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Ideas on college/university for chemical engineering/chemical engineering technology

[OP]
Member
Mar 6, 2015
389 posts
26 upvotes

Ideas on college/university for chemical engineering/chemical engineering technology

So after reading all these quotes among other posts, I realize three aspects of the answers provided by RFDers.

Which field of engineering shall a prospect go into ?
grant_ wrote:
Mar 15th, 2015 12:52 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/4/
If you want a job and aren't planning on staying in academia for the rest of your life, avoid biomedical. If you were to take either electrical or mechanical you could always find a way to be involved in the biomedical field.
ziaa wrote:
Mar 13th, 2015 5:29 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/2/
If you want to be an engineer, work hard, do your best and goto university. It is not worth going to college and then trying for your P.Eng. I know because that's the situation I am in now. I did the technologist program at a college. I then did the B.Tech degree at mac. Now I am studying for my PEO exams. It took me 3 years of college, plus 4 years of part time mac, plus 1-2 years with PEO exams to get me to the same spot as a 4 year university degree. I think an engineer has a larger scope of work when it comes to jobs. Don't worry about the employment rate. The situation now is going to be completely different than the situation in 6 years. Focus on a good program (avoid chemical engineering), and you'll be fine.
Beckley411 wrote:
Mar 14th, 2015 10:41 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/3/
I wanted to give you some insight as a mechanical engineer who's done a lot of reflection on his career choice lately. As a student in high school I did exceptionally well. I would put in a few hours a week of homework and maybe a little work on the weekend and I'd be pulling in A's to A+'s almost without exception. I never knew what I wanted to be, but due to my high grades in high school core sciences there was a unanimous consensus from peers, guidance counselors, friends and family that I should go into engineering. I didn't really care at 18 years old so I said screw it and went in to the program at a leading Canadian institution. Nothing prepared me for what kind of workload you face on a day in day out grind. You literally grind it out 24/7 and your life is a constant pace of coffees, assignments, projects, labs, midterms, finals and the inevitable allnighters that follow. I would tell myself, "nah man don't worry about it the pay day is going to be amazing when you get out, $60k starting wage and then within a five years $100k!" Eventually i finished Uni (at the height of the recession) and it took me nearly a year to find a job which was 500 km away from my city and paid $45k...not the payday I envisioned. During all of this I watched a 'not quite university material' family friend go on path to become a unionized electrician. He went to work like anyone else, got paid a competitive wage and now is making $80k/year + ~$20k in benefits/pension since completing the 5 year apprenticeship. I, on the other hand, essentially wrote off five years of my life, took on $30 k in debt to acquire a position 500 km away at $45k. No engineer I know looks back on their university career as the 'time of their lives'. It wasn't. What I've come to realize is the salaries associated with engineering are extremely exaggerated. If you 're lucky enough to find a job with a great company, usually public service/crown, you'll be fine and you WILL make that payday. But those jobs are getting fewer and further between in a process that's become incredibly competitive. Engineers working in the private sector, at least in Canada, don't make a lot of dough if they live near any big city. Keep that in mind. I'm not sure how I want to wrap up this post and I certainly don't want to detract you from your goals/ambitions but I think you should keep in mind that there are other (much easier) ways to make a good buck in this country. My advice to young people is take on a skill/job that can earn you big dollars now without costing you too much. Whether that means a job on a rig in Fort Mac, a quick two year diploma in software at a local college (very lucrative btw!) or an in demand trade. The great thing about being 18 is you have enough time on your side to do any of these things and in 6 years if you decide you STILL really want to be an engineer, you'll have the ability to support yourself while you do it and you'll be mature enough to take on the challenge intelligently. Good luck bud
ShatteredAwe wrote:
Mar 18th, 2015 7:40 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/5/
My reasons for going into engineering are a bit weird for most to understand (probably stupidly optimistic), but I'll try to explain it. In some ways, I guess I want to be involved with how the world and how our society works, in a science sense. I want to work on things that change the world. I want to help humanity embrace renewable and green energy. I want to develop, design and help make things that could help people, and being an engineer looks like that might help me do that. Also, to be completely honest Im just confused in what I should do. I'm starting to look at jobs from now (I've started in Grade 10), though, so at least i have some ideas of what jobs might be right for me.
lorilya wrote:
Mar 18th, 2015 7:50 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/5/
Based on this, it sounds to me like the best field of engineering for you would be environmental engineering. Or maybe you could study a pure science (like chemistry or biology) and then study teaching after that, to become a teacher and pass along your enthusiasm for science to others.
Mars2012 wrote:
Mar 18th, 2015 8:28 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/5/
Imo, that's sort of messed up...to want you to make it on your own without giving you any help to get there. Like I said earlier, it's a very tough slog getting through, and you want to focus on your studies, not worry about how you are going to pay for your tuition and living expenses. Is OSAP out of the question?
University or College ?
shimo1989 wrote:
Mar 14th, 2015 2:03 am
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/2/
In short, if you can manage to get in, please please please do an engineering degree. As long as it's accredited by the CEAB, any school can provide an engineering education of the same quality; that's what the CEAB is for. Going the technologist route is difficult, much less lucrative, and will take significantly longer.
benjuotterly wrote:
Mar 25th, 2015 3:27 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/7/
Unless you have a specific situation such as finance or other things that prevents you from doing a 4 yr degree straight, otherwise, don't. Because you can hardly justify your experience being a technologist as "engineering experience". As someone else mentioned, yeah you draw in AutoCAD, you do 3D piping models, you select some instrumentations, but do you know why? why a use a stainless steel pipe instead of carbon steel? why this pipe size? why routing it to this location? why use this instrument type? why such measuring range? Only an experienced engineer can answer that.
Hope this helps.
carnut15 wrote:
Mar 19th, 2015 4:20 am
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/6/
I took the Engineering Technology diploma at Sheridan and am pretty happy so far. You can't exactly listen to everyone's opinion whether or not you should go into Engineering since everyone is different. Some people just shouldn't be in Engineering to begin with... Take the Technology diploma since its not overly expensive and work for a bit. The opportunity to go back to a university and complete your degree is always there.
divx wrote:
Mar 16th, 2015 3:17 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/4/
The most important thing is go do engineer at a top university (waterloo, UT, havard, MIT, princeton, etc) or not at all lest you want to be like the other guy complaining about making 45k after all that hard work.
Beckley411 wrote:
Mar 17th, 2015 12:15 am
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/5/
I actually graduated from UT. Honestly, I don't think it made a difference in my job search. I was working with other people from Ryerson, UT, Waterloo and Lakehead who were all in the same boat. When I was in school i remember placing a lot of emphasis on the fact that I was going to a top, if not the top, school in the country. As I see it, there's currently a glut of engineers and employers don't really care where you come from.
vinny13 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2015 9:01 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/2/
I'm into my 4th year in an eng program and I still don't really understand the importance or whatever of acquiring a P. Eng., but at least in the future I have the option. It's all job dependent. I'd recommend going the university route, but definitely look for a program that offers coop. I think that's more important than anything. If you're leaning towards a college program because you're more about application than theory, then check out the B. Tech. program at McMaster. I might be biased but I think it's the best of both worlds.

