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Having second thoughts about my course

  1. Aug 10, 2010 #1
    Hey everyone,

    As the name of the thread suggests, i'm having second thoughts about my BSc degree. I'm studying a nanotechnology course, and yeah i know that probably sounds cool, but what deters me is the fact that it's my second year, i have 2 nanotech units, and neither of them have anything to do with nanotechnology - one is pretty much chem lab safety (what the hell!!??) and the other is microscopy (slightly more applicable i suppose).

    I also know that nanotech is still in it's early stages, and it's likely we won't see anything groundbreaking for a while, so I'd rather jump into a field where there are greater job prospects now. The only problem is, i don't know what to do!

    I've always been interested in astronomy/astrophysics, as well as the human body, biology, computer science, and recently I've expressed interest in becoming an engineer, particularly a mechatronics engineer (combination of electrical and mechanical engineering for those who are unfamiliar with that term). I'm also a musician. Why do i have to like so many things??!!

    I'm leaning towards mechatronics engineering, but i don't know if i should study it in a combined course, considering i'm doing a BSc at the moment. I don't want to disregard the scientific knowledge i've gained in the BSc, but also i don't want to spend ages studying at uni. If i do choose to do the double degree, i can't do nanotech, my uni doesn't offer mechatronics and nanotech combined. Would it be a better idea to just study mechatronics? What should i do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2010 #2
    Considering your interests and your feelings towards nanotech, it might be a good idea to change to mechatronics or biomedical engineering ( if it's offered at your institutuion).

    A benefit I could forsee is increased job opportunities.
  4. Aug 12, 2010 #3
    Ok, I have until August 31 to withdraw from the nanotech units, but still i'm having a hard time making up my mind - nanotech has so much potential, however it still being in its early stages, and the fact that the course isn't very detailed at my uni, deters me from it for the time being.

    So what I would like to ask is whether its worth undertaking a career in nanotech while it's in its early stages, bearing in mind that pretty much only nanochemistry/nanomaterials are prevalent today, and that the "cool stuff" like nanobots and programmable matter are probably decades away. Would it be a much better idea to switch to a double degree in mechatronics engineering and physics, which i'm interested in, and will attract greater career prospects and a better salary?
  5. Aug 12, 2010 #4
    everyone gets cold feet in their 2nd year however only you can make the decision of what to do if its that bad then change or do a dual course if you feel it would benifit you more. At my uni on most courses you have no choice you have to do a dual qualification there are only a few courses that you can't.

    Might be worth talking to your tutor about it they can give you all your options
  6. Aug 15, 2010 #5
    Thanks for the replies. But what I am really asking is if it's wise to withdraw from nanotech, given that it's a new technology that's most likely to become huge. However, the units I am studying this semester don't have much to do with nanotechnology itself (one is a chemistry lab safety and science communication unit, entitled "nanotechnology", and the other is a microscopy unit). Also it seems as though only nanochemistry and nanomaterials are prevalent nowadays (I'm interested in neither), and even important things like carbon nanotubes are expensive to produce. It seems as though the future of advanced nanoelectronics/nanophotonics, nanorobotics, NEMS and programmable matter is far off!

    I'm just concerned that it's not a certainty that the above technologies will come to be (in the near future), and that if they don't I'll wind up making nanoparticles that allow for better cosmetics, sunscreen and tennis raquets, haha.
  7. Aug 15, 2010 #6
    What better way to make an impact on the field than study what is at the forefront? You keep saying that you are interested in this stuff but you want to wait till other people do the work to get the field to the point where it is finally interesting to you?

    Also keep in mind if you don't choose a certain field but plan on entering it later in the future it may be more difficult due to make the transition for various reasons.
  8. Aug 15, 2010 #7
    I don't feel that the nanotechnology course at my uni is teaching me the right knowledge and skills to make a career out of those advanced, futuristic concepts - rather the course seems to be more focused on the chemistry/materials engineering side of things.

    So I thought that I should study mechatronics engineering instead, as the concepts I learn there could be applied to technologies such as nanorobotics and nano electromechanical systems (and if all else fails, I still have a career in mechatronics to fall back on, which is not a bad job at all ;-) ). I think that to be able to design and build these nanomachines, a knowledge of electromechanical systems is necessary.

    But my uni doesn't offer mechatronics and nanotechnology in a combined course...meaning I have to make a choice between studying nanotechnology alone (BSc), or a mechatronics/physics combined BE/BSc degree. I have until August 31 to make my decision, but it's a hard decision to make and I would like to know some peoples' opinions on the matter.
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