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Studying A changing focus from Art to Engineering

  1. Apr 30, 2016 #1
    Alrighty, here we go. I'm currently a junior in high school (going into my senior year this fall), and my plan was always to become an artist as i thought it the way i could make a change in the world; however, I've begun to think pursuing engineering (particularly electrical) will enable me to make a bigger impact. That being said, I had some major depression issues throughout middle school and high school, and I didn't study like i should have.

    I've currently reviewing algebra from the ground up using Khan Academy and I plan on finishing reviewing and starting calculus over the summer. I also plan on reviewing Physics on KA (another thing i regrettably didn't give the attention it deserved) and starting KA's EE course. I also plan on doing some arduino projects over the summer.

    I'm posting this looking for some advice about how i should go about pursuing electrical engineering. KA says itself that it's not a replacement for traditional learning , so are there any books, websites, etc. you would recommend? Thanks for any kind of help you can give, it means a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2016 #2
    It's a pretty big change of thinking, i know you're not asking, but what has made you change from wanting pursue arts to wanting to pursue Electrical Engineering in particular?

    I use this forum sometimes, its quite handy. The website also offers a lot of information on a range of fields in Electrical/Electronic Engineering such as videos, short tutorials etc. Also articles on what's new in various fields pertaining to the topic of electronics and such.
  4. May 1, 2016 #3
    Yeah I know it's a pretty big jump. My dream for a long time was to become a concept artist and eventually make my own game company while still staying an artist. As i grew up my dream became more and more elaborate and I saw how many great things people like Bill gates could do, so i thought if i ever get to start a game company, then I'll looking into some kinda tech company. When i started looking into colleges tho, i really couldn't find much value in going to an art school, but not going to college doesn't sound like the best plan either, so I started looking into different degrees such as Electrical Engineering. Now I'm still note sure exactly what kind of degree I want to get or anything like that. Im still kind of conflicted on whether i want to focus on hardware or software, but i wont now till i at least explore them.

    It should be noted that I've always loved tinkering with electronics, so the interest isn't new, but i never really thought about pursuing it. Well i'm a super slow writer and its getting really late, so hopefully that kinda answered you question, and feel free ask any follow up questions if you want :)
    Thanks for the link :)
  5. May 1, 2016 #4
    I see. Yes i think at this stage it is important for you to try and get as much exposure as possible to various engineering majors, and possibly any other majors you're interested in.

    And by exposure i don't necessarily mean looking at all the technical jargon that each field uses and trying to understand/learn it before going to college. Rather try and embed yourself in an environment whereby you're surrounded by all the recent discoveries and innovations in the field (YouTube channels, forums, various websites etc, FaceBook pages) so that you can gain a holistic view.

    I encourage this exposure because i think it is the best way to figure out what it is you want to do exactly. Once you come to grips with say, the field of Electrical Engineering, and think you know what its all about, you might find that you don't really like it. Or, you might find you're really interested in a certain aspect of said field and want to pursue that.

    All of this, is just my humble opinion of course :). Good luck in making your decision.
  6. May 1, 2016 #5
    Yeah I completely agree. There are so many types of Engineering, and other degrees related to Engineering, that i can't say for sure that Electrical Engineering will be exactly what i pursue. Electrical Engineering is something that I think may be a good fit for me, but I wont know till i explore it more. Yeah so i know i said Electrical Engineer is going to be my focus, but its more that im focusing on it to see if its a good fit for me. I just felt like "Changing focus from conceptual artist to a more academically challenging career such as Electrical Engineering" may have been a bit too big for a title :P

    Thanks for the advice :)
  7. May 1, 2016 #6
    Sure, i understand :).

    All the best! And welcome to the forum.
  8. May 2, 2016 #7
    How good would you say your math is?
  9. May 2, 2016 #8
    Umm, not were id like it to be. I recently took a a practice SAT (the new one) on Khan academy and got a 570 in math. I couldn't find any averages for the new SAT, but it seems like most people are expecting the average to be ~500 in each section. So according to that most im most likely slighty better than average in math, but honestly looking at my math skills, that more makes me disappointed with our school systems than anything ( i only lightly studied for the test btw). I would personally rank my math right now as bad. I would say my math skills were very good when i was in elementary school, and i was even ahead by almost 2 years in math at one point, but like i said i had some issues and stopped applying myself to school.

    Over all in math I would say im good, but a lack of applying myself to it has made me bad. I think that should give you a decent idea of where im at in math.
  10. May 2, 2016 #9
    OK. Then you need to get textbooks and work through them. Do not rely on Khan Academy to get you to a decent level. Khan Academy is meant to be a secondary resource or a refresher only. You need to get a textbook, carefully read through it and do all the problems. Free textbooks can be found here https://openstaxcollege.org

    It is vital to do as many problems as you can, even if you feel they are sometimes repetitive.
  11. May 2, 2016 #10
    Thanks for the link :D

    I was really hoping someone would be kind enough to link an actual book/course. Do you think it would be worth looking into other textbooks, or are the ones you linked sufficient? And yeah don't worry, i'll make sure to do as many problems as i can :)

    Thanks for the help guys :)
  12. May 2, 2016 #11


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    You described a lot of what you are doing as a self-study, but what are you enrolled in right now in school? Your self-study doesn't count much in terms of the official grades that will be used to evaluate your admission into college. Are you taking the AP classes that you will need to go to college in engineering?

  13. May 2, 2016 #12
    Hey Zz, I'm actually home-schooled, so it's hard to say exactly what enrolled in, of course i will have enough credits to graduate though. Math wise I've done Algebra 1&2 and am currently doing geometry. Science wise I don't remember exactly what ive done, i think i've done physical science, computer science, and biology, but i don't remember exactly (it becomes mildly complicated when home-schooled). And you don't "need" to take AP classes to get into an engineering school right? I understand they're almost becoming a requirement, but they aren't an actual requirement to get in right? Either way i haven't taken any AP classes, but i'm mostly likely going to be dual-enrolling at a community college this fall.

    Oh yeah and for official grades, again it gets more complicated as a home-schooler, but my GPA is actually pretty good and is probably about a 3.8-3.9 (I have to wait for my mum to put everything together to know the exact number)

    Another thing to add to the equation is that im actually a senior, but with homeschooling there is no freshman, sophomore, junior, senior. It's done entirely by credits. So since I started school a year early, we can just say i'm a junior and take another year in highschool and still graduate on time. So my "senior year" will be mostly classes from my local community college. Im still not sure how much of that i will be able to put in my application to colleges though, as application deadlines for most colleges seems to be about December, and ill be doing classes at the community college in the spring.

    I think i answered your question, i don't know though i got kinda lost in all of it lol. let me know if i need to clear something up :)
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