1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Advice for a guy who wants to do everything

  1. Dec 2, 2011 #1
    I would like to do something in engineering but I am clueless on what to go as a discipline. I honestly want to do Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical but clearly that isn't a realistic approach to my issue.

    The best compromise I can see is going Engineering Physics(ABET) at my state university to kind of bridge the gap between all those disciplines but I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not and whether I could work in any of those disciplines after I graduated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey RedDOS and welcome to the forums.

    I don't see an issue with doing many things over a long period of time, but I would strongly advise against doing this over a short period of time.

    In my opinion, it is better to focus on something specific and if you want to do something, do it after you have gained experienced in a specific area.

    One thing you should realize is that once you are out of formal education, you still will have to learn either on your own, or in your job/career environment. You'll find that a lot of your learning is not done in a classroom, so keep this in mind.

    I would recommend you pick one engineering discipline and if you can get into a place that has a multidisciplinary team whether that is R&D or something else, that will allow you a good chance to do that kind of work. Focus on one engineering area and get some experience, and if you get a good hand and play your cards right, you can get multidisciplinary experience in other areas of engineering and most likely areas where they all overlap.
  4. Dec 2, 2011 #3
    i'd do chemical and then minor in either electrical or mechanical. . .
  5. Dec 3, 2011 #4
    Focus... focus.

    I too have ADD and find it hard to stay with one thing.
  6. Dec 3, 2011 #5


    User Avatar

    I would major in one Engineering discipline and minor in Physics or Chemistry. The minor will give you the foundation to tackle problems in the other engineering disciplines. Don't scatter your efforts trying to major in all three Engineering disciples.
  7. Dec 3, 2011 #6
    I am the same way and thought I would never be able to make a decision on anything to study. I don't think it's a bad thing at all but eventually I will have to choose something. I'm only a late sophomore now and after taking a couple of different classes the decision is becoming much easier. I thought I was going to love programming but after a couple months of doing it in class I only partially like it.

    I recommend taking an engineering survey class. At my school, they have specialized ones or a general one. I've sat in on the electrical one a couple times and I immediately found out certain fields of EE that don't interest me, such as power.
  8. Dec 6, 2011 #7
    you could go to a school where you dont have to pick your major until after first year so you can get a feel for the different course. Also talk to your profs about what they are doing and what sort of jobs are out there. It will probably help you narrow it down.
  9. Dec 6, 2011 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Come to Maine. UMO has a very strong engineering school and all of the first-year requirements are common, so you don't have to declare a major the first year. Perhaps once you have basic Calc, Inorganic Chem, and Phys under your belt, you'll have an idea where you might want to specialize. You should realize that your basic first-year courses will all run at an accelerated rate (2x that of most majors) so you'll be busy.

    You might want to branch out into material science, too. UMO has some very impressive options there. Interested in tidal power generation, off-shore wind, or other green energy programs? Got those. Interested in very strong/tough/durable materials for use in civil engineering? Got those, too.

  10. Dec 7, 2011 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think your selection will be narrowed after you've taken a few courses in each area. You don't have to decide right this second.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook