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Cal Poly grads have highest salaries of all CSUs, higher than most UCs

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Replies to: Cal Poly grads have highest salaries of all CSUs, higher than most UCs

  • HPuck35HPuck35 Registered User Posts: 1,912 Senior Member
    bjornredtail,

    I'm sorry that your life has been so miserable and out of your control. Maybe it would be better if you just took control of it. Many people do change majors at Cal Poly. It does take some work, but so does most everything else in life.

    If you think the politics are bad at Cal Poly, just wait until you get into industry.

    I am sorry that I am coming down on you so hard but with the attitude you've shown in your posts, life after Cal Poly is going to be rough for you.
  • CalPolyEngineerCalPolyEngineer Registered User Posts: 182 Junior Member
    Standing ovation to bjornredtail. Finally someone has the "cojones" to talk about the corporation known as Cal Poly(TM) and their anti-intellectual and anti-academic stances on higher education all in the name of the Orfaleas' and Spanos' (guys who didn't even attend that university).
  • ickglueickglue Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    bjornredtail,

    Although I don't see Cal Poly the same way as you do, you have my sympathy for the distress you are experiencing.

    I hope you will be able to find a way out in the near future. I always believe all of us have a freedom of choice and action in our lives (even in our darkest hours), and I hope you will cease the opportunity to create a better and happier life for yourself.

    And don't pay attention to other's diatribe. Your issues with Cal Poly Corporation, while possibly upsetting and painful, shouldn't really be your first priority.

    @the CPPomona student
    You go to CP Pomona and seems to be morbidly obsessed with Cal Poly's campus issues. Why?
  • ickglueickglue Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    bjornredtail,

    I neglected to mention, I wholeheartedly agree with HPUCK35. Whatever political BS/corruption/wastage you might experience at Cal Poly, it is going to look benign and trivial in comparison to the corporate world.

    While advising some of US' Fortune 50 corporations, I have seen some breathtaking level of corruption, incompetence, and corporate misdeeds that you can't begin to imagine. So if you want to be cynical, disgusted, and apathetic, please wait until after graduation.

    And just so you know Cal Poly engineering graduates are not all drones, shortly after my graduation, I did get to design, from scratch, a 32-bit compressed video router/microprocessor that powers DirectTV's entire video traffic backbone.
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    Does take some work? I'm a 5th year senior with a ton of useless extra units. I will exceed the unit caps if I were to switch to anything else in the College of Engineering. And it will delay graduation by some time (which, to be fair, is to be expected), which means that cannot be allowed (it might hurt the 6 year graduation rate). So... No. They will not let me. My only hope is to get another degree (since, as you folks so artfully pointed out, engineering requires some formal education) somewhere else. That's 5 more years in school. Tell me, where in the hell am I going to get the money for that? Am I supposed to put my life on hold for another 5 years? All because someone thought it would be a great idea to reduce the time to graduation by eliminating our choice in the matter.

    You are not allowed to switch majors unless you can justify it somehow to some department head who has every reason to say no. That is a major educational failure. How can Cal Poly's defenders see this any other way? Part of the reason for all those GE and support classes we take is to see if we have talents in areas outside our major. The College of Engineering's current policy makes it impossible to follow any of those intrests. So long as I get credit for my preforming ensembles, I can't even take a single 4-unit class that isn't towards my degree. Not to mention that none of the engineering programs offer a minor (except Computer Science). Doesn't that completely defeat the point of undergraduate education? It's like saying "Be well rounded, but only as well rounded as we say".

    It's not just an abstract rant against the corrupt nature of the politics of SLO and Cal Poly. Each part of my rant is something I've experienced personally. I've seen Warren Baker's copper counter-tops. I have run useless errands for the folks in the Admin building (of course, I got paid for that... I acctually miss that job). I have had Corporation attempt to charge my club to use our own name. I've been scared away from changing major or even taking classes outside my major. I've been number 3 on a waitlist of class that has only taken 2 people. I've experienced Cal Poly's version of "due process", and I've seen friends fall victim to it as well. As I said before, if you experienced what I experienced, you would hate Cal Poly.

