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A lover of engineering

  1. Oct 15, 2011 #1
    I'm currently studying Drafting and Design at a community college. I've always loved engineering and dreamed of someday being an engineer. After completion of my current program I plan on getting into a mechanical engineering and Physics program at Tulane/Vanderbilt. I also plan on getting my Masters in mechanical.

    I was wondering, how useful would it be to also gain my masters in electrical and civil engineering as well? I've always loved all three fields. I'm very much interested in electricity and magnetism, and I've always wanted to build bridges and large structures as well. This would probably be something a did after sometime working in mechanical(5-10 years) but it is something I would love to do.

    The field I'd like to work in is pretty much free/alternative energy solutions. And I definitely see all three of these benefiting that. I'm just looking for some professional advice.

    I was also curious as to how useful you think my d&d degree will end up being. I'm more or less getting it so I can work while in school for engineering, and to give me field experience during that time. I started college a little later that normal(at 21) due to financial situations and just the need to experience a little life first. Do you think my late entry into engineering will be detrimental to my plight? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2011 #2


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    Welcome to PF, Seth.
    As someone who shares your love of engineering, but never finished high-school, I believe that one can never learn too much. If it's financially and socially within your means, study everything that interests you. If not, then concentrate your formal education upon what you need in order to obtain a career, and learn as much as you can on your own in other areas. Read a lot, audit classes... whatever.
  4. Oct 15, 2011 #3
    Hi, Seth, welcome to the forum.

    While studying is a lot of fun, and I wish I could simply be at school all the time and study all the fields I am interested in...there is this other little issue about having to support myself economically and the family and spend time with the family.

    So, if you already have the money to support yourself for the next 8 to 10 and don't mind spending such money on education..go for it...3 bachelors and 3 masters, that should be a lot of fun.

    On the other hand, I don't think you have to make a decision for all that, right now...pick one first and see how it goes...while in mechanical engineering, if you can handle that load and life and would like to take on more load...maybe you can finish up another bachelors, too, like Civil engineering...that thing is that if you plan to do all of that simultaneously, I doubt you would be able to learn them well...baby steps, man, baby steps...
  5. Oct 15, 2011 #4


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    I would focus on one thing at a time. I would suggest going for the bachelors in mechanical. You will definitely have some overlap in the standard suite of courses. Additionally, you could check into the feasibility of taking some of your technical electives in civil or electrical. Find out which you really like.

    You may find that while you're interested in all three fields in a "I think it would be cool to do X" way, you may or may not like them once you're actually plugging through problem sets in "Bridge Design 327", for example.

    Re-evaluate where you want to go in your Junior or Senior year once you've actually gotten some courses down in each topic.

    Starting late will not hold you back. Speaking from personal experience, it actually may help. I dropped out of college after a year (was thrown out, actually). Went back to community college at 23, transferred to a 4 year school and got my Bachelors at 27. Now I work in the aerospace industry.
  6. Oct 15, 2011 #5


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    I assume your D&D courses include CAD...AutoCad or Microstation for example. Knowledge of computer drafting is a big plus when you apply for a job in the the Civil, Mechanical or Electrical field.
  7. Oct 17, 2011 #6
    Thanks for your input guys. it's really helped a lot. I just have one more question. Say I end up getting my BS in Mechanical and Physics and my masters in Mechanical, how logical would it be to also get a masters in electrical or civil. The school I would like to get my masters in mech requires you to study a minor. I was thinking have my minor be one of those and then after I'm done with the program go part time and get my masters in electrical.
  8. Oct 17, 2011 #7


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    Once you have your masters, more degrees won't help much. Companies will be more impressed with work experience than another 2 or 4 years of schooling.
  9. Oct 19, 2011 #8
    Yeah, I had a friend who called all his degrees 'wall paper.' What's the point? You can study anything you want on your own. What you should be learning in school is how to teach yourself. Then you can spend the rest of your life learning.
  10. Oct 19, 2011 #9
    Yea, degrees serve two main purposes:
    1) Teach you how to learn and how to teach yourself so that you can use critical thinking skills in industry
    2) Certify that you have had fundamental training in your field so that when someone hires you they know that you are familiar with the principles and are capable of doing what is expected of you.
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