What to Expect
As a mining engineer, you could end up in a copper mine in northern Canada
or a diamond mine in West Africa. But before you get there, you're going to
spend a lot of time training in a classroom. Make sure you select a program
and degree that suits your needs.
"Once I decided on engineering, I had to decide which branch," says Vicki
Christini. She studied mining engineering at Pennsylvania State University.
"I picked mining because then I wouldn't end up trapped in a cubicle in front
of a computer for the rest of my life."
Most programs are small. That's good for students. They get a lot
more individual attention from their professors.
"Mining tends to be a small community, so you end up knowing the few other
people in it well," says Christini. "Being in mining automatically gives you
a family and a network of contacts."
It's important to find a school with a good co-op program. That's
where you will get field experience and learn the most about your work through
How to Prepare
"To prepare for success in any engineering major, take as many maths
and sciences as possible in high school," Christini says.
"The more you have taken in high school where the teachers move slowly,
the easier your early courses will be since you have already seen the material. Take
calculus, physics and chemistry."
"Any extracurricular activity that gets you to use your brain in a problem-solving
way is great," says Richard Boger. He took mining engineering at Ohio State
University. "Whether it is a math team, or some sort of engineering camp,
just get your mind working."