How tough is the math?

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Comments (11) in Baltimore, Maryland

65 months ago

JR 1985 in Las Vegas, Nevada said: Hi,

I'm 24 years old and reside in Southern Nevada. For the last few months, I've been considering going back to school to become a civil engineer.

After I finished HS, I attended a state university for two semesters and was put on academic suspension due to a misspent youth and working too many hours. I later went to a trade school and became an HVAC technician. I've been doing that for the last few years, but I'm fed up with the low pay for the amount of work involved. I don't find it exciting anymore.

With regards to civil engineering, the only thing I am a bit concerned about is the math. I went to a technical high school and took 4 years of math and science. All the classes at this school were honors level courses, and I took Calculus 1 my senior year. However, I barely got by and found it a little too challenging.

Compared to the other engineering professions (electrical, mechanical), is civil engineering more rigorous?

I'm more focused now than ever and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get this degree. I was thinking of attending a community college in order to get a AS in Pre-Engineering and then transferring to UNLV for a BSCE.

Any input on the math would be greatly appreciated.

My son just graduated from UMMS as a civil engineer and the math is extremly difficult. There are other components of the course that are just as difficult.

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Adam in New Orleans, Louisiana

62 months ago

I graduate from an ABET accredited school (LSU) in May of 08. My REQUIRED math courses were Calc 1 - 3, differential equations, experimental statistics, etc. But be warned, you're upper level CE classes will require the application of differential equations.

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Joseph in Montreal, Quebec

47 months ago

Look, I'm not going to say that the math is easy but, if you have the WILL to get your diploma, then it shouldn't be a problem at all.

You'll need to study though, and I mean study A LOT.

Some students complain of how hard the math is but they don't do any effort... You won't get good grades if you don't study... If you study and understand the key points, techniques, or whatever your teacher is talking about then you're good to go.

Best of luck.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (23) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse in Pomona, California

46 months ago

Civil Engineering is by far the easiest engineering course. But that doesn't necessarily make it easy. I kind of followed the same path as you. I had full ride scholarship out of high school screwed up and found myself serving 5 years in the Marines. After I got out I was behind but had the advantage of maturity and after I caught up I surpassed most of my younger peers. I cruised through the CE program at Cal Poly Pomona with the only challenges coming from the three of the four Mechanical Engineering courses we have to take(dynamics, hydraulics and thermodynamics). Right now I'm getting my Masters in CE Transportation from Cal Poly Pomona. If you want it and you were an above average student in High School you can do it. It just comes down to desire because the first year will be very tough.

I took Calc I before I found myself in the marines. When I got out and went back to college they made me take Calc II. Hardest thing I have ever done in my life(We dont do alot of math in the marines haha). But once I passed with an A- the rest was a cakewalk because I knew if I could overcome that there was no way I wouldn't pass. Good luck and go after what you want. Do that and you will go far!

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46 months ago

Also, once you get passed the GE math requirements everything else is a breeze (except the mechanical courses).

Don't quit your job unless you have to because the market for civil engineers is weak right now. By the time you graduate it will be much better. When I first started grads were getting hired for 60k+ and they weren't even cream of the crop. Plus the benefits are normally great. My friend in Grad school didn't have a job and got hired a couple weeks ago for 44k which is highway robbery. But it is tough for a lot right now.

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bucyrus in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

42 months ago

Yamil in Miami, make contacts with and send resumes to large engineering companies. look in ENR magazine for the top companies. they will hire for diversity, and usually require hydraulic engineers for all the large jobs. Use Linked In website to join engineering groups, contact people, and provide your resume. Maybe even enroll in a community college for little fees, and use their job placement services. you can even join a professional group like ASCE and go to their monthly meetings to meet peers.

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europeruvian10 in Roselle Park, New Jersey

24 months ago

Im in the exact same position i was thinking bout becoming a hvac technicion but i want to be some better and im going to start going to community college. The math ive been told is difficult but i really want to do this. Im more motivated now then ever

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Kurt H in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

24 months ago

Hello my name is Charles I know this is an off topic here and brushing up on my math for Hvac because it's needed right away in the field and I would like to get to gather and certainly meet with like minded people as myself who are willing, self~motivated and even dedicated to landing the Right Job in the HVAC Field that they went to Tech School for.

I want to meet with people in the Philadelphia or NJ area and get to exchange knowledge and skills of HVAC and coming together to contribute in helping out one another in developing positive Skills, Knowledge, and Learning more into HVAC for better field preparations because most employers expect you to be more than ready to do the work without any apprenticeship. they want people that have 3 years experience at minimal that can't get that because of the way is.

I want to help bring like mind people together in this field for HVAC to help one another in developing themselves for learning and encouragements of better skills that can be carried into the field right away. As well as helping and learning better resume and profile layouts to share with each other.

I am looking for people and friends in this as I am a person with ambition and a total willingness to learn and help in the same in this search and have with over 20 years experience since being 10 and under in the disassembling and reassembling of electronic appliances.

I been self tout and have developed great troubleshooting skills as a trait that I found applies to all general things in life not just electronics itself and would like to apply my traits and skills into HVAC and helping others for that reason to add on as a contribute to skills.

I want to hear back from motivated people that are like minded in developing themselves for the right HVAC job.

My Email is: cremensnyder @ y a h o o . c o m

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Corolla94 in Albuquerque, New Mexico

20 months ago

I was worried about the same thing as im going for a civil engineering degree. I thought the math might be more than i could handle, but community colleges are great for making math alot easier. I just recommend going to RATEMYPROFFESER, that way you can find the teacher and see if he/she is a good math teacher. Hope this helps and good luck.

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PaulR in Austin, Texas

17 months ago

Below is a great article of what a day in the life of a civil engineer is like.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse in Plattsburgh, New York

11 months ago

look i am a working guy with the same description of your life sort of,and i also have the ambition to become a civil engineer.I am presently in the process of applying for admission to Norwich.U,and I tell you unless you have the stomach to take courses such as Matrix and dynamic analysis of structures, engineering mathematics, numerical methods in geotechnical engineering. you best be ready with calculus 1,2,3. this stuff is abstract math from hell my friend. i struggle with it for years and still do.Oh i am looking for
an MCE degree maybe a bit more involved.However don t get discourage you can do whatever you set your mind to do.

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