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What would you choose for career path, engineering or teaching?

  1. Apr 24, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone, this is my first post here, I've used this website many times to review opinions and debates, but never decided to join until now.

    My main thought at the moment is my future career ambitions. I'm currently a sophmore (will be junior in fall) at my local community college in Michigan. I'm majoring currently in Mechanical Engineering, and am starting Calc 3 in a couple weeks (finals this week ). After that, I only have to do Diff. Eq. and then I am finished with the math requirement for my degree. I've enjoyed math though, and have thrown around the idea of possibly teaching math at a community college like I'm at now. I enjoy the small class sizes, the hours, and it seems like a decent lifestyle. Some friends, peers, and teachers have swayed my opinion back and forth over several months, so I would like some feedback on here from people experienced in either/both fields.

    Would you rather teach or be an engineer? I've had teachers that got an engineering undergrad, then went on to get their masters in math (which would be my thought and plan if I went that route). Some people have said that engineers will make more money, but I've also heard a downside to that. Long hours, higher stress, lots of responsibility for an engineer can take the fun out of an interesting career. The flip side is grading papers, speaking in front of classes, and a longer education time (time for me = more loan debt). I also have a late start on college, and I'm 26 yrs old, so I don't want to take forever to start a career.

    The biggest thing leaning me toward teaching at my local community college is that the faculty have "windows" which they can select times to teach in. Most select mornings to be out early having the day to do life obligations. I would choose afternoon/evenings so I can stay up later and live more comfortably for ME. I don't enjoy getting up early (which more engineering jobs require, as I had to do in past co-ops), and I don't enjoy going to bed early (just to get up early).

    That being said, also, being decent at math so far (3.97 GPA overall), how much harder will math get after Diff Eq. to get my masters?

    Sorry this is so long, wanted to try and paint a decent mental image of the scenario and my contemplations. Thanks for any/all input!
     
  2. jcsd
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