Should I Become an Engineer?

  • #901
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Hello everyone (I'm from Iceland so my grammar will not be perfect). I´m really interested in becoming a engineer.

I´m not sure if I got what it takes. When I first started school at the age of 6 the teachers had me sent to a psychiatrist for some kind of intelligence test, because they thought I was a little behind/stupid.(Came out with 149IQ) and was also diagnosed with ADD. I had a really really strict father (still have) so I can get easily stressed by some people and shy.

I never had good grades in school, mostly because I didn't study at all, but still always managed through with average grades of B+. But when i got to high school I started studying even less, but still I managed with an average of B+.

If i put myself really into it, would I be able to study engineering, or would it be to hard for me? Math or physics have never really been a problem for me, I just never studied so my grades were not that good.


Ps. I´m also horrible at drawing...hope that doesn't matter.
 
  • #902
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My quick, non-expert reply:

IQ and ADD won't play a part in your success or failure, in my opinion. If you put in the work you can become an engineer, if you don't, you won't. I'm not sure which grade you're in, but I'd suggest you start studying ASAP so you can build a good foundation for math and science.
 
  • #903
741
27


To Deathninja post 900: 1 Small intricate details can be just as important in Civil Eng as anywhere else. 2 You are never too old, and can bring your previous experience to bear, whatever you do. 3 Be more positive about your current job, or change it. I have run a negotiated MSc for someone filling supermarket shelves, because they were able to study business management in parallel with real experience of how it affects the bottom rung of the ladder. Could you do something similar with the job you currently dislike so much. Could you, for instance, write a short story about it, fictional or not? I became a civil engineer because it combines my personal skills in drawing and design with some creativity, and a touch of pride in what I achieved excited my vanity too. As for the music, let it be a hobby unless you are really good.
 
  • #904
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I'm a high school senior from Europe and in a few months I'll be heading to university.
I have a keen interest in the human body. As such, I would like to work in emerging interdisciplinary fields of biological-related sciences, such as stem cell transplantation and suspended animation.
I could go on to study, say, Biology or Biomedical Science, but I'm also fascinated with Engineering. That is, I think that my aspirations, which are to improve human condition, could be well served from an Engineering standpoint.

What do you think? Would my interest in the human body and its applications be better suited for Engineering or for a biological science?
 
  • #905
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Hey guys i live in Colorado and college is coming up in the next few years so i'm starting to focus on possible careers. This forum has had a lot of influence on my choice of engineering. Ive narrowed my engineering choices to Electrical or Mechanical engineering. I like everything about both majors and i have a few options i want to consider in the college i want to go to ( Colorado School of Mines)
1. Major in electrical engineering and minor in Mech.
2 Major in Mech. Eng. and minor in electrical
3. Double degree in Mechanical and Electrical

If the best choice to choose is number 3 i want to know the general time it will take me to graduate with the double degree by taking out classes that both disciples take so i know the number of classes im required to take ( without repeating classes) and so i can compare it to the number of classes i would normally take with 1 degree. Heres the college website http://www.mines.edu/

Sorry i would do the calculating myself but I dont really know how to do it and the website confuses me :S
Thanks in advance
I knew one guy who did a double in mechanical and electrical actually. I dont think I would personally recommend it because a lot of companies would be looking for one or the other and having both wouldnt benefit you as much as doing a BS+MS in one. He basically did one whole degree and then the last 2 years of the second one so he graduated with both undergrads at the same time.

Its a hard choice to pick your major now or to pick what you want to do out of the 3 options but you dont have to pick now. I thought I was going to do EE but then switched to civil after a year and only one course I took the first year didnt apply to my civil degree.

What I would suggest is you look at both the Mechanical and EE courses and pick your first year courses so that you could go in either direction. Then during the first year go to all of the ASME and IEEE meetings where they will have guest speakers from companies and possibly field trips ect and you can get a good feel for what both of them are like and make your choice from there.
 
