I always like to visit the college of engineering at a large or mid-sized university, even though I was not educated as an engineer. My father and father in law were engineers, as well some of the college roommates. I heard about their struggles as well as their successes in their degree programs.
Most of the prospective engineering students I meet are interested in the college of engineering at a research university such as Carnegie Mellon or Rutgers. But sometimes smaller schools will do more to help their students succeed in an exceptionally demanding curriculum.
I know no one who has liked the large-lecture calculus, chemistry and physics classes that are part of every engineering curriculum. The typical practice in these classes is to have a faculty member conduct a large lecture. Teaching assistants, usually graduate students conduct labs and recitation sections. But there are also smaller schools where the professor handles all of the teaching and the labs.
An engineer will not succeed unless s/he can write well. Engineers are always asked to deliver presentations and explain technical problems to non-technical people. Why is this skill important? Because that engineer will be asking for money or resources to carry out new projects. S/he will also need to explain how the employer will make more money or save more money.
Employers expect their strongest candidates to present a resume that shows at least one internship where the student was involved in solving a business or engineering problem. A strong resume and good grades will do a lot to help an engineering student find the job they want.
A good college of engineering will offer students an opportunity to tackle “real world” projects beyond the senior design.
Virtually every college of engineering offers an opportunity to do a senior design project, a semester or two of original work, to cap the educational experience. But others go beyond. They help students to find projects during the first three years of their education as well as internships or co-ops.
Want to know how I can help you find the right college of engineering? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 609-406-0062.
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