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Mechanical Engineeringmajor with math minor?

  1. Dec 14, 2014 #1
    Hello everyone!

    So, I am a mechanical engineering student but I've recently discovered my passion for electronics and computer science. I would eventually like to pursue a graduate degree in either or both (if that's possible) of these fields. I am thinking to get a mathematics minor to help me better prepare for this goal since it teaches logical thinking, which my ME classes don't have much of.

    Is this a reasonable decision or should I just skip the minor and try to learn the CS and EE stuff on my own? I have a little bit of Java programming experience and cannot minor in CS or EE at my school.

    I appreciate any feedback! Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    If you want a graduate degree in CS, you should major in CS.
  4. Dec 14, 2014 #3
    I wish but it's a little too late for me now because I am more than halfway through my major. Are there any other options?
  5. Dec 14, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    You should probably tell us what country you are going to school in. In the US, where this forum is based, people can change majors as late as they want. Of course, it takes more time to graduate the later one goes.
  6. Dec 14, 2014 #5
    If you really want to get into things electronic, perhaps one option would be to complete your Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and then find a way to do advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering.

    I recommend caution about switching fields halfway through your schooling, or picking up a Minor. In many cases, that is not even possible. Most schools offer little flexibility when it comes to an Engineering Degree; your four years of undergraduate study are pretty much predetermined--full of courses decided by faculty to best prepare you for your chosen field.

    In addition, I think taking on a Minor might dilute the value of your Engineering degree. What can you tell potential employers about yourself when you have divided your time between two fields? Are you an Engineer or a Programmer? Or some combination? Most employers want specialization. That is why they prefer to hire employees with advanced degrees (Masters or PhD); they know these candidates have committed themselves to the particular job for which they are hiring. If you appear like a dabbler in several fields, instead of a specialist, I think you may be hurting your career options.

    Having said that, if you have truly become disillusioned with engineering, and are sure you will regret a life working in a field you do not like, then make the change completely. Change programs and get your degree in Electronics Engineering or Computer Science. Hopefully, you can transfer many credits.

    Whatever you do, I hope it works out for you.
  7. Dec 27, 2014 #6
    Hi Vanadium! I am at a university in California. I am almost done with my MechE degree so I don't think it would be wise to switch over this late in the game. I'm very unlucky because I was never fostered towards engineering or computer science growing up and throughout high school, so I learned about my passions in electronics and computer science while taking circuits and CS classes outside my major. I'm sure if I had known about these things before starting college, I would have made a more informed decision. And now I don't know what to do about this dilemma (Don't get me wrong, MechE is very interesting and I'm doing really well in it, but the EE/CS careers cater more towards my passions) =/
  8. Dec 27, 2014 #7
    Hi Duncan!

    I think the advanced degree option is the only one I have got. Currently, I have some room in my MechE schedule to take a few extra CS classes because at the very least it might help me land a more computational job to steer me in a more EE/CS focused direction (I hope). One of the CS classes is on embedded systems, which I am really excited about!! I hope that instead of employers looking at me like I'm an indecisive buffoon, I hope they can also see the things that I'm passionate about, and even if those things don't directly correlate to MechE, they are a huge branch of it (control/systems eng.). I just hope they can see my passion in my interviews. It's the driving force for everything I do in my life.

    I'm definitely not disillusioned about engineering, I love it! I just became acquainted with it a little late in the game (second year of college), but it's really interesting. I'm too far into my MechE major to switch over to EE or CS, but I will try to pursue them in the near future. Do you know if some schools might have post-bac programs where I can gain some more knowledge in these areas?
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