  • #906
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I'm sure this has been brought up in the past 57 pages, but could someone post a breakdown of all the various engineering disciplines? I am leaning towards a dual major in physics and mechanical engineering. I've always loved astronomy, and was initially planning for an astrophysics degree, but I also have a strong interest in engineering and was thinking of combining that with a vanilla physics degree. I think I would also be happy using these disciplines in the green sector for example - designing the next-generation wind-turbines and solar panels, or researching new energy production methods. Not sure what to do...
 
  • #907
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I'm sure this has been brought up in the past 57 pages, but could someone post a breakdown of all the various engineering disciplines? I am leaning towards a dual major in physics and mechanical engineering. I've always loved astronomy, and was initially planning for an astrophysics degree, but I also have a strong interest in engineering and was thinking of combining that with a vanilla physics degree. I think I would also be happy using these disciplines in the green sector for example - designing the next-generation wind-turbines and solar panels, or researching new energy production methods. Not sure what to do...
You should first check out if it is possible to double major in engineering and physics in the schools you are interested in. If it is possible you will be likely be an undergrad for at minimum 6 years, and your astronomy courses will probably not help you get a better engineering job. Just because you like another subject does not mean you have to major in it. You can learn just as much about astronomy by reading about it on your own, and not having to pay for it in years and money.

I'd suggest looking into electrical or mechanical engineering (although I'm sure you have). If you can't decide before university/college you can just pick one and switch into the other if you change your mind. I would stay away from environmental engineering because it will give you less flexibility and, at least in my school, the courses are not as technical.
 
  • #908
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You should first check out if it is possible to double major in engineering and physics in the schools you are interested in. If it is possible you will be likely be an undergrad for at minimum 6 years, and your astronomy courses will probably not help you get a better engineering job. Just because you like another subject does not mean you have to major in it. You can learn just as much about astronomy by reading about it on your own, and not having to pay for it in years and money.

I'd suggest looking into electrical or mechanical engineering (although I'm sure you have). If you can't decide before university/college you can just pick one and switch into the other if you change your mind. I would stay away from environmental engineering because it will give you less flexibility and, at least in my school, the courses are not as technical.
Environmental engineering is a lot more of water treatment, land development and watershed analysis rather than alternative energy stuff.
 
  • #909
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That's really what I was asking for, the difference between mechanical & electrical, what one is qualified to do that the other is not, ect..
 
  • #910


I'm a high school senior from Europe and in a few months I'll be heading to university.
I have a keen interest in the human body. As such, I would like to work in emerging interdisciplinary fields of biological-related sciences, such as stem cell transplantation and suspended animation.
I could go on to study, say, Biology or Biomedical Science, but I'm also fascinated with Engineering. That is, I think that my aspirations, which are to improve human condition, could be well served from an Engineering standpoint.

What do you think? Would my interest in the human body and its applications be better suited for Engineering or for a biological science?
My university has a course in Biomedical Engineering and also Materials Science and Engineering with an emphasis on biomatierals, maybe you could look at something like that?
 
  • #911
8
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Hey guys, I have been trying to get answers about Mechanical Engineering through this thread, but it has been difficult to find anything. So I decided to post.
I am contemplating about going to graduate school for ME (I looked it up; there are programs I can get into to pursue a Master in Eng without having a bachelors), so that I can get into product designing and/or sustainability. I have a BS in Biochemistry (not interested in bioengineering or medical devices) I am not entirely sure what exactly I want to do yet, but I don't believe I can be sure until I try it out. The reason I chose ME is because I believe that it is flexible and will provide me a solid foundation to pursue my interests.

However recently, I have been realizing and ME has a lot of physics involved, and I do not necessarily enjoy that aspect too much. I love calculus and math, and I am good at it, but it is the physics I worry about. I am wondering if the ME professional work will be like this....calculating static and fluid problems all day long or analyzing the stress and strain of objects, because that might not necessarily interest me. I wanted to do ME because I thought the work might be less tedious, have some variation and design components.

Can someone provide me with more feedback on ME and what they actually do in industry (I know the duties vary a lot, which is why I am very confused!). Thanks for your help!
 
