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Programs Best minor for a Mechanical Engineering student?

  1. Sep 23, 2016 #1
    At the university I'm planning on transferring to in a year I pretty much have to take a bunch of technical electives which can come from any STEM department. For example, I could take a bunch of theoretical physics classes that will count towards my degree or I can take more ME classes that will also count towards my degree. The electives can lead towards a minor in most situations.

    I was thinking that a minor in CS would be a good idea since I love programming and have actually been considering majoring in CS, but then I think that it would be more beneficial for me to just take more ME classes.

    Do you all think that minoring in CS as opposed to taking more ME classes would be a bad idea?

    I have no idea what I want to do with my degree once I graduate, otherwise I would take classes that would lead me towards a career in that field, I just know that I love applied physics which is why I decided to major in ME.

    EDIT: I was planning on teaching myself some CS stuff while getting my degree in ME to make myself more marketable before I even found out that my technical electives can be CS classes.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2016 #2
    Well, not a bad idea, actually. Mechanical Engineering is a broad field, and you could end up working with robotics/mechatronics, where a solid grounding in CS would be helpful.

    Also, have in mind that programming skills, in general, are becoming very important in all kinds of jobs (and that includes engineering ones). Mechanical Engineers will need to program using MATLAB, and good programming skills will be helpful if you deal with simulations (FEM, CFD). And while it's not pure computer science stuff (and more number-crunching), you do need to know how to program to write better and more efficient code for those calculations.
  4. Sep 23, 2016 #3
    Would it be a better idea than just taking more ME classes? I can learn how to program on my own but I'm not sure if I'll ever teach myself any of the pure CS classes which is why I thought minoring in it might be a good idea.
  5. Sep 23, 2016 #4
    It depends.

    What aspects of mechanical engineering interests you most? Aerodynamics, machine design, structural analysis, heat transfer? Electives on those fields are there so you can narrow your focus and learn stuff that you enjoy and/or would want to work with in the future. If you want to stay within the mechanical engineering path, I would consider taking classes in those areas. CS has more in common with EE than with ME, and while a working knowledge of concepts like data structures and algorithms would be helpful in some areas (like robotics and mechatronics), they're practically useless anywhere else if you are working as a MechE.

    But again, that's entirely up to you.
  6. Sep 26, 2016 #5
    Nothing. Just ace all the required courses. I was two courses away from a math minor and three away from a philosophy minor.

    No time. Would have cost too much GPA.
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