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Automotive Automotive Engineering Future

  1. Jun 7, 2012 #1
    So a great deal of the population uses some form of rail or automotive transport daily so obviously the automotive/rail companies are making a lot of money but what I don't understand is why the demand for automotive/rail engineers is decreasing?
    I ask this question because I initially started off my studies preparing to be an automotive engineer, there is a course at a local university "Mechanical & Low Carbon Transport" which I was planning on studying, this would teach me about automotive/rail design and how to make transport more efficient but after doing more research on the topic I see that automotive engineers can not find jobs and that it is a tough industry to get into.
    If I did go into it I know I would do really well and additionally I also have 2 years hands on experience on vehicle maintenance & repairs which I also got qualifications for, do you think I should pursue my dream in becoming an automotive/rail engineer or should I start looking elsewhere?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2012 #2
    Depends what you mean by 'automotive engineering' with respect to decreasing demand.

    All engineering is basically the same, and automotive is just an area that is constantly evolving like all other areas of engineering.
    People will still need to move around the planet, and people will still need products designed to make that happen.

    I don't know if you are in the UK or not, but companies like JLR are snapping up people like there is no tomorrow (I say them first because they have been prolific for the last 12 months). BMW have also been recruiting, as have Nissan, etc, etc. And these are just OEM's, imagine all the T1 companies that are hiring to supply them.
  4. Jun 7, 2012 #3
    Wow, I did not know that, I have been researching and every forum post I look on asking about becoming an automotive engineer gets told that he/she should go find a different career since automotive engineers are not that much in demand, also, yes I am in the UK and I will look up them companies because I did not know they were recruiting.

    When I say Automotive Engineer I mean the engineer who designs the components of the vehicle or testing the components etc...here is a overview of the course modulus, might clear things up a bit:

    Stage 1

    Compulsory modules

    Electrical Engineering I (for MECH)
    Engineering Mathematics
    Materials Science I
    Fundamentals of Thermofluid Dynamics
    Design and Manufacturing
    Mechanics I
    Mechanical Engineering Professional Skills I

    Stage 2

    Compulsory modules

    Statistics in Process Industries 1
    Electrical Engineering II
    Accounting, Finance and Law for Engineers
    Engineering Mathematics II with Applications
    Materials Science II
    Applications of Thermofluid Dynamics
    Design and Manufacturing II
    Mechanical Engineering Professional Skills II
    Mechanics II

    Stage 3

    Compulsory modules

    Materials Degradation and Component Life
    Computational Modelling
    Instrumentation and Drive Systems
    Managing Engineering Operations
    Design for Industry
    Structural Optimisation and Crashworthiness
    Mechanical Engineering Project

    Stage 4

    Compulsory modules

    Energy Sources and Storage
    Vehicle Drives and Dynamics
    Design for Human-Systems Integration
    Design of Mechanical Power Transmissions
    Mechanical Engineering Team Project

    As you may have noticed this 4 year course (3 years honours 1 years masters) starts off as a mechanical engineering course and toward the end leans towards automotive/rail engineering, it is Mechanical & Low Carbon Transport.
    Do you think that I will be able to get a good job in the UK if I do very well in this course?

  5. Jun 7, 2012 #4
    I'd go for a normal mechanical engineering degree.
    You can take the modules as you wish, but you don't want to be pigeon holed by an overly specific degree title.

    I mean it doesn't really matter from a technical perspactive, I did motorsports then worked in Oil and Gas for two years. It's just for when the plums are sifting through CV's you don't want something silly ruling you out.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  6. Jun 7, 2012 #5
    Would the degree title really make that much of a difference even though the first 2 and a half years of the course is the exact same modulus as a mechanical engineering degree course and the rest of the course is also almost the same but with just 2-3 topic changed over for example in mechanical there is robotics and in automotive there is power transmission?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  7. Jun 7, 2012 #6
    I second that. The degree title does make a difference to many people, especially HR reps doing the resume sifting. "Automotive" Engineering sounds like a trade degree or something that isn't accredited like Engineering Mechanics. Actually, I don't think ABET has an accreditation for automotive engineering.

