We've hit the 100th episode of the Civil Engineering Academy Podcast! It’s been a really fun and educational journey for us, and we truly hope it’s also been great for you. Actually, we’ve had so many interesting guests and covered so many topics that we know we could help you with something.
Celebrating this important milestone, today’s episode is an overview of our journey so far, with our top 10 podcast episodes for you to listen to again. Also, Isaac dives into why he started Civil Engineering Academy, where it’s at right now, and where he sees it in the future. Will he still be helping people with their exams? Listen to this to find out!
School of PE – http://www.civilengineeringacademy.com/sope
CEA Website – https://civilengineeringacademy.com
The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course – https://civilpereviewcourse.com
The Ultimate Civil FE Review Course – https://civilfereviewcourse.com
CEA Youtube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPeFLBZ2gk0uO5M9uE2zj0Q
CEA Free Facebook Community – https://ceacommunity.com
CEA FE and PE Practice Exams – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/exams
CEA Newsletter – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/join-our-newsletter
Reach out to Isaac – [email protected]
Top 10 CEA Podcast Episodes:
The First Things to Do to Prepare for the Civil PE Exam – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cea-the-first-things-to-do-to-prepare-for-the-civil-pe-exam/id1490120985?i=1000458548927
We Started a Podcast! – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cea-we-started-a-podcast/id1490120985?i=1000458548931
Top Secrets to Pass the Civil FE Exam – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cea-top-secrets-to-pass-the-civil-fe-exam/id1490120985?i=1000459158895
The Top 5 Reasons Why Civil Engineering is A Great Field – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cea-the-top-5-reasons-why-civil-engineering-is-a-great-field/id1490120985?i=1000458548930
What is the Best Career Path for Civil Engineers? – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cea-what-is-the-best-career-path-for-civil-engineers/id1490120985?i=1000463267264
The NCEES Chief Officer of Exams (Tim Miller, PE) – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/cea-51-the-ncees-chief-officer-of-exams-tim-miller-pe
A Day in the Life of a Structural Engineer with Mark Oakeson – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cea-a-day-in-the-life-of-a/id1490120985?i=1000458548932
The Most Impressive Engineering Projects in Human History – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cea-the-most-impressive-engineering-projects-in-human/id1490120985?i=1000458548929
PE Exam Test-Taking Strategies with Mark Oakeson – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/cea-38-pe-exam-tips-and-strategies-with-mark-oakeson
The Top 10 Civil Engineering Firms in the World – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/cea-39-the-top-10-civil-engineering-firms-in-the-world
Additional Resources Mentioned:
NCEES – https://ncees.org
Engineer to Entrepreneur – https://engineer2entrepreneur.net
Civil Engineering Reference Manual – http://www.civilengineeringacademy.com/ppi (Use this link to grab a copy for a 15% discount)
Transcript of Show
You can download our show notes summary here or get our transcript of the show below!
Isaac Oakeson: What's going on, everybody? Isaac here with Civil Engineering Academy. Excited to be with you today. Today, we've got a special episode to deliver to you. And that is...Well, Civil Engineering Academy. We've hit our hundredth episode of our podcast. So I wanted to do something a little bit different. Well, I guess it's not too different. But I wanted to go solo today and just talk about where we've been, where we're going, talk about the most popular episodes that we've had to date on the Civil Engineering Academy Podcast, and really why we started this whole thing, and where I want it to go. So it's going to be a fun episode to detail with you, and talk about with you. But today, I'm just going to go solo. Talk about civil engineering academy. What we've done, what we've created, and excited to share this hundredth episode with you. I can't believe we're already here. It's taken a little bit of time to get here, but we're excited that we're here. So I wanted to do something different, something fun. And I would appreciate you joining me on the ride. So thanks for being here, and the episode is going to be coming right up after this.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. So let's get into it! Welcome to the hundredth episode of the Civil Engineering Academy Podcast. Excited that this guy is going out. You know, when you start a podcast, there's a lot of effort and energy that has to go into these things, and you don't realize that until you start one. And then you quickly realize, "Wow! I've got to put in a lot of energy to keep these things going and moving forward". We've had a ton of wonderful guests on the show, we've had great topics on the show. And we will continue to have great guests and topics. So, first of all, I just want to think everybody that's been listening to our show. I really do appreciate it. It's been fun for me to make these, and it's been fun to have interviews, and bring my brother on and a lot of other guests, and do some solo episodes as well. So it's just been a fun journey for me.
