Lockheed Martin – paid Masters in EE, funding (in full, 100%). Average length of time: 2-3 years (rotational through different departments). Location: Same as Internship Summer 2008. Jump to MBA afterwards. Staying with company is optional, most likely not. Outcome: 2 Masters.
    * ELDP = Engineering Leadership Development Program

    2) Jump into Consulting Industry – specifically companies like Bain & Company. Hire in
    as an “Associate” (general bachelors degree requirement, no specific major). Stay perhaps until “Senior Associate”, then jump to MBA. Length of time: 2-3 years estimated. Staying with company is highly likely.

    3) Work as an engineer for a few years – company unknown. Get MSEE degree (if paid by company in full) – maybe, not required… Depart after 3-4 years, straight to MBA.

    4) Work as an engineer for a few years – company unknown. Get MS degree (if paid by company in full) - maybe, not required… Depart after 2 years, jump into Consulting. Hire in as “Associate” or “Senior Associate”, industry choice: N/A. Jump to MBA.

    5) After 1-2 years as an engineer (company unknown), pursue law degree (JD). Field: Intellectual Property & Patent Law. Preferably NYU/Columbia. No MBA degree.
    * JD immediately after Bachelors is not preferred. Would like to gain experience.

    6) Hire into Finance/Banking. Location: Preferably big city (NYC, Boston). Jump to MBA.

    These options are presented assuming I can choose whichever I want to do :) Meaning, I get hired into them no matter what. This is completely hypothetical - the work to acquire these positions, I will figure it out.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  5. Jul 24, 2008 #4
    Re: Engineering --> Consulting

    Can I ask what you ended up doing?? I am currently a junior majoring in EE. I chose the major for the same reason...you can't go wrong with a degree in engineering, and I am a girl so that helps in the job area. I don't really want to go into the field, and have found out through an internship, technical sales isn't for me either. I am considering consulting, law school, and going into finance at a bank. I really want to get my MBA, and I am currently working towards a minor in business. I felt like your post is exactly how I feel, and I was hoping you could let me know what you decided, and some stong consulting companies to look into.
  6. Jul 24, 2008 #5
    Re: Engineering --> Consulting

    I am also in EE, and doing economics minor.
    While in university, I am only focusing on programming or computer engineering internships and planning to do MBA some years after graduation.

    Most of my classmates don't know why they chose EE, including me :rolleyes:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook