Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
What do Civil Engineers do?
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Civil Engineers are involved in "the design, construction, and maintenance of physical structures in the interest of the general public. Technical specialties within the discipline include construction, environmental geotechnical, structural, and transportation engineering, as well as urban planning and water resources."The Civil Engineering department's web site also shares excellent information about the field.
Where do they work?
- ASCE outlines several possible career tracks in its brochure, Career Paths in Civil Engineering, including Engineering Consulting, Construction, Academia/Education and Federal/State/Local Government. Government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and departments of transportation, constitute nearly one-third of employment for civil engineers (Source: U.S. Department of Labor).
- For more details on the work of Civil Engineers, visit the Civil Engineering department web site, the Civil Engineering pages of Occupational Outlook Handbook, and Sloan Cornerstone Career Center.
What are some employers in the field?
Top employers in the field include: Arup ● Bechtel ● Gannett Fleming ● Lend Lease ● MTA ● Skanska ● Thornton Tomasetti ● Turner Construction ● Tutor Perini ● Weidlinger Associates. You can also check out attendees to CCE's career fairs in the employer profile books and LionSHARE's employer directory tab. The American Council of Engineering Companies also maintains lists of members and companies here.
What resources can I look into for more information and to gain experience?
Center for Career Education Resources: For a full list of resources and services, visit our home page.
- LionSHARE: CCE’s database of internships and full time jobs for students and alumni
- Science Technology Engineering Internship Program (STEP) and other CCE sponsored international and national internship programs
- CCE Career Fairs, employer information sessions, site visits, panels, workshops, and alumni events (see CCE's calendar of events regularly for updates)
- Webshops and webinars covering a wide array of topics
- Vault & WetFeet guides: profiles industries, companies, and careers including: Industries & Careers for Engineers, Vault Guide to Engineering Diversity Programs, Vault Guide to the Transportation Industry Employers, Vault Guide to Government Employers
- List of Leadership Development and Rotational Programs
- LinkedIn.com Columbia Groups: Columbia Career Connections and Columbia Alumni Association Network to find alumni working in the field
Student Clubs & Professional Associations: Student clubs often have direct links with employers and are excellent ways to learn about careers in the field. Many are even linked to regional or national professional associations that have web resources and host conferences and career fairs.
- American Society of Civil Engineers at Columbia, associated with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- CMAA, student chapter at Columbia (scroll down to New York to see contact information for CU) for those interested in construction management
- Engineers without Borders
- Other Professional Associations: Use the low student membership rates in professional associations to gain career guidance and information about scholarships, networking opportunities, job postings, conferences and workshops, and access to job fairs.
Research, Other Opportunities, and Resources:
- Civil Engineering Department Web site
- Student Research Involvement Program
- Robert A.W. Carleton Strength of Materials Laboratory
- SEAS Global Initiatives – Intern/Study Abroad Web Site
- Information on the FE Exam (Students should find out from their academic advisor whether their desired career path requires EIT/PE certification)
- Fellowships for CC/SEAS, GS, and GSAS
- Mentornet, an online mentoring community in which Columbia University participates
Internship/Job Posting Websites
- Pathways to Science: To find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring
- National Science Foundation REU Sites: The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
- American Academy for Advancement of Science: A resource list of AAAS career development programs
- Engineering Jobs – Civil: This component of the EngineeringJobs.net site is catered specifically to jobs in the civil engineering industry
- Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA): ISA develops industry standards, certifies industry professionals, provides training, publishes technical articles, and hosts conferences/exhibitions for automation professionals
- iCivilEngineer: An all-in-one site that features industry news, a career center with advice, informative videos, free magazines, and other resources
- Civil Engineering Intern Jobs: An integrative part of jobs.com that offers both jobs and internships for civil engineers
- Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF): Established to aggressively advocate for the protection and enhancement of coastal natural resources
- School Construction Authority: The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) offers exciting internship programs for college students
- ACECNY: A proactive coalition of more than 270 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment - civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical - and affiliated companies. A listing of consulting engineering firms from across New York State. Use membership directory to identify local companies and check their job boards for postings
- Research Gate: A network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs and conferences
- Engineering Central: Lists engineering positions and resumes across all engineering disciplines
- Engineer.net: A broad-scale engineering job-search engine that many companies use to find new talent
- All Engineering Links compiled by CCE
Professional Journals: Keep up to date on trends in the field, identify potential employers, and find out about new opportunities. Through the CU library login, get extensive exposure to important information in the field today.