Isaac Oakeson: And I also want to thank all of my guests that I've had on the show. Really do appreciate them as we've reached out and been able to collaborate on a topic and share that with the world. So having said that, I wanted to discuss maybe the top 10 episodes that we've aired over the last -- Well, we started this in November of 2019. So we're creeping up on two years already, which is crazy to me that I've been doing this that long. But it's been a fun journey for me and I hope it has been for you. So let's go through the top 10 episodes of the Civil Engineering Academy Podcast. There's probably a topic in here that you may want to go back and listen to, because it's always fun for me to go back and check those out.
Isaac Oakeson: So let's start with number one, and that is The First Things to Do to Prepare for the Civil PE Exam, which should be a no-brainer for anybody that comes to this channel. Because our whole goal and focus for the Civil Engineering Academy website is to help people prepare for their exams, whether it's the FE the PE. We're going to be coming out soon with our California Seismic and Survey Review Course. And we have some great partners and affiliates for the other courses that we referto as well. So if you are definitely in the market for those, check out our site, civilengineeringacademy.com. But it should be a no-brainer that that's one of the top podcast -- Well, that is the top podcast to listen. It's how to get started preparing for your PE exam, because it's a huge milestone in people's lives. I still remember the day I passed, and it's a huge weight off your shoulders. So go back and check that out if you're preparing for the PE exam, because it's going to help you out get started on the right foot, and hopefully help you on your journey to pass the PE exam as well. And if you need more resources, you know where to go. Go to our website, grab some exams. We also have a course. You can go check that out too. We're here to help you every step of the way. So that was number one.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The second most popular episode that we produced is that when I came on and announced that we were going to start a podcast. So as we jumped on to this platform and released it to the world, people wanted to find out what it's all about. So that's the episode number two, is my announcement that we started a podcast for people to check it out. What it's all about, what we've done, where we're headed and the topics and interests that I wanted to talk about. So, it's always fun to hear when people start a podcast and why they do it. So it's obviously the second most popular episode is that we started a podcast. So go check that one out if you'd like to as well.
Isaac Oakeson: All right! Our third most popular podcast episode is our podcast episode that details the secrets to passing the FE exam, where I dive into passing that. I believe my brother Mark is on that episode as well. And we talk about the FE exam quite a bit, and all the things that you need to do to pass that. Obviously the FE is the first step that you have to do to pass the PE exam. And a lot of people are looking to pass the FE, and they need help with their PE as well. And so we wanted to detail all of that out in those two episodes. It's awesome that, you know, the podcast matches up with our website, with the branding of what's going on with this whole thing. So I'm glad to see that. So most popular episodes have to do with passing your PE and passing your FE exams. And so if you are in the market of doing that, check out those two episodes to make sure you are covered, if you're preparing for those exams.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Our fourth most popular episode is detailing the top reasons why civil engineering is a great field to choose. So I decided to do that, I remember, because, you know, I was looking back at why I thought civil engineering was a great field to be in. I also like tailoring a lot of my messages to those that are maybe debating on what they're doing in school, or even choosing a career path for themselves. And I really wanted to announce to people why I think going the route of civil engineering is a good field to go into. And I still think it is a great field to go into. It's going to give you a lot of skills that are going to help society. And it's really a profession that deals with, you know, taking care of humanity and providing a service that's going to help upgrade humanity in a variety of ways and all the things that we use, to drinking water, to the buildings that we are in, and roads and foundations, and everything else in between. So all the things society seems to take advantage of, or when they know it's not there, they definitely hurt for it. But those are the definitely good reasons to become a civil engineer. There's a lot of other reasons that you should go check out. So that's the fourth most popular episode in the Civil Engineering Academy Podcast library. So definitely go check that out, "The Top 5 Reasons Why Civil Engineering is A Great Field". So check that one out too.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Our fifth most popular episode is an episode where I talk about what is the best career paths for civil engineers. So, many engineers, civil engineers, as you get into this career, you end up finding out that there's a lot of different branches that you can go into. And so in that episode, I detailed those out, whether you want to head into project management, or be a manager, or work in the field, working with operations, or, you know, move up in the company, become a VP, or whatever it is. Even own your own company. You can do that too. So really, after you get that PE license, the options are endless. And so that's a very popular episode simply because we start detailing all the different career paths that you can go into as you go into civil engineering. Don't think that you're simply going to be behind a desk cranking out design work. But if you want to do that, you can. So that's one of the options that you have. So a very good episode, definitely go check that one out. If you're interested in learning about all the different career paths as you get into civil engineering, which routes you can go, so check that one out too.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Our sixth most popular episode is where I bring on Tim Miller, who's the chief officer of creating exams with the NCEES. He comes on and we talk a lot about the PE exam. Now, I reached out to him personally, and that simply because I thought, at the time, people needed to hear about what's going on with the exam. It was right when COVID was starting to really get going. People were confused about where their test was going to be, whether it was canceled, or what provisions were being made by the NCEES. And the NCEES really had their hands full with trying to organize which conference centers people go to, and work with the laws of each state in order to figure all that out.
