4 years ago
Admissions Advice

How do I know if I'm smart enough to be an engineer? Which major should I choose?

I've always liked maths but I'm not sure about physics. Physics is kinda difficult for me to understand but when I do, I fail to write the exact points of the question. I got an A in Maths and C in Physics in my A-Levels (and B in chem).

I'm in my gap yr struggling to choose a major for my undergrad. I don't wanna wind up in a rat race and choose a subject and eventually a job that I don't even feel passionate about. But the thing is I DON'T KNOW what subject should I choose that I will be satisfied with.


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
4 years ago

I think that the answer to this question is not whether you're "smart enough" to become an engineer per se, it's whether you're ambitious enough. If it really is your passion, then you will put work in to get the best grades that you can. If you find yourself not wanting to put the hard work in to become an engineer, the career might possibly not be for you.

Find a major or concentration that makes you excited to learn and grow as a student, regardless of how rigorous the coursework may be.

I recommend taking this career interest profiler : https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip.

It may not be a definite reflection of your interests, but it is certainly a starting point for you to investigate what type of career you may want to go into depending on your personal interests. Since you're already in college, I would suggest jobs in the Level 4 (Bachelor's Degree) or Level 5 (Master's Degree or Higher Education) Job Zone.

4 years ago

To start out with, I want to echo @briannaf's comment about this not being a matter of intelligence or smartness. Engineering requires a set of skills that's different from say something like psychology or English, but the difference between those isn't a matter of "how smart" someone is. There are a lot of people who are very good at engineering but would struggle in a more humanities-focused major, and vice versa. So it's more about whether you feel comfortable with the skills you would need to use.

My feeling here though is that, if it's specifically Mathematics that you're passionate about, there are other ways to engage that than studying engineering. Math majors are fairly theoretical and actually kinda liberal arts-y in their vibe, so you would probably get much less of a "rat race" type of mentality there than you would in engineering. I'd also heavily consider looking into Statistics — Stats is a math-based major that gives you a wide range of skills and methods for understanding different problems, all of which should be extremely valuable to potential employers as well. Depending on things you might be interested in outside of math, you could also go in a more social-science-y direction with something like Economics — that's heavily math-focused, but involves a lot of other theory and adds in writing skills that wouldn't necessarily be developed in a pure math major.

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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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