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SHould I chose engineering or business?

  1. Feb 3, 2012 #1
    First a bit about me.

    I am 18 years old and on my gap year. Mainly because I could not decide which degree I wanted to persue, and I had to work this year to afford university. I have always been a person who wanted to know how things work, and I have always enjoyed solving real world problems. I was trying to figure out how to stop the pollution that comes out of smoke stacks and filter it out when I was 11 years old. I drew up blueprints and did small scale testing. I played with lego for 7 years, and I would usually draw up plans for my constructions. At 13 I got an interest in computers, and I have been building, troubling shooting, and trying to improve the performance of computers ever since. I also have a passion for history, one of my favourite subjects.

    My dad is a a business man, and has recommended I study commerce (especially accounting because of the income and job security it provides.) I pretty much hate any accounting I have done, and the only commercial job I could see my self doing is marketing because of the creativity and problem solving involved.

    I did advanced maths, physics, chemistry in grade 12. I scored B+ to A+ on all my exams. I did not mind math, hated chemistry, and really loved physics. I had quite a bit of trouble learning chemistry. I can do almost any math really well once I understand it. Physics was my best subject out of them, because I found it the most interesting and it clicked with me more.

    Engineering is the only work related that field that has ever appealed to me. I considered a history degree/job but there is not that much history related jobs you can do if your not teaching (WHICH i dont want to do). Considering all the information you have on me, do you think I should become an engineer(in other words, do I sound like the sort of person who would like/excel at it? And which one should I choose? I am having a hard time, because I dont even know If I would like engineering, but I do know I would have a decent job in business. I would love having a good income and job security which is why I am having trouble deciding.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    A few thoughts:

    - it is a lot easier for an engineering student to transfer to business related majors.
    - not sure about accounting jobs, i've heard mixed messages about their availability. My father is a senior lecturer in management, his comment on business majors is "generally useless on their own"
    - depends on where you go to, in my university, first stage engineering students do a whole range of introductory courses before choosing their specialization
    - if you know you hate doing something, don't do it. I learned that the hard way. On a few occasions I felt like throwing up when doing my philosophy assignments (no offense to philosophy majors, just wasn't my thing)
    - have a look at civil and environmental engineering
    - unless you are immensely interested in circuits and electronics, your hobby for computer building, troubleshooting (and modding?) should remain just that. Unless, of course, you want an hourly wage IT support kind of job. Remember knowing which boards fits into which socket is completely different to designing the next generation top of the line silicon chip.
  4. Feb 3, 2012 #3
    Thank you for the quick reply.

    If anyone else has some input, please share.
  5. Feb 3, 2012 #4
    Can you do dual business / engineering majors or degrees? I don't know what it's like in the USA but here in Aus combined eng / commerce degrees is a popular choice.
  6. Feb 3, 2012 #5
    Let me put it this way. An engineer becomes a businessman --> You bring a perspective to the job that is valuable and insightful. A businessman tries to do engineering --> bridges fall down, planes blow up, and dogs and cats start living together. Go engineering. Businessmen trained as businessmen are ... well, not particularly useful in my opinion. You'll likely end up managing something anyway at some point; except that as an engineering manager, you'll be managing projects, budgets, etc.
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