Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: open house

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
O.K., I'll remove the "provincial status" of this thread. As a former
employer, I looked for grads from Cal Poly SLO. They were consistently able
to be "up and running" long before graduates from _any_ other school. While
their academic training might be lacking in the high end technical issues (I
lost money on projects requiring these skills anyway), they more than made
up for it by their understanding of how a building was put together. BTW, in
the area of architecture, I would recommend the Pomona campus over the SLO
campus for the same (practical design) reasons.

After getting one's BS from Cal Poly, I recommend that one should get some
practical office experience in a small office. Once that person has gotten
their feet wet in the business, they can decide if they want to go into mgmt
or stay technical. If they wanted to go into management, I would recommend a
MBA from Stanford. If technical, MS from Berkeley.

To qualify my opinions, I went to none of the schools mentioned above. I
have just worked with and employed people with and without the above
educational background. Also, my recommendations reflect the assumption that
the person will be working in California. I really don't care about any of
the other states or how good or bad the schools are elsewhere. Degrees from
schools outside of CA would be a "deduct" in an interview with me. The
reason for this opinion is that we in CA live in and think about seismic
activity on a daily basis. While other schools outside of CA may have
tremendous academic programs that teach seismic design, it is more valuable
to be taught by a professor who has woken up to a 6.0 and then gone to teach
his class.

On another point, there have been comments on this thread about the
importance of taking a class who has "practical experience" in the field.
This usually means a working professional teaching a night class. While
their practical experience is very important, I would not downplay the
skills of a professional teacher. Knowing the material is one thing.
Teaching it is quite another. There are a few who can do both. I took timber
design with Greg Brandow at USC and he was great!

More importantly, I cannot believe a parent in this business would guide

their offspring into a practice that has so much risk and so little reward.
My number one recommendation is to guide your children away from this rotten

Bill Allen
-----Original Message-----
From: Caldwell, Stan <scaldwell(--nospam--at)>
To: 'seaoc(--nospam--at)' <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Date: Thursday, October 23, 1997 9:05 AM
Subject: RE: open house

>Bill Cain wrote:
>>I must say on the whole, California schools (public or private, practical
>>theoretical) seem to turn out the best graduates (I'm sure our Texas
>>will dispute this ;<),  and I admit I am somewhat biased on this
subject ).
>>My degrees are both from the University of Wisconsin, where I studied in
>>1960s under Charles Salmon, John Johnson, and C. K. Wang, and served as a
>>guinea pig (beta tester) for their many textbooks.  However, my entire
>>professional career has been in Texas.  My son graduated in Mechanical
>>Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and my daughter is
>>currently at Junior there.  It is a fine institution (except for the
>>team).  So are Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Rice, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan,
>>Purdue, MIT, Cornell, Princeton, Georgia Tech, and many other
>>This thread has evolved into a pointless exercise in provincial promotion
>>proud alumni.  If your experience with graduates outside the state of
>>California has not been entirely positive, could it be that the best
>>graduates around the country prefer to build their careers elsewhere?
>Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
>Naturalized Texan