October 4, 2010

Howdy Dr. Lowery,
 
Good to hear from you too. It's been rough out here in the engineering world, and despite what the news says about economic recovery, its pretty bad still. Recovery is slow, and really non-existent. Another round of layoffs may be on the horizon for civil engineers in Texas before the end of the year, but we all hope that doesn't happen. I am at a stable firm and doing quite well personally. But the last 24 months have not been exactly smooth. I have been laid off twice, once while I was an EIT and once as a PE (the company actually had to close its doors). Finding a job after each of those layoffs was challenging and not as timely as I would have hoped.
 
During those times I fondly remember you talking about the engineering hats, and about how y'all were preparing us to go out in the world and be able to put on a structural hat when need be, and then other times take that hat off and market yourself and perform as an environmental engineer, etc. I did my best to put that into practice as I interviewed for positions that weren't really available with firms that weren't hiring or who didn't have enough work to take on another employee. I used all the civil knowledge I have accumulated to try and fit into a need at each firm.
 
I hope all is well in Aggieland and in the Civil Department as well. I am sure you are preaching to your students that they should all immediately go to graduate school after they graduate with their bachelors? I have been telling all college students who will be graduating soon to stay in school. Its a really bad market out there and it's tough no matter what profession you are in. Engineers have not been immune, especially with our ties to the construction industry.
 
Best wishes,
 
NW, PE
Class of 2004

Fortunately things have improved dramatically since 2010.  As of today (6-11-15) as far as we know, all of our graduates either have jobs, or are still working on it with a high probability of success.

For other ideas on the potential of Civil Engineering, see: