Throughout my lifetime, I have never had to think very much about the working world and everything that went with it. All through high school I took classes I liked or thought would be interesting to me, but never thought that all of those classes were preparing me for what was to come. Before I knew it, it was time to go to college. The four years of high school had flown by and now it was time to choose a major for college. I had never given much thought as to what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The only real occupations that I had really gotten to experience were teaching, the jobs that my parents had, and others such as doctors, dentist, most of the occupations that everyone sees while they are growing up. When I finally decided on my major, I chose engineering, but I didn’t know if I would like it or not. The only prior knowledge I had about it was the fact that my grandfather was an electrical and chemical engineer, and that my parents and teachers said that I would be good at engineering. Recently I have been interested in civil engineering, but what does one do with such a degree? What opportunities are available to a person with a degree in civil engineering on the job market? The broad curriculum that covers many different fields of engineering make civil engineering a major that allows a person to work in nearly any field they wish.
So what could a person do with a degree in civil engineering? Civil engineering is one of the most general fields in engineering, and is often considered the “liberal arts of engineering.” Civil engineering is also referred to as the “People” engineering, because wherever there is a civilization, there is a need for civil engineers. A person that possesses a degree in this field shows an understanding of mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Thus there are many different applications of jobs that a person can perform with this degree. As Jeff Olsen, a former graduate in civil engineering at the University of Cincinnati says, Fortunately for an engineer, there always seems to be room for advancement, both inside and outside of engineering. If you want to stay "engineer" your whole career, there are typically two paths an engineer takes during their career. One is to remain technical your whole career. This type of person is someone that likes sitting behind a desk doing design all day, or overseeing and approving designs by others. The next type of career path that the majority of engineers go towards is engineering management. The person that follows the engineering management path is typically someone that has good communication skills, likes dealing with people, and is very good at handling multiple tasks at once.
A plus with a civil engineering degree (or any engineering degree for that matter) is that it opens the doors to many areas of other interests such as engineering equipment sales, business communications, or even politics. Also, there are...