Should I Become an Engineer?

  • #126
russ_watters
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Generally, Aero and EE are about on the same level of difficulty, and difficulty (unless they are too difficult) should not be an important factor in choosing. Choose what you are interested in and think you can get a good job in. And don't worry - you'll have until at least the beginning of your Sophomore year before you really need to decide. And generally that means you'll have introductory courses in both to help.
 
  • #127
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Ok thanks for replying, but i was wondering that i live in Canada and so far in my highschool we have not done A GREAT AMOUNT on circuits and everything. Instead we have had brief units on them so going into university with little knowledge, i mean, if i decide on Electrical do you think i will be able to do and understand the material with what i know. Like im willing to work hard and put in necessary hours but if i cannot understand then, its useless.

thanks!


(my brother is currently doing mechanical and said that he was going to go into electrical but it was way to hard and he was barely passing the exams so he switched to mechanical)
 
  • #128
russ_watters
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You will be starting from scratch and so will everone else. People tend to get overexcited by what they learn in high school. You don't learn jack in high school that will help you past your first semester in college (long before your majors courses start).
 
  • #129
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ok thanks that makes me feel better. But you said first semester college, im going straight to first year university from gr 12 highscool (im in canada). So is your opinion still the same, i mean do you think ill be alright going from gr 12 to first year electrical engineering (well ive heard first year is the same for all engineers so i guess from gr 12 to first year general engineering)


also one other question, from researching i found electrical engineering prospects for future jobs is good but what do you guys think. Electrical engineering, good career as in after university, perhaps after my 4 years (bachelor) will i be able to find a job easily or not.
 
  • #130
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I'm a 3rd year ME student, the classes don't get easier they get harder and your competition gets tougher as weaker students drop out of engineering. Just remember that everyone is in the same boat and you just have to work harder and study more if you are not in the upper half of your classes.

I truly believe that its not how smart you are per say, its how hard you are willing to work that decides how well you will do in engineering.
 
  • #131
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JSBeckton said:
I'm a 3rd year ME student, the classes don't get easier they get harder and your competition gets tougher as weaker students drop out of engineering. Just remember that everyone is in the same boat and you just have to work harder and study more if you are not in the upper half of your classes.

I truly believe that its not how smart you are per say, its how hard you are willing to work that decides how well you will do in engineering.

I would kind of agree with that, but I know several people who are taking some of their math classes over 4 or 5 times. It's not that they don't work hard, or that they are stupid. They are committed and put in more hours studying then I usually do, but I have serious doubts as to the likelihood of them graduating with engineering degrees.
 
  • #132
I totally agree with that, it's well known that the one who gets the highest grades isn't actually the best, nor the most intelligent, but it's the one who has worked harder...

That's how it works...
 
  • #133
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kdinser said:
I would kind of agree with that, but I know several people who are taking some of their math classes over 4 or 5 times. It's not that they don't work hard, or that they are stupid. They are committed and put in more hours studying then I usually do, but I have serious doubts as to the likelihood of them graduating with engineering degrees.

In all honesty, if you are taking basic math (Calc I,II,III, DiffEQ,Lin Algebra) 4-5 times then I would say that you are either not working hard at all or you are not smart at all.

And I know people who I would say are not that smart that passed all of those classes the first time. I have never met anyone who tried hard at all that couldn't pass those courses (at least on the 2nd try).

Has anyone else?
 
  • #134
@my university they would not allow you to repeat 4 to 5 times, no way.
 
  • #135
The thing is if you are unable to do things within a certain limit, what will you do when you are graduated working as an engineer, and you are the one who has to make a decision, you don't have forever...
 
  • #136
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hello guys i was wondering if you guys think i would be alright going fromgr 12 high school straight to university planning to do electrical engineering.
also
i found electrical engineering prospects for future jobs is good but what do you guys think. Electrical engineering, good career as in after university, perhaps after my 4 years (bachelor) will i be able to find a job easily or not.
 
  • #137
Astronuc
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Kadosa said:
hello guys i was wondering if you guys think i would be alright going fromgr 12 high school straight to university planning to do electrical engineering.
Many, if not most high school students who attend college, choose this path.

