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What should my major be?

  1. Apr 13, 2008 #1
    right now it is Engineering Science. when i go to a 4 year school idk wether to do mechanical engineering or electrical

    my dream job would be to work for hte military and design weapons and defense systems. the only hting i think is boring is power distribution. i dont want to deal with that. but everything else seems cool: using chemistry knowledge do develope controlled explosives, programming knowledge to tell the missile where to go, and different things like that. any suggestions on which one i should pick?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2008 #2
    Sounds like aerospace is your best bet. Mechanical can also be good I would not do electrical engineering when you like to do propulsion chemistry. Building controllers can be done within the mechanical engineering field too.
  4. Apr 15, 2008 #3
    well the basics of Chemistry is kinda boring. Chem I i had a hard time stayin awake and Chem II was only a little bit better. but im not really fascinated with "what color will the solution be if i add NaOH to it?". im more interested in "how can i make this explode" or "how can i create a laser beam that can melt through any kind of metal" and things like that.
    but at the same time i wouldnt mind dealing with a little bit of circuitry or programming. i wouldnt mind dealing with the physics part of it either, which i assume i'd have to know in order to be able to program a missle on how to stear itself.

    you still think im leaning more towards mechanical engineering?
  5. Apr 15, 2008 #4
    ok i just did some research and i think it will be between mechanical or electronics engineering. aerospace seems cool and i'd get that job if i can but the demand for aerospace engineers i think will be very low so i dont think it would be worth having that as my major.

    i guess i shouldnt have said Electrical, i meant Electronics Enginnering. that seems cool, if i could build robots, deal with the communication systems and what not.

    do you think it is possible that certain companies who typically have 1 mechanical engineer and 1 electrical engineer would rather pay 1 person with knowledge/education in both feilds?
  6. Apr 16, 2008 #5
    OK, the demand for aerospace engineers is not 'very low' however here are more mechanical engineers employed that is true. The problem I have with electronic engineering (usually we call it electrical engineering anyways) is that you are somewhat forced to work in that specific field were a mechanical engineering degree would allow you to keep more options open. Again if you are truly interested in rocket propulsion and control you are probably best of with aerospace engineering.
  7. Apr 16, 2008 #6
    An ME degree will leave you with a versatile degree that can be used to do all the things you described from building robots to jet propulsion.

    An aero degree is really just a more specific ME degree so unless you have a very particular career desire an ME degree is just fine. I know plenty of ME and EE's that have received jobs in aerospace some of which are currently working on defense projects.
  8. Apr 17, 2008 #7
    hm. so what you are saying is that the ME also happens to have a lot of knowledge that would allow him to do EE. but the EE doesnt have as much knowledge of ME?

    or are you just saying htat there are more types of jobs that i can do with a ME degree?

    one thing that would bore me is just making designs on AUDOCAD all day and doing nothing else. hopefully if i go for ME i'd be able to do more than just that. I overheard someone saying that i'd have to start off doing repetitive stuff like that with low payment and it isnt easy to get promoted. but i dont know, maybe that person just didnt have a high enough degree of education and that is why he experienced that
  9. Apr 17, 2008 #8


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    Jared, I'm not educated in any area, but it seems to me that someone who is undecided should go toward mechanical. While I don't really know the parameters, I believe that it encompasses to broadest area of science. I design weapons as a hobby, and have no education, but the mechanical side of things definitely serves me well. The caveat that strikes me is regarding what kind of weapons you want to design. Most full-blown military stuff requires a lot of electronics/computer savvy.
  10. Apr 18, 2008 #9
    ok well im definitely leaning toward ME right now because everybody keeps suggesting it over electrical. But, a mechanical engineer would still learn a lot about programming and electronics right?
  11. Apr 18, 2008 #10


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    Certainly not.

  12. Apr 19, 2008 #11


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    jaredmt, just be aware that any major will start out with really basic stuff in the first year or two. Mundane things along the lines of "what color will the solution be if i add NaOH to it?" can be found in mechanical, electrical, or any other field.

    Good luck with your decision!
  13. Apr 19, 2008 #12
    I was not comparing ME to EE.

    My point was that unless there is a particular field within aerospace that you have your heart set on you are likely better off in ME because Aero is just a more specific form of ME, so an ME degree will leave you will more versatility.

    You should never listen to anyone who tries to tell you that all ME's have these specific types of jobs, all EE have these specific types of jobs and etc. It just isn't true and they do not know what they are talking about. You can do just about anything you want with an engineering degree from becoming an astronaut, designing race cars, becoming a doctor, managing a business or anything else you want.

    I brought up robots because it takes plenty of backgrounds to build robots including ME's and EE's so it isn't as if majoring in one or the other will eliminate that as a career path.

    Explore your options and keep an open mind.
  14. Apr 21, 2008 #13
    ah ok i get it now. i think i will go for ME now. This is good, i think i am pointed in the right direction, thanks for all the help
  15. Apr 21, 2008 #14


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    Now that you've decided, don't be a stranger. Stick around, let us know how it's going, and help out others here who are less educated. Good luck on your chosen path.
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