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Difference in skills and content in mech and electrical engineering

  1. Apr 8, 2009 #1
    I got an offer to take up a mechanical engieering degree at university. The degree is a specialised one, with not much room for electrical engineering. I know I want to become an engineer, but am just not very sure about whether I wanna be a mechanical or electrical engineer. Hence I want to ask whether picking up the mechanical engineering offer will somehow lock me in for life in one of the subfields, or are the skills and the way of thinking learned during the degree more important than the content of the academic coursework?

    What are the career prospects of the respective degrees? Which one is broader? What type of engineer earns more? Which is more appropriate if I wanna go into engineering management in the future?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2009 #2
    The first year of engineering should be common between ME and EE. So you should be allowed to switch majors after that year. Some engineering schools don't even make you decide which major you want until after the first year - you are just a general engineering student for the first two semesters.

    If you follow through with the ME curriculum, you will be locked into ME and its subfields. Of course you aren't literally locked into being an ME forever - you could change careers, but you won't be able to just jump in EE. There are some subfields that overlap ME and EE, and perhaps you could take electives in those areas.

    As for the career prospects, I do not know where you are posting from, but in the US they are pretty good. I see a good amount of job postings for both disciplines.

    Both ME and EE are very broad, so it's hard to say which is broader. The earning potential depends on a ton of factors, so no one will be able to give you a good answer without a lot more information from you (especially where you live).

    As for engineering management, both disciplines will give you the same chances. Your ability to move into engineering management is a combination of a lot of factors, not limited to your natural ability to organize & manage, the company you work at and your experiences there, and any sort of management degrees, courses, or certifications you might pick up after your undergraduate schooling.
     
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