Choosing between Industrial and Civil/Environmental Engineering

Hi,
I'm currently just starting on the path to become an engineer but am very lost as to which specialization to choose. I'm torn between Industrial and Civil/Environmental and would honestly do both if I could!
Industrial appeals to me because of the variety of opportunities and work environments. I always look around me and think of how something could be designed or done better.The downside for me is that is is somewhat more business oriented.

On the other hand, I feel very strongly about the environment and would enjoy being able to either work to help clean it up or design better systems to control/lessen pollution and in general reduce negative human impact on the planet. This might be a bit more challenging for me though and I don't know if I would perform as strongly.

If you have any tips or could share your experience of how you *knew* what you wanted to do please share!
posted by Alexandria, MSOE, Milwaukee on November 28, 2012

Answer by Morgan Lynch

Alexandria- I was in your exact situation! And don't worry, once you start school you can switch engineering majors, the key is to start out in engineering. I will give you the advice that was given to me that has proved to be true over the course of my career, "Start out in Civil Engineering. All Civil Engineers can be Environmental Engineers but not all Environmental Engineers can be Civil Engineers." My advice is to start out in a "broader" degree choice, Civil Engineering or Mechnical Engineering. If you start liking a specialized area you can take classes in that during your junior or senior year in school or even get a minor depending on where you go. Most of us start out thinking we will like one area and end up loving another, so don't limit yourself upfront. Hope this helps! And good luck! Morgan