Considering an engineering degree

I'm currently a rising senior looking into colleges and potential future majors.
My family has brought up the idea of majoring in engineering numerous times but I'm not so sure about that. I feel like my math and science skills are nowhere near the levels they should be for an engineer but I do like problem solving and logic puzzles (ex. I adore sudoku). I've heard that engineering can lead to many other fields such as if I want to go more into the business side of things or possibly pursue a law degree. Even if science and math aren't my strongest subjects, I would love to know more about engineering and more about the aspects of engineering that aren't quite as heavily focused on math and science. If anyone could help me out a little, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!
posted by Alice, Organization/City on August 12, 2013

Answer by Gina Adam

Hi Alice,

Nice to hear that you keep engineering as an option even if you fear that your math and science are not that good.

You are right that engineering can lead to many different fields, because it provides you so called transferable skills (problem solving, analytical skills, attention to details and constraints, etc).

Unfortunately, what branch of engineering is more suitable for you, only you can find out. My first recommendation would be to take a look at the EngineerGirl! website, "What they do" section and "Try on a career". Read through the examples of all the careers listed there. Don't ignore any because you don't know what you'll miss. Make a list of all those examples that catch your attention. Then find out more about those careers and specific fields. Check colleges that offer degrees in those fields, see what courses they are offering and what jobs their alumni are pursuing. If you found a field that you think you might enjoy, but you are afraid that you don't have the skills for it, don't worry. When you work on something that you like, it will come natural to you to put in time and effort to learn the necessary skills.

My second recommendation would be to always keep your mind open and explore your options. Try to pick a university that has a variety of schools and a variety of departments within the school of engineering. That would allow you to take various courses and find out more about what you like. If you can, make sure you take the courses with good teachers, so you get a real flavor of the field and don't get turn off by the bad teaching style. Go for internships in industry, try doing research in one of the university labs, do volunteering work as part of Engineers without Borders, for example. Once you get more and more experience, you might find out that your interests are changing or they are becoming more well defined. Don't be afraid to change your mind if that happens. Working in something that you like will pay off in the future.

Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck with the search!