Researching on Different Fields of Engineering

I am a junior in high school and beginning to look at colleges and possible careers. I am currently taking AP biology, pre-calculus and honors physics. I took honors chemistry as a sophmore. My grades are excellent and like math and science. But where do I go from here? I have no interest in the medical field. One of the things I've read about engineering is that an interest in taking things apart to figure out how they work is an indicator that a person might have an apptitude for engineering. Unfortunately, this does not describe me! I spend all my free time taking dance classes! My parents have thankfully saved for my college education. I want to make the most of it. What type of engineering would be a good fit for someone like me?
posted by Haley on March 29, 2012

Answer 1 by Ana Luisa Ramirez

Haley, I myself am an electrical engineer and always had interest in other fields. One of my interests was always dancing and translating from different languages. I also knew that there were other careers that I wanted to explore, like engineering. I just never knew what type of engineering field I wanted to pursue. I did some research and figured out that either computer or electrical engineering were the fields for me. Definitely it sounds by what you are describing that engineering is something you should explore. The fact that you like math and are good in science is a good indicator that engineering is for you. The type of engineering good for you is something you have to explore based on your likes for the gadgets and things around you. For example, are you good with computers or do they even interest you? Do you like electronics and knowing how they work? If you answer yes to these two questions then you should think of either computer or electrical engineering or even computer science. Sometimes even If you are not curious of how things work, or if you don't want to take things apart, that doesn't determine whether you will be good at engineering. There are lots of engineering fields which don't require you to take things apart. If you like bridges and architectures and how they are built or how you can make them stronger, then you should consider architectural or civil engineering. If you like Chemistry and how to mix components, or are interested in how make-up is made, then you should consider chemical or industrial engineering. If you like biology there are lots of options for you in the engineering field, like bio-engineering and other fields related to this area. The best thing for you to do at this point is to do some research online about the different engineering fields available out there and you will see there are so many options for you to consider. I do advise you to look into engineering as a career. It is a rewarding career and also an investment in your future. Thanks Ana Luisa Ramirez

Answer 2 by Lisette Manrique Miller

Dear Haley, I'm glad that you are investigating this further (that in itself is a mark of an engineer). Try to think of engineering as the greater art of problem solving. So maybe you don't sit at home taking apart your phone, or fixing a broken kitchen appliance, that's OK. Consider the things that DO interest you and how engineering might apply to those topics. Think of dance. Dance is not only the physical art of choreographed movement; it can also be broken down and analyzed to understand why and how it works. When you dance you must be constantly aware of your center of gravity, the friction between your body and the floor, and the angle and height at which you leap. These are all topics covered in Physics and Kinematics, which are the basis of Mechanical Engineering. If you had an interest in studying motion (within Mechanical Engineering) you could: help design video games, in which an athlete's true swing or kick is measured by sensors and then translated to his/her character design a prosthetic limb for a dancer, who also happens to be an amputee While majoring in Engineering might seem like the obvious fit, considering your academic strengths, don't rule out other options. My best friend in high school and I took many of the same AP and honors classes to prepare for college, and we both had great success in math and science. She happened to be a dedicated dancer, like yourself. While I pursued Engineering, she went on to study business and finance, and now has a successful career working in advertising at a very prestigious corporation. The key here is to find where your strengths & interests overlap, and to make sure you are passionate about whatever it is that you choose. Best of luck to you in Engineering - or wherever else your journey may lead. Lisette