Engineering 

It’s the end of an academic year, and so, an end to another set of Engineering courses. Many think that engineering is simply a profession. But, the struggle that I’m going through to get to this profession makes me believe it’s slightly more. I don’t think it applies to everyone, but definitely to a significant amount of undergraduates in this Program. In the following few paragraphs, I will try and elaborate on how an engineering undergraduate is unlike any other and question its worth to society and the student. For one to understand this program, it’s best if you look at this from a purely psychological view. First and foremost, the courses require innovative thinking combined with the ability to remember vast amounts of information and laws, and essentially the application of these laws for questions in tests. Note that the application is in tests, this brings up a question to the student and reader alike. Will the information, learnt as an Engineering student be useful in a career? After all, the career will account for the remainder of ones’ life. Chances are the understanding of this knowledge will only be important to a very small niche of the engineering community. A second factor that is added to this is the loss of your colleagues. I will daringly compare the Engineering profession to that of an Infantry soldier. This is a very broad comparison, because one will easily observe that these are very different ways of life. However, I will attempt to bring a parallel between the two. A soldier on the front lines, faces an enemy, the soldier is also aware that this enemy has taken the lives of your fellow comrade (who had the same training at the military academy). An engineering undergraduate, is also in a similar mind frame, the students faces a common enemy (Pass the course), and he/she is also aware that the course (enemy) has forced fellow scholars to change their Major, or worse made them uncertain of their future, while they had the same training prior to writing the test. As mentioned earlier, this comparison is very loose and there isn’t a direct correlation between the two, but on a purely psychological point of view they are very similar. Simply said, the soldier and student are both aware that it’s a hard task, but a duty they chose on their own, and are therefore in the situation they are in at that instant, none the less they are determined to get the job done. Comparing the engineering undergraduate to other students at the University, he/she will be an outcast. This is due to the fact that other Majors, regardless of department, have a higher retention-rate, and require the students to ‘think’ about the material taught, and its impacts on daily life, bringing practical applications to the subject. In addition, the professor’s emphasizes important material and devises tests to allow the student to do well, and expects students to pass, unless very little effort was put into the course. As an engineering student, I begin to wonder “Why am I doing this”. This may seem like a simple question and may be answered easily by many, but when I questioned myself, I had trouble giving a simple answer. At first thought, I want to have a better understanding of the material that was taught to me that are present in real life. This may seem as a reasonable answer, however it doesn’t answer the question of Why. With deep analysis, my conclusion was that my driving force for being an engineering student is because I want to make the world a better place and serve society – the engineering creed.

This brings me to the core of this article, is it worth it? I can’t answer this question with authority, since I have yet to graduate. I am confident however, that the satisfaction I will achieve will make my time spent at libraries and empty classrooms appreciate the responsibility given to this profession.