This isn't about myself, so kindly bare with me. I'll try to make this question as generic as possible.

I already read U.S. humanities professors: Can you get back into academia if you leave? and Does taking an academic job in Asia or Africa make it difficult to get a job in the US or Europe later? but they aren't a good match for my question.

One of family friends got a PhD in mechanical engineering at 2000 from a tier 1 university in US. Then he moved back to his home country and started teaching there. Now he is back in the US. His computer skills or knowledge of industry related softwares are limited. He just taught core mechanical engineering courses with 2-3 national papers published.

What are his best options of teaching? I initially thought that he would be able to teach in (community) colleges, but then most colleges are teaching CS, social sciences, economy, healthcare, math or at best chemistry. Most of them have anything related to engineering, let alone mechanical engineering i.e. thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, etc.

Currently what I'm thinking is that his best option is to just teach math in colleges. Are there any better solutions?

  • Some community colleges have pre-engineering programs; perhaps this could be worthy of looking into? – Mad Jack Jan 26 '18 at 16:12
  • @MadJack 1. I'm a bit confused. I googled its definition. Do you mean something like the 'mechanical Engineering' mentioned in this page? or it's not always as specific as that? 2. FWIW the job doesn't have to be in academia, any job that is related would do fine. But huge preference with academia. – Honey Jan 26 '18 at 16:31
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    Here in Connecticut, there are several community colleges that offer associate degrees that can lead into mechanical engineering bachelor's degrees at other institutions. See here or here. – Peter K. Jan 26 '18 at 17:14
  • @PeterK. Nice. Thanks. (I'm using Google) Is there any easy website that helps you to filter out B.Sc. and M.S. programs or list programs? Or google is the only way? – Honey Jan 26 '18 at 17:30
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    @Honey I just used Google too, but I used Mechanical engineering "community college" as the search terms to ensure that "community college" together appeared in the results. – Peter K. Jan 26 '18 at 20:09

Some community colleges have pre-engineering programs in which someone with a Ph.D. in engineering could be an instructor. The engineering courses offered in these programs are typically very limited. Courses like thermodynamics are not typically offered at the community college level.

Most community colleges have rules for the required academic background of instructors. For example, a fairly common rule is that instructors are required to have 15 credit hours of graduate-level coursework in the subject that they are teaching. These kinds of rules might well prevent your friend from getting a job teaching mathematics, chemistry, etc.

Your friend might also consider applying for a job as a full-time instructor at a four-year college that has an engineering program.

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