Mechanical engineering or computer systems engineering

In summary, it is advised to stick with mechanical engineering and gain on-the-job training and experience in computer science rather than starting over with a new degree. A Master's degree in computer systems could be beneficial, but is not necessary for career advancement in the engineering industry. Ultimately, practical experience is more valued than education in this field.
  • #1
charliebrown
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Hi everybody, I'm looking for some advice in what to do for choosing a career in a few weeks i'll be able to change my career path, I've recently applied for a career change in my school and next february 11 they'll tell me if my change of career is approved.

it's very likely that i´ll obtain it because of my high grades, I'm currently studying mechanical engineering and about to pass to fourth semester, when i first apply for my university, i was able to choose 3 majors, i chose; mechatronics engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering, i was accepted in mechanical engineering of course my aim was mechatronics, but since it is a demanded field just the best of the best can study mechatronics. Anyway that's not the problem anymore, since i did a little research and mechatronics engineers don't have as many options as some of the more traditional engineering fields and one of my teachers told me that i could do mechatronics engineering with a mechanical eng degree.

Returning to my point right now i don't know if i want to be a mechanical engineer, i don't completely dislike the career it's very interesting too, i like the physics, math, and the design aspect, but in retrospect i wanted mechatronics for the tecnological aspect its relations to computer science, electronics etc. and mechanical doesn't fit all my interests, at the same time i think of my age, I'm currently 25 and that makes me more cautious.

So i would like to know if i should sitck to mechanical engineering, and maybe do a computer systems masters, i think that would also give and advantage because i would be able to do mechanical and the computer engineering thing. would that be wise? or go with computer systems and start all over again which is not that much of time just one year and a half, i think i could handle that feeling of starting all over again. so can you give me your opinion on this? thank you very much guys.
 
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  • #2
Once you have an engineering degree, you'll have ample opportunity to learn software and methods. If you want to take a formal education and learn these things formally, great. But one way or another, you will probably learn these things through on the job training.

My opinion: stay the course.
 
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  • #3
JakeBrodskyPE said:
Once you have an engineering degree, you'll have ample opportunity to learn software and methods. If you want to take a formal education and learn these things formally, great. But one way or another, you will probably learn these things through on the job training.

My opinion: stay the course.

Really do you think that with my mechanical engineering degree, i could do computer science things?
 
  • #4
Although most HR people have a very hard time understanding this concept, you really can learn things outside of a school environment. In fact, you'd better be able to learn outside of a school environment, or your career will go nowhere. One of the goals of a college education is to learn enough background that you can study on your own and advance your knowledge and skills by yourself.

Most of the basics behind software design are quite accessible. If you can get things to work on an Arduino microcontroller, you'll have a lot of things going for you. I'm not saying you'll be able to sling code like a software engineer can, but they probably don't know much about how to size an electric motor or move a robot arm.

You will need to learn how to cross over into other fields of Engineering. You will almost certainly have to do this at some time in your career. Don't worry, you can do this.

Most engineers I know have done this with varying degrees of proficiency. You will probably do quite well.
 
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  • #5
JakeBrodskyPE said:
Although most HR people have a very hard time understanding this concept, you really can learn things outside of a school environment. In fact, you'd better be able to learn outside of a school environment, or your career will go nowhere. One of the goals of a college education is to learn enough background that you can study on your own and advance your knowledge and skills by yourself.

Most of the basics behind software design are quite accessible. If you can get things to work on an Arduino microcontroller, you'll have a lot of things going for you. I'm not saying you'll be able to sling code like a software engineer can, but they probably don't know much about how to size an electric motor or move a robot arm.

You will need to learn how to cross over into other fields of Engineering. You will almost certainly have to do this at some time in your career. Don't worry, you can do this.

Most engineers I know have done this with varying degrees of proficiency. You will probably do quite well.

Wow that's sounds very good, and what about a masters degree in computer systems do you think that would be benifical or not? would it be regarded as something good by the industry, or it would be something negative for me?
 
  • #6
A Master's degree is great. If you have the money and the time to do it, I would highly recommend it. But do note that in the Engineering world, education is secondary to actual work experience. If you can't afford it, you won't lose much by going straight into the working world.
 
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  • #7
charliebrown said:
Really do you think that with my mechanical engineering degree, i could do computer science things?
Yes, and I say that as one with a computer science degree working as a software engineer. My colleagues have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, philosophy, business, and some have no degree at all. I'm currently mentoring a developer with a degree in philosophy, and he's doing quite well. Your choice of major does not necessarily dictate your career path.
 

Related to Mechanical engineering or computer systems engineering

1. What is the difference between mechanical engineering and computer systems engineering?

Mechanical engineering focuses on designing and building physical systems and machines, while computer systems engineering is concerned with designing and integrating computer hardware and software systems. Mechanical engineers work with physical components such as engines, tools, and machines, while computer systems engineers work with digital systems and networks.

2. What are the main skills required for a career in mechanical engineering or computer systems engineering?

Both fields require strong problem-solving skills and a solid understanding of math and physics. Mechanical engineers should also have a strong understanding of materials and mechanics, while computer systems engineers should have a strong understanding of computer science and programming languages.

3. What industries can I work in with a degree in mechanical engineering or computer systems engineering?

Mechanical engineers can work in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and energy. Computer systems engineers have opportunities in industries such as technology, telecommunications, and defense.

4. How do these fields contribute to society?

Mechanical engineering plays a crucial role in designing and improving the physical systems and machines that make our daily lives more efficient and comfortable. Computer systems engineering helps to develop and improve the technology that powers our modern society, from smartphones to transportation systems.

5. What are some current developments or challenges in mechanical engineering and computer systems engineering?

In mechanical engineering, there is a growing focus on sustainable design and renewable energy sources. In computer systems engineering, there is a constant need for cybersecurity and data privacy solutions as technology becomes more integrated into our lives. Both fields are also facing challenges in creating more diverse and inclusive work environments.

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