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Which area of Engineering is the hottest?

  1. Sep 18, 2003 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this board. I am a fresher this coming October and I am going to study physics. Could anyone tell me which is area of Engineering is the hottest and will recruit lots of Engineers? As i have said before, I am going to read physics and I am just wondering what is it like when a physicist is looking for a job in the engineering field? Is there any course that I need to take??

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2003 #2
    I think there is alot of excitement in all the engineering fields. Pick one your most interested in. You don't want to be stuck with skills that will lead you to an unhappy career. Also, what is hot today might not be hot in four years when your graduate.

    Many times universities will have double major or minor programs. This doing either is common. I see alot of computer/electrical engineers or physics/astronomy majors.
  4. Sep 18, 2003 #3


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    I agree with Greg. In general, engineering is a good (reliable) field to get into. But I think civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers always tend to do well. Chemical engineers seem to be highly valued too. There are many more.

    Technically speaking, a physics degree is great preparation for engineering work. Specific coursework would depend on what kind of engineering you wanted to get into. One problem you may find is that in an engineering career, people look for engineering certifications...and that usually requires an engineering degree.
  5. Sep 20, 2003 #4
    What about a program like this: http://www.erau.edu/db/degrees/b-engineeringphys.html

    that is a hybrid engineering and physics degree? It is also ABET accredited, so you are completing all the requirements for an engineering degree, while spending time with theoretical problem solving that traditional engineering students don't get to play with.

    Any thoughts? I am halfway through this program and my feelings are split. At my school, most of us are either Aerospace Engineering (AE) students or Engineering Physics (EP) students. But it seems that most graduates are getting employed by the same companies (Honeywell, United Space Alliance, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Motorola, NASA, etc)...so some AE guys have me thinking that I'm screwing myself up by staying in the harder program (and everybody agrees that EP is much more difficult). They are saying that I'm studying twice as hard for nothing.

    Also, in alot of EP classes, the professors care little about grades. They give us exams in which they expect the highest grades to be in the 60's. So most EP students graduate with a slightly lower CGPA than their AE counterparts. The EP faculty will tell us that employers realize the greater difficulty we went through and will care more about that than the GPA.

    I'm so confused...I'm about the halfway point, so I could really go either way without losing any credits at this point.
  6. Sep 21, 2003 #5
    If money is the main criteria then Nuclear, Chemical, Biological/Med engineering are the best fields. The worst is probably electrical and computer because of its instability, all the off-shoring(jobs going over-seas), and unless of course you have a strong background in QT.

    All other engineering fields fall in between.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2003
  7. Sep 21, 2003 #6
    Biomedical Engineering... it has the highest chick-to-dude ratio.

  8. Sep 21, 2003 #7
    You don't know what you're talking about. Electrical engineering will always be your best bet. Not only do electrical engineers get jobs in their field, but they can also find work in the Nuclear, Biomedical, Mechanical, Aerospace, Material Science, Chemical, Computer, and Agricultural engineering fields.

  9. Sep 21, 2003 #8
    As Greg said, do what interests you. If you relegate yourself to looking for the money you may get it but may also end up getting sick of it. The degree is only one part of the employment equation. Getting the right job also depends heavily on good communication skills, experience, and let's be honest, a good portion of luck. If you do what you feel strongly about and dedicate yourself to it, you will do OK. Also consider location. Certain engineering fields are clustered around certain areas of the country, i.e.: automotive=Detroit, etc.

    Good luck with whatever you ultimately decide!
  10. Sep 22, 2003 #9
    You should read what these electrical engineers have to say about their current and foreseeable future job prospects: http://www.eet.com/career/boards/mentor_pro

    pretty gloomy

    Some are on the verge of suicide, others are desperately looking to jump into other fields. Of course, the ones that are EE's because they truly love EE are hanging tough.

    I guess if we're going to be engineers, we better be sure that we have a deep passion for the field we're planning on entering.

    On another note, did anybody have any thoughts on that Engineering Physics program I linked to above?

