When I was little, I fell in love with Star Trek the original series. I loved the ideas they explored, the danger and the excitement as Kirk and Spock phasered their way through episodic problems. My favorite thing though was Scotty the engineer keeping the ship together despite the misfortunes that befell it. That is why I chose to study for an engineering degree as well. I admire the freedom it will give me and the adventures it can take me on the future.
Being an engineer is all about thinking on your feet, adjusting to the situation as it comes along and my course work reflects that. Compared to an engineering technician student, who is given both the problem and the process to solve it, an engineering student is expected to find the problem and try to find a process that works to find a solution. That can be either independently or as a small group of other students in your cohort. That is another difference between a student of engineering student and students in other fields: we are highly encouraged to tackle problems as a group, bounce ideas off of each other and check each other’s work.
If you survive the four or five years as an undergraduate, you have a wide selection of employment opportunities waiting for you, all well-paying and most offer to pay for your graduate level classes should you decide to acquire that additional level of education. Like Star Trek’s Scotty, most employment tracks can involve a lot of traveling to new and exciting places such as hydroelectric dams in the UK, CERN and the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, water projects in Africa or even the International Space Station in space. Engineering offers amazing chances to travel not seen in other professions outside of diplomats and pilots.
Engineering offers amazing experiences no matter what discipline you chose to pursue. It’s interesting and produces great prospects to travel the world and see new things. No matter whether you’re the head of a company or a starship captain, things will need to be fixed or created. It’s up to engineers to keep the ball rolling.