What to do after deciding either University or College route?
vinny13 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2015 9:01 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/2/
I'm into my 4th year in an eng program and I still don't really understand the importance or whatever of acquiring a P. Eng., but at least in the future I have the option. It's all job dependent. I'd recommend going the university route, but definitely look for a program that offers coop. I think that's more important than anything. If you're leaning towards a college program because you're more about application than theory, then check out the B. Tech. program at McMaster. I might be biased but I think it's the best of both worlds.
carnut15 wrote:
Mar 19th, 2015 4:20 am
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/6/
I took the Engineering Technology diploma at Sheridan and am pretty happy so far. You can't exactly listen to everyone's opinion whether or not you should go into Engineering since everyone is different. Some people just shouldn't be in Engineering to begin with... Take the Technology diploma since its not overly expensive and work for a bit. The opportunity to go back to a university and complete your degree is always there.
divx wrote:
Mar 16th, 2015 3:17 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/4/
The most important thing is go do engineer at a top university (waterloo, UT, havard, MIT, princeton, etc) or not at all lest you want to be like the other guy complaining about making 45k after all that hard work.
Beckley411 wrote:
Mar 17th, 2015 12:15 am
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/engineer ... 1692747/5/
I actually graduated from UT. Honestly, I don't think it made a difference in my job search. I was working with other people from Ryerson, UT, Waterloo and Lakehead who were all in the same boat. When I was in school i remember placing a lot of emphasis on the fact that I was going to a top, if not the top, school in the country. As I see it, there's currently a glut of engineers and employers don't really care where you come from.
bunoftruth wrote:
May 1st, 2015 11:27 am
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/prerequi ... l-1723523/
It's not really the university that makes it difficult, it's mostly specific courses/majors/specialist programs, so just choose wisely.
Hydropwnics wrote:
May 3rd, 2015 1:00 pm
in http://forums.redflagdeals.com/good-ide ... e-1726705/
If you get good relevant experience during your degree, its better then most undergrad majors. But if you dont get relevant experience during your degree and don't go onto further university studies, youre in for a world of hurt.
kuhai2001 wrote:
Jul 6th, 2012 11:49 pm
Should you go to college for certificate, just avoid the coiny private institutes with low reputation.
So after reading and according to all these quotes among other posts, chemical engineer makes more money than a chemist; so it seems the money matches interest. However, for people not entirely sure if engineering is good for them, shall they take the chemical engineering technology route at a college for 1 year to be sure if engineering is worth spending a career to go into ?
Once decided, the then 2nd year student can always apply to university for engineering and s/he has some experiences to boast; Or s/he continues along the chem eng tech route.

