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Going to college before uni for engineering?

  1. Jan 18, 2015 #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm a senior in high school and I recently finished all my university applications, all of which revolve around computer/electrical engineering and computer science. While I plan on going to university and then possibly grad school, I keep hearing however that it would be a great benefit to go to college first, in order to gain some practical experience rather than largely theoretical experience. Would going to college prior to university be of any benefit for engineering or is there no real benefit to spending an extra year or two in school?
    Thanks!!
     
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  3. Jan 18, 2015 #2

    SteamKing

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    Apparently, you must not realize that colleges and universities are both academic institutions.
     
  4. Jan 18, 2015 #3
    I do realize that, however to my knowledge there are significant differences in the education you receive at least in engineering. I'm just curious if college before university would be of any help for engineering
     
  5. Jan 18, 2015 #4
    It would be very useful to know what country you are in. I assume you are not in the US. If you are, see SteamKing's answer above. Otherwise it varies so widely from country to country that nobody can really answer the question without more information. I'm a bit familiar with Canadian colleges and the problem there is that you won't take much coursework that transfers to a university. You will basically learn how to be a programmer or computer technician but you won't learn any theory and you won't take any of the math or physics necessary. So basically you're just spending an extra 2 years in school and not really getting anything that benefits you. I have no idea why anyone would do that if their goal is a 4 year degree.
     
  6. Jan 18, 2015 #5

    SteamKing

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    IMO, it's better to get thru your post secondary education as quickly as possible. It's less expensive and more importantly, the quicker you are finished with school, the quicker you are in starting your career and the rest of your life. It's pointless spending six or eight years getting a four-year degree, especially if you plan on post-graduate work.

    And you haven't made clear how going to college would give you 'practical' experience instead of 'theoretical' experience.
     
  7. Jan 18, 2015 #6
    Yeah, I should have specified that. I'm in Canada and here our colleges are somewhat the equivalent of community colleges in the US. I was just curious, as I'd been hearing from people who graduated that going to college first allows you to gain more practical and hands on knowledge about engineering and I was wondering what truth there was to that.
     
  8. Jan 18, 2015 #7
    Oh lucky guess. I'm in the US and I've noticed that engineering departments can be very different from each other. Even though engineers don't really make an official distinction between theory and application you will find that informal separation in many departments. I know engineers who can design and engineers who can build. I, personally, would look closely at the departments you are interested in and see if their curriculum matches what you want. If you want hands on programming skills you can find that. If you want bench skills you can find that. I don't really see the benefit of what you call "practical experience" because you can find that in your university program at the same time you are getting your 4 year degree and save a lot of time and money.
     
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