Does anyone else only want to work as an engineer for just 10 or so years?

<p>I am studying to earn a degree in Petroleum Engineering. Except unlike most others I most definitely do not want to work as an engineer for the rest of my career. Instead I hope to work as an engineer for approximately 10 to 12 years after I graduate as an Engineer.</p>

<p>After that I hope to pursue other interests such as doing whatever I can to try and bring peace between India and Pakistan and their dispute in Kashmir.</p>

<p>I was curious to know whether I am the only one with this in mind or are others also only wanting to practice as Engineers for a few years to save up enough money to pursue other goals or dreams?</p>

<p>Also, I have and always will have a passion to become an Engineer and become good at science/math and apply it to the real world.</p>

<p>Most engineers I know are at least very open to a change in career paths a few years down the road. Only a few that I know want to be engineers for the rest of their lives. </p>

<p>I think when you actually start working and people begin to finally realize that most engineering jobs are not THAT exciting or interesting, people will become a bit more open. During college, people still have optimistic views of being someone who will design the spacecraft to send a man to Mars or something along those lines. While some will do interesting things, a vast majority will not.</p>

<p>Also, it may seem like an easier way to the top by entering management. It's only natural to want to make more money for doing an often easier job.</p>

<p>LOL, at least in structural engineering, it takes 10 years before you even feel competent! It would be bad if a lot of structural engineers quit after 10 or 12 years - young engineers definitely benefit from the experience of the older ones.</p>

<p>I'm working on a project with a younger guy. He has his PE license, but he's definitely lacking in experience and makes some basic errors.</p>

<p>Well, I don't want to live much past 30, so I guess me, but then again software isn't really engineering. Why did I post this?</p>

<p>I hope when you future engineers are thinking management, you are talking CIO, VP, some type of regional director or company owner/co-owner.</p>

<p>My program manager (who just left my employer) and my technical manager both make less money than I do.</p>

<p>how do people move into upper-level management, like CEO or VP, from entry-level engineering?</p>

<p>You make your current clients happy and you bring in additional clients (and thus, more money).</p>

<p>is that it, just be a good worker and show some initiative/creativity and be ambitious and you're there in 10-15 years?</p>

<p>^^^ or get tired of working hard and getting laid off frequently, and start your own business!</p>

<p>^ I doubt that all creative, ambitious people become executives. Necessary but not sufficient. I imagine luck plays as important a role as any other factor.</p>

<p>it seems pretty difficult to start a business as a mech/aerospace engineer though</p>

<p>
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how do people move into upper-level management, like CEO or VP, from entry-level engineering?

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You make your current clients happy and you bring in additional clients (and thus, more money).

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or get tired of working hard and getting laid off frequently, and start your own business!

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I doubt that all creative, ambitious people become executives. Necessary but not sufficient. I imagine luck plays as important a role as any other factor.

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</p>

<p>From what I have seen, all of the above are true.</p>

<p>Just keep in mind that one cannot predict one's mindset when they get of age to be doing work like CIO, Regional VP's, etc. Some of us "old techies" look at the long hours and pressure to "bring new business" to a company. Some of us look at the internal politics that goes on in order to obtain those positions. Some of have kids and other interests and quite frankly prefer a nice 8-hour day grunt techie job as opposed to the hustle & bustle of management. Some of us feel that the extra $20-30K ($12-$18K net) just isn't worth it.</p>

<p>As far as the cleared/INTEL world goes, you are paid anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 more than private industry depending on your security clearance level, so you have a BUNCH of us who were former managers/directors for private sector firms now doing grunt engineering work for the same or more pay....and working no more than an 8-hour day.</p>

<p>Depends on what the person wants and values.</p>

<p>I'm on the same page as you, GlobalTraveler.. I plan on workin as an engineer till I'm 30 or so and rack up some money. Then I'd like to something still related to science, but something more fun and less stressful. This is because I hear engineering (compared to other majors) has high salary in the beginning but peaks early.. so it's not worth it IMO to keep sticking with it if it's only semi-enjoyable (I'm in CEE).</p>

<p>What, however, I'm gonna do after engineering I have no idea. It will definitely involve something international though. Currently I'm interning in Oman, so hopefully it gives me some leverage.</p>

<p>Thanks alchemist007 for starting this thread. I have the EXACT same sentiment as yours regarding my future. I've been in the industry for 2 years now and I definitely do not plan on staying in it forever.
The good thing is, engineering can be a great platform to move into other directions in the future. I kind of like the idea being a technical person, but it's not something I want to do forever.</p>