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Time consuming. EE v ME

  1. Feb 21, 2012 #1
    I am having a hard time deciding between ME and EE.

    The other day the brother of my gf asked me, when I was having this delema, "why ME and why EE?"
    ME-I said because it seems like ME are happier overall and given the different courses students have to take ( me being a person who does not like to dive into specifics TOO much) I would enjoy more on the long run.

    EE- because the first time I understood how a direct circuit actually works (specifically electrons) was just amazing! And I see myself siting down trying to drawing and analyzing a circuit "plan" or anything to do with circuits.

    I guess my question is which degree is more time consuming in college and after graduating ( although I know jobs aren't specific but in general). I don't want to seem like the guy who chooses a career over another to slack a little more lol. Just a general idea..

    Thank you
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2012 #2
    I can't really understand what you are saying. First you say that you would like ME because of "the thoroughness of the field" but then you immediately say that you do "not like to dive into specifics TOO much".

    Being thorough means diving into specifics.

    This same point is true in EE. Analyzing or designing a non-trivial circuit requires diving into specifics. An unfortunate part of both fields is at time doing very tedious work.
  4. Feb 21, 2012 #3
    I'm so sorry I editted my mistake. I get what you meant. I guess engineering isn't for me?
  5. Feb 21, 2012 #4
    What do you mean by specifics
  6. Feb 21, 2012 #5
    I guess my question was which engineering degree (ME or EE) is more time consuming. I know they both are but some say EE is tougher while others say the opposite.
  7. Feb 21, 2012 #6


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    My two cents:

    They are both equally difficult in school.....personally I find EE more interesting...prob cuz I'm an EE.

    On the job it seems like ME's work harder......EE's seem to be a bit more lax....and the EE department makes more money at my firm for some reason.

    But just my opinion.....Let's just say they are equal for argument sake.

    You said you find electrical more interesting. There ya go.....electrical it is so it would seem. If you do electrical, make sure you do it justice in your studying. Nothing worse than a college grad that doesn't know his a** from a hole in the ground.
  8. Feb 21, 2012 #7
    Let's just say that when you decide to choose between the engineering disciplines, which one is most 'time-consuming' is only of minor importance (all of them will probably consume more time than you'd like). Rather, what would you like to *do*?
  9. Feb 21, 2012 #8
    Ahh that's the prblem too with engineering! It seems like engineers can work in so many companies that it is difficult to presume what I want to do with a degree in say Electrical engineering.
    Psparky if it doesn't bother you can you tell me what you do at work?
  10. Feb 21, 2012 #9
    Why would you care about that right now if there are so many options, as long as there are a few you think you'd like!? You haven't even started with the degree yet!
  11. Feb 22, 2012 #10


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    Text message gals, email gals, talk on phone with gals, talk with colleagues about gals and other various mischevious things. I also spend an hour a day teaching the F.E. or P.E. to fellow collegues...especially around this time with the tests coming up in April. I do enjoy this quite a bit.

    Occasionally, I make electrical construction drawings for big tire manufactuer and big lighting manufacturer....typically on the power side of things....sometimes on the lower voltage side of things.

    Some examples. A big commercial kitchen was being built at a big facility. I got a big book with about 120 devices (Blender, hot pan, refrigerator, exhaust fans, freezer....etc.) The big book just showed the electric specs on everything. (And believe when I say the specs aren't always that clear!) It was my job design all the main breaker panels....(correct breaker for everything.....size it and one pole, two pole or three pole). Then I needed to essentially put in a receptacle for all the devices. 120 volt ones are easy...but 208/120.....208.....480....480/277....gets a bit trickier. Then you need to size each wire with the correct amount of wires.....for example 3#2+1#4 Gnd. Then you need to make a chart to show all the device ratings....power, KVA, disconnect, voltage, phase etc. So three different drawings to describe the situation, plan view, breaker panel and chart.....all from just spec sheets. Some of the devices need big disconnects and starters.....like condensers or exhaust fans on roof. So.....that's one type of thing. It was challenging...but I thought it was kinda fun in the end.

    Another job was a big facility I had to wire all the HVAC equipment....exhaust fans, Air handlers, Condensers, pumps, louvers that operate in parrallel with devices....etc. Again...all you get is the specs from the mechanical folk....and again specs can be kinda vague.

    Doing this type of work you learn that motors are very different type of animals that need starters and much bigger breakers. Putting together motor shematics for louvers operating with devices is kinda fun......auto postion, jog.......that kinda stuff has to be devised. Whatever you put in your breaker panels, wire sizing, disconect and fuse sizing.....that's it. That's what goes on the drawings! Generally a higher up boss will take a glance....but what you do is pretty much it!

    Sometimes I will get real electrical schematics from a manufactuer and make electrical construction drawings out of that. This tends to be more busy work and less engineering, but it is still challenging and somewhat enjoying.

    Keep in mind that I am on the consulting firm side of things. Many jobs will be like this...some will not. But realistically, I'm mostly talking to the ladies all day...haha. Having a job with a bit of "freedom" is always good! Also, I am proof that you don't have to be a geek to be an engineer!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
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