I don't think I have passions. All I really like it money. What do I do?

<p>I have told my story on this forum plenty times before so hopefully i don't have to explain that much. I'm a rising senior civil engineering major at UMD who hates engineering now. For the past month I have been looking into other things to do with my life (IT, computer science, public policy, business). However, I come to realize I not really "passionate" about them. I mean I like them but I'm not obsessed like other people. I honestly think I have no passions in life and all I like is money. This puts me in a strange predicament because I don't know what to do. Should I stick with engineering? Should I leave engineering? I feel bad because i quit my research assistant job which would have got me engineering experience, which I none of right now because I changed my major 4 times throughout college. </p>

<p>I graduate in 3 semesters. I'm panicking. I don't know what to do! Help!</p>

<p>go to business school and get and MBA, that should solve your problems</p>

<p>just breathe and relax. I tottaly agree with the post above me.</p>

<p>It's OK. You'll be fine. You're not the first, nor will you be the last, person who has had doubts about engineering upon graduating. I graduated with people who had a similar outlook. People like this also post on here from time to time.</p>

<p>The good news is that your degree will enable you to get a fairly well paying job. You may not like it, in fact you may hate it, but you will still be paid a good amount of money. So, you have the option of getting a job and spending the next year or two planning your next step. This is a much better situation to be in than struggling to get a low paying job. Don't rush into the next thing blindly, take your time and figure out what you want to do.</p>

<p>Also, are you really certain that every other engineer (or whatever) is passionate about what they do? From my experiences, I feel most engineers don't mind or somewhat enjoy the work they do, but don't really have much of a passion for it. They don't want to go home and continue working on whatever it is that they do at work.</p>

<p>Going to business school and getting a MBA may or may not solve all your problems. A lot of people have similar ideas and as a result the value of the MBA has dropped somewhat. There's also no guarantee you'll get an extremely well paying job out of it. It may be what you want to do, but you need to find out what is right for you.</p>

<p>So, what do you like or not mind doing? Taking the engineering aspect out of it as much as possible, what would you like to do? Do you like working with a lot of people? Teaching? Working with your hands? Designing new things? Art?</p>

<p>JohnAdams12 & Custardapple101: I heard you need at least 2-5 years of professional work experience to get into a good MBA program. How will i get 2-5 years of experience if i don't even know what to work in? Not to mention, I heard the value of an MBA is going down since everyone is getting one now.</p>

<p>PurdueEE: A few things:</p>

<p>1) A lot of articles I have read show that the construction industry is way down because of recession. Because of this, civil engineers aren't having good job prospects. I know civil engineering encompasses more than buildings houses/offices, but a good chunk of jobs are from that industry. That scares me. What's the best field in civil engineering right now? Environmental?</p>

<p>2)Because of changing my major 4 times + lots of personal issues, i never had an engineering internship. Ill be looking for one next summer before my final semester, but I want to know if it's possible to get internships AFTER you graduate? A lot of internships I look for generally want people to be in school when they do it. Also, how much internship experience do you need to get an entry-level engineering job in general?</p>

<p>3)With regard to what I like, I don't really stray too far from my computer. I just like how we can do so many things on computers and never get out of our chairs. This partly why I was thinking about IT. I like how technology can completely revolutionize things. That and also because I have programming experience I thought of going into IT/comp-sci. </p>

<p>I hate teaching because children get on my nerves. I don't like working with my hands because I bruise easily. I suck at art because I have shaky hands. I don't like designing physical things but maybe software? Just a thought.</p>

<p>Work is not about passion, it is about making money. If nothing else, one can still pursue something from 5-9 instead of 9-5.</p>

<p>You might have a passion, it just may not be something you can really do for a living. Of course, you can try and find that passion and try to incorporate it into a way to make money somehow, but it's hard to do that. Hell, if you like IT and you clearly don't mind it, I'd say go with what ME 76 said and just study that. It's fairly easy to get into IT and software design if you can take a few classes or even after college if you have an engineering degree and a few certifications for languages you know.</p>

<p>You should message GLOBALTRAVELLER, he knows a lot about IT and software and he's in the industry, unless he comes wandering in this thread.</p>

