Jennifer Vilbig

Jennifer Vilbig

Vilbig & Associates
Dallas, TX
Jennifer Vilbig
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Jennifer is a 3rd generation engineer and native of Dallas, Texas. She graduated in 2007 from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. After spending several years working for large, multi-discipline, international consulting and design firms, Jennifer joined her family's company, Vilbig & Associates. Jennifer decided on civil engineering as a career because the projects she designs impact peoples lives. The road, buildings, sidewalks, water, sewer and storm networks that you use on a daily basis are all designed by civil engineers! Jennifer is an active volunteer with the Society of Women Engineers in Dallas. She has served as the Southern Methodist University SWE Counselor, mentoring and guiding college students for the past five years. Jennifer enjoys traveling, especially to places where she can visit with her college friends! Most recently, Jennifer spent two weeks in Dubai, U.A.E. & Bombay, India for a friends wedding.

2007 B.S. in Civil Engineering - Georgia Institute of Technology
Answers by Jennifer Vilbig

Hi Mika, 

I would highly suggest starting with the engineering undergraduate degree. Yes, you will be able to get an engineering masters degree later and could also still possibly find a job in the environmental field with only a biology degree, but your pay would be significantly less and your career advancement would progress slower. Plus, most biology programs are probably geared towards medial or research, which have nothing to do with environmental engineering or environmental science. 

Typically, most engineers in the environmental field do have a masters degree. If you did want to earn an engineering masters degree it would be significantly harder without the engineering undergraduate degree as there is a lot of math skills that you would not have practiced with a biology undergraduate degree.  

With a degree in engineering the career paths are limitless! I know engineers who are working in all types of industries in traditional and non-traditional engineering roles. 

What else can you do with an undergraduate degree in biology? What would be your starting salary options? Are you getting student loans to pay for school? Could you afford to pay those loans on a salary of a biologist? 

Best of luck! 

Hi Sandeep! 

First, what exactly are you wanting to do with your civil engineering degree? If you are more interested in structural design of buildings or bridges than learning Stadd would be an excellent choice. If you are wanting to do another aspect of civil engineering such as roadway design or hydraulics & hydrology than AutoCAD or GIS may be a better choice. Yes, having some skills with computer program will help you get a job. I highly highly recommend that you get an internship to help figure out which field of civil engineering you are interested in. A lot of engineering includes on-the-job training, so it is not completely necessary for you to have all the skills needed right out of college.

My experience is in site design for commercial development or pipelines and I have never needed to know a programming language. It may be beneficial to know the basics of computer programing, but I would recommend understanding the thought process involved with computer programing and focusing your efforts on learning excel more than a specific programming language. 

Best of luck!