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Mechanical Engineering Technology vs. Physics

  1. Oct 22, 2009 #1
    I'm a freshman college student and I'm confused about what I want my major to be. My current major is Mechanical Engineering Technology. I love engineering because I want to design and create machines that will be beneficial to human life, but I love physics because I want to know how the universe operates. Sadly Physics is not offered as a minor at my school, but Physics majors have a choice to have an Engineering concentration. Even though I can choose this option, I won't have the Engineering class that I would really want. Materials Science, Statics, Fluid/Thermodynamics, and Hydraulics/Pneumatics aren't part of the curriculum. I need to decide by Monday, since registration for Spring classes start. I have a strong passion for both majors. Please help me decide.

    Here is the course schedule for Physics:
    http://www.vsu.edu/PDFFiles/University%20Relations/PHYSICS%20CURRICULUM%20ALL.pdf [Broken]

    PS: In engineering I really want to work in the Aerospace field. Lifelong passion...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2009 #2
    Well, from my experience, Engineering technology is easier to find a job than Physics. If your goal is to get a job after you graduate, that is.

    Physics is a good major to get into if you are into education. You will learn a lot more, and it is harder than engineering technology.
  4. Oct 26, 2009 #3
    To be honest, if you want to work in aerospace design you'll need an ABET accredited engineering (not technology) degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering. VSU only offers ABET accredited engineering degrees in manufacturing engineering and computer engineering. The ABET accreditation is very important and will determine whether or not you are considered an engineer and are eligible to test for a PE license. I suggest you take a look at the manufacturing engineering degree and see if you might like that type of career. I also suggest you consider starting in the manufacturing engineering or mechanical technology track and transferring to an ABET accredited mechanical engineering program. Go to Career Services ASAP and see where different majors have ended up over the past few years. Ask professors in each department if you don't have much luck with that.

    It will be more difficult to find a job with a physics degree, and the engineering concentration won't mean much. The accreditation is what counts for engineers. With a good GPA, a successful internship or two, and an accredited engineering degree, you should have a decent shot at an aerospace job. You'll have to take the reins though.

    Edit: It looks like your manufacturing engineering program has only been accredited since 2006, so no one will have graduated from it yet and career services may have no idea what ABET means. Professors in that department probably recently put a lot of work into getting it accredited and may be willing to talk to you more about it.

    See also http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm and http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos016.htm. Many manufacturing engineers become industrial production managers in aerospace and other fields, which is why I included the second link.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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