<p>What do you spend your money on or plan on spending any discretionary income on?
Let's say it is comic books... then that's your passion. If you are putting your money there, then that's what you care about. If you just like money in general, then think about a career in economics, finance, business, etc.
If your initial post was merely hyperbole, and what you really mean is that you want to have a passion, that you are in search of meaning... maybe you should go into philosophy. "The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life" is a book of discussions with a molecular biologist who became a Buddhist monk.
I am also reminded of Maugham's The Razor’s Edge which is the story of a WWI veteran trying to find meaning in his life...something to be passionate about. The novel is supposed to be based on the life an American mining engineer. "The story begins through the eyes of Larry’s friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality change after the War. His rejection of conventional life and search for meaningful experience allows him to thrive while the more materialistic characters suffer reversals of fortune." "The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard."</p>

<p>I went into Computer Engineering because I liked playing with computers. I didn't realize what the degree really entailed until the beginning of my junior year (really didn't want to start over in another major so I just stuck it out). Like you, I wanted to have a job that paid me some $$$. In fact, in college my goal was to get an engineering degree so I could make enough to buy an M3 some day. Anyway, I got into systems engineering (out of college) because i didn't want to spend my years working on circuits. My point is that you don't have to be obsessed (like many on this board appear to be) in order to have an engineering job and like it (school - generally - is much worse than working). I like to think and keep the cogs turning in my head, that's why I like working as a systems engineer. For me it's just the right balance.</p>

<p>Vblick...if you don't mind could you go into detail of what a systems engineer does on a day to day basis? I'm having the same dilemma as a recently graduated Computer Engineering graduate.</p>

<p>During my last year at school, I too could not see myself as an engineer. Spending 8-9-10 hours a day cooped up designing yet another piping system held zero fascination. (I guess that was pretty evident when I interviewed with Parsons and both me and the interviewer knew after about 30 seconds that he wasn’t going to hire me and I wouldn’t work there if he did.) </p>

<p>To stay out of an office, I thought maybe I’d take my environmental engeering degree and go into agriculture waste management. Took a class in it and during that class started talking to a woman about exactly this topic. I told her money was not a motivating factor and so at her suggestion, I investigated and ended up going in a direction opposite traditional engineering – I joined the Peace Corps. I spent 2 years building water supply systems for rural villages in West Africa. (Money became relative – I made $200/mo and lived like a king. Had someone cook my meals, do my laundry, clean my house, could travel wherever and whenever I wished. Of course my village had no running water, electricity, sewers, etc…) </p>

<p>So maybe open yourself to other possibilities. It doesn’t have to be the Peace Corps. There are plenty of non-traditional opportunities out there. Teach – your engineering degree is a big advantage as all school districts are hurting for math and science teachers. Write – there’s probably a market for people who can translate techno-speak into 8 grade level language. Most engineers don’t actually “do” engineering anyway. Many end up working as sales engineers or trouble shooters for established companies. </p>

<p>Get your degree. And keep your eyes and heart open to the wide world of possibilities. Something will present it self.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Vblick...if you don't mind could you go into detail of what a systems engineer does on a day to day basis? I'm having the same dilemma as a recently graduated Computer Engineering graduate.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>From my experience (DoD Contractor) it depends on the kind of organizational structure your
department/company has. If it's a matrix organization you'll probably be doing the same task over and over and over on different projects. For example, the group you're in might solely be responsible for testing missile performance, but you'll do this over an array of programs. Once you're done testing for one group, you give the green light, and whatever is next in line for that project takes place. You move on to do the same thing for another group (granted it's not as bland as i'm making it out to be but you definitely have a nitch that is the responsibility of your group.) This structure has its pro's and con's. Con's being that it's repetitive and pro's being that you have better job security - if the government pulls a program, you still have other programs to work on.</p>

<p>I do not work in a matrix organization, so i'm apart of the program from start to finish. From proof of concept to testing in the field (domestic/foreign). My department has two groups. A systems integration group that is responsible for overseeing the entire program performance over all companies involved (navy, lockheed, bae, raytheon): this includes developing requirements, conducting formal testing, and maintaining documentation. Then you have my group - Weapons Group - who provides one of the actual systems of the overall system. We obviously fall under the umbrella of the other group but do the development, coding, and testing of our product using their requirements (requirements are really a community wide decision, no one group is responsible for setting them). As of lately i've been doing in house testing to make sure that new coding changes haven't negatively impacted the systems performance. I like it because it's engineering, practical, and interesting. So the pro's of this department structure are that I get exposed to every single aspect of the program (greater experience overall) but it's the only program i work on so if the government cuts it, i'm getting tossed into the company pool and they'll place me where they can.</p>

