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RE: Is ASCE Competing Against Us?

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            Mark, Scott, et al.,

                        I have a Masters. Why? My undergraduate degree is not in engineering. I started back with the second semester Juniors in CE, and took five semesters.

                        I work with a group of mostly BS engineers. They do the same work I do and think the same ways that I do and can manipulate some of the design and analysis programs we use better than I can. Work is parceled out to the engineer that can handle it and is not buried with other work. Our only other MS engineer is an EIT who used advanced schooling as a means to get into the US, and we’re definitely not letting her go home (or to another employer here) if we can help it, but the reasons are her attitude and ability, not her degree. We have a summer hire who just got his BS (and was already going back for an MS before we learned of him) who is a whiz. He really feels the way things behave from reviewing the numbers, just like he had a lot of experience. Some of us get continuing education credits because we’re licensed in states that have that requirement. It is mostly an exercise in getting the credits, not in learning anything.

                        My point is that neither advanced nor FORMAL continuing education necessarily makes any difference in the quality of the engineer. It is personal qualities that make the engineer valuable to society.

            James L. Getaz III, P.E.

            Winchester, Virginia