Civil Engr here... and I found that the first 2 years were weed out classes and that once you get into the degree program, the classes were actually pretty interesting and easier.
I really don't care what he ultimately does as long as he is happy with it but I can assure you the "its going to be hard" and "I might not like my classes" objections are not ones I am real comfortable with. Life is hard and you tend to end up doing stuff you don't like that much in the course of living your life.
I didn't like my classes, I had no rapport with my advisor, I had no engineering role models that gave me the ability to visualize the future as an engineer and, frankly, I saw a career of crunching numbers from 8-5 in a cubicle and decided I did not want that. I am just trying to make sure my son thinks this through before making a change. I am not a good example of 'you shouldn't change because look how awful things turned out for me'...I work for myself, love what I do, and make good money doing it. I have a few friends that are engineers but now EEs...just thought I might get some real world ideas about what these guys are doing out there.
This sounds very similar to my son. He spent a year at ISU preparing to get a BS degree in ME. Late in the first year (about April) he announces that he wants to get out of engineering because he does not want t work in a "cube farm". His grades were fine so that was not the problem. I could not accuse him of not knowing what he was talking about because he had two different internships/summer jobs working in engineering environments so I let him move on. Initially he wanted to go into teaching, but after some discussion he ended up going into pharmacy and is now boing very well and happy with what he is doing.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I think he went into ME because that is what he thought I wanted. I am glad that he ended up doing what he wanted.
Moral of the story - let him make his own choice, but give him the benefit of your experience as he does so.
Is he going to ISU?
I have a BS in ME and went into technical sales. Best career choice ever. More money, more flexibility, etc.
They have a sales engineering club at ISU now. I'd recommend he take a look at it if he does go to ISU.
Knowing you he is probably at LSU though.
Let me throw another vote to the IE and MBA option. They have a joint program where you can do it all in 5 years, and if he is just finishing year two of undergrad, he should be fine to get started in that. IE is probably the easiest of the engineering majors, and it leans more in the business direction if that is your interest.
I did an engineering and MBA path myself, and I would say that empoyers seem to like the combination, and it also gives you a lot of different directions that you can go in your career, either more technical or more business.
That said, if he fears cube life, I would point him down a different career path than mine!
When I was getting ready for college I think my parents(both ISU alumni) got the impression that I was doing engineering just because I thought they wanted me to go to ISU. Obviously they're thrilled I chose ISU, but I don't know how many times I heard "You know you don't have to go to ISU." No complaints though after 1 year. :biggrin:
As far as deciding on a major, one of my dad's friends has a son who had no clue what he wanted to do, and ended up sending him to a counselor who just by talking to him gauged his interests and made suggestions as to what path he should choose. From what I heard, the work she did with him was really good. Your situation doesn't seem to call for this, but if he's completely lost on what he wants to do that may be an option.