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Economics or Mechanical Engineering

  1. Aug 29, 2014 #1
    Hey, this is my first post on physicsforum but I've read alot on this website and the people here seem really insightful so I thought I would give it a try.

    I have a delimma, I'm in my last year of high school and am deciding which major to go into at the university of Alberta up here in Canada. After spending countless hours researching future careers I finally decided I want to get a degree in mechanical engineering or economics.

    Reasons for ME: I'm one of those guys who were introduced into engineering through ironman haha I know. I'm really interested in engineering for the reasons of having a stable and financially secure life along with a career I enjoy. Since I was little I've always like taking apart gadgets most oft unsuccessfuly putting them back together. But the prospect of creating and improving pieces of technology like tablets and computers (Which I guess would fall into Electrical Engineering) and eventually bigger and more ambitious projects seems really cool. Plus the money as a bonus is really good. If I do end up doing ME I plan to excel in it and not work at a cubicle or managing a factory. I'm ambitious you see.

    I live next door to a respected Engineering school with an amazing coop program which will garuntee me a job out of uni
    I am prepared to study long and hard (haha) hours as a student
    From what I see, I think I would enjoy my job, something most people don't

    The uni I'm going to has a very competitive engineering program and a 85% minimum non garunteed admission
    I am not strong in math and physics although Si enjoy the subjects but can do well if I apply myself (little Distractions)
    I don't want to work so hard to realize in my fourth year that I hate engineering, didnt get to learn what I wanted to and wasted time

    Reasons for Econ: The only reason I plan to take econ and most probably a polisci major along with French lessons is for a political career. Politics has always been a great fascination of mine. In my head as a child my dream job was to become the primeminster haha. Going to conferences, discussing ways to solve problems in my constituents, meeting foreign dignitaries and being payed to travel while also having a place in the history books however small and having not to worry about finances is very appealing to me.

    I'm a natural leader, have charisma and as you can tell am a bit too prideful
    Social studies was by best class so far as of marks, understanding and enjoyment
    Business and economic management intrests me
    I can get into these programs easily at my university
    I know some small time politicians that could get me a small job and advice
    Love politics
    I want to help people

    Too idealistic
    May end up with desk job (such is the life of the social sciences)
    Be broke poor if I am not successful
    Hate the job with the realization that all I do us just meet people and talk about cr@p while not not actually trying to solve anything
    Getting stuck in bureaucracy
    Too stressful

    I know this isn't enough information so I will try to answer any questions of more detail is required. Thanks for all those who answered my question.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2014 #2
    Despite the fact that I chose engineering, I don't have any hard and fast suggestions for you. Both fields can provide you with a good living. If you play your cards right as an economist, you might even rise to CFO in some company.

    Engineers can do just as well. Don't get in to any endeavor just because it makes a comfortable living. Get in to it because you love it. If you love politics, if you love the notion of setting economic policy or interpreting it for others, then Economics is for you.

    Personally, I chose engineering because I was fascinated with radios. I wanted to build them. I was amazed that it is possible to communicate with spacecraft riding gravity wells on a slingshot past other planets. That fascination never dies.

    But if playing with bigger/faster/smaller/powerful toys isn't your thing, then by all means pursue something else.
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