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Programs Mechatronics or Computer Science?

  1. Jul 10, 2017 #1
    Hi. Recently I saw that the Purdue Northwest campus near me is offering a Mechatronics bachelor's degree. Now for the longest time I figured that I wanted to do physics and then I could learn as I go and decide what I want to specialize in later on. I just knew that it was going to be science and math related. So, when I looked into Mechatronics, I was excited to see that it's very interdisciplinary yet still a little more specialized than a physics degree, or so I would imagine. Now, one other thing has started to make itself clear to me over the past year: I would love to know how to write code and design video games, or just be good at programming in general. When I told this to my buddy who's taking a compscience degree, he told me that I should just stick to Compscience and didn't have much to say about Mechatronics. I haven't read anything bad about Mechatronics, but now I wonder... Should I look more into the computer science route? Or is that something that will be covered enough in Mechatronics to where I should take the interdisciplinary route>?

    Thanks for your time in reading my post. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2017 #2

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    As they say, "If you don't know where you're going, any path will take you there."

    I think you need to clarify your goals before advice on how to reach them will be helpful.
  4. Jul 10, 2017 #3
    I think I should as well, but like Jim Rohn says: "Take the first step, even if you don't know what it is, and then you'll figure out if you're going the wrong way after that"
    I do understand what you're saying though. I am 25 years old and fall semester starts next month; I know that I need to do something.
  5. Jul 10, 2017 #4

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    Fine, but if you don't know what your goals are (and the other threads you have posted amplify this), it is very difficult for other people to tell you what they should be.
  6. Jul 10, 2017 #5
    There is overlap between these two fields, but there is also a lot of difference. I strongly urge the OP to read more on each one to obtain a more clear picture. Look at the curricula for a start; what sort of courses does one program include that are not in the other one?
  7. Jul 10, 2017 #6
    One thing to consider is what happens after you graduate and apply for a job with a BS in Mechatronics on your resume. For many hiring managers, the reaction will probably be, What the heck is that? And that's assuming that your resume ever passes the HR software filters searching for BS EE, BS ME, BS CS, or BS CE. One option you might want to consider is majoring in one of the traditional core degrees and taking electives in other depts to build an interdisciplinary program. I have no comment on whether Mechatronics is or is not a good program to pursue, but consider it's marketability.
  8. Jul 10, 2017 #7
    In many industries, the term "mechatronics" will be immediately well understood. In some others, not so much. The first are the ones that are potential employers of a mechatronics graduate.
  9. Jul 11, 2017 #8
    OK, point taken. But the issue always arises, what happens when (for whatever reason) the mechatronics grad needs to apply for jobs outside the industries that specialize in mechatronics?
  10. Jul 11, 2017 #9
    If he needs a job as a store clerk, he is in the same boat with the engineering or physics graduate; the degree means nothing other than that the person had the self discipline and perseverance to stick it out through a four year education.
  11. Jul 11, 2017 #10
    That's a somewhat surprising response coming from you. In another thread [https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/mechanical-engineering-or-aerospace-engineer.918815/], someone asked whether he should major in aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering. And it was you who replied as follows:

    Why not a response in a similar vein for mechatronics? Or why not give the same response to the prospective aero eng that you just gave above here in this thread?
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  12. Jul 11, 2017 #11
    Different cases lead to different responses. I do not see a problem with my answers; I'm sorry you apparently do, but I still stand by both of them.
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