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Mechanical engineering or computer systems engineering

  1. Jan 28, 2016 #1
    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.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2016 #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.
  4. Jan 29, 2016 #3
    Really do you think that with my mechanical engineering degree, i could do computer science things?
  5. Jan 29, 2016 #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 in to 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.
  6. Jan 29, 2016 #5
    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?
  7. Jan 29, 2016 #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 in to the working world.
  8. Jan 29, 2016 #7
    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.
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