Isaac Oakeson: So they kind of got that all figured out. Tim Miller did a good job explaining that. And in that interview, I actually try to talk to him quite a bit about the pass rates as well, because one of the things that we always harp on and talk about is that first-time takers, your pass rates are pretty good. So 65 to 70%, typically. Somewhere in that range. But as a repeat taker, it tanks, right? It's like 35 to 40%. So you know, why does that happen? And so we talked about that. But Tim Miller was awesome as he came on and explained the processes that NCEES goes through when creating exams, how they're tackling the COVID situation. And one of the things we wanted to talk about quite heavily was the exam going to CBT, the computer-based testing, which is happening in 2022.
Isaac Oakeson: So the beauty of CBT is that all your references are PDFs that are searchable. But also it's kind of a dual-edged sword in that you don't get to bring in any references that you want anymore. It's not a completely open book exam. All you get is a PE reference handbook, which you can get for free right now if you go to ncees.org, sign into your account, you can download that handbook if you would like it. But that's going to be your only resource that you can search. It'll be similar to the FE handbook as well. And then you'll also have access to the codes related to your depth exam, and that's it. So they had to bump that up a year. So Tim talks about that in that episode. Used to be a 2023 release, now it's 2022.
Isaac Oakeson: So as this is going to be released, people are actively preparing for those type of exams going CBT. Now, the beauty of it is that the spec didn't change. So topics didn't change at all. Codes got updated a little bit, but for the most part, if you're looking at review courses, all those should be still valid. The only thing that you need to tailor a little bit of your study time to is maybe trying to deal with the alternative item type problems that they could throw at you. But really if you're doing really well or decently on multiple choice, I think you're going to be okay anyway, because you already know how to solve the problem. So anyway, Tim Miller. Go check out that episode. That was a popular episode, and one I enjoy talking about and one I enjoy talking to Tim with about as well. So definitely check that one out too.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Our seventh most popular episode is an interview I did with my brother as we talk about a day in the life of a structural engineer. Now, there seems to be some thought, I would think, that if you're going into civil engineering, most civil engineers want to become structural engineers. I don't know if that's true, but it seems like that's maybe where people like to go. And then you find out all these different branches you can go and people choose their own way. But structural engineering is definitely top of the list. When people jump into civil engineering itself and want to become a civil engineer, most do it because they want to design buildings, bridges, etc. So Mark jumps on. I've brought Mark on a few times, and he's a big part of this. So it's really fun to have him on and do these interviews with him.
