Rebecca Goldberg

Rebecca Goldberg

Project Transportation Engineer
Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP
Woodbury, NY, United States
Rebecca Goldberg
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* A.S. in Engineering Science * B.S. in Civil Engineering
Answers by Rebecca Goldberg

Hi Tenzin,

Thank you for the question.

Women have equal opportunities today. There's no inherent issue being a woman in engineering today, and it does not matter how old you are.

If you think you may want to become an engineer, then pursue that. But please don't base this decision just because for the time being, someone thinks we need a magical percentage of women in the field for us to be "equal"!

You should pursue engineering if that's your real passion and if your skills include things like a good attitude, a good work ethic, math, logic, and creativity.  Your value is in your mind - NOT in the fact that you're a girl.

Thank you for writing! Good luck to you!

Dear Raya,

High school courses set the groundwork for the work you do in college, but it’s nothing you can’t work around.  Do not be worried about whatever you did or didn’t take in high school.  Just take the required courses for civil engineering majors.  If you can do well in math, you can do well in science classes, which, I guarantee you, will include an Introduction to Physics class.  Also, one thing though which you may not realize: do not discount your business classes that you have been taking.  Engineering is a business, and a business background can only help you as you begin and continue your career.  Many engineers actually get their MBA (Master’s degree in Business Administration) even if they are set to stay in the engineering field, for precisely this reason.

Good luck! 

Hi Jean, thanks for your question. The general answer is that you can let your personality shine, whatever your outfit looks like. I love color too; as I write this, my top is bright orange, bright pink, and black.

You have to remember that engineering is no different from law, from medicine, from accounting, etc. – to be taken seriously, we need to dress professionally, in and out of the office. Now this certainly allows for dresses, skirts, colorful outfits, jewelry, high heels, etc. Just not all at once, no 5-inch heels, nothing low-cut, no mini-skirts, and no glitter. If your daughter still likes wearing glitter after college, the time and place is when she goes out at night or on the weekends, same as it would be if she worked in another job.

I’d hope your daughter wouldn’t shun a rewarding, potentially lucrative profession just because “wearing glitter in the office is frowned upon” – but that’s for her to decide. Wishing her luck in her future endeavors!

Hi Jena, Before I answer your question, I suggest that you consider the impact on your ability to get your architecture license. Now, I work in New York, so you should definitely check the requirements in Arizona, since different states can have very different rules about who can get a license. Typically, you need to work under a licensed architect to earn eligible work experience towards your architect license. Working at an engineering firm most likely will earn you no credit. It's similar to how engineering licensing works: I had to work for professional engineers; if I had worked for an architect that time would not have been eligible for my license. That being said, though I have no experience with it, it probably isn't unheard of for an architect to do design drafting for an engineer, so I won't discourage it completely, especially in this economy! I just want you to have the entire picture of how it will affect your future career. And I also would not expect to be allowed to do structural design - though again, that may depend on the rules in the state where you live. Either way, I would definitely highlight any drafting-AutoCAD-MicroStation skills you have. The more software packages you're familiar with, the better. Beyond that, the general advice applies to highlighting writing/speaking/communication skills and any other extra you may have. I truly hope this helps! Best of luck in your career! - Rebecca