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Engineering Electrical or Mechanical Engineering

  1. Apr 9, 2012 #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently completing my first year of Engineering. Program selection forms are due in a few days and I am stuck between Electrical and Mechanical engineering. I want a broad-based education that will allow me to pursue just about anything if I prefer to. I have spoken to many people and professors regarding this issue and I am leaning towards mechanical, but I'm not sure what I should pursue exactly. Any tips would be helpful :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2012 #2
    Interesting topic, this is a similar crossroad I faced. I decided to stick to Electrical Engineering despite me having interests in both.

    Of course, only you can ultimately know deep-down what it is that will best suit you and anything we say may not really help, but I think you should reflect on past experiences and current interests to determine this. For e.g. as a kid did you have a fascination for the inner-workings of the VCR, did you help dad with wiring small jobs, etc. I did these kinds of things, but I also loved automotive stuff. Engines, car transmissions, mechanical systems, etc.

    I ultimately decided that for my interests, I'd be better off learning Electrical and supplementing it with my interests in automotive mechanical by myself. As I figured I really would not actually enjoy the wide field of Mechanical despite liking certain aspects of it. Maybe some of this rings a bell with you?

    If so, or if not. Let us know what you actually like out of both fields, what are your aspirations, what really has you going?
  4. Apr 9, 2012 #3


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    We can't tell you want you will "like doing" best, but pretty much anything that involves engineering has some mechanical aspect to it. Even a rack stuffed with circuit boards needs some mechanical design input, and probably checks for shock and vibration resistance, a cooling system., etc, etc.

    Also remember that what you learn in a BS engineering course or even at grad school, isn't the end point of your engineering education, but just the start. It's quite possible that in the next 10 or 20 years of your career you will be working on stuff and using theory that hasn't even been invented or discovered yet, let alone taught in BS courses. You have to keep learning what you need as you go along. If you are a ME working in the power generation industry for example, you are probably going to need to pick up quite a bit of relevant "EE" knowledge along the way, whether you want to or not!
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