Isaac Oakeson: Mark is definitely boots on the ground, heavy civil structural. And so brings an experience level that many people don't have. And so I wanted to bring him on and talk about a day in the life of a structural engineer, talk about what they do, how they handle situations, and all of those details that go into being a civil engineer. So there's obviously a lot of other different disciplines, and I don't think I've interviewed everybody from every type of discipline. If you want to be on the show, reach out. I'm happy to have you on. But that's definitely one of the most popular episodes, because I think when people jump into civil engineering, that's kind of where they picture themselves as designing buildings, bridges, etc. So that was one of our most popular episodes. Go check that one out. That's the seventh most popular episode in our library.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Our eighth most popular episode is where I detail the most impressive engineering projects in human history. And so we talk about some of the biggest engineering feats that I've personally seen or heard about. So you know, the tallest buildings in the world, bridges as well. All of these fun structures that are out there that humans and civil engineers have actually built. So the chances of actually working on a project that is, you know, like the Burj Khalifa or something like this, is probably very rare. Most of the time, as you become a civil engineer, you're working on stuff that's very common and built quite often. So an opportunity and a chance to work on something of that magnitude and scale would be quite interesting to do. But as I detail all of that, people obviously are interested in learning about what I think are the most impressive civil engineering projects that I've seen. Maybe you have a list of those as well. But if you want to know what's out there, definitely go check out that episode as I talk about that. Because it's pretty fun to know what's out there and what engineers have been building, what they have built, and these massive projects that are extremely impressive and definitely an engineering feat that you want to check out.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Our ninth most popular episode has to do with the PE exam, and we talk about test-taking strategies with my brother Mark. In that episode, we talk about test-taking strategies specifically. Now, it's going to be geared towards the paper-based exam because at the time we did that. It's geared towards that. But those same things might apply as well to the CBT exam, as it switches to that in 2022. So definitely go give that a listen if you are studying for the PE exam. You know, the next exam is coming up here in October of 2021, and then you jump right into the CBT stuff. So all this stuff is still applicable. So go checkout some of those strategies when you're taking the PE exam. I recorded that with Mark, and that's our ninth most popular episode. Which is a good sign because it tells me that, you know, we're hitting the nail on the head here with Civil Engineering Academy and what we want to do to help you pass your exam. So I'm glad to see that's one of the top 10 episodes. But if you're still in the hunt for passing the PE exam, give that one a listen as well.
Isaac Oakeson: And our 10th most popular episode is an episode where I detail the top 10 engineering firms in the world. I believe it was based on an article compiling some of the biggest companies that I saw. And we recorded an episode about that. So the top 10 engineering firms in the world. Now, the truth of that is that really -- You know, as you get out into the working field, you always have a choice of whether you want to work for a big company or maybe a smaller company, or even a mid-sized company. And obviously, if you venture out on your own, you're going to be starting out as a pretty small outfit as well. But you know, if you work for a large company, you work on a variety of projects. Oftentimes you don't have to worry so much about where the next project is coming from.
Isaac Oakeson: Mid-sized companies, you will kind of have to worry about that a little bit as you do business development, figuring out where the next project is coming from, so you can build time to it and engineer a good thing, a good product. And then small companies, you really got to work for what you got. So those are just the different flavors of companies, but I talk about the top 10 civil engineering firms there. If I recall, one of those changed their name or something. People were quick to point that out. So you know, keep that in mind as you listen to that one. But it's always interesting to know what the top 10 engineering firms are, because as you do listen to those, it might spur some ideas, or maybe you have a desire to go work for them as well to work on some very interesting stuff out there. And if you don't, that's fine too. But it's definitely a subject we're talking about, and it makes it into our top 10. So it's definitely worth the mention and worth the listen. So go listen to that one, "The Top 10 Engineering Firms to Work for in the World". And we'll make sure we link all this stuff in our notes as well.
Isaac Oakeson: All right, guys. So that wraps up our top 10 episodes, or the 10 most popular episodes of the Civil Engineering Academy Podcast. I thought it would be fun to talk about those a little bit, just to share with you what I see on my end as we watch the numbers on some of these podcast episodes. So you know, they're good topics, they're great topics, and we will continue to have more topics in the future, and more interviews with great guests in the future, as we continue to build this out.
Isaac Oakeson: One of the things I also wanted to talk about in this episode is kind of where Civil Engineering Academy started from, and why I started it, and kind of where I have a vision for it going as we are here in the hundredth episode. And so, Civil Engineering Academy started simply because, when I was preparing for the PE exam and slugging through that, I was a repeat taker. And as a repeat taker, I wanted to be someone that people could come to as a resource to help them with their exam. So I started Civil Engineering Academy to help people out. I started actually producing exams, I started with one exam. And then it just slowly snowballed from there. So I created multiple exams, and then I started creating a course. And then I got my brother Mark involved, and we created a FE course as well. And we continually look at where we can add courses that are going to help people with their exams, or where it makes sense to. And so we're excited because in the future, shortly in the future, we'll be offering a California Seismic and Survey for those that need to get their PE exam in California. So that'll be coming out soon. We'll make some special announcements about that as we do so.