Regarding choosing wisely for specific courses/majors/specialist programs, Albertan colleges have 2 years programs because of the need for technologist and engineers for the local petroleum industry. For the Ontario ones,

1) chemical engineering is offered at most university; To combine with co-op, which posters have emphasized its importance to land jobs after graduation from either college or university, UoW have chemical engineering with compulsory co-op

2) chemical engineering technology is offered at various colleges but its content seems to differ from college to colllege. Does anyone know more ? For example Sheridan, Seneca, Durham, Mohawk, Lambton and others all offer chemical engineering technology programs....

Also a post mentions not going into chemical engineering among engineering choices, but as oil industry is very crucial to Canadians, why not going into chemical engineering ?
Last edited by cybercavalier on May 2nd, 2015 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
12 replies
Moderator
May 28, 2012
10301 posts
2444 upvotes
Saskatoon
You are limiting yourself with chemical engineering, especially when a lot of the work is in O&G and look where that's heading.

Out of all the disciplines, I think mechanical is the most versatile. My husband is a mech and he works in civil...there might be a bit of bias there, lol. A friend of mine has a nephew who was a chemical engineer - took his schooling in Ontario and had a heck of a time getting a job. It took at least a year or so and he ended up moving to the Far North (NWT or somewhere, can't remember).

To be honest, until I joined this forum, I never knew engineers had a hard time finding engineering work. Even the alcoholic buddy my husband went to school with, who got his degree by the skin of his teeth, managed to find an engineering position. Times have changed, and hope I don't come across as insensitive, just from my experiences.
Jr. Member
Jul 15, 2009
160 posts
61 upvotes
Edmonton
cybercavalier wrote:
May 2nd, 2015 11:43 pm
So after reading all these quotes among other posts, I realize three aspects of the answers provided by RFDers.

So after reading and according to all these quotes among other posts, chemical engineer makes more money than a chemist; so it seems the money matches interest. However, for people not entirely sure if engineering is good for them, shall they take the chemical engineering technology route at a college for 1 year to be sure if engineering is worth spending a career to go into ?
Once decided, the then 2nd year student can always apply to university for engineering and s/he has some experiences to boast; Or s/he continues along the chem eng tech route.

Regarding choosing wisely for specific courses/majors/specialist programs, Albertan colleges have 2 years programs because of the need for technologist and engineers for the local petroleum industry. For the Ontario ones,

1) chemical engineering is offered at most university; To combine with co-op, which posters have emphasized its importance to land jobs after graduation from either college or university, UoW have chemical engineering with compulsory co-op

2) chemical engineering technology is offered at various colleges but its content seems to differ from college to colllege. Does anyone know more ? For example Sheridan, Seneca, Durham, Mohawk, Lambton and others all offer chemical engineering technology programs....

Also a post mentions not going into chemical engineering among engineering choices, but as oil industry is very crucial to Canadians, why not going into chemical engineering ?
Your understanding of the issues are quite backward.
1. If it's money you after, then don't go into ANY science/engineering studies! study finance, investment and trading instead.
2. Chemist and chemical engineer work on very different environment. Chemist studies the science while CE applies the science (hence the degree B.A.Sc....)
3. Chemical engineers makes more money...only true for the last few years. When I was in school, chemical engineers makes the 2nd least salary (Geo/mining were the least in early 90s, and now they're among highest).
4. If you must "try" engineering, why not try 1st year in university instead of college? at least you've got a better chance of moving to other studies. I have never heard of any main stream universities will take a college student into their 2nd year programs.
5. Chemical engineering jobs are generalize with heavy industrial / rural environments. Unless you really enjoy the arctic air, thumb size bugs, or the constant aroma of mercaptan, you'll have a harder time to find relevant jobs in the city then most other disciplines.

