13:20 - 14:10
28 October 2020

Public or Private; Small or Large?

Professional Development

This session will earn 1.0 PDH

Abstract: Early in their careers, engineers must make a strategic choice as to the type of workplace that will provide maximum benefit to their professional and technical development. As a recent graduate starting in an entry-level position, perhaps even as an intern, will their career path be enhanced by starting with one of the large national civil engineering or multi-disciplinary firms? Or should they start with a small local or regional firm? Would they be better served by entering government service? If so, should it be with a large organization, perhaps at the regional, state or federal government level? Or will their career be better served by joining a small local-government agency, perhaps a city engineering department or a public utility district? Even later in his or her career, an engineer may decide that a change of employment is necessary; the days of an individual working for the same employer for his or her entire career is largely no longer with us.

This presentation is intended to provide information and insight into the career choices made by civil engineers working for four different types of employers. Presenters will discuss the factors that led them to choose their particular employer or employment category, and how they have benefitted, both professionally and financially. Have they experienced satisfaction in continuing education, in peer and mentor relationships, and in overall pride in their accomplishments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify key benefits of working for each one of the four major employment categories presented; including the availability of technical resources, reference material, formal or informal training opportunities, and peer/mentor relationships.
  • Develop awareness of the potential negative aspects that may affect professional and personal development at each of the types of firms or agencies represented.
  • Understand how the types of work assignments and the relative independence or restrictive aspects of employment to be expected at each type of firm or agency will affect their career paths.