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Q: I write from India; currently I am in my last year of pre-university schooling. I am very interested in engineering, and especially automobile engineering. I am really interested in designing automobiles. What are the top engineering schools in the world where I could pursue these interests?

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Q: What the kind of courses are you taking?
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Q: Is it usually really hard to find a job once you've completed engineering studies in a college?
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Q: I am an undergraduate student studying toward a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in electrical engineering.

(1) What kind of a pay should I expect from an internship at my second year?
(2) What kind of a pay should I expect to get from a job after I have completed my studies?

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Q: What do you like about environmental engineering?
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Q: I am sixteen years old. I would like to be an engineer in the telecommunication field. Please let me know about its scope and what it is all about.
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Q: What is a good strategy for building a strong weight-withstanding card house?

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Q: I am applying to a university and would like to get a part-time job so that I can work while I am in school? How would I maintain a good GPA while working?
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Q: I am currently doing a school project in which I am being interviewed as if ten years from now I am an electrical engineering being interviewed for a job. I would like to know what the requirements for obtaining a career as an electrical engineering. I would like to know what steps I need to take for that specific field. What kind of majors, certificates, etc., should I pursue?
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Q: I was wondering if it is hard to become an engineer? Even if it is hard, is it worth it? I am really getting interested in this field. I am 14 years old and hope to one day work as an engineer.
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Q: I am an electronics and communications student and I am interested in learning more about communication systems of the future.
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Q: Did you decide which engineering discipline to study during your first year in college? Or later?
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Q: What study habits or skills would I need in order to do well in computer programming?
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Q: Why did you decide to study engineering, and do you find the coursework allows much hands-on work?
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Q: I am a community college student and I am trying to decide if I should transfer to a university that has both Engineering and Engineering Technology programs. However, I can't find the difference between Engineering and Engineering Technology. Could someone please explain the difference?
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Q: How did you choose the school you went to for your degree? I'm having a hard time deciding…help!
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Q: I am a junior in high school and all my life I have enjoyed building things, solving problems and drawing plans for various devices. After doing a little bit of construction with an engineer on a mission trip with church, I am pretty sure I want to go into engineering. My only problem is that when I understand math I love it, but there are times when I don’t understand it and then I can’t stand it. I am in Trig Analysis / Pre-calculus this year and I like solving the problems, but I still have mixed feelings. Do you or any students that you work with have the same problem and do you think it would be a big hindrance to me if I want to succeed in Civil Engineering?
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Q: I am a third year student in a Bachelor of Technology program in India. I want to devote my career to the betterment of my country, India. What is the most useful path for a student like me to take in order to advance this cause?
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Q: My friends tell me that it's better to find a roommate who is also studying engineering if I go into engineering — do you find this is true?

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Q: I am a senior attending a small rural high school in the United States. I am very interested in majoring in Biological Systems Engineering in college. I would like to get some information on:

1. the criteria you used in choosing an engineering college;
2. the high school requirements that you had to fulfill in order to qualify;
3. what is the most interesting impact that you feel that engineering brings to the world around us?


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Q: I do not stay at a dorm at school; I commute everyday. Is it harder to find a club or activity to join if you are a commuter?
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Q: I am a freshman in college and my major is Computer Engineering. I am taking an Introduction to Electrical Engineering class. Is it bad that I do not understand the topics discussed in class? We just started class and it seems like the other students all know what the teacher is talking about, but all the things I am interested in like computers, the hardware and how it operates are never discussed in this class.
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Q: what does it take for somebody to become an Electrical or Electronics Engineer?
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Q: I am in my 2nd year of electronics and telecommunication engineering and wanted to know about specializations. I am interested in electronics, robotics and automation and don't have a clear view about the courses offered related to my major and interests.
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Q: What is the difference between Robotics and Mechatronics? Also, how does Mechanical and Automation Engineering differ from Mechanical Engineering?
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Q: I am studying surveying and geoinformatics for my first degree, but want to major in aeronautical engineering for a Master degree. I dream, think and feel aeronautics all the time.

Which US university should I apply to?

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Q: Can you provide a website where I can download a MATLAB windkessel model?
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Q: BACKGROUND: We live in Sierra Vista, AZ, about 70 miles SE of Tucson. My 17 year old son is a high school senior and wants to become an engineer, but is still undecided which engineering sub-category he wants to specialize in. He is interested in robotics and maybe nanotechnology. He has taken Advanced Placement classes in English, Mathematics and Physics. He already has earned some college credit by signing up for Dual-Credit classes. We are split over 2 options: 1) having him attend for the first 2 years a community college which has a 2-year Pre-Engineering Program, and then have him attend a traditional university for the last 2 years of college; or 2) having him start as a freshman in a traditional 4-year institution.

