Why do people look down at the Civil Engineering?

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  • #26
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i am trying to choose btw Electrical Engineering Technology and Civil Engineering Technology programs at Humber College , Toronto .

Which of this programs has a potential for self employment/business ?
 
  • #27
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My dad loves being an engineer, he could travel wherever he wanted and get a job building things and not being chained to a desk, however he always tells me the one thing he hated was doing his thesis on concrete, he always joked that ke knew the properties of concrete more explicitly than anything else
 
  • #28
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I don't know a single person who has said this.
......................5char
 
  • #29
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My dad loves being an engineer, he could travel wherever he wanted and get a job building things and not being chained to a desk, however he always tells me the one thing he hated was doing his thesis on concrete, he always joked that ke knew the properties of concrete more explicitly than anything else
engineering is very much like a trade in this sense, and im totally ok with that.
 
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  • #30
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Civil is looked down upon because it's the easiest of any of the engineering disciplines and requires the least skill.

To make an analogy, a civil engineer is to an electrical or aerospace engineer, what a guy making burgers at McDonald's is to a chef at a five star restaurant.
 
  • #31
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Civil is looked down upon because it's the easiest of any of the engineering disciplines and requires the least skill.

To make an analogy, a civil engineer is to an electrical or aerospace engineer, what a guy making burgers at McDonald's is to a chef at a five star restaurant.
this really isnt true at all. . . if it applies to anything it would be an industrial engineer, not a civil.
 
  • #32
lisab
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Civil is looked down upon because it's the easiest of any of the engineering disciplines and requires the least skill.

To make an analogy, a civil engineer is to an electrical or aerospace engineer, what a guy making burgers at McDonald's is to a chef at a five star restaurant.
I bet you'll change your mind if you're ever in a high-rise building during an earthquake.
 
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  • #33
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I bet you'll change your mind if you're ever in a high-rise building during an earthquake.
It's not that it's less important, but it requires less skill, or atleast that's what he said. Not that I agree with it.
It's like a dentist, I doubt many people disagree that it's easier to become a dentist than a MD(at least where I live) but if you tooth is aching I bet you will love to have a dentist nearby.

But yeah, looking down at civil engineers is stupid, but the reasons people do it are mostly explained in this thread. People here look down a lot on food engineers and think "it's just cooking", as if these industrialized things they eat were just cooked.
 
  • #34
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As a mechanical student the general consensus--amongst the civil students as well--is that it is the "easiest" of the mainstream engineering degrees. It has less math, less physics, a smaller emphasis on the so-called more difficult classes (thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, advanced dynamics and vibrational analysis etc). I personally think it's incredibly important and do not share the aforesaid opinion--in all honesty, if I had to sit through a class on soil analysis I'd jump out of the window--I would find it INFINITELY more difficult than thermodynamics simply because it doesn't interest me.
 
  • #35
It's not so much people look down on civil engineering, as people look down on engineering in general. There are many, many reasons why this is the case, but I think the main reason is that engineers don't get much publicity. They're the people who makes things go around, from behind the curtain. Also, with the rate of technological advancement, engineers have made it seem too easy to design new products and advance technologies. Most people basically take technology for granted, and believe, subconsciously, that all the technologies and products in the world simply create themselves. As products create themselves, of course nobody actually creates them. Thus, there is no such thing as an engineer. And so to most people, an "engineer", is just a technician/mechanic/menial worker, who maintain the factories, which are a form of natural resource.
 
  • #36
StatGuy2000
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It's not so much people look down on civil engineering, as people look down on engineering in general. There are many, many reasons why this is the case, but I think the main reason is that engineers don't get much publicity. They're the people who makes things go around, from behind the curtain. Also, with the rate of technological advancement, engineers have made it seem too easy to design new products and advance technologies. Most people basically take technology for granted, and believe, subconsciously, that all the technologies and products in the world simply create themselves. As products create themselves, of course nobody actually creates them. Thus, there is no such thing as an engineer. And so to most people, an "engineer", is just a technician/mechanic/menial worker, who maintain the factories, which are a form of natural resource.
While I certainly agree that engineers in general do not get much publicity, the same could also be said of almost any profession in general, including scientists (except among those very few who are the top elite in their profession). And at least from my experience among people I speak to, I have never encountered anyone who looks down on an engineer, except among math and science students in university, where there is a (usually playful) rivalry with the engineering students.
 
  • #37
StatGuy2000
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It's like a dentist, I doubt many people disagree that it's easier to become a dentist than a MD(at least where I live) but if you tooth is aching I bet you will love to have a dentist nearby.
Things may be different in the US or other nations, but in Canada, there are fewer dental schools than medical schools (there are only 2 dental schools in the province of Ontario, where I live, compared to 6 medical schools). So unless there are far fewer people who want to become dentists than doctors, I wonder if it may be more difficult to be admitted to dental school than medical school.
 
  • #38
class on soil analysis
You get classes on soil analysis...
The heck is soil analysis?
 
  • #39
turbo
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When you analyze a soil sample, you can look at average particle size, particle size gradient and distribution, plasticity and many other characteristics. It's a whole lot more complex than many people realize, and it's pretty critical depending on the planned placement of that soil.
 
  • #40
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It's funny how things vary from country to country.

In my country Civil Engineering is one of the most popular and hardest(!) majors. I'm shocked when I read that in US CE majors have easy math and no science classes. How come? Here CEs have lotta math, physics and chemistry. Heavy coursework, hardcore calculations etc.

Well more or less here science majors (like biology, chemistry, physics, math) are considered to be easier than engineering majors (bio/che eng, CS, CE, EE, ME). Science majors have less courses, less labs and their studies aren't as demanding as engineering ones. It is said that someone who is too "stupid" to do engineering, do science so that (s)he can graduate and teach highschool kids (or do PhD). Those who are intelligent enough can do "real" and practical stuff and have great job afterwards (science majors are diligent but not so smart students who can memorize unpractical stuff from books).

When you look at engineering majors, those on golden pinnacle are: CS, EE, ME, CE and super-elite: geo/petro and other majors connected with metallurgy and mining. Those are hardest, for the brightest with greatest job prospects (they all but CE (and geo/petro) end up as programmers in IT<- that's another reason why CE is so popular here - if you want to have "real" (not in sales) engineering job and you don't want to be a programmer, CE is the only way to go). Bio/che eng majors are "future housewifes majors" - they are hard but jobs in those fields are as common as in theoretical astrophysics. Engineering physics and financial engineering are considered to be majors for people too stupid to do sth serious (however people who work in finance as traders or managers are considered to be smarter than engineers).

I don't think that any eng branch is easier than another but that's how it is in my country. If you come to Germany you will find out that che eng are "elite" and it's obvious why EE is the most popular in Korea.

So I really think that saying "x majors are smarter than y majors" is pointless.
 
  • #41
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None of y'all have anything on aerospace.

Son: What do you do, dad?
Dad: I build rockets.
Son: MY DADS A ROCKET SCIENTIST!

There's nothing wrong with civil, it's just much less glamorous. You build the stuff that everyone needs. If you stop existing, modern life stops existing.
How DARE you call me a ROCKET SCIENTIST!! I am offended and demand reparations immediately for psychological and ego damages you have caused.. Just kidding, I'm an aerospace engineer, sometimes i say that too. lol Sorry that doesn't contribute to the post.

Anyway, I have friends who are Civil engineers and I believe it's the same as above, they build things that people can't interact with, it's nonetheless very very important. But, they just don't get the recognition as other fields do because they don't produce flashy results such as giant rockets with big lasers on the front and back as can be seen in this very credible comic below.
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1797#comic
 

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