<p>I recommend moving to India or pakistan. They are in great need of civil engineers. With a US degree you will easily get a high paying job and live like a prince with a huge house and maids. It will be a much more stress free life compared to the US.</p>

<p>In South Asia they will be so impressed by your degree that you will even have ease in getting jobs that have nothing to do with civil engineering such as business. South Asia was once rules by the British so english is commonly spoken and cities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh are westernized.</p>

<p>Just think of it.. Doing what ever you want and living like a Prince!</p>

<p>I recommend you do some further research if you are fascinated by the prospects.</p>

<p>Xinio, relax. An engineering degree is probably one of the most versatile degrees you could possibly get. Engineering degrees carry a lot of weight and are widely respected. You can find people with engineering degrees in practically every industry. Many engineers work in sales, business, finance, consulting, etc. The point is, the engineering degree by no means limits opportunities to change industries or even careers. It is like I always say, engineers can work in business but business majors can not work in engineering. Don't worry too much. You will find something that you really enjoy.</p>

<p>The only suggestion I will make is to not choose to do anything soley for the money. I think that this philosophy is very short cited. I know that you always hear it but it is really true. You will be miserable doing a job that you hate even if it does pay well. Some of the most successful people are the ones that chose to do something that they really enjoy and the money followed.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I recommend moving to India or pakistan. They are in great need of civil engineers. With a US degree you will easily get a high paying job and live like a prince with a huge house and maids. It will be a much more stress free life compared to the US.

[/quote]

Less stress except when shoddy practices (whether it's design related or QAQC related) kill people. The fatality rate there is 15.8 per 1000 people on construction sites as compared to 0.23 in the U.S.... that comes out to India construction being 69 times as dangerous at U.S. sites. I work in construction management in NYC and I've also seen construction sites in India firsthand and there's is a remarkable difference. Maybe you're okay with it, but I wouldn't feel comfortable at all working in India.</p>

<p>xinio, I think the biggest issue is you don't have any work experience anywhere so it's no surprise you don't know what you want to do. You said you have 3 semesters left... see if you can find something, anything for next summer. After that you'll at least know for sure if that's what you want to do or if that's something you can cross off the list.</p>

<p>Also, keep in mind that you're not choosing the career for the rest of your life. People can change fields; it may not be easy but it can be done. Just find something you think you can live with for now and see how it goes.</p>

<p>xinio, just apply to the b-schools. You never know. But also interview for jobs senior year.</p>

<p>
[quote]
JohnAdams12 & Custardapple101: I heard you need at least 2-5 years of professional work experience to get into a good MBA program. How will i get 2-5 years of experience if i don't even know what to work in? Not to mention, I heard the value of an MBA is going down since everyone is getting one now.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Honestly, what would getting a MBA accomplish? People who think MBAs are a ticket straight to management and wealth are very misinformed. Why invest more money in a degree that will not really be that valuable unless it is from a very top business school? The bottom line is that it will just take time to figure out what career path you should take. Piling on more degrees will not help the situation, in my opinion.</p>

<p>Also, I think many of you are misinformed on what management is. Do you think you will be at some plush office directing folks and working 9-5 with a fat paycheck. There are a few things you should know:</p>

<p>1) If the management is not CIO or CTO level, then you are not making much more (and in some cases making the same or less) than your senior engineers.</p>

<p>2) If you are not bringing new business and retaining employees, you are gone.</p>

<p>3) Goodbye working 40 hours and getting paid for 40 hours</p>

<p>4) Less managerial jobs to get if you lose yours than the techies.</p>

<p>Excellent points Global. I can't believe how many times I have seen people on this forum say that engineering + MBA is a golden ticket to management and wealth. The people saying this are probably kids with no work experience that are just repeating something that they heard from another misinformed person. I know many engineering managers and I can't think of one with a MBA. Moreover, 99% of MBAs are not worth nearly as much as people think they are. There are also so many subpar business schools that offer them. It seems when some people think MBA, they envision Harvard business school and making millions on Wall St. The fact is, most MBAs are not nearly as lucrative.</p>

<p>I have to be honest with you, I have a BS and MS in civil engineering (structural). You will be LUCKY, if when you will graduate you are offered a job you HATE.</p>