    So, it gets worse in industry? How is that relevant? Because things are worse in industry, I shouldn't care? Perhaps I should ask, why don't you care? Did your engineering degree include a professional ethics class? Man, they need to start making the CPEs take 300.
  • HPuck35HPuck35 Registered User Posts: 1,912 Senior Member
    I got on your case because all you did was whine about your problems. No solution was put forth.

    How the heck did you become a senior in a major you didn't like? I know many people who have switched majors at Cal Poly. Yes, its does require some effort and taking some extra classes. But, they took a proactive approach and did it. Most figured it out sometime around their sophomore year, some earlier.

    I have managed large groups of engineers at a large aerospace company. If someone came to me with a problem but no solution, I'd ask them to come back another time with a proposed solution.

    When you were #3 on the wait list for a class, did you go and talk to the professor? Many a time they will admit an extra person to the class if they see you really want and knowing that someone will probably drop the class; making it even. Did you ask why Cal Poly they wanted to charge your club? Were you using the name of the school in your club's name and doing so outside the school? In which case they were probably justified in asking for money for several reasons I can think of.

    So what's you solution to the problems you see at Cal Poly?
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    My solution? Change the damn policy! Make it clear that department heads shall admit unless they have cause not to, not the other way around. Drop the 'specific class GPA' requirements, which make changes of major impossible once you have taken certain classes with less than a B+ average, unless you retake them. Eliminate the 4 unit rule so that people can start exploring other areas if they want to.

    Ditto for the club T-shirt. Trademark fees should NOT go to the corporation, who doesn't give a damn cent back to the University. We should revise trademark policy to remove the red-tape from the actions of student groups. We, the students, have far more of a claim on the mark than the corporation and trademark policy should reflect that.

    When I was #3 on the list, the professor was specifically unwilling to take any more students at all. I was at the first meeting, I would have gotten in if she had. To prevent that from being a road-block, we should not have unnecessary prerequisites. There are a number of classes in CSC that shouldn't (indirectly) require 225 but do.

    I've got solutions. The real question is does the university give a damn? I suspect that it doesn't.
  • eduparenteduparent Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    bjornredtail: Going through your required courses in your major isn’t easy, more so if you don’t like your major. In fact, those required classes seem to get harder & harder and may not pique your interest. If networking or database isn’t your cup of tea, and you still have some time left, use your technical elective list to try completely different classes. Check the proposed course offerings to see what’s available winter or spring and ask other students about upper-level classes. My son discovered an interesting tech elective class after three years. Found another interesting, different specialization the next year. All of the sudden, with a few interesting classes sprinkled in here & there, the major became stimulating. So if you can’t switch majors, make the most of what you have left at Cal Poly.

    Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for getting this far. Many of the students you started with as freshman did not make it this far. So if you’re taking 430 (a very hard class), you’re doing great, drained at this point in the quarter, but fine. Stay focused, pass the class, and move on. Do something of interest with your senior project. Don’t let administrative issues (and other controversies you have no control over) interfere with your goal of graduating.

    Once you graduate, you will be in the enviable position of landing a job (thank CPSLO for that in a tough economy). You’d be surprised what a healthy monthly salary can do to your outlook on life. Perhaps with your first job, you might be able to learn other skills more to your liking and meet other people, besides starving, burned-out students. :)

    Best of luck to you.
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    Well... For the sake of amusement I read through everything that is offered with a CPE prefix. The answer for all but 3 or 4 classes was either 1) Done it (passed) 2) Doesn't apply (the non-major classes, or the CPE-only classes) or 3) Can't take it (I lack the prereqs). I've done intro to networks, intro to graphics, web development, and databases. That leaves what, AI? SE capstone? OS stuff (oh, right. Haven't taken OS yet)? More architecture stuff? (Oh, right, not offered). Compilers? (After failing 430? Please.) Distributed computing (Not offered) . Theory of computing stuff? (Need 430, and it's not offered).

