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Engineering Changing engineering specialties after graduation

  1. Nov 16, 2009 #1
    Hello, I was wondering if anyone could tell me how difficult it would be to get into electrical engineering after graduating with a bachelor in mechanical. I have done well in my classes, getting mostly as and some b’s, but I really have not liked my course work at all and overall am very unhappy in college. I started out at a small school and was unhappy there so I thought it might help if I changed schools, but I still did not enjoy my class work at all. Due to the transfer I lost a great deal of time and it was going to take me six years to graduate if I wanted to change majors at my new school.

    I decided to just push through it but I have been very unhappy and now I am about to graduate and am not excited at all about my job prospects. I feel very disappointed and feel like I have wasted some of the supposedly best years of my life studying constantly for something I don’t really like.

    I really think electrical engineering might have been better for me as I am very interested in the field. In addition I have really enjoyed my college mathematics classes a lot and was disappointed in how little, at our school at least, anything more than algebra and the most basic differential equations was used in mechanical engineering. I look at the ee department website and read the course syllabi in electro physics and computer engineering and think I would have liked that much better. So anyways my main question is: what would be my best option? Just get a job and stop complaining? Is it extremely difficult to get a master in a different type of engineering? I know I would need to take some pre reqs but I have gotten all of the basic math and physics courses out of the way, which is a big hurdle. Thanks for any advice!
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  3. Nov 17, 2009 #2
    Nothing is impossible... but practically speaking, I'd guess that the overlap between EE and Mech E is probably at most 2.5 years: the standard engineering freshman year, along with math and distribution requirements. I'd guess you'd have to take about 3 semesters of EE courses to catch up.

    If you don't like Mech E though, and if you can possibly afford it, I'd still suggest you just do it now. There are few things worse than having a job you hate.
  4. Nov 17, 2009 #3
    I agree, I would recommend switching to EE if you think it is something you will enjoy. If you don't like mech E and you end up having a job you hate might end up going back to school later for EE and wasting even more time.
  5. Nov 17, 2009 #4


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    I apologize, as I do not want to hijack this thread, but I do want to quickly ask the same question; only in reverse. What are the requirements, or is it difficult, to go from Electrical Engineering to Mechanical Engineering?
  6. Nov 17, 2009 #5
    That depends on what school you are going to and how close you are to graduation, or if you already have the degree. One thing to do would be to look at the course curriculum for both and compare the classes. You will probably see that all the freshmen courses are the same along with some sophmore ones but there is probably going to be almost 2 years worth of classes you would have to take. But the best thing to do would be to just ask an advisor at the college. They could tell you exactly what classes you need.
  7. Nov 17, 2009 #6
    I would give pretty much the same answer... the foundations of engineering and of a bachelor's degree would be pretty much the same, but you'd have a completely different set of courses in the discipline. Figure at least 3 more semesters.
  8. Nov 20, 2009 #7
    At Cambridge I believe the first year is common for all engineering disciplines, mech, elec, civil. Only after this common year do you take your options. Quite good in a way I think.
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