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    (Original post by hihoho)
    Haha, that's the first time I hear this, that's great! In this case, it seems the client was intimidating the engineer to report the structural stability as "OK", we have a thing in structural engineering called CYA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_your_ass - which is essentially being slightly ambiguous when writing reports about structures to minimize liabilities, this makes us lawyers too. This sport is very often practiced by Geotechnical Engineers because soil is highly inhomogeneous from one point to the next, from one plane of stress to another.

    Here's a sample letter I have saved from a senior:

    Spoiler:
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    As you requested we have conducted a structural survey and analysis of your facility and this report outlines our findings. As you mentioned in our first phone conversation, you were looking for an overall assessment of the plant as you might be looking to sell it and needed a letter stating that your plant was OK. This report attempts to do so.

    We visited the site on February 3, 2014, and walked around the outside and looked inside a bit. The place is fairly old and we didn’t have any original design drawings to go by. Based on what we saw, the building was in pretty good shape considering its age. We did see some spalling concrete here and there and some exposed rebar sticking out in places but thought you’d kept it up nicely. I would say that any potential buyer of the property would be getting a steal at any price.

    We noted the following:

    1. The building isn’t leaning.

    2. Some rusting of the beams had occurred along the roof in the south end. From the ground below we could only see one or two areas where the webs had rusted through so we don’t think it’s too bad.

    3. One column had been bent a bit (probably from a forklift impact) but when we pushed on it we couldn’t wiggle it so again, probably OK.

    4. There was a precast concrete mezzanine on the west side which was supported mainly by block walls and in one place the wall had been opened up for some plumbing. We only saw one plank that wasn’t supported so with 97% of the others not affected – we’d call that good.

    5. Some of the planks had spalled off on the bottom and had a couple of silver cable‐like thingys hanging down – but again – only 3 to 4% of them so no problem that we see.

    6. In the restroom in the back we saw that a new toilet had been installed and the plumber had to cut through a diagonal steel angle running down inside the wall behind it. This was a double angle but only one angle was cut through so we still have a full steel angle serving to brace the building back there. With this city, we know that it doesn’t get too windy here – at least not the 90 mph wind speeds you see in the codes. This might be an issue if you want to raise it but it might just get the city inspectors all excited. I’ll leave that monkey on your back to deal with it if you see fit.

    So from all of the above, we think the building is in pretty good shape and as an owner you can be proud that after all these years it is still standing. Tell your prospective buyers that we here at Brand X Engineering think that the building looks great.

    Professionally yours,
    Brand X Engineering
    Hahahahaha that is hilarious. I like how it's immediately ambiguous from the very first paragraph "this report attempts to do so" and not "this report confirms what we have seen" etc.
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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    The job prospects for Engineers are generally very good, however an engineering degree is not necessarily the only way in. It is important to get work experience/ internships/ placements in order to get a job after graduation, and they can be very competitive to get, particularly if you don't get into a 'top' university/ have poor grades/ aren't very good at the whole job application/ interview process. And then after you graduate if you don't get a 2:1 your job prospects can be very limited. The advantage of the university route is that if you do well you can enter the profession at a higher level and it may open up more careers/ potential promotions in the future.
    For many people, an apprenticeship is probably a better option - you get paid (admittedly not much, but it's better than a growing 9k+ debt each year) and get real hands on experience. Also, a company is already investing in you - so you are very likely to be offered a job at the company afterwards.
    There is always the option to go on and do a degree later on in your life - my dad didn't start his engineering degree until his late 20s and it is not uncommon to see older students around uni. There is the possibility that your company could sponsor you through your degree if it is in their interests as well.
    If you are not a fan of the maths/ theory side, then university may not be great for you - engineering courses are generally VERY mathematical and at some unis there is pretty limited hands-on content.
    This helped alot thank you. Do you know of any other avenues to go down rather than University or Apprenticeships? Is my BTEC Level 3 in Engineering effectively wasted if I don't go to University or gain an Apprenticeship or can it be used for other jobs as an equivalent to 3 A-levels? (I've been told that it is the equivalent to that but may be mistaken)
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    (Original post by Ranagazoo)
    This helped alot thank you. Do you know of any other avenues to go down rather than University or Apprenticeships? Is my BTEC Level 3 in Engineering effectively wasted if I don't go to University or gain an Apprenticeship or can it be used for other jobs as an equivalent to 3 A-levels? (I've been told that it is the equivalent to that but may be mistaken)
    No problem
    I think that university and apprentiships are the main ways in, but you may be able to go directly into an engineering related job with your BTEC - however you will probably still need some additional training and would be entering the profession right at the bottom, whereas the other routes may alow you to be more qualified and enter at a more senior, higher pay role. There are also pretty limited entry level engineering jobs and they could be fairly competitive and boring - even though initially you would start off being paid more than the apprentiship wage there are less opportunities for advancement in the future.
    Basically, I would recommend the apprentiship for the better long term job prospects
 
 
 
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