    I want to design things. Software is not like that. That's the first thing that a software engineer will tell you. I want to design useful things. A mechanical engineer will never get stuck writing a silly business apps. However, that's the highest calling most software people will ever have. And, that's the rub. Everyone keeps telling me to simply get a job in the field and slowly work my way towards what I really want to do. No one would ever give this advice to a high-school senior. They would say that being an engineer requires a college education in engineering. How is that any different in my case?
  • ickglueickglue Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    As a Cal Poly trained engineer I have the following comments for you:

    1) You whine too much.

    If your aim is to become a software designer, your Cal Poly education won't prevent you from achieving that aim. You just need to pursue that path after graduation.

    So stop complaining and start searching for a design engineering job. For most of us, that is how we learn our engineering craft, by working in an actual company.

    2) You said you didn't transfer because you didn't know where else to go.

    Well tough. The opportunity was presented to you for transfer, you didn't have the guts to take it while it was available. So now live with the consequence of your cowardice.

    3) You complained about politics and corruption at Cal Poly

    I previously told you that the politics and corruption actually much worse in the industry.

    You sounded like you are already so disgusted and disenchanted with Cal Poly's politics that you are ready to burst with anger.

    Well, guess what? If you can't handle CP's political BS, after graduation, you can either go become a 1) monk or 2) live in a cave, or 3) do both.

    Corporate corruption and politics are 1) rampant, 2) they are infinitely worse and more insidious than CP's politics. If even now you are filled a sense of rage that prevented you from functioning well in CP, how do you expect to handle low level corporate politics and hold an entry level job?

    I don't want you to go down the road of a worker who goes postal after being fired.

    4) Take charge of your life instead of blaming others

    "I want to design things. Software is not like that."

    You could do that anytime. No one is stopping you. You could even create the next facebook while still in college just like Mark Z, and drop out with your billions!

    What is stopping you?
  • Mariner116Mariner116 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    "Silly Business apps". Odd you have no appreciation for the field you chose to enter. Those business apps can transform the way people and organziations have worked for centuries. I guess that is silly.
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    I want to be an engineer. That is to say, I do not like programming. I do not like designing software. I do not like implementing software. I want to build THINGS. I want solve problems in the real world, not some abstracted universe created by whoever made the hardware/vm/operating system/programming language/compiler/interpreted environment/API that I happen working in at any given moment. I do not want to work 8 hours a day, only to come home and have to learn the latest, hottest API on my own time and dime. In short, I hate my field, and I wish I had studied civil or mechanical or aeronautical engineering.

    That's the thing. I can't sit down and do their jobs without their education. In no way does a CSC degree prepare me to to do any of their jobs. You wouldn't advise a high school senior to get whatever job they could and attempt to work their way into an area that requires a specialized education. How am I any different, even if I manage to finish my degree?

    Part of the reason I chose Cal Poly is because it's 'real' engineering departments are reasonably good. I wasn't sure of what I wanted to do when I came in. I always thought that it would at least be possible to switch major. I think it's reasonable to warn incoming students that this may not be possible and they should plan it being impossible at this university.