Kadosa said:
i found electrical engineering prospects for future jobs is good but what do you guys think. Electrical engineering, good career as in after university, perhaps after my 4 years (bachelor) will i be able to find a job easily or not.
Demand for engineers, especially those who are top students (particularly those with advanced degrees), will remain high. EE will be in demand.

One may wish to visit www.ieee.org - The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - but known as IEEE. It has the most members of any technical professional organization in the world, with more than 360,000 members in around 175 countries.

http://www.ieee.org/web/aboutus/history/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE
 
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  • #138
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JSBeckton said:
In all honesty, if you are taking basic math (Calc I,II,III, DiffEQ,Lin Algebra) 4-5 times then I would say that you are either not working hard at all or you are not smart at all.

And I know people who I would say are not that smart that passed all of those classes the first time. I have never met anyone who tried hard at all that couldn't pass those courses (at least on the 2nd try).

Has anyone else?

One friend that is struggling already has a degree in biology, another has a degree in business management. These are not stupid people, they just have trouble with math. There are many different kinds of intelligence besides mathematical reasoning, but I do question Georges wisdom in not giving up after his third time failing or dropping calc 2 and I don't know what makes him think he will ever make it through calc 3 or diff eq.


EDIT:
Does anyone happen to know the drop rate for engineering programs? I've run into a LOT of people that started as engineering majors and then switched and not nearly as many who started as something else and moved to engineering.
 
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  • #139
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IMO calc II was harder than Calc III or DiffEQ. I believe that people that have "trouble" with math usually don't put in the time. I don't believe in the notion that "I'm just not good with math", to me that means that you are not good at:
1) learning rules
2) following rules
3) analyzing situations
4) troubleshooting
5) reasoning

These atributes are needed for most anything, if you do not posess these then I don't believe that you should be considered "smart"

And sorry, a degree in business is hardly comparable to engineering. Check that, an MBA is arguably not comprable to a degree in engineering.

Biology requires little more than memorization.

Again these are just my opioninos and when I say "you" I mean the hypothetical you, not you!
 
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  • #140
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sorry computer error
 
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  • #142
Astronuc
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kdinser said:
Does anyone happen to know the drop rate for engineering programs? I've run into a LOT of people that started as engineering majors and then switched and not nearly as many who started as something else and moved to engineering.
I think it depends on the discipline. In nuclear engineering we had an attrition rate of about 90+%. Our department might start with 100+ engineering students, but we were sometimes lucky to end with 10 students in the program. It was usually the reactor physics class in the third year which knock out those who were holding on. Reactor physics is heavy on 2D and 3D integral calculus and partial differential equations (e.g. transport equations), which is in addition to the fluid mechanics, heat transfer and electrical engineering courses that one has to take.
 
  • #143
Astronuc
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From MIT's Mechanical Engineering Department - WHAT IS ENGINEERING?

http://ocw.mit.edu/NR/rdonlyres/Mechanical-Engineering/2-000How-and-Why-Machines-WorkSpring2002/06143630-8E63-41C3-AC7D-3CDB6FD0B9EA/0/lecture3MEoverview_fixed.pdf [Broken]


Also of interest at MIT -

Energy Science and Engineering - http://web.mit.edu/ese/ - I know quite a few of these guys.

Mechanics: Modeling, Experimentation and Computation (MMEC) - http://www.me.mit.edu/mechanics/ [Broken]

The MMEC research and education efforts focus on six major thrust areas:

Computational Mechanics
Fluid Mechanics
Mechanics of Solid Materials
Nonlinear Dynamics
Acoustics
(see also Ocean Engineering and Sciences Area)
Transport Phenomena
(see also Energy Sciences and Engineering)
 
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  • #144
Confused

I am in my first semester studying Mechanical Engineering at university. My reasons for choosing this field are still a little bit unclear to me; basically I was always the best in my high school math and science classes and I want (mostly) to have a nice, decently-paying career and don't necessarily want to be going to school forever. However, I'm afraid I'm afraid engineering is going to be too dry for me. I love music and although I'm not career musician material I'd like to keep it an important part of my life. I don't want to quit playing after college.