  • #912
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First of all, can I just thank everyone who has contributed to this thread! I think it's very helpful to all aspiring engineers.

Having said that, I am still very confused and would love absolutely any guidance that can be provided. It's kind of long, but please read if you can help me out!

I am currently a freshman in college on the premed track. I am in no way being "weeded out" as I am in excelling in my classes. However, I am beginning to question whether medicine is right for me.

I am most interested in biology and chemistry, but I also like learning math and physics. I have learned up to calculus 2 and made A's in all my math courses. I am concerned that with a career in medicine, I will be unable to integrate math and physics in to my career. I was thinking changing my major to chemical engineering with a concentration in biomolecular engineering.

I am most concerned with the following:
1.) that engineering is the "other extreme" in the sense that I will be ONLY doing math and physics all the time and will have to sacrifice my love for biology and chemistry. I've heard that chemical engineering really isn't that much chemistry but a whole lot of physics. Would the biomolecular concentration ensure I would still be exposed to lots of science?
2.) I've never been a "tinkerer" or had any natural inclination towards design. I sometimes wonder about how things work and I absolutely LOVED my physics class, though it was only an introductory course in high school and very very basic. Will the fact that I am not "design oriented" hold me back? So many people on this thread talk about building robots, playing with legos, taking apart an engine, and I never did any of those things!
3.) I am very social, outgoing, a people person, etc. etc. I was hoping the teamwork side of engineering would provide me with people interaction, but I've also heard the job is very much sit in an office all day.

That being said, I love problem solving, math and science! I'm just not sure engineering is right for me or if I should stick to medicine and just come to terms with the fact that I may have to let math and physics go!

Thanks for any help! It is greatly appreciated.
 
  • #913
741
27


Can someone provide me with more feedback on ME and what they actually do in industry (I know the duties vary a lot, which is why I am very confused!). Thanks for your help!
Let me tell you a story which might help. I interviewed the principal of a pushchair manufacturer. He said that half of his design team came from a mechanical engineering background, and the other half from art school. Every Monday morning they have a meeting to review progress and explore ideas as a team. He said that the contributions from the team were about equal from the two groups. What does this tell you?
 
  • #914
741
27


I'm sure this has been brought up in the past 57 pages, but could someone post a breakdown of all the various engineering disciplines? I am leaning towards a dual major in physics and mechanical engineering. I've always loved astronomy, and was initially planning for an astrophysics degree, but I also have a strong interest in engineering and was thinking of combining that with a vanilla physics degree. I think I would also be happy using these disciplines in the green sector for example - designing the next-generation wind-turbines and solar panels, or researching new energy production methods. Not sure what to do...
http://www.engc.org.uk/about-us/our-partners/professional-engineering-institutions

lists 36 licensed engineering institutions in the uk, That gives a good idea of the spread of interest in engineering. I dare say similar list can easily be found in other countries
 
  • #915
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This thread has been enlightening. I was torn between mechanical engineering and physics, but after reading what engineering is all about I do believe that's my calling.
Thanks.
 
  • #916
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So that would answer my question that they have a designing aspect to their job, which is a big part of why I want to do it. But would it involve a lot of physics? It isn't my strong suite, and I do not find that I enjoy studying the theoretical aspects too much. However, I am realizing more that academic work doesn't really reflect too much, the kind of work you do in industry, but I am not entirely sure of it. I'm just sick of the theoretical ideas of physics and thought that mechanical engineering might be more hands-on, even if I might be doing some calculations and analysis. any thoughts on that?
 
  • #917
1
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Hi all,
I work in banking and make well over 120-130k to be exact. I have lots of perks such business class travel etc but I hate my job and abhor my life. I went into banking because of the $$ but let me tell that I regret it. I always liked engineering and took one or two calc courses and had no problem at all.
I would like to change all that and go back to school for a second BSc. I'm 30 yrs old, do you think this woul'd be possible?
 