  11. Sep 22, 2003 #10
    sorry to burst you bubble but its true, have you been reading the news lately?. Every Engineering field is having exceptional growth except EE and anything closely related, it might change in the future but the way the economy is heading, who knows.

    I have a friend who has a bachelors in computer science and they laid him off, now hes back in school.
  12. Sep 22, 2003 #11
    What you people think is still bullsh:t. Electrical engineering and mechanical engineering form the the basis of all other branches of engineering. Electrical engineers will always find work because they understand the fundamental principles of nature better than any other type of engineer.


    P.S. Let's not confuse computer engineering with electrical engineering. Like biomedical engineering, computer engineering is just a specialized subset of electrical engineering.
  13. Sep 22, 2003 #12
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2003
  14. Sep 23, 2003 #13


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    I know a 50 year old mechanical engineer who is working at Home Depot right now. With unemployment relatively high, it happens. But its nowhere near as bad as other fields. Right now EE's and Comp Sci's are feeling the whiplash of the Internet boom/bust. But its temporary. Demand and pay are still significantly higher than in liberal arts.

    ME and EE are good because both are pretty diverse, but EE has the advantage of higher demand, lower supply, and therefore higher pay. Of course, it is also about the most difficult major you can take in college.
  15. Oct 9, 2003 #14
    I have to agree with Greg, that you should pick the type of engineering that you think you will enjoy. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will do a better job at it and this will show in the quality of your work. If you can make money for a company, and save money for clients, doing something that you like, you will certainly find work.

    Engineering of all types can be very interesting to a person who enjoys problem solving.
  16. Oct 9, 2003 #15
    I was accepted to Riddle but i didn't go b/c of the distance, but alot of my friends go there. When dealing with EP or AE, and personaly unless your hardcore into physics and what not, then i would stick with the AE program. Erau is a rough school, as you probably know, what year are you?
  17. Oct 10, 2003 #16

    Nanotechnology is a very exciting field to study!! It has great potential! Yeap, you still have to master E.Engnrg. to get a job on this.
  18. Oct 19, 2003 #17
    Re: Re: Which area of Engineering is the hottest?

    He is right. BME girls seem to be hot as hell also.
  19. Oct 21, 2003 #18

    The projected outlook for engineers are favorable but some are certaintly higher than others.


    Please scroll down to the field of interest and then look at "job outlook".

    From what I have read, Biomedical Engineering is the only field that is expected to have a good job outlook in the coming years. CE, EE, and ME, are growing as fast as the average. MiE, GE, NE, and PE are in decline.

    From what I have heard . . . the best jobs right now are Biomedical Engineers and Pharmicists.

    poor comp Sci . . . =-(
  20. Oct 21, 2003 #19


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    I graduated with an EE degree in 2000. I immediately got a job with decent pay right out of school in the telecom industry. I also thought I had excellent job security. I wound up hating my job because it was not at all what I expected. I thought I would be building circuits and solving problems, but I spent over 95% of my time trying to convince people in other departments, or haggling with vendors, or filling out forms to request builds of circuit boards that I had about 0.0001% to do with. But I stayed at the company because of my "excellent job security," an idea reinforced in my mind by several of my coworkers, bosses, and friends, because the industry was "so solid." Well, then I got laid off. I dedicated the next 4 months to finding another job: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, etc. No luck. When the next academic semester started, I hopped on board and now study physics. I probably will have a hard time to find a good paying job, but physics is certainly more interesting than pushing a pencil, and I don't dread going to "work" (school) every morning. I wish I could stay in school my whole life and not have to worry about the damn industry.

    Oh ya, one other thing I forgot to mention: My degree that I got from Texas A&M was worth a pile of dog sh:t, and this was supposed to be "the" univ. in Texas for EE. The only thin I suppose it did for me was get me in contact with the company that hired me. I didn't use one ounce of book learnin on the job.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2003
  21. Oct 21, 2003 #20

    My math teacher (high school) majored in EE. After college he got a well paying job but he also hated it for many reasons. One specifically that I can remember is that he had to work in front of a computer all day, everyday of the week. Although his job wouldn't of minded me, he said Civil Engineering is probably the better choice "the great outdoors".

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