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Is engineering for me?

  1. Aug 13, 2008 #1
    This might seem like an odd question or whatever but I figure I mine as well ask it. I really enjoy building things, trying new things and being creative. The thing is though I'm not very good at math and critical things like that. I would much rather sit down with a welder and a pile of junk and make something than figure out the velocity of something. I'm just not wired that way. So my question is, is engineering something that I should look into or would the math rule me out? Or what resources would you recommend to overcome the math? I'm of course willing to work at it to make sure what I want to build comes to life but is there a way to make the math a little more bearable?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2008 #2
    You could go into welding//metalworking or some other crafting profession--or try for an mechanical engineering tech program (which is different from regular mechanical engineering program, less math oriented more field-work oriented).

    You'd probably be better suited for building though. Engineering is more analytical problem solving than anything.
  4. Aug 13, 2008 #3
    Thank you for the advice! What does the tech program include is it more hands on?
  5. Aug 13, 2008 #4
    i did mechanical engineering in dublin institute of technology, dit. (honors degree)
    dit woulnt be regarded as a spawning ground for the intellectual elite and so a certain percentage of people (maybe 10%-20%) on my course choose to study there because they felt it might be slightly more "practially" based than the traditional universitites, and not place such a heavy emphasis on rigourous math/physics etc. half of thoose people dropped out by 2nd year the other half struggled to the end.

    we did do some "labs" where we got to weld, wire controllers, rig up hydraulic systems, examine aircraft components, do precise measurements (metrology), as well as mixing 2 chemicals together to create a third!! all good fun but all this is just to give you a taste of the more tangeable side of what being an engineer is really about.

    on the creative side, again its more about side shows than core content,
    i had plenty of room for creative outlet in computer programming, product design, and solid modelling (cad), also if you do study engineering you'll be kept busy with small projects which usually allow enough scope for you to exploit your creative talents.

    but be warned, engineering requires a good deal of what i consider "hard" maths. and unlike mathamaticians we cant just do math for the sake of it, or admire it for its own beauty, we gotta find ways to apply it to the real world, to the table and keybaord in front of you!
    having said that i've found the maths you'll study in most cases exceeds the math you'll require for other areas of your course. you dont need to be very good at math at all. but you do need to be very comfortable with calculus, (if your not now, you will be by the time you graduate!!)

    another option if your not sure would to do a ordinary degree or certifiticate in engineering lasting maybe 2-3 years. from what i understand talking to people who've done this it is a considerable step down from a degree, but allows you to transfere into a degree course if you graduate with good enough grades.

    i think the bottom line is
    if you like contructing things mostly with your hands and intuition then
    skill yourself up in a trade and take it from there
    if you like contructing things mostly with your head and some calculations then
    you may like to study engineering.

    hope that helps and remember no matter what you do, if you give it a bit of thought
    you cant go too far wrong!!
  6. Aug 14, 2008 #5
    Hmm very good advice from both. Thank you for all the advice I appreciate it. It looks like I have some searching to do. Is anyone out there an engineer, and have similar thoughts or experiences like this? Just wondering.
  7. Aug 14, 2008 #6
    No offense or anything, but the majority of people who say they aren't good at math have a phobia. Anyone can do Calculus, from my experience, unless they have some sort of learning disability. I'm sure you don't, and you should invest a little more confidence in yourself. Also, don't be afraid to go beyond what you think is interesting; the most interesting things I've found in my life are not what I'd choose for myself normally. Don't be afraid to push yourself and to study. It's rewarding in the end.
  8. Aug 14, 2008 #7
    None taken at all. I think that you have a very valid point. I do in a sense have a phobia, I think I just need a way to make it stick and see the end result. But it totally agree with you and thank you for the advice.
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