  • #918
153
1


It's definitely possible, but how do you know you will like engineering? Not trying to discourage you, just pointing out that there are other jobs you could probably go into that you would enjoy, without having to go back to school for an engineering degree. Why are you sure engineering is the right path for you? Have you taken engineering classes, worked for an engineering company, have friends that are engineers, etc?
 
  • #919
5
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Hi all,
I work in banking and make well over 120-130k to be exact. I have lots of perks such business class travel etc but I hate my job and abhor my life. I went into banking because of the $$ but let me tell that I regret it. I always liked engineering and took one or two calc courses and had no problem at all.
I would like to change all that and go back to school for a second BSc. I'm 30 yrs old, do you think this woul'd be possible?
It's a pretty big commitment but if you really think you'd like it and if you have the money I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. Maybe you should read up on some of the stuff engineers study and ask any engineers you might know about their work. My brother who did engineering physics said though that he found school a lot more enjoyable/interesting than working as an engineer so that might also be something to consider. It would also be kind of weird being in classes with people that are ten years younger than you, but I actually know quite a lot of people that have gone back to do a second undergrad degree in engineering after realizing their first one was useless so maybe they'll be some other people your age.
 
  • #920


Can someobe please tell me what an electrical engineer will be qualified to do versus what mechanical engineers can do.

I know that what you do in life is determined by your employer, but i wanna know some fundamental differences between the 2 disciplines
 
  • #921


Can someobe please tell me what an electrical engineer will be qualified to do versus what mechanical engineers can do.

I know that what you do in life is determined by your employer, but i wanna know some fundamental differences between the 2 disciplines
I suppose Wikipedia outlines these two streams quite well. Take a look at it.

Mechanical and Electrical are very different, but at the same time, a lot of core principles and areas from Maths and Physics will apply to it, but in different areas.

Electrical Engineering is a very broad field, and many people who don't know much about science an engineering will assume, electrical engineers either spend their entire time building circuits or wiring things, which is completely untrue!! Especially in regards to wiring, I don't think I will ever learn how to do much wiring unless I become a technician.

If you're interested in telecommunications, wireless technologies, signal processing (media, filters, etc.), circuitry (obviously) and many more, then electrical is probably your kind of thing. Obvious aspects of Mechanical are hydraulics, aerodynamics, engines (big one), structures, and much more, but since I'm not a ME, I don't know as much about it.

Mechatronic is a somewhat hybrid between the two.
 
  • #922
2
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Can I perhaps bump my question on the previous page on whether engineering is right for someone who's science/math based but not necessarily design based? I expanded more on my original post.
Thanks everyone!
 
  • #923


Do you think it would be a good idea to get a double degree in both electrical and mechanical engineering. I really like both discuples and my college allows it.

But i don't know if the workload would be too much, or if it will take me more than 4 years to complete
 
  • #924
1
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Alright, my turn!
I grew up wanting a doctorate in physics and I still do. I don't know how to go about any of this at all. I don't even know what engineering field I'd like to go into or what schools to choose from. I'm really tight on money for school, and living away from home just wasn't an option at the moment. That being said, I'm currently doing A&P Mechanics & Avionics, living with family. I have tons of fun in the classes and it is all really interesting. I just feel like I have more potential.
Definitely not all smart and brainy, but I learn fast. I don't know what to expect from the schooling I will be getting from these degrees in aviation but I know that the field is growing fast. I'm just worried I won't be happy because it won't be enough of a challenge after a while and honestly, I don't want to be wasting my time and money on something I'll be unsatisfied with.

Input please! :(
 
  • #925


Do you think it would be a good idea to get a double degree in both electrical and mechanical engineering. I really like both discuples and my college allows it.

But i don't know if the workload would be too much, or if it will take me more than 4 years to complete
It's the first time I've heard of a double-degree in mechanical and electrical. This might be some form of mechatronic engineering, do you have a course link for this?

As to whether it would be a good idea, only you can answer that. The workload for most engineering degrees is going to full. Being good at maths and science is a great starting point in school, but don't expect that to carry you all the way through, a lot of work goes in, but more often than not, it can be quite fun.
 

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