The school of music here has a program where you get a BA in music and minor in EE or computer science. How easy or hard would it be to get a job that's mostly engineering with a degree like that?

After doing a bit of research I found that my university offers a physics degree emphasis in continuum physics and acoustics. Is this something I should consider doing instead if, say, I wanted to design concert halls or recording studios? I also don't want to lose scholarship money that's specific for engineering. Would that need to get paid back to the college if I switch to a related field? What engineering majors would be likely to cover that same material?

Basically I have always been fascinated by moving parts on things, gears and so on, and am very concerned about solving transportation and energy issues. I like physics and math but I don't know if I could take it doing academic work and research forever. On the other had I have a bit of a philosophical problem with possibly working for a big corporation that makes things just to make money off of people, or harms the environment.

On a mostly unrelated note, how important do you think it is for a engineers and scientists in the US to know Spanish? I'm taking second semester Spanish right now and it's not too hard but I don't know how I'm going to fit it in next semester...

Someone a while ago said how they were always finishing last in lab because they were a perfectionist. I think that might be me too. Is that a good thing or something I need to try to get over?

Sorry this is so long and I completely understand if not everything gets addressed. I just have to get it all out somehow.
 
  • #145
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Don't worry, everyone faces those issues early on.

I would like to first tell you that in your first semester you are not studying mechanical engineeing, you are studying the basic math and sciences that you will need in your junior and senoir year for any engineering degree. In almost any school the first two years are very similar for any engineering major, its designed to expose you to differnt things while its not too late to switch w/o much, if any loss of credit.

I don't know much about music school but there are a lot of EE's so you might find it hard to find a really good EE job with just a minor (plus I don't know if you would even be eligible for the PE exam).

And you admitted that you are not career musician material

Almost everyone works for someone who makes stuff to sell to people to make money, its called capitalism, so you might have to do the best that you can there.

And the other thing sounded like accoustic engineering, don't know where you would go for that though.

Don't switch until you have given it at least a year, thats my advice.
 
  • #146
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i want to ask, where is a good place (university) to study engineering?
 
  • #148
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nekteo said:
i want to ask, where is a good place (university) to study engineering?

Probabally about 1000 places around the world. This is the top 20 in the US according to graduateshotline.com.

S.No University/College
1 Massachusetts Inst of Technology
2 Stanford University
3 University of California-Berkeley
4 California Institute Technology
5 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
6 Georgia Institute of Technology
7 University of Michigan
8 Cornell University
9 Carnegie Mellon University
10 University of Texas at Austin
11 Purdue University
12 University of California- San Diego
13 University of California- Los Angeles
14 Texas A&M University
15 Princeton University
16 Pennsylvania State University
17 University of Wisconsin-Madison
18 University of Maryland College Park
19 Harvard University
20 University of California-Santa Barbara
 
  • #149
Hi I am in my last year of secondary school and I think I want to do engineering next year in college. I love the idea of the engineering course, it is a good degree and yet it's still broad enough, because I have not made up my mind yet. The only problem is I really have no idea which branch to study. I really love art, it's my favourite subject, and I like maths too because I'm good at it, but I don't think I could spend my career doing purely maths things (like an actuary). I know that most engineering branches have some element of design and creativity, but is there any more so than others? I have been looking at computer engineering at the moment, because I thought that I might be able to do computer game graphics or SFX in films or TV or something like that, but my friend told me that her dad did that and that it is mainly just working out formulae and doesn't really involve graphics. Anyone doing computer engineering that could tell me? Does it depend on the university you go to?
 
  • #150
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In reply to Clausius' comment on I believe page 1/2 (I should have quoted): why thanks Clausius, you made my day because I'm not very strong in physics...I love math, and I'm doing so far so good in the class. I have started the class of physics late so im struggling...I'm not a very passionate person about physics. I have seen students who simply love the notion of finding how things work. So far, I'm not THAT student. Maybe, I will develop a passion for physics later in the year! Hopefully! Thanks again for the motivation!
 
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