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foreign engineer requirements

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I am completely happy and a big supporter of the current system in the US to
become a Professional Engineer. I believe the education and practical
experience go hand and hand, and both are absolutely necessary to become a
competent PE.

My one big complaint would be with most engineering degrees in the US (like
my own), those from "liberal arts programs", is that a good 2 years + is
spent taking liberal arts classes. (After that, it is usually around 3 more
years of science, math, and engineering classes.) Now these classes were
interesting and worthwhile in their own right, but not very necessary (I did
enjoy them actually). People claim this helps to produce well rounded
people, helps engineers and scientists be well rounded by making them take
history, psychology, English and the like. I contend that I have forgotten
most of this information and outside of Jeopardy it is of little use. I got
a minor in English and I still do not think it is that much help. I believe
I would have been better served by a couple of technical writing, reading,
speaking, etc. type classes.

I am not sure about India, but one thing many other countries may have going
for them is that their educational systems are set up differently. In many
European countries (probably elsewhere- but I have the most firsthand
experience with Europeans) you decide your program/major from day one as a
freshman. Now this does not help the indecisive, because once you get going
if you change your mind you have to start all over. But this means a 4-5
year engineering program is 4-5 years of engineering classes. A guy at work
is from Scotland and completed this type of program, in Building
Engineering. I feel he was better prepared at Day One at work then I was.
How can you not be? I could boil my relevant structural classes down to 5-6
classes out of the 50 that I took in college. Now I believe most European
countries have licensing requirements similar to ours, I know in the UK they
do with the Charter system, where you work 3 years then take an exam.
Perhaps in countries like India, even though they do not have a system of
registering professional engineers for licensure based on experience,
education, and examination, they have an education better suited to
producing technically sound engineers...

No system is perfect, and the US has a great thing going, but everything can
be better!

Just some thoughts...

Andrew Kester, EI
Longwood, FL

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