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Engineering Career Vs Accounting Degree

  • Last Updated:
  • May 18th, 2009 6:29 pm
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Newbie
Apr 30, 2009
60 posts
Brampton

Engineering Career Vs Accounting Degree

Hello,
I am currently in grade 11 and wondering about which careers interest me. I have strong skills and grades in math(88) , physics(80) and accounting(90), english (80) and will be taking chemisty in summer school (grade 11).
My dilemia is that I have interesting in accounting and Engineering but I cant pick between the two.
How ever i want a career in which i can interact with people and not just sit in an office everyday.
How do Engineer careers compare against Accounting Careers?(pay,satisfaction, enjoyment, etc..)

And on a site note: What are biomedical engineers? Is this a rewarding career?
225 replies
Member
User avatar
Apr 27, 2009
294 posts
44 upvotes
Unfortunately, if U don't want to be stuck at a desk, than acctg is not for you - trust me. There isn't much opportunity to get out.

I am involved with accounting and its like watching paint dry.

....just my 2 cents
Sr. Member
Mar 3, 2009
538 posts
Starrup wrote:
May 1st, 2009 8:39 pm
How ever i want a career in which i can interact with people and not just sit in an office everyday.
- Pharmacist (it takes a bit longer to become a pharmacist but it's worth the 2 - 3 extra years of university). Must study hard to get high marks.

- Police officer or RCMP

- Lawyer (it takes a bit longer to become a lawyer but it's worth the 2 - 3 extra years of university). Must study hard to get high marks.
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Mar 5, 2007
627 posts
'Awaits long speech from Pitz re: the engineering profession'

:|
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Jun 19, 2006
9349 posts
42 upvotes
Haha.. Well seriously, over the past hundred years, engineers have easily out-earned accountants. In fact, engineering earnings have traditionally been higher than that of lawyers, salesmen, finance-men, and basically every profession other than medicine and dentistry.

If a person is planning their career, they have to look beyond short-term bubbles, such as the one that's existed in finance for the past 10-20 years. Has North American engineering been a poor profession to be in during the past decade? Absolutely, the shutdown of manufacturing and the offshoring of IT has been devastating. But during every other decade since the beginning of mankind, in almost every country on earth, engineers have been easily amongst the top earners. No other profession is capable of creating the sort of wealth, and improvement in living standards as the engineering profession can, and does when unleashed and allowed to do its stuff.
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
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Mar 5, 2007
627 posts
pitz wrote:
May 2nd, 2009 3:10 pm
over the past hundred years, engineers have easily out-earned accountants. In fact, engineering earnings have traditionally been higher than that of lawyers, salesmen, finance-men, and basically every profession other than medicine and dentistry.
:lol:
Deal Addict
Oct 10, 2008
1394 posts
120 upvotes
Vancouver
Engineering > Accounting

Trust me, I'm an accountant. Horrible way to live.
Deal Addict
Jun 18, 2007
1062 posts
10 upvotes
Depending on what kind of engineer you are, you will have the opportunity to get out of your desk...

I don't see that much of an opportunity with accounting.

I would try to figure out what you're more interested in, rather than basing it on salaries.

Good you're thinking though. At your age, I didn't care and just did engineering because I didn't have any better ideas. And now I'm an engineer that is unfulfilled in his job that still hasn't come up with any better ideas for what else to do....

Yay.
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2007
882 posts
9 upvotes
Based on your writing ability alone, you will have trouble filling in those supplementary applications at good business schools or writing the accounting exam thing for Waterloo's accounting program.

Just go with engineering.
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Dec 8, 2008
1375 posts
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steevee wrote:
May 2nd, 2009 7:15 pm
Based on your writing ability alone, you will have trouble filling in those supplementary applications at good business schools or writing the accounting exam thing for Waterloo's accounting program.

Just go with engineering.
I bet many asians in Waterloo's accounting program can't write to save their lives. There are tons of people in business who write poorly.
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
3420 posts
703 upvotes
Calgary
leoben wrote:
May 2nd, 2009 7:27 pm
I bet many asians in Waterloo's accounting program can't write to save their lives. There are tons of people in business who write poorly.
And then they wonder why no one will hire unproven grads with no working experience yet have a degree :p.

Engineering is a broad field, but most aspects > accounting. Try to stay clear from computer engineering - civil engineering and mechanical engineering are both harder to outsource and will get you outside rather then 100% desk job. That said, both can be affected by the economy and cut out as was recently seen in the oil sands in Alberta. As long as you don't expect or demand a 60K salary out of the gate just because you did an engineering degree, you will work out fine in the end and can work towards a fulfilling career. Don't do engineering just because it 'pays well'. So many do it and then get shocked when reality does not meet their perception.
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Jun 19, 2006
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Firebot wrote:
May 2nd, 2009 8:37 pm
As long as you don't expect or demand a 60K salary out of the gate just because you did an engineering degree, you will work out fine in the end and can work towards a fulfilling career.
$60k or higher has been a pretty standard 'starting' salary in engineering for years now. In fact, a person should suspicious of an employer that wants to pay less -- perhaps the job they're offering isn't really an engineering job, but is rather a technologist's position oversold to a potential candidate.

Really, if you accept anything less than $60k-$65k for an engineering job out of college these days, you're sending a message to an employer -- "I'm not really a good financial manager, I don't recognize my own value." Really, a person has to hold their own, and not undersell themselves simply to get into some dead-end job where an employer will not see the value in utilizing one's skills.

Seriously, think about it from a business manager's perspective; would you want to hire someone who doesn't really have a clue about costs, return on equity/investment, etc.? That's what grads are doing when they go for lowball offers -- they're telling their employers, "I'm f*cking dumb, I don't have a f*cking clue about money, I'm not one to be trusted with your money either.".
Don't do engineering just because it 'pays well'. So many do it and then get shocked when reality does not meet their perception.
The past decade has been quite atypical. Go back to 1997/1998, where the engineering new grads were coming out at $50-$55k, and easily moving into the $70-$80k range, while accountants were lucky to start at $30k and move to $50k in a few years. Heck, most pharmacists were only at $60k back in the late 1990s, but we've seen where those salaries have gone (now, pretty much, >$100k across the board).
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
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User avatar
May 1, 2009
481 posts
Toronto
Well sir, if you are more inclined to physics, math and applied science I would go for the engineering career. Keep in mind to do well in most engineering programs and succeed after graduation you would generally have to be a more analytical, problem solving type who can think in mathematical terms. It also helps to have a sincere interest in this kind of work and education, as without the proper motivation it is unlikely you will be able to put up with the grueling amount of work involved.

If you are more of a number-crunchery, paper-pushery type I would suggest the accounting path. I strongly suggest taking an accounting course before making this decision as sometimes this line of work makes people want to barf. Cheers.
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