The purpose of this study is to examine how engineering students' conceptualization of their future is related to the factors which have been studied related to students' retention. Two Future Time Perspective (FTP) constructs, Connectedness and Perceived Instrumentality, were included to measure students' conceptualization of their future. The results indicated that students who tended to connect their present to engineering future career (Connectedness) believed they were more capable of learning course materials, reported they used more collaborative learning strategies as well as engaged more in knowledge building behaviors, and have higher grades. Also, student who perceived their current learning as being helpful for their future learning and career (Perceived Instrumentality) believe they were more capable of learning course materials and reported more engagement in knowledge building behaviors. Our study contributes to the recent trend of engineering education reform which advocates increasing the connection between students' daily learning and future careers, by introducing Future Time Perspective (FTP), a widely studied theory in psychology. Our findings provide educators guidelines for incorporating connections to the future into curricula content and instructional design.