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Engineering Having a tough time deciding which engineering field to go to

  1. Nov 2, 2011 #1

    im having a tough time deciding on which engineering field to go to or what i should decide on

    the 4 engineering field i have my eye on are

    im 23 now and im a junior is taking me forever to graduate with my indecisiveness.

    i don't consider myself to be a genius at math i always have been the kind of person that i have to do problems over and over and over until i really get it down while some people just seem to do one or three problems and they get it down.

    im studying electrical engineering right now and i feel everybody else in my class seems to understand the material so well and i have been studying like crazy and pulling all nighters and going to the tutor and im failing miserably in my classes i feel i been giving it my 100%.

    i started the career with the thought that if i put the effort that it should be doable but sometimes i stumble upon problems and i can't seem to do it.

    so im rethinking possible career change.

    i see the pros and cons in certain fields


    pays more
    i find circuits very interesting

    i think im having a hard time understanding the subject since is more math intensive in respect with imaginary numbers and frequencies and spectrum and stuff like that i don't really seem to grasp all that well since is things you can't really see

    i heard electrical engineers have short shelf life in comparison to mechanical engineers and industrial engineers

    i heard is very broad and very stable
    the salary is pretty good but not as good as electrical
    seems less math intensive compare to electrical engineering and concepts seems easier to understand since they are more visual and you can see what is going on.
    when i think of mechanical for some reason i think of either people doing engines,heavy machinery,plastic case for electronics and that doesn't seem all that exciting

    Computer engineer:
    i have lot of experience with computers in building and installing and using software
    i find computers very interesting
    Con: the experience i have with computers doesn't seem to help me at all in that respect
    short life and i heard lots of the jobs are outsourced.
    i hate programming with a passion X_X

    industrial engineer:
    seems to be a job that is more sociable that you will work with people
    pays very well but im not sure how good in comparison to mechanical or electrical
    seems to be easier than electrical or mechanical
    i be able to enjoy more college life
    i fear is not that in demand as other fields
    i dont think it pays as well as other fields
    i don't think i would learn anything at my job besides managing stuff
    not really sure what it consist of or if i would enjoy it all that much.

    basically what are your opinions on the above fields or what would you recommend for me
    i know is a long post i appreciate responses and advice you guys can give me in situation
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2011 #2


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    if you truely enjoy the field you wouldn't really worry about its job propects (non of those field you listed are as miserable as some I've seen), and you should like them enough to work through the difficulties such as the maths involved.

    from your post, I think its safe to cross out computer engineering, hating programming with a passion simply won't do in that regard, and knowing which hole to shove your expensive circuit boards inside your computer is hardly relevant to designing these boards.

    you don't seem that excited about mechanical engineering, leave that out for the moment.

    i'm not familiar with industrial engineering (not offered in my uni), from what I do know it sounds like a management course specifically for engineers. I know people who do management, the general consensus is that they are useless unless you have mastered a field which you can apply these management skills on. So maybe look at this later.

    it looks like electrical is ideal to you at the moment. I haven't heard of this shelf life thing before, what are our best dates before consumption? Have I expired already? On a more serious note, I know that the maths can get quite messy (not really compared to theoretical physics), just be patient and work through them, eventually there will be a point when everything clicks, and a clear pattern emerges then you can see how these obscure numbers and symbols relate to the circuit parameter which you CAN see.

    hopefully these personal opinions help. good luck :)
  4. Nov 7, 2011 #3
    sorry i took awhile to reply.

    the thing is this is my 1st semester and i took
    EEL2000 intro to comp and electrical engineering
    EEL3135 Signal Processing
    EEL3111C Circuits 1
    EEL3105 Analytical Methods.

    i got a 48%,60% on my test and i studied like crazy the university only allows me to drop 2 classes if i do bad they can put me on probation and get kicked out of the college engineering.

    my 2 drops will be gone this semester since i did horrible in circuits 1
    the professor we had for signal analysis was terrible we literally have to teach ourselves the material so im having to drop both classes.

    i feel like i know the material pretty well now but my professor doesn't give a **** about it and all he cares is the test grades i got

    and other 2 classes im doing really well EEL2000,EEL3105

    i haven't been a 4.0GPA in high school i been more like 3.0-3.4GPA and math has never been my strongest subject but i have spend time on it and patience to pass calculus 1-2-3 an differential equations not with A's either but more like B's and C's

    im very undecided at moment what to do.

    i like electronics and that's something i really like but is just beating me all this math and i feel i need to graduate with something because im 23 and im getting old i will graduate around 26-27 if i dont fail classes and if i plan on master degree 29-30

    my dad was an electrical engineer and he told me that the field changes alot depending on what you decide to do. he was an electrical engineer and his degree doesn't count for much nowadays

    he decided to do a business did well for many years then it went bad and even if he wanted to go back in electrical engineering he can't since everything is new technology
  5. Nov 11, 2011 #4
    Sounds like you should talk to some people that are in these careers and ask them if those concerns are valid.

    Also, about the shelf life thing: one guy I talked to that graduated in EE and has been doing software for probably 25 years now, said that the field does change quickly, and if he wanted to go back into EE type stuff, he'd be pretty far behind. Similar story to your dad's. What I noticed is that they both were doing something NOT in hardcore into the EE field -- business or software -- and that's why they fell behind. Which would happen in other fields too, in varying amounts, depending on the field. It'd be my guess that if you're in the field, you'd have a pretty easy time staying on top of what's new and cool.
  6. Nov 12, 2011 #5
    one type of engineering isn't any easier than another (except for chemical lol), so i don't know how much switching disciplines will make a difference with grades.

    the idea is whether or not you like the material you are studying / being taught. . .
  7. Nov 12, 2011 #6
    It might not be absolutely easier, but relative to each person, it definitely could be. Depending, of course, on how much you like the material you are studying/being taught.

    But also, certain people have natural aptitudes for different subjects. To the OP: Electrical Engineering IS a lot more abstract and non-hands-on than something like Mechanical engineering. It sounds to me like you'd enjoy hands-on stuff more. So you have to decide whether it's worth it to you to go through all the abstraction and stuff for EE, or if you'd be better off overall in a slightly more "boring" (your words, not mine) field like ME.
  8. Nov 14, 2011 #7
    I studied for an electrical engineering degree. However, I work as a Control Systems Engineer. The math is pretty similar. Industrial engineering is basically a broad-based group of studies that cover a wide range of topics.

    In general, if you like math, an electrical engineering degree is more abstract and it will be somewhat easier. However, do not be fooled! There is a practical side to electrical engineering that they do NOT teach in schools. I knew too many graduate engineers who didn't know how to trigger a scope properly, who didn't know how to operate a spectrum analyzer, and who didn't know how to properly ground or decouple a high gain circuit.

    I also know way too many civil engineers who could really use a good spanking with a book on fluid dynamics. Many of them are registered professional engineers!

    Engineering is difficult to do well. Anyone who says that one curriculum is easier than another totally misses the point: THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE DEGREE! If you choose engineering as a profession, the degree is simply your ticket to enter. It is not a proof that you are competent. You have so much to learn that it would be foolish to act as if your education is complete. It never stops. The real world is very different from what you learn in school. It is filled with approximations, with noise, with imperfections, with distortion, latency, and so many more things that don't make their way in to your pretty models.

    Choose what you would like to learn. You will be studying it for the rest of your career.
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