Monday, March 24, 2008

Engineering Woes...

Recommended Reading: Rowe, Aaron. "Top 5 Reasons It Sucks to Be an Engineering Student." Wired. 23 March 2008.
For many students, earning a degree in engineering is less than enjoyable and far from what they expected. Here are our biggest complaints about the educational rite of passage. Of course, they are sweeping generalizations. Feel free to disagree.

5. Awful Textbooks
Thick, dry, black and white manuscripts are rarely a source of inspiration and sometimes can cause loads of confusion. Often, the text is poorly written and interrupted by lengthy equations with symbols that are different from those used by the professor during lectures.

4. Professors are Rarely Encouraging
During each class, a professor that would rather be tending to his research will waltz up to a blackboard or overhead projector and scribble out equations for an hour without uttering a single sentence to create some excitement.

3. Dearth of Quality Counseling
College students may not have a sense for how to build their resume and they might be clueless about the variety of career opportunities that await them. Unfortunately, some academic advisers do little more than post fliers about internships and hand out a checklist of classes to take. They should make some projections about the future job market, learn about the interests of each young scholar, and offer them tailored advice for how to best prepare themselves.

2. Other Disciplines Have Inflated Grades
Brilliant engineering students may earn surprisingly low grades while slackers in other departments score straight As for writing book reports and throwing together papers about their favorite zombie films.

Some professors view undergraduate education as a type of natural selection, but their analogy is flawed. Many of the brightest students may struggle while mediocre scholars can earn top scores because they have a larger group of supportive friends to or more time to dedicate to studying.

1. Every Assignment Feels the Same
Nearly every homework assignment and test question is a math problem. Only a few courses require creativity or offer hands-on experience.
I saw this article on my news feed from Google and felt that it nailed all my gripes about trying to study as an engineer, especially points 2 and 4.