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Materials or informatics (f you only had these two options)?

  1. Aug 16, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone, I need advice. I'm in a difficult situation right now. I'm living in a third world country and universities are few and far between. There is one near me that has a handful of careers, including two engineering types: "materials" and informatics. The rest of the options are social science like communications which I don't think would be a good choice in terms of my ability to make a living or support my family.

    I admit that I'm pretty much clueles about these engineering specialties. I would like to hear opinions from people who are familiar with them.

    There is another university a bit further away that has more options, including civil, electrical, mechanical and electronic. Are these a better option?

    Of all of these I'm most familiar with civil and electronics so I find myself gravitating toward those, but I know I may be missing a better opportunity that the less familiar ones might offer. Plus the university closest to me only has materials and informatics and I need to take that into account.

    Thank you all for any suggestions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2015 #2


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    Yes .

    Larger engineering employers will generally consider anyone with a recognisable maths based degree either for direct employment or extended training leading to employment .

    What they don't like are degrees with funny meaningless titles and degrees in waffle subjects !
  4. Aug 16, 2015 #3
    I don't know what employees in unspecific third world country wants. I also don't see how 'informatics' or 'material engineering' are waffle subjects.

    And even if something that sounds like a waffle subject to people online, after translating it to English, it doesn't mean it sounds like a waffle subject to the potential employee in the native language.

    It is very hard to recommend people what to study. Even more so if considerations like being in an underdeveloped country are raised.

    If you have a degree that is rare in a sector that's going to develop in your local area, assuming you want to stay there, then that is better than getting a degree that everyone already is getting, in an industry that isn't taking off.

    You mean you have no idea what 'civil' and 'electrical' mean? I would guess that in an underdeveloped country the generalist mechanical engineering is most useful.
  5. Aug 16, 2015 #4
    Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions. The university near me only has something called "informatics engineering" and something else called "materials engineering."

    I don't know what those would equate to in North America, but it seems "computer science" comes close to the informatics curriculum, according to some people online from different countries.

    I'm very unfamiliar with what "materials engineering" entails so it's difficult for me to decide whether I will like it. Does anyone have some familiarity?

    Not sure whether these are considered waffle curriculums. I'm hoping they're not 'cause they might be my best options right now due to location and affordability.

    Hi Almeisan, I heard good things about mechanical engineering. I meant I'm mainly familiar with civil and electronics engineering, so mechanical I'm less familiar with but will try to do some research about it.

    I guess I'm mainly torn about whether to pursue a tech-related engineering program (informatics) or a non-tech related one like civil or mechanical. I'm not computer savvy and to be honest I was hoping to go to medical school but there are a few reasons why that would be very difficult, mainly due to my current location. I will nevertheless give computer science a try if it turns out to be a good choice. I do have a good mathematics background, just never really took an interest in computers (I like physics the most but no physics program near me at all).
  6. Aug 16, 2015 #5
    Usually, material science would be about creating new high tech materials. Since materials don't need to be solids and they can be both organic and inorganic in nature, it can be quite a broad field.. It can be about creating semi/superconducting materials, all kinds of polymers, new alloys, lightweight strong materials, nanotechnology, gels that are used in medicine, materials with 'smart' properties, like glass windows that can be turned 'on' and 'off'. It is interdisciplinary between physics and chemistry and usually not an engineering field.

    Now I have some doubts about if new high tech innovative materials will come from North Africa the next couple of decades, so they might mean something else or they may just educate on the subject while they don't get much done.

    All the other subjects, Wikipedia does a better job explaining them than I do.

    If you don't like computers or information science, don't go with informatics then.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  7. Aug 17, 2015 #6
    Yeah I think that's what that program is, sounds a lot like Materials Science but they call it Materials Engineering. It sounds interesting but I'm not sure it's something I will enjoy. It's not like I ever found myself marveling at the materials that the stuff I own is made of LOL I think I'd be more into building the actual machine or computer, rather than coming up with the right plastic for it. But I will try to keep an open mind about it until I find out more. Maybe I will try to witness a class or something, haha.

    Is civil engineering an underdog compared to other specialties? I read something like that somewhere online and was surprised. I think I would enjoy designing infrastructure but would also like to make a decent living and be as employable as possible. Then again I'm not sure I will be able to get into that university due to cost so I'm trying to just consider Materials Science versus Informatics for now.
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