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Would I be "wasting" my engineering degree?

Benedict77

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Hi,

I've read through the recruiting FAQ's posted on this forum, but could not find a sufficient answer to my question.

My story: I graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering earlier this year, and am interested in enlisting. The trades which are closest to my field of study (and the ones I am most interested in) are the 'water, fuels & environment technician' (WFE TECH) or the 'plumbing & heating technician' (PH TECH) trades. Currently, both of these trades appear to be closed. A recruiter told me over-the-phone that applicants to these trades typically have either a two or three-year college diploma under their belt, and that I may be overqualified for such a role.

The same recruiter suggested that I apply for the Marine Systems Engineering Officer (MS ENG) trade, which is currently open and requires applicants to have an engineering degree, from what I understand. The basic description of MS ENG is enticing; however, to put it plainly, I don't feel that I possess "natural" leadership abilities. My gut tells me if I became an engineering officer, I would be a drain on the Forces.

I understand that recruiting offices are given directives to fill quotas for certain trades (and are consequently very biased), but is there any chance I am underrating my potential to become a good engineering officer?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
 

FSTG

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Hey there,
In a similar situation as you. I have a b.eng and a master’s degree in engineering but i will probably not be the greatest leader out there in an officer role. That being said, sure there are some natural born leaders, but you can also learn how to be one. From BMOQ to your occupational trade, there will be plenty of courses and training on this very topic. And from what i gather, an officer doesnt necessarily lead people unless you really want to rise in the ranks. Sure, management skills are quite handy since you will technically be a manager, but not just of people. Pretty sure you will be just fine!
 

Rd651

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Hey B 77, Just Retired MWO here with 31+ yrs in the CAF, across 2 trades.......the fact that you acknowledge a weakness on the leadership front, speaks to your character in a good way! My advise is to go for it, join the CAF, embrace the leadership training you WILL receive and also embrace the mentorship and coaching you will also receive from the NCO/NCM side of whatever trade you choose / get accepted for, accept constructive critism, and gain some experiance and you should be just fine...my 2 cents...Good Luck!!
 

daftandbarmy

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Hi,

I've read through the recruiting FAQ's posted on this forum, but could not find a sufficient answer to my question.

My story: I graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering earlier this year, and am interested in enlisting. The trades which are closest to my field of study (and the ones I am most interested in) are the 'water, fuels & environment technician' (WFE TECH) or the 'plumbing & heating technician' (PH TECH) trades. Currently, both of these trades appear to be closed. A recruiter told me over-the-phone that applicants to these trades typically have either a two or three-year college diploma under their belt, and that I may be overqualified for such a role.

The same recruiter suggested that I apply for the Marine Systems Engineering Officer (MS ENG) trade, which is currently open and requires applicants to have an engineering degree, from what I understand. The basic description of MS ENG is enticing; however, to put it plainly, I don't feel that I possess "natural" leadership abilities. My gut tells me if I became an engineering officer, I would be a drain on the Forces.

I understand that recruiting offices are given directives to fill quotas for certain trades (and are consequently very biased), but is there any chance I am underrating my potential to become a good engineering officer?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

You know you should really consider the combat engineers, right?

The engineers that all the other engineers envy are the ones who know how to build huge things, and then blow them up.

Spoiler alert: Sometimes these are the same things :)


explosion bridge GIF
 

bgc_fan

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So, I joined as an Engineering officer some time ago, and have a similar background (Chem Eng degree). Actually, there are a number of engineering officers who have a chemical engineering degree. But, if you are more interested in the trades like WFE and PH Tech, then I suggest that you look at the Construction Engineer Trade. Similar skillset; however, they aren't as focused on the combat side of the house. That being said, I believe the training is similar up until phase 4, but things have changed over the years.
As for "natural leadership", I wouldn't worry about that. I would say that the key qualities are: are you confident and can you project that; can you think on your feet and come to logical courses of action; and are you willing to learn and accept responsibility. I'd be the first to say that I don't have that type-A personality, but that's not really required.
 

daftandbarmy

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So, I joined as an Engineering officer some time ago, and have a similar background (Chem Eng degree). Actually, there are a number of engineering officers who have a chemical engineering degree. But, if you are more interested in the trades like WFE and PH Tech, then I suggest that you look at the Construction Engineer Trade. Similar skillset; however, they aren't as focused on the combat side of the house. That being said, I believe the training is similar up until phase 4, but things have changed over the years.
As for "natural leadership", I wouldn't worry about that. I would say that the key qualities are: are you confident and can you project that; can you think on your feet and come to logical courses of action; and are you willing to learn and accept responsibility. I'd be the first to say that I don't have that type-A personality, but that's not really required.

This Up Here GIF by Chord Overstreet
 
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