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IE to EE, is it worth it?

  1. Dec 22, 2015 #1
    So, this is my first time posting in physics forum,thus, if I may violate rules specified by the forums I am open for corrections :)

    Anyway, this will be a long post..

    I am wondering if shifting from Industrial Engineering to Electrical Engineering is worth the time. In my country, a baccalaureate degree in engineering is a 5-year program. I am currently in the second semester of my third year. Also, in my university all engineering degrees are given the same subjects in mathematics, engineering sciences and minors..so, we only vary in our major subjects. Actually, what I really like is a degree in chemical engineering but I didn't pursue it due to its unavailability in my university. The engineering degrees available in my school are mechanical, electronics, civil, electrical and industrial. When I was in high school, I already liked chemistry, physics and mathematics.. I devote my vacant times self-studying these subjects when I was in high school up until now.. When I applied in the university , I would have already chosen EE but I didn't because way back then even if I liked Physics I hated playing with wires( I only liked the mathematical and theoretical part of physics specifically EM). That is also the reason why I chose IE over EE because it's more on the statistics, systems, management sciences, and etc and thus less tinkering with things...I asked this question not because I didn't like IE, in fact, I am consistent in the honors list(Dean's list) since I was first year until now...I liked the statistics, operations research, methods engineering and etc. of IE but I thought of shifting to EE because I enjoyed its subjects more( I realized it when I attended a seminar and technical lecture of EE during our Engineering Week) and not just that I enjoy the applications of mathematics in EE subjects especially Differential equations. In IE, Differential Equation is also given as a subject but it is not usually used in the major IE subjects or at least I didn't notice it..I only noticed linear algebra commonly used in IE major subjects and statistics(though statistics is a science and not mathematics)....

    However, shifting courses means that I have to add more time in finishing my bachelor's degree since I would have to take up the EE subjects in first to third year...
    So to make my points brief,
    I chose IE because:
    1. of a lot of use of statistical tools and Operations Research
    2. less tinkering
    3. I enjoy Work measurement and Ergonomics

    I want to switch to EE because:
    1. I enjoy Physics more
    2. I like the mathematical applications and numerical methods of EE
    3. I was told that its research areas are very close to those in Physics(only the applied part)


    Sorry for the long post...I really need your advice.
    Thank you and Advance Merry Christmas :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2015 #2

    CalcNerd

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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    You probably can't make a mistake in your choice as both are good. In the engineering field, IE is considered an easier road with less challenging coursework. But Getting a 4.0 GPA in IE may be more rewarding than a 3.0 GPA in EE. You mention you are doing great in IE, would you feel good if you were getting a C (2.0) in a class or two. Especially if you switch over and need an extra year to graduate as well.
    .
    You might consider taking some EE course work and getting a minor (or equivalent to a minor) in EE. Once you graduate, having a strong EE background in IE with a high GPA may make you a very valuable engineer. Many manufacturing/production based plants and companies have lean staffing and only hire the minimal amount of engineers and farm out the ones that aren't required to meet production (and EEs aren't considered essential to production).
    .
    When I was an EE tech working for many different companies, all of the production departments had IE's. As an EE I have always worked for engineering firms associated with consulting and design and NOT as a steady production plant engineer. ie it seems that IEs have more stable long term employment with a single employer (although that is my experience only).
     
  4. Dec 23, 2015 #3

    donpacino

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    Gold Member

    my company has multiple entry level rotation programs. one is engineering and one is operations. the operations program contrains the domain of IE. as a result nost of the IEs end up in the operations program, and zero to one a year make it into the engineering program. The engineering program is comprised of mostly MEs and EEs.

    The concern with hiring the IEs into the engineering program is that they wont have the tech skills. The concern with hiring EEs into the operations program is only that they might get bored if they are high caliper candidates.

    1. of a lot of use of statistical tools and Operations Research
    2. less tinkering
    3. I enjoy Work measurement and Ergonomics

    you can do the above with an EE degree

    1. I enjoy Physics more
    2. I like the mathematical applications and numerical methods of EE
    3. I was told that its research areas are very close to those in Physics(only the applied part)

    It can be hard to do this with an IE degree.
     
  5. Dec 23, 2015 #4
    Since this fundamentally about what interests you, and what you are good at, we can only help you so much. However, I can at least try to ask helpful questions.
    • Are you interested in hands-on work? [this has a different flavor for IE and EE]
    • Are you interested in graduate school?
    • Do you want to work as an engineer, or do some kind of research?
     
  6. Dec 23, 2015 #5
    Well to answer the questions:
    1. I am not that interested in hands on work
    2. Yes I am very interested in graduate school
    3. I'd like to do both but I'm more into research since as a student I am already participating in academic research competitions.The previous researches that made me place the ranks were about polymer science and life science( which I am still having confusion because I didn't think they were IE researches..You see I think I am not in the line of IE, I would prefer Chem.E but it's not available in my university..so I realized I'd rather be in EE than IE because I like EM more than operations managament...)anyway, thanks for your reply xD
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  7. Dec 23, 2015 #6

    yeah, thank you for the reply...I am also trying to get the Pros and Cons of IE and EE using your insights :) Again, Thank you very much :)
     
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