1. How viable is it, even with a great GPA coming from a prestigious university?
2. Would I want to get BS in engineering? Or should I be taking classes in architecture?
3. Is there some graduate degree that would increase my marketability?
4. What other vocations, if any, at least somewhat parallel the coaster design job? [All I can think of is architecture.]
The problem is that it's such a small business. That sounds funny to say in a business that builds $25 million rides and entertains hundreds of millions of visitors every year, but the game is small when it comes to roller coaster design and manufacturing. Most of the people doing it today are entrepreneurs.
Houses, buildings, foundations.
Good luck to ya coasterMNguy!
*** Edited 1/9/2008 1:38:51 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
structural, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering will get you a job with a broader horizon probably doing consultant work for architecture firms. I personally work with mechanical, civil, and electrical engineers (im an architect) and I haven't met anyone that has done a project on a rollercoaster.
An architect is not an engineer so I wouldnt look into that outlet. You might be able to get away with it being a structural engineer but because it involves physics, you would still need an engineer with a degree in physics to do the actual design of the ride which would involve calculating lateral and g forces and loads, etc...
I had to get an MSEE to wipe the eng. phy. degree away.
Pagoda Gift Shop said:
In a way, I'd think it would be easier to get a job at a park and work your way up to a position in planning and design. You certainly don't get paid as much, but then you get to help design stuff...sort of.
I disagree with this unless you work at a very small park for years and get to design where the trash cans are laid out. For the larger parks like CF or SF they generally do all design at a corporate level and ride design is totally contracted out.
Working your way up through the park system is good if you really enjoy being in the park and around rides. I did this for a number of years starting in operations, working long hours with tiny pay but I loved being in the parks. Eventually crossing over into marketing and sales to try to make some solid pay.
I eventually bailed on that because the park/product suffered so much under the add a new coaster, cut staff formula of an incompetant corporate management team. Selling a dirty, understaffed park and refunding clients constantly due to serious problems with events really cuts into comissions..
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