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Advice needed on College Major

  1. Sep 8, 2011 #1

    I am only a freshman in college and I'm taking calc 3, etc. In other words, before I know it I will be taking the "core" classes for the major I chose...Mechanical Engineering.

    I always had my mind set on ME for the sole reason that the physics aspect of cars was so interesting to me. I gained considerable knowledge about the car, turbo systems, etc as a result thinking ME would be the best major for me.

    I was planning on doing a BS in Mech then MS in Automotive engineering. However, I decided to look into the job market and see the average ME job and I was shocked. There were no jobs for automotive engineers AND worst most of the ME jobs were jobs like making a coffee machine more efficient.

    And not to mention the down right LOW starting salary. I mean 50-55k beginning? Hell, game developers get 75K starting and that is definitely funner than making a toaster toast your bread quicker.

    You may be saying, WELL become a software engineer.


    My MAIN goal is to major in something that I will be able to go off on my own and start my own business after 5-7 years MAX working with another.
    Software Engineer you can't unless you have a RADICAL new idea or if you have loads of money.
    Computer Hardware/Electrical you could.
    Mechanical Eng definitely: anything with cars (gears, pistons, etc.)

    I would like to have a job in something related to my future business so I will have the experience/knowledge.

    So my question is: is my outlook on ME true and not skewed in the least bit. And what major do you think I would most likely benefit from the most considering my main goal is to make a business.

    I know that business part is VERY general but bear with me.

    Don't say, well if you want to make a business then who cares what you work as in the beginning; no one said the business will succeed. I need to be comfortable with working in a job for 40 years.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2011 #2
    Wow 154 views and no suggestions...
  4. Sep 10, 2011 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    You're right. DEMAND an answer! Yes, the forum is filled with volunteers, but they have NO RIGHT to leave you hanging like that! How dare they!
  5. Sep 10, 2011 #4
    Have you looked into Aerospace Engineering?
  6. Sep 10, 2011 #5
    Chill dude. Picking a major is hard and you can't make the decision with what you will know 5 years from now.

    You sound like your major suits you fine. Do what you do well, do it with enthusiasm that the people around you can feel, and you will never have a concern about your salary in your life.
  7. Sep 10, 2011 #6
    Where the heck did you read that game developers start at 75k/yr? I think 50k is a more than reasonable amount for a starting salary. Nobody is going to pay the average anything 100k out of college. That being said, I have not looked into ME jobs at all so I have no opinion on that. I think you might need to be a little more reasonable on salaries.
  8. Sep 10, 2011 #7
    Whoa no one was demanding anything. And yes that is true about the game developers, they get paid a lot.
  9. Sep 10, 2011 #8
    Did you read my post? It doesn't matter what you do, it's how you do it.
  10. Sep 10, 2011 #9
    Yes I did read it.

    I find that to be a lot easier said than done.
  11. Sep 10, 2011 #10

    There's no easy way through life.
  12. Sep 10, 2011 #11
    You see, I originally wanted to be an automotive engineer and maybe land a job with a car manufacturer but what are the chances?

    After working with the manufacturer I was planning on starting my own aftermarket business.
  13. Sep 11, 2011 #12
    Do you pick crops? Fetch buckets of water? Build houses? No? Well, then you aren't doing anything too damn important: you know, those three (3) neccessities society teaches children (food, water, shelter). Making toaster ovens with a starting salary of $55k/year isn't exactly the end of the world. I've seen people clean up other people's crap for less than that.

    Here is my advice, and it is an overplayed cliche that may be hard to understand, but I am going to say it: find something you like to do, do it and find a way to make a living out of it. However, you may not find out what you want to do with your foreseeable future in the next two (2) semesters. You may not be the best at it. But as long as you are not living under a bridge doing what you like to do, then what do you care about job outlooks or someone else's starting salary?
  14. Sep 11, 2011 #13
    I find their median salary around 68-73k/yr when I search. It's difficult to find accurate information on them because there are just so many "learn video games" schools self promoting on the internet.

    Mechanical Engineers have a median of around 78k/yr according to the bls.gov website.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  15. Sep 11, 2011 #14
    I don't understand why you think a starting salary of 55k is low. In a decade you'll be making twice that.
  16. Sep 11, 2011 #15
    First of all, mechanical engineering is easily the broadest of all the engineering disciplines--that said, most jobs will not outright say mechanical engineer needed; in a lot of cases fluid mechanics engineer, thermodynamics engineer, systems engineer, production engineer, design engineer etc... will be the wording.

    Second of all, the starting salaries for video-game developers may seem high but the demand is actually not as high as you think. The salaries are only high if you get into one of the major companies and you will be in competition with MANY applicants for said job. Also, have you ever taken part in the making of a video-game? It's really not as fun as you may think.

    Either way, do what it is that makes you happy and what you find interesting.

    On a side note--it's generally understood that if a poster answers all his own questions in his post--aggressively, might I add--he does not truly need help.
  17. Sep 11, 2011 #16
    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my thread.
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