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What Type of Engineering Should I Go Into?

  1. Jul 23, 2011 #1
    Firstly I'll list my pros and cons of each subject out clearly

    - A lot of math
    - I like electronics and nanoelectronics

    - I don't like circuit analysis or the analysis I've done in high school
    - I don't really like programming so far


    - I like the current research in biomaterials and bioengineering
    - High salary
    - I like thermodynamics

    - I don't really like chemistry


    - A lot of physics
    - A lot of math
    - Applicable to aeronautics

    - I'm afraid that I'll be designing HVAC systems (very boring)

    I want to know which one I should choose and what are the most popular jobs in each field of study.

    EDIT: I was originally planning on doing physics and mathematics in university but I wanted more job security so I went into engineering.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2011 #2


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    Choose what interests you. Surely you are capable of some independent thought?
  4. Jul 24, 2011 #3
    I have been.
  5. Jul 24, 2011 #4
    I'm shocked and appalled that Materials Engineering isn't on your list, especially since the last two years running the Nobel prize for Physics actually when to materials engineers.

    EDIT: oh, yeah, and it's a pretty niche industry with lowest rate of unemployment out of all engineering disciplines.
  6. Jul 24, 2011 #5
    As for EE,

    The circuit analysis stuff is only applicable in the first year. It gets interesting beyond that.
    BTW, you don't have to like programming or hate it. Its just a useful tool which can save you a lot of time. And btw, you need it nowadays in almost every field of science/engineering (its hard to escape it).

    If you will be doing Nanoelectronics (or semiconductors in general), then you will be doing a lot more of physics than what you would have imagined (especially if you work on the modeling/simulation).

    EE also covers control systems, which are applicable to aeronautics and other machines (e.g. cars).

    Some people (actually very few) finish a bachelor in EE and then head for grad study in Physics (yeah its possible).
    I've met someone who did this transition, he had a bachelor in EE, master in physics, and currently doing a PhD in EE.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  7. Jul 24, 2011 #6
    - lots of math
    - creative thinking allowed
    - nice job opportunities
    - not just memorizing formula's, but actually finding out why they are true
    - all the cool people do math

    - none
  8. Jul 24, 2011 #7

    I like Serena

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    Homework Helper

    How about it costs you cookies whenever you enter a contest with the OP!
    Hmmmph, it's not as if I've ever seen a cookie though. :wink:
    I guess mathematicians are short on cookies.
    They're so busy falling in love with proving a theorem that they forget about the cookies.
  9. Jul 24, 2011 #8
    That's not a con for the mathematician, that's a con for the people not getting the cookie :biggrin:

    Lesson 1: don't trust math people :smile:
  10. Jul 24, 2011 #9

    Is nuclear engineering not an option at your future school of choice? NE is a pretty broad field, and from the NE's at my school that I have spoken with, it combines a lot of areas of engineering. Theres plenty of ME involved(fluids, heat transfer, statics/dynamics) and also some EE(circuit analysis) then physics concepts and a pretty high level of mathematics too.

    I would just throw ChE out the window if you don't like chemistry, because you will have to take a lot of it. The intro circuit analysis stuff you probably have done in high school isn't very interesting to me either, but I am sure it gets better and has more mathematics down the line.

    I'd say just from reading your one post that you seem to be slightly more interested in a ME-ish kind of engineering. AE, NE, or ME all leave you with good options.
  11. Jul 24, 2011 #10
    So I think I narrowed it down to ME and EE, there's just something about chemistry that I don't like. What about Engineering Physics, does anyone have any information in terms of job opportunities with this degree? Lol micro, if it makes you feel any better I'm actually trying to double-major so that brings me to my next question, in terms of EE, ME or EngPhys which one is the easiest to double major in mathematics (I know it's hard in all engineering fields)?
  12. Jul 24, 2011 #11
    You might consider aerospace engineering. If ME is mainly interesting to you because of its applications to aeronautics, then why skirt the issue? Just be an aerospace engineer. We're cool because we can say we're rocket scientists with a straight face.
  13. Jul 24, 2011 #12
    I've though about it but the job opportunities are low. What do you do for a living and what does the job entail?
  14. Jul 24, 2011 #13
    Eh, I'm a student, so I'm afraid I can't give you any information on that front. But aerospace engineers have plenty of job opportunities. You can work in the aircraft industry, in helicopter production, in the military industrial complex, in spacecraft design, in commercial satellite production, in orbital mechanics, in the automotive industry, in skyscraper design, in windmill design and production... really, the possibilities are infinite. Those are just the ones I could rattle off the top of my head, without even getting creative with possible jobs.

    Also, it's worth pointing out that many ME jobs can be done as an aerospace engineer. Thermal convection, for instance, is guided by the same basic principles whether it's a car engine or a jet engine.
  15. Jul 24, 2011 #14
    Awesome. It's very confusing though. I think I'll stick with ME since I'm also interested in robotics among other things. Thanks!
  16. Jul 24, 2011 #15
    Well, just food for thought :) My aerospace engineering program also includes a course on mechatronics...

    Heh. I feel like I'm dangling a carrot on a stick. Whatever you end up going into, I hope it works for you!
  17. Jul 24, 2011 #16


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    Aerospace engineering is, obviously, the best.

    Edit: since you mentioned robotics, UAS. Robots + flying = awesome. (Or Skynet. One of the two, at any rate.)
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  18. Jul 24, 2011 #17
    It's difficult though since most of the schools I want to go to don't have an aerospace engineering degree.
  19. Jul 24, 2011 #18
    I felt similar to when picking my major - I'm currently going for ME.
    I would say ME because physics is awesome and it leaves you open to work in many fields - If your fear is working in HVAC, then just don't apply for those positions.
    Check out SpaceExploration or Lockhead and Martin/Boeing. All great companies for recent grads and lots of different fields to apply for.

    I want to try and get a job at SpaceEX and work on designing space-transport, stuff.
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