What do they call the job you want? One reason for confusion is perhaps a mistaken assumption that a college education provides job training. In most cases it does not. Of course, applied fields such as engineering, management, or education provide specific skills for the workplace as well as an education. Regardless, your overall college education exposes you to numerous fields of study and teaches you quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, writing, and speaking, all of which can be successfully applied to a number of different job fields. But it still remains up to you to choose a job field and to learn how to articulate the benefits of your education in a way the employer will appreciate.
“What can I really do with my degree?” Biomedical engineering majors are much more likely to pose this question than students earning mechanical, electrical, or chemical engineering degrees because it is not clear how to begin their careers with a B.S. degree. Your friend who’s an electrical engineering major knows she’ll most likely start her career with a manufacturing firm. Or your friend who’s a chemical engineering major is planning to go into specialty chemicals. If you are not sure what kind of work you are qualified for, or the type of employer that would hire you, this chapter will help you gain that understanding.