Isaac Oakeson: And one of the other things that I'm really close to launching is -- I know what I'm doing, people also want to learn about. And that is -- You know, I've been trying to help people. And I do all of this on the side of my own career, side of the family responsibilities that I have going on, the side of everything else that's going on in my life. And so it's been a fun opportunity for me to do this all on the side of my own career. And so the thought came to me that there might be other engineers, or working professionals, that might want to do something on the side of their own careers. So I came up with a course that I will be releasing soon, and I called it "Engineer to Entrepreneur". And if you go to engineer2entrepreneur.net, you can go sign up, get a free cheat sheet that's going to help you out to get started. But what I'm trying to do is teach you to create a side hustle based on an online course-based business. It's a really fun thing to do as you get to see students transform their lives in a certain way. But this can all be done on the side of your own career.
Isaac Oakeson: So that's one of the things that we're working on working on as well. But in general, we have amazing partners. We have amazing affiliates that we work with. PPI is great. We work with School of PE as well. Definitely go check them out if you're studying for your exams and need additional problems. And we'll continue to help people find stuff. If you need additional resources, we're going to help people with that as well. So there's just a lot of moving pieces going on, but that explains a little bit why I started Civil Engineering Academy, where we're at right now and where we're going.
Isaac Oakeson: And so a lot of the questions I get right now is simply related to our courses. So I have the Ultimate Civil PE Review Course going on right now. And many people are about to prepare for the CBT exam. So many of the big questions that are coming in that I see often have to do with upgrading it to a CBT type of exam, make sure it's covered. Now, it is covered simply because the spec didn't change at all, right? And so what we need to do though, and some of the things I'm working on, is that I want to point people to equations that are out of that PE Reference Handbook. Originally, I was pointing a lot of people to equations where they come from out of the CERM, because that is the go-to resource for study.
Isaac Oakeson: And I think will still be a good resource for you as you do study for the PE exam. But you will want to know the PE Handbook for sure. So you know, take it as you will. If you want the Civil Engineering Reference Manual, you can go check out civilengineeringacademy.com/ppi, and you can go grab a copy for a 15% discount. And I think it will still be applicable. It'll still be a good resource because you still need to practice problems. And so, combining practice problems with the CERM is going to help you. But you will want to reference everything out of the PE Handbook. So that's one of the questions I get a lot. As we sit today, our FE course is doing great and awesome. So if people are studying for that, go check that out: civilfereviewcourse.com. And like I said, we've got a California one coming out soon.
Isaac Oakeson: So I kind of detailed where we've been, why I started this, where we're at right now, and kind of a vision of where we're headed in the future. So we will continue to build out courses and material where people have needs and wants, and it makes sense to do. So, we'll continue to do that, we will continue to support everybody that's studying on those platforms, and it's just an exciting time to be a civil engineer. It's an exciting time to be a professional engineer, and we are here to help people every step of the way to get there. And so I just want to thank you for being a member of Civil Engineering Academy, for listening to the podcast. Definitely go subscribe to our newsletter, if you haven't done that already.
Isaac Oakeson: Subscribe to our YouTube channel, as we produce a lot of content that we put on there as well. And if you need help with anything, feel free to reach out to me directly [email protected] And then we have some other great resources for you as well. So go sign up to our community at ceacommunity.com. That's our open community on Facebook. If you need help with your FE or PE, it's just open for you, or you need resources or career advice. It's a team of people there that will all help you with your own journey.
Isaac Oakeson: So guys, this has been really fun for me. This is an exciting episode. I just wanted to detail kind of the history of things of where we were, our top 10 episodes for our podcast, and kind of some of the things we have in the works and what's coming in the future. So hopefully that was informative for you. This was fun for me. And I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful career, and we'll see you in the next one. Bye!
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