If you're really set on doing engineering (as so many other RFDer's against, with depressing statistics), at least look into the job prospects of each disciplines before you decide.
[OP]
Member
Mar 6, 2015
389 posts
26 upvotes
benjuotterly wrote:
May 4th, 2015 12:28 pm
If you're really set on doing engineering (as so many other RFDer's against, with depressing statistics), at least look into the job prospects of each disciplines before you decide.
First and foremost, I thank all including you on ideas for engineering, let alone chemical. I have been looking into job prospects of each disciplines, concurrently with asking questions at RFD; the problems are where to find them. StatsCanada has shown the depressing stats found on another thread; jobsbank shows chemical lab technician and chemical eng tech jobs in the GTA, but very meager salaries, and just few jobs too.

It seems like many students are going for pharmacy, medical sciences including medicine, dentistry and denturism, law, accountancy, etc; where most people HAVE TO PAY for THEIR SERVICES when things happen.

After all these, where to find what engineers are doing at their jobs ? Study at a university for a 1st year, which include a common engineering year for all engineering students. For point #2 on much difference between chemist and chem eng work, probable my phrasing create the misunderstanding; one interest that I know is applied knowledge (sciences and whatsnot) is much more interesting.
Jr. Member
Jul 15, 2009
160 posts
61 upvotes
Edmonton
For engineering (or any career in that matter) career information:
1. Google search
2. Professional associations
3. Company websites
4. Friends and family
5. this forum

Seriously, you can probably get a lot of information here in this forum, with both encouraging (but mostly depressing) details and statistics.

As I've mentioned, chem eng associates with heavy industries, the more civilize the job location, the least number of jobs/salary.

Students are going for fields that people HAVE TO PAY for THEIR SERVICES when things happen? that's a no brainer!!! sounds good to me.

Sorry to say but if you can not survive the 1st year of engineering school, then you probably will not survive any of the professional schools....
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Oct 26, 2003
31301 posts
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op, you don't go to engineering for the money, you go into trades for the money, maybe finance and banking as well
[OP]
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Mar 6, 2015
389 posts
26 upvotes
divx wrote:
May 4th, 2015 11:31 pm
op, you don't go to engineering for the money, you go into trades for the money, maybe finance and banking as well
Then why people go to engineering then?
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cybercavalier wrote:
Apr 14th, 2017 6:38 pm
Then why people go to engineering then?
if you are interested in tech on the hardware side
Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2017
894 posts
410 upvotes
DT Calgary
Go into Nursing instead. Engineering is too competitive. Unless you are very determined to beat out the vast majority of your peers, do not pick engineering.
[OP]
Member
Mar 6, 2015
389 posts
26 upvotes
cocodc wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 7:46 pm
Chemical engineering is a very bad option in Ontario
Did you miss this thread? Neutral Face Caveat emptor.
I did not miss it but asking my own question on top of OP's is rude. So I just sort of reactivate my old post.
FreshCo wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 9:57 pm
Go into Nursing instead. Engineering is too competitive. Unless you are very determined to beat out the vast majority of your peers, do not pick engineering.
That seems to be many people going into. The top undergraduate program choice for prospects I have met... 10 to 12 out of 20 whom I chatted with since last year.
xblackrainbow wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 11:00 am
Honestly when I was in grade 12 high school, a lot of my classmates and myself chose chem eng since a simple google search showed how much they paid (at the time, it was high paying). Little did we know how the high paying jobs are located outside of Toronto.
Good thing I got into a general uoft engineering stream first year and dipped out of chem
So you believe your decision to going into some kind of "non-chemical engineering" engineering was a good one.
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Oct 26, 2003
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^if you want to stay in toronto, then the high paying jobs are in the financial sectors, there is also the public sector, but who knows how you suppose to get in on the 6 figure salary with gold plated benefit package.
Jr. Member
Sep 2, 2015
119 posts
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East York, ON
FreshCo wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 9:57 pm
Go into Nursing instead. Engineering is too competitive. Unless you are very determined to beat out the vast majority of your peers, do not pick engineering.
lol some of you guys kill me
nursing is competitive and completely different work from an engineer.

engineering degree gives you a huge opportunity. obv if you're just looking for a job to make money it's probably not worth it, but both my parents and my uncle are engineers and they have no trouble finding well paying work if they actually look for it. If you're lazy/unmotivated in your job search then yeah you'll get stuck with less than you were expecting, but that's true of every other job. Social skills make a difference in every field (except advanced research, where they can't afford to tell you to buzz off just because you can't work a shower or talk to girls).

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