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Mining and Mineral Engineering


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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 hands-on training.

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."


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