    And the demand for engineers in the auto industry isn't decreasing. If anything its as big as ever. I could literally walk 10 minutes down the street from my uni, ask for a job at a few places, and be working somewhere by Monday. Although, I live in the very center of the automotive capital of the world so your results may vary. While there are a lot of engineers from the auto industry that are out of work its not because there's no demand, its because theres a huge lack of knowledge and skills. There's a lot of middle aged guys and old timers that spent their entire careers doing something like designing door handles. Once the recession hit they lost their jobs and where replaced by a younger and cheaper work force.

    If you go for a specialization (meaning grad school) like batteries and fuel cells, or electric propulsion systems for automotive applications you are basically guaranteed a job for the rest of your life and could rather easily be making six figures by the time you're 30.
  8. Jun 8, 2012 #7
    Thank you for the great advice! I will do just that, also it has really motivated me and made me happy that there is demand for automotive engineers and that what I had read on the internet was lies. Thank You!
  9. Jun 8, 2012 #8
    I call BS on that big time, last time I visited Detroit and Alabama, they had boards on windows of offices, unless you know someone you can't go into a job interview blind, stop trying to get his hopes up, automotive engineering is probably the worst, those jobs are covered with less people now. I know, I searched for two years. Plant jobs are hot, I agree on that point. UK can't be any better, you don't need that many people to design a car, those jobs are covered. My brother built a small military tank with less than 100 people on the team and even he couldn't hire me, they laid off Phd's left and right.

    Engineering is dead.

    You can still pursue the degree because you need one to land a ok job in any field but that doesn't mean you have to stay in that field.
  10. Jun 8, 2012 #9

    That is all.
  11. Jun 8, 2012 #10
    Prove me wrong, show me an automotive engineer job listing for GM, Ford or Chrysler for a recent graduate?
  12. Jun 8, 2012 #11

    Detroit has no automotive industry anymore with the exception of GM's WHQ. Thats why it looks like the movie Mad Max. If you want an automotive job in Michigan you need to go to Dearborn or Oakland County. Here's a listing for GM, you can find the rest;

    http://jobs.gm.com/go/Engineering-Design-R&D-Jobs/155651/?utm_source=catgroupwidget [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  13. Jun 8, 2012 #12
    I found like 3 and they are not in Michigan, we're looking at about 50k graduates a year for 3 openings, still laughing?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Jun 8, 2012 #13
    Do you think I will have a better chance finding a job in the UK if I do a Masters in Mechatronics or Automotive engineering?

    (The masters is after doing a Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering)
  15. Jun 8, 2012 #14
    I found half a dozen that were in Michigan easily just on the first page. You can't tell me you looked through all 300 in such a short amount of time and only found 3. It sounds like you're just making excuses.

    Bottom line, I've never had a problem getting job in the automotive field, especially not around here. I turn down interviews from head hunters on a monthly basis. If you're having such a hard time finding anything you are either in your mid to late 50's, not trying hard enough, or don't know how to market yourself.
  16. Jun 8, 2012 #15

    I typed in junior which is the topic at hand, I'm sure with 5-6 years experience its a totally different ball game but we're talking about a junior engineer wanting to get in the automotive engineering field, not happening dude.
  17. Jun 8, 2012 #16
    I don't really know what a "junior" engineer is but there's plenty of listings which only require a degree and no work experience. Very much happening.
  18. Jun 8, 2012 #17

    Your gonna hire someone to do CFD using Ansys with no work experience, now I'm laughing.

    Only one way for a recent grad to get into that field in this economy, know someone.
  19. Jun 8, 2012 #18
    One of my colleagues started working at GM last year doing CFD analysis without prior work experience. He had to work contract for 6 months first but after that he became direct hire. Of coarse to do actual CFD work one requires a PhD, which he has.
  20. Jun 8, 2012 #19
    Its a tough out there right now. That's the last I'll say on it.
  21. Jun 8, 2012 #20
    I don't understand why there isn't a demand for automotive engineers when things like global warming are starting to reach a critical point, automotive/transport engineers need to come up with more efficient methods of engineering transport then why is automotive engineering not in demand?
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
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