    Mariner116: And, how much of these can be implemented by accountants using spreadsheets? (Not that it is maintainable and good practice... I'm making a point here, not seriously suggesting any sane organization do that). Business programming is boring. It requires almost no creativity of the end developer and it requires skills in areas I would rather not deal with for the software engineer. All the heavy lifting has been done and wrapped up in some nice shiny library or API. I don't think it requires a college education to be able to 'SELECT * from customers' and calculate how much money everyone owes. On the flip side, try implementing the code that fetches that from disk, along with several thousands of others every second efficiently and reliability. Oh, and you also have to cope with disk failures, network failures and someone tripping over the power cord. That's worthwhile, but very few programmers get to do things like that.
  • baronbvpbaronbvp Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    Then go get a master's in mechanical engineering or industrial design, freely available at excellent institutions all over the country and world. I have NO idea why you think that will take you another five years, but it won't unless you do it wrong.
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    I'm arriving at 5 years based at looking at Cal Poly's curriculum. Before I can take even a single graduate-level class, I have to complete most of the undergrad stuff in the field. You can't do that in parallel. You have to take statics before dynamics. You have to take dynamics before you take thermodynamics. And so on. I've counted it all out. Here at Cal Poly, that adds up to two years (that's two years before I can take a single graduate class), even if you have ALL of your external math and science done. Since the knowledge required is the same pretty much anywhere, I fail to see how any other university would be any different.
  • FuturePolyFuturePoly Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    @bjornredtail

    I know this is actually a 2 month late reply, and let me just start off by saying, sorry you did not have a good college experience, I truly am.

    My question to you is, if you don't like your current major why did you choose to major in it in the first place? Why didn't you bother to take the time during application process to thoroughly research these things? Cal Poly makes it painfully clear that they frown upon transferring majors. Why didn't you bother to thoroughly look at their curriculum and what it details? The Cal Poly website has so much information for you, one can only question your own researching abilities. I don't know why you are whining this much when everything from the start has been your own choice and no one else's. During application time, did someone choose your major for you? During application time were you or were you not the one that clicked submit?

    To be honest, I think you chose the major you chose purely, PURELY, on prestige. Of course of you did that, there is a good chance you may not like what you are studying. If you think Cal Poly is overrated due to its faults as you listed out (and I do not know if it is true or not) you had PLENTY of time to transfer to a different college entirely. Or maybe, you didn't want to lose the prestige you have at Cal Poly? Maybe your own pride stopped you from maybe going to UCR which has a great engineering program that (as you said you wanted to do) allows you to "build" things. Maybe it was your own pride that stopped you from maybe going to UCM which has a GREAT transfer rate to other colleges (around 90%) In the end, regardless of what you said, you whined away all the time you had to actually do something about what you were unhappy about. I suggest using the internet more for research rather than just ranting and crying about your own laziness to do something.

    I am sorry that you became so disillusioned with the college experience and that is caused you to apparently waste away your years of education that you paid good money for. Nothing, is ever as it seems, you can only research as much as you can and predict how it will be. Your life, your time, your choices.

    It is made perfectly clear to all students before entry, that Cal Poly 1. requires you to determine your major, they will not let you go undeclared 2. they absolutely frown on transferring majors. Again, I am sorry you don't like your major, nor your life in college. But bluntly put, if you want to place blame, blame yourself for not researching more during one of the most important life decisions you will have to make.

    I really am sorry if it seems I am being harsh, but i know several of my friends that desperately wanted to be at Cal Poly and researched thoroughly and painfully long about the university, to hear you whine so much about your time there is a little irritating as so many would love to be where you are. You could have always just dropped out of Cal Poly, save some money, same some angst and fustration, and go to a community college (see how thats like, btw)

    I know, if I don't like my experience at Cal Poly next year, I only have myself to blame and I know full well that I will do all that is within my power to change it for the better. As for me I don't care about prestige in name, Cal Poly just seems to be able to offer me more in experience and skills than the other colleges I was accepted into can, like UCDavis.

    EDIT:
    It occurred to me I never said how Cal Poly made it painfully clear that they did not like major transfers.

    If you actually read the wall of text that was there even before you started your application, it says there explicitly, that Cal Poly actually (in a much more harsher way) does NOT allow major transfers at all. It doesn't even say that it is frowned upon, they just say, they do NOT allow major transfers.

    If you dont' remember that wall of text, you probably just blindly clicked on the "I have read Cal Poly's policys and understand, proceed to the application" and also, apparently lied in saying you have read it.
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