Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

I like to work alone. What type of jobs?

mamaroneckmamaroneck Posts: 232Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2010 in Engineering Majors
Hi all,

I have been reflecting a lot, and I think I'd prefer working alone.

Yeah, growing up, we've all heard proverbs such as "No man is an island" etc, and we all know the importance of social connection etcetc. To perpetuate this, nearly every single job description (on collegeboard Careers and other educational guide sites) lists, "Able to work in a group with others".

Don't engineering and science majors get more chances to wore alone compared to our social science and humanities counterparts? Which type of stEm jobs allow for more alone time? Maybe consulting?
Post edited by mamaroneck on
«1

Replies to: I like to work alone. What type of jobs?

  • alchemist007alchemist007 Posts: 419Registered User Member
    Petroleum engineers must work in isolated environments sometimes hundreds of miles away from the nearest town or city. They normally perform office work and field work.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Posts: 5,448Registered User Senior Member
    Petroleum engineers must work in isolated environments sometimes hundreds of miles away from the nearest town or city. They normally perform office work and field work.

    For as much as you claim to know about petroleum engineers, you say some pretty wacky things. You realize that, while they may be hundreds of miles in the middle of nowhere, they are still working with people, right? They have literally dozens of laborers in their, they have a couple other engineers out there with them, and they need to be social enough to have a good rapport with with all of them so they can actually make things happen.
    mamaroneck wrote:
    Don't engineering and science majors get more chances to wore alone compared to our social science and humanities counterparts? Which type of stEm jobs allow for more alone time? Maybe consulting?

    On the contrary, working in teams is an integral part of being an engineer. The those social science and humanities people you mention are more likely to work alone than engineers. What requires more teamwork, building a skyscraper or writing a novel? If you want to be a successful engineer and still work relatively alone, your best bet is most likely to start your own small company.

    Also, just for the record, consulting probably requires the absolute most social interaction out of any engineering job.
  • alchemist007alchemist007 Posts: 419Registered User Member
    I apologize boneh3ad. I also want to make clear that anything I state should be taken with a grain of salt. I am not an expert. What I do know about Petroleum engineering is due to research on the field along with what I have learned from my professors. Unfortunately, I do not have first hand experience yet.

    In this particular case I simply misunderstood the question, partially my fault for only quickly skimming the question instead of thoroughly reading it. I also assumed he meant isolated as in away from the city. One reason why I had some trouble completely understanding his question was because the OP seemed to be contradicting himself. As you stated consultants must have a very well developed social skills.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Posts: 5,448Registered User Senior Member
    I'm not trying to be a jerk. My bad if it came off that way. I just think it is funny how odd "internet facts" can be sometimes.

    For what it's worth, I worked for Halliburton for a summer and that is all of the experience I have in the oilfield.
  • khoieykhoiey Posts: 106Registered User Junior Member
    Perhaps Chemistry major? I heard they spend a lot of time alone during lab work.
  • GShine_1989GShine_1989 Posts: 635Registered User Member
    Go with the M in STEM. Mathematics. There are probably some areas within mathematics that are mostly solo work.
  • hadsedhadsed Posts: 738Registered User Member
    Yeah, either that or software engineering... but that's a maybe depending on what you do. Every job will have some sort of social contact.. it's inevitable. Even research will give you long hours on your own fiddling with stuff, but you still have to be able to communicate very effectively with people and work as a team in some situations. I can only think of a few statistician and actuarial careers plus maybe maybe software engineering that work 'on their own'. In truth, you never truly work on your own..

    Man what kind of person are you anyway?
  • alchemist007alchemist007 Posts: 419Registered User Member
    Why not just relocate to the Himalayas and live in complete solitude as a monk.
  • KytKyt Posts: 595Registered User Member
    Software engineering is a very team based occupation.

    The main thing is that almost all STEM jobs work in teams simply because most modern problems are too large for one person to solve.
  • ProcessEngrProcessEngr Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    alchemist007
    your answer made me LOL. I just read the responses of others to what you said, and I respect that you accept criticism when you are wrong. If I may re-iterate, very very wrong lol :)
    Petroleum engineers work in big TEAMS. You can never run an oil rig/off shore platform/GOSP, by yourself no matter how good you are. You should never want to do that alone anyway.
    You must really love petroleum engineering ,eh ? lol

    As for the working alone part, you can get your PhD in something and just do research.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Posts: 5,448Registered User Senior Member
    As for the working alone part, you can get your PhD in something and just do research.

    This is true only if you are doing numerical work. Experiments take collaboration. Numerical work you can do largely on your own. You still have to do a fair amount of collaboration though, especially if you are a professor having to work with grad students.
  • TreetopleafTreetopleaf Posts: 2,702Registered User Senior Member
    IN a nutshell, you might consider getting into detailed design work.

    Here is my perspective after having been a SW Eng for years. You do work in teams, of course. But I found that some very socially awkward engineers were fully able to work in team environments. When the time came to discuss coordinating work, these people were capable of offering expertise and were flexible about assignments. When it came time to sit at the desk all day cranking out designs and code, they were fantastic at that - no wasted time chatting about sports or movies or whatever. No wasted time in turf or ego battles. No wasted time fighting for credit for success.

    Typically, the percentage of time we spent talking with others was less than 10%; the rest of the time was spent in producing work. A SW eng. who loves designing and coding will prefer to get going on the work and will facilitate the coordination (e.g. meetings to discuss who does what, how we solve this problem, etc.) so he/she can get back to the desk and get to work.

    Same deal in the lab - lots and lots of time spent solving SW problems, relatively little time spent chatting with others. Sure, you have to talk to others - problems might be solved or better understood after a chat with a hardware engineer, for instance - but it's all about the problem solving, so the socially awkward were fine, just fine with that - fully productive. They initiated contact if needed, and otherwise worked.

    I sometimes think these companies think they want social stars for every job. I can't understand why, since so few people can advance to management and so many worker bees are needed to do the actual work.

    A small percentage will go on to more social roles, like in working with customers or other departments at the company, but the 'worker bee' doesn't have to adopt those roles. And really bright, socially awkward folks can adapt to those roles for short periods if necessary.

    I just don't think it's a big deal. Just don't get into sales or management and you'll be fine in whatever field you prefer.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    On other note about software engineering: if you are really good at what you do, then the social communication stuff won't be bad at all because you will be talking about something that you know and love.
  • alchemist007alchemist007 Posts: 419Registered User Member
    Also, I recommend you try and become a little more social. It may be tough at first but the social aspects of life are very important to the well being of humans. Those that have friends and socialize in moderation normally have less chances of becoming sick or diseased. They also live longer on average. There has been extensive research to support what I stated.

    Health e-Newsletters - Be Social and Manage Stress to Live Longer
  • mamaroneckmamaroneck Posts: 232Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the advice guys. I see 1 word repeated here, and that's "software"

    I didn't want to get into "The life story of mamaroneck". I'm as sociable as the next guy. I love a good pizza and to hang out, but sometimes with colleagues and work stress, it really throws a wrench into a relationship.

    I am most afraid of hissy fit types as seen on America's Next Top Model genres. I guess the stereotype is that certain creative industries have more hissy fitties, but I guess you'll find people like that in every industry!
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.