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Do Mechanical Engineering ? (need advice)

  1. Nov 14, 2006 #1
    Heya's. I'm 21 years old, and nearing completion of a B.Sc (majoring in Statistics and Operations Research at the University of Melbourne) Will finish it next year.

    I've always loved and somewhat enjoyed maths and physics. I did a B.Sc because I've never had a good idea of what I want to be or what I want to do with myself. I was originally planning on majoring in physics, but swapped to the maths majors because I thought it would make me more employable. However this set my graduation date back another year and I still don't know where this degree or the skills acquired will get me.

    I still have no 'real' target career but recently more and more I've been thinking that I should/could be a mechanical engineer. I'm the sorta guy who loves knowing/working out how things work and am beginning to think this would be an ideal career. I have a pretty good grasp of physics, did well in the 4 physics classes I took. I'm pretty damn good with computers too, I can see this as being a nice skill to have in engineering.

    A typical Engineering degree takes 4 years at my uni, however I believe with all the prerequisite physics/maths I've done, it can be reduced to 3. So it would be possible to graduate with a B.Sc and B.Eng in 4 more years.

    Do people studying Mechanical Engineering, generally have specific career or job goals when they start their degree? Because at the moment I can't say I do.. Although I just wonder how amazing it would be to work for a high end manufacturer designing awesome cars. Working for an F1 team would be out of this world.

    What fields generally employ mech engineers? Are Engineers with Master's or PhD's often sought?

    Any input would be great, if anyone has any questions that could help me decide what is right for me would be great too.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2006 #2
    I can answer some of your questions, but not all. I'll give it a shot.

    Just to point out, there is a "should I become an engineer" thread at the top of this forum (the Academic advice subforum).

    My first question is how long have you been thinking about becomming an engineer? It sort of sounds like it MAY be a here today gone tommorow type thing since you are not 100% sure what you want to do yet. I would say that to some extent people beginning their engineering courses do not know which sub-discipline of engineering they want to delve into, but most do know that they want to become engineers. Those who aren't sure will get weeded out since you have to be passionate about engineering to make it through (I think anyway.)

    Check which courses you need to graduate with a degree in engineering, hopefully in your years at university you have gotten some of the requirements out of the way (some of the math/humanities subjects)

    Computer skills definitely will help you in engineering, and so will a good grasp of physics. If you enjoy solving physics problems, you probably would enjoy engineering in my oppinion.

    The first year of an engineering course is really general, you learn about all the differant sub-disciplines. So I would sit back and convince yourself that you want to become an engineer, I mean 100% convince yourself. Do the research on the net, talk to engineers at your school, whatever you need to do. Then decide which subdiscipline you want to go into next year after you have been introduced to them all. Even though right now you may like the idea of mech engineering, that may change once you are introduced to elec engineering, etc.

    So basically, if you are sure you want to become an engineer, go for it. But go in with an open mind as to what subdiscipline you want to go into.

    Also, I hear a degree in engineering can be used for applications to a wide range of jobs. Even though a person with a business degree may be sought after before someone with an engineering degree, you might land a job in administration just because an engineering degree shows that you are willing to work hard and are a good thinker.

    From my understanding, about half of the people who get degrees in engineering go back sooner or later for a masters, although a smaller number does it right away. You may have to get a masters to get the more lucrative positions, but you should not have a problem finding a nice job with an undergraduate degree.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  4. Nov 14, 2006 #3
    Thanks for the fast response. The idea of being an engineer has been floating around the back of my mind for a while now, even in high school I thought it could be something worth pursuing, however with lack of a specific goal It didn't go anywhere. It hasn't seriously clicked that I could possibly do and enjoy being an engineer until recently. (while I've put myself under increased pressure to try and chose a career however.)

    At my uni, aside from basic physics and maths classes, you jump right into a specific engineering discipline. (whether it be mechanical, civil/environment, chemical/biomoleculer, electrical or biomedical)

    I shall seek some course advice at uni after my exams are over.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
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