Shariah, Abu Dhabi, UAE asked Urbashi Mitra, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

AddedFriday, March 30, 2012 at 4:28 AM

Best Engineering Field for Women
I finished high school a few months back and scored high grades for both maths and physics during my a-levels. I am thinking of pursuing a career in engineering. I am wondering which engineering degree is better suited for women, in terms of field work (working outside in the sun or open field frequently, or having to travel alot)? Because it is not always easy for women to travel frequently outside, such as for civil engineering. I am thinking of pursuing electronics and telecommunication major in engineering, what do you say? Any other good fields in engineering? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Related to Choosing a Degree, Civil, International Travel, Math & Science, Work Environment
  • Urbashi Mitra , USC Viterbi School of Engineering
    Answered Friday, March 30, 2012 at 4:28 AM
    I do not believe that one form of engineering is better or worse for women, since every woman is an individual. Each engineering discipline is quite varied and diverse even within that discipline. I can think of mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, industrial engineers, electrical engineers, etc. who travel a lot or do not. It depends on the firm or the university, and the person. Also within a single career, you will change your responsibilities and so your daily life will also change. I chose electrical engineering and telecommunications because it was very close to mathematics, a field I really enjoyed. At the same time, I felt that engineering was closer to solving problems for people and less abstract than pure mathematics. I have to confess that I did not think very carefully about whether it was a field friendly to women. Within my discipline, I see those who travel significantly -- and those who do not; those who work in a very solitary manner and those who do not, even those who are outside a lot and those who are inside a lot. I have colleagues who build actual radios and those who do simulations. I think this is one of the great aspects of engineering, in general, that the fields are so varied that you can find a specialization and a position that is well-matched just to you. I always feel it is best to pursue a field that really speaks to you personally. Cheers, *u