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Engineering How great is the demand for materials science/engineering?

  1. Jul 18, 2012 #1
    Are materials scientists and engineers in relatively high demand compared to say, electric or mechanical engineers?

    Which degree would be best if I want to work in the "energy" field?

    And what kind of energy would each be dealing with?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2012 #2
    All would be good, and all work with all types of energy and all ways of using the energy.

    Better to decide which interests you the most and go for it.
  4. Jul 18, 2012 #3
    Too broad. You can go anywhere from thermal coatings to photovoltaics and semiconductors which have nothing to do with each other. Think about what you find interesting (mechanical, thermal, electronic materials? devices? systems?) and it will guide you.
  5. Jul 18, 2012 #4
    You could design ferrite materials for inductors, dielectrics for capacitors, conductive and insulating heat sink materials, adhesives, lubricants... the list is long. All of these things are essential for building better, more efficient devices. It is an energy field.

    The question is whether you can find someone who is willing to invest in your activities. Ultimately, such research is for the long term, so demand tends to be lower. But it is rewarding work. Even failures can be interesting. Just ask the guy who came up with Post-It adhesive...
  6. Jul 18, 2012 #5
    Thx guys.
    Also I've noticed that the MS degree at some universities is in the chemistry department (chemistry-materials) whereas in other universities its in the engineering department (MSE).
    Knowing my intentions which one would you recommend and what are the differences?
  7. Jul 29, 2012 #6
  8. Jul 29, 2012 #7


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    It depends if your interest is oriented towards manufacturing or applications. In a material manufacturing setting, chemistry tends to be more important. Where material selection is the focus, engineering aspects are more important. There are more jobs related to material applications, but, jobs in the production sector tend to pay better.
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