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Engineering What career path should I take? (Engineering)

  1. Feb 14, 2009 #1
    I am extremely good in architecture and structural engineering and absolutely love them.
    But, I heard you have to take a civil engineering course beforehand?

    I'm kind of confused.... Could anyone clear this up and help me select a path?
    (I am currently in highschool, taking AP classes in Physics C, Calc AB and more...)
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2009 #2


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    How are you extremely good at architecture and structural engineering while still a high school student? Both of these are post-university jobs. If you mean that you have a strong interest in architecture, follow the major trends, watch / read everything you can that pertains to "big" engineering in general, then that's a bit different (and a good start). Bonus if you've had construction, drafting, or other architecture / building exposure (I say exposure, like, say, doing odd jobs around your family / friend engineering firm, and getting a chance to look over people's shoulders and talk with them during breaks / lunch).

    Typically, you'd go to engineering school and go into civil engineering, further specializing in structural engineering (at my university, it was structural, or infrastructure--roads and the like). At the end of that, you can analyze loads, design supports, figure out whether or not a site is appropriate to build a certain type of structure weighing a certain amount on. Or whether or not (and how) you can condition the site in order to make it so.

    In Canada, at least, becoming an Architecture doesn't require a civil (or mechanical) engineering degree. At most schools, it's a distinct graduate program which doesn't require an engineering degree, while at others, there is a distinct undergraduate architecture program. I had a friend who completed industrial design (BFA) who had only taken first-year university physics, and was accepted at one of these. I have another friend who completed his engineering physics degree and was also admitted (but to a different school). So to completely bring you back to square one: you'll need to find out what's offered, where (e.g. Google for architecture schools in Canada). (Preferably at the school of your choosing)

    I always caution people who have a certainty that they want to do something, without having actually done something, or even been exposed to it outside of the lens of TLC or the Discovery Channel. I've known many people who thought they wanted so badly to be X, gone to university, or gotten that first internship / summer job, and realize that, no, they don't really want to do this. Or worse, spend 4-6 years in university, graduate, and then realize that they hate what they're doing.

    Of course, I also know many people that had an inclination in something, dabbled a bit, liked it, and then went on to work in, and enjoy, that field. And then every once in a while, you have somebody that does something on a lark, discovers they really enjoy / are good at it, and go into that.

    Anyways, good luck, and don't sweat it so much (at this point). Also, if you go engineering, definitely take AP / IB / advanced courses, as this will go towards preparing you for the work load that you're going to encounter.
  4. Feb 15, 2009 #3
    I am extremely good. :p
    I've already made countless designs and plans by hand and the computer. (Mostly by hand) I also created some scale-sized buildings. My teacher is pretty damn impressed with me; he says he has never seen a student like me before in his entire life.

    I'm and all around draftsman: mechanical, architectural, structural, mep, etc...
    I'm also a computer programmer and a web designer + coder. I have a ton of skills. ;)
    I do keep up with the latest things, I have RSS feeds everywhere about that. I'm subscribed to around 30 blogs, always am updated with the latest software and know how to use them efficiently and quickly. (Mostly all of Autodesk's products, the industry's standards.) I've been doing this for years. :)

    Thank you for your tip on the civil engineering part. So, it is a main area and there are sub-topics under it. Got it. I hope I can get some sort of a scholarship around my school... I'm going to ask around and such.

    Thank you VERY much for your response. :)
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