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Engineering Which engineering major is right for me?

  1. Mar 28, 2009 #1
    I'm interested in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering. My dad's an electrical engineer(Ph.D) and he says it's so hard that I should stay away from it.

    I've heard good things about job opportunities as America is in demand for more engineers. I'm confused about the computer science field though. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that computer programmers will not be as much needed in the future and that the salary is low. However, they state that software engineers make a lot of money and the nation will also be needing more and more software engineers. My question is, what exactly is the difference between a computer programmer and a software engineer?

    I just want to get into a career that is secure and gets me a good amount of money.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2009 #2
    You can be a computer programmer with a high school degree. This generally involves making bad money and having bad job security. Kids in highschool will generally be computer programmers for friends' parents' small businesses and what not. At larger operations, they do grunt work... they read a document about what they're supposed to program, and follow the instructions until the stuff compiles.

    Software engineers and computer scientists are in charge of designing the software and solving the computational problems. In theory, you could do both without ever programming. In practice, you will learn a lot about programming as well. This doesn't make it a programming degree... math majors solve lots of equations, but their degree isn't in solving equations. High schoolers can solve equations and get numbers.

    Basically, SE and CS are much harder, rewarding, and in demand careers than programming is. Programming is sort of the "burger flipping" of the software world, except the job security isn't as good.
  4. Mar 29, 2009 #3
    Physics Engineer
  5. Apr 1, 2009 #4
    Hey! Electrical is no harder or easier than any of the other disciplines, just different.
    Job opportunities for engineers are quite good (I got a job recently :))

    "I just want to get into a career that is secure and gets me a good amount of money."

    All the engineering fields are pretty good, but make sure to pick what YOU really enjoy doing. Security and money won't help you wake up everyday to go to a boring job.

    These sites will help you pick a major:
    http://subversiveguidetoeng.blogspot.com/2009/03/picking-majorfield.html [Broken]

    Good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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