QUESTIONS:

What, if any, are the pros and cons of both options? Is there an industry bias out there when it comes to hiring an applicant who either completed a 4 year program right away or first did a 2 year program and then finished up a 4 year program?


Our experience (supported by published research) is that students who transferred into a 4-year institution did not suffer from future employer prejudice on account of their taking the first two years in a community college. The search for engineering talent is rather aggressive nowadays; matters of appearance (such as this), that may have been a consideration 20 or 30 years ago, ceased to be a meaningful factor. There is enough research that shows no gap between students who started as freshmen in a 4-year institution and transfer students when it comes to graduation rates, GPAs, and wages (examples: a study from the University of Florida; a study from Wisconsin; see also a paper by Hilmer quoted below as [1] and a report by Hess [2].)

The factors that need to be checked are the quality and reputation of the Pre-Engineering Program at the 2-year community college where you consider enrolling. The main disadvantage of the community college route is that sometimes the quality of the classes offered there does not match the expectations at the 4-year institution. If this is the case, the transfer student would have to take additional classes (or face failure in his/her junior-level classes). Since you have identified both the community college and the 4-year university you are interested in, you ought to find out from both institutions (most importantly, the university) what is the track record of the specific community college in providing transfer students to the university. We suggest that you meet in person with an academic advisor (perhaps the undergraduate assistant department head of the electrical engineering or mechanical engineering department) at the target university, and hear from him/her directly (1) what courses must your son pass and with what GPA in order to be accepted as a transfer student to the university from the specific community college you are considering; and (2) what is the university's experience with past transfer students from that community college. You may also want to find out if there is a formal articulation agreement between the institutions. Such an agreement (see example) states the conditions under which graduates of the 2-year institution can transfer to the university with a Junior status.

In the context of your question, the primary advantages of starting the academic path at a community college are economic, and sometimes location of the community college is also an advantage. Community college classes are often smaller than introductory classes in 4-year institutions, and their teachers are often dedicated solely to teaching (in many 4-year institutions professors have many other obligations, and sometimes they send their assistants to the class). The primary disadvantages are that many community colleges lack the college atmosphere that is part of the academic experience (e.g., they do not have student branches of professional associations), and they sometimes have fewer laboratory and library resources. More importantly, some community colleges do not do a very good job in preparation to college (hence our suggestions above that you check carefully the reputation and track record of the community college).

Overall we believe that the community-college path to an engineering degree, which splits the four year period between two institutions, is viable and practical. With appropriate preparations (and with prior consideration of compatibility of courses between the institutions) the advantages that community colleges offer are undeniable.

REFERENCES

[1] Hilmer, Michael J., "Human Capital Attainment, University Quality, and Entry-Level Wages for College Transfer Students" Southern Economic Journal: Vol. 69, No. 2, pp. 457–469, 2002.

From the abstract: "This paper examines the returns to institutional quality for college transfer students. The quality of university from which a transfer student graduates has a positive effect on his or her future earnings. However, the quality of university initially attended has an insignificant negative effect. Such evidence suggests that a student's entry-level earnings depend only on graduation quality and not on the quality of education received throughout college."

[2] Ryan Hess: "Earnings of 2-year Transfers Beat Traditional College Grads" Employment and Training Reporter, on-line: http://www.workforceflorida.com/wages/wfi/news/reports/Wkflarep.pdf, July 28, 2003 (accessed November 2006).


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Q: I am a first year engineering student. Could you please recommend some books that helped you when you were freshmen?
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Q: I am a student of mechanical engineering, in my final year toward a baccalaureate degree. I recently developed interest in the field of chemical engineering. How should I proceed?
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Q: I am a senior in electrical engineering at the University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP), and am interested in a Co-op job for Summer 2007. Where do I look for such a job?
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Q: I am about to take several exams - what is the best way to study?
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Q: How much homework do you have?
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Q: Hi, I'm a current engineering student (I have an A.A. in Pre-engineering) pursuing an electrical/computer engineering degree and would like to know what school supplies will be needed for a Junior engineering student. Also what type of computer would be recommended.
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Q: How hard are the courses…I hear it's really tough!
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Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you be studying engineering?
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Q: How did you decide which university to attend? Did you apply to several?

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