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Engineers

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by SilverStreak05, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Mar 19, 2010 at 1:20 AM
    #1
    SilverStreak05

    SilverStreak05 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I''ll be transferring to a 4 year uni in the fall to study engineering. I've already been accepted into the chemical engineering department, but I've been considering a switch to mechanical as it seems like a better fit to my interests.

    Anyway, I was wondering if any of the engineers out there, chemical and mechanical especially, might give some insight on the industry, how you feel about future job prospects, etc. I've always been led to believe that having an engineering degree, regardless of the type, is pretty universal and allows you to work in many different fields, but I'd like to hear some first hand experiences.
     
  2. Mar 19, 2010 at 1:30 AM
    #2
    usmcgoose

    usmcgoose One shot is all I need

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    I graduated with a chemical engineering degree. The choices are big oil companies, pharmaceuticals, BASF and the likes. I took a job as a nuclear engineer to circumvent the entire degree.

    History lesson on the fly. Chemical Engineering was created out of a necessity to bridge the gap between Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil. It was(is) thought of as the more well rounded engineering degree. Not to say I am biast, I am a nuc after all.
     
  3. Mar 19, 2010 at 1:34 AM
    #3
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Interested as well. I am in my 4th year studying ME. Around here we have companies such as Chevron, Valero, Edison, Gas Company, and many more that hire.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2010 at 1:37 AM
    #4
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Cal Poly SLO?
     
  5. Mar 19, 2010 at 2:17 AM
    #5
    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob Well-Known Member

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    how about material science,ie: materials engineering failure analysis corrosion problems material recommendations..interesting field
     
  6. Mar 19, 2010 at 3:48 AM
    #6
    Firetech

    Firetech Well-Known Member

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    Do the Mechanical, It gives you a little of all engineering. I work for a company with a lot of differnt engineers and the Mechanicals seem to have it more together. Thats why I advised my son to do Mechanical.
     
  7. Mar 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM
    #7
    barlowrs

    barlowrs Well-Known Member

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    I have a degree in mechanical engineering as well as aerospace engineering, but I settled in working as a systems engineer at a aerospace company making mechanical parts. I enjoy it because I get to play in ALL fields. I must be competent in design eng, stress eng, manufacture eng, etc. I even get to actually get my hands dirty and do technician/assembler work (which I love). Systems is also one of the few engineers that will take a new program from start and take it all the way to finish (production) and still provide support for years after. Mechanical Eng (mainly designers) will just be there during the design phase, then it transitions to test engineers, etc, whereas the systems take it ALL the way from the initial requirements capture all the way to production. This ends up being very rewarding.

    I am not an expert in any of those fields, as we have dedicated departments that cover that, but as the systems eng, you are kind of the all seeing eye that ties all those dept together, meaning you must know what they all do and have a pretty good understanding of how to do it yourself.
     
  8. Mar 19, 2010 at 9:30 AM
    #8
    OB.BAJA

    OB.BAJA Well-Known Member

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    I am a mechanical/manufacturing engineer all i can say is that is that i enjoy my area of study i get to do a lot of hands on projects. Also i would recommend Cal Poly Pomona, it one of the best engineering schools in Cali, better that SLO....anytime
     
  9. Mar 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM
    #9
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Dome light LED, 6000k HID Headlights and fogs, Grillcraft black mesh, rear 5100's, Total Chaos UCA's, 285/75/16 BFG KM2's, Spidertrax spacers, Blacked out emblems, cb,kenwood tm270 ham radio, All Pro 3" leaf pack, Fox 2.0 coilovers, Revenge Fab Sliders, u bolt flip kit, Pioneer avh4200, bed bar with light and antenna, Wet Okoles, Weathertech Mats, Wet Okole Armrests, Rear KR Fab bumper, bed mat, N-Fab spare tire carrier with full size spare on 16" TRD rim, Bedlinered flares and grille. Camburg Spindles, All Pro front fenders.
    Any opinions on mechanical engineering technical? They say it's not inferior but it has to be. All the classes are "applied". Applied statics. Applied thermo. Stuff like that. I believe this major trains you to be a test engineer. I would rather do this than design. But with a regular ME degree it seems like you can do both if you wanted.
     
  10. Mar 19, 2010 at 9:38 AM
    #10
    Tillers_Rule

    Tillers_Rule ......................

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    Electrical Engineers are a dime a dozen in my industry, RF Engineering. I design and optimize cell phone networks. It's pretty nice work with flexible hours. Pay's not bad either...Plus, job satisfaction is nice knowing what I do directly affects millions of people in their day to day lives.
     
  11. Mar 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM
    #11
    xpdishun

    xpdishun Active Member

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    Completely agreed. Also, things like Beer factories and food factories (Frito Lay) use ChemE's extensively.

    ChemE vs. MechE

    ChemE initial pay is usually listed as higher but that's only because most ChemE's go to higher paying companies where as MechE's go just about anywhere. In other words, a ChemE vs. a MechE hired at the same company probably won't differ in pay by any significant amount.

    MechE is by far the most generic degree you can get. You learn a little bit about a whole lot and a whole lot about fluids, thermo, heat transfer, and manufacturing.

    You can do just about anything with a MechE degree. At career fairs there is usually a matrix listing companies in the first column and all the degrees they are hiring in in the next columns. In my experience, MechE was listed as a hiring major for just about every company, the exception being some Electrical only companies. Chances are if you can get a job with ChemE at a company, you can also get a MechE job, just maybe not the exact same role.

    In general, MechE's are considered in the bottom tier of engineering "smartness" as more people are MechE's and some of the major courses might be considered easier to some. However, if you kick ass at MechE you'll very quickly learn that future employers don't consider you just a run of the mill MechE.

    Choice

    The good news is you won't have to decide either way until sometime your second year. All engineering overlaps so much that you can easily switch out to another engineering degree before you get into the specialized classes Jr. and Sr. year.

    You probably want to do some thinking about where you want to work or what you want to do, which it sounds like you already are.

    My experience

    I've got a MechE undergrad and MechE, Electrical/Computer, and Industrial grad degrees and I don't really use any of them. I more use my work experience in school (co-oping) and after school in project management. Going to engineering school you learn how to learn very quickly and efficiently. Most of the tools you learn are fairly universal in some form or another and the tools you need in the workforce you pick up as you go.

    I work for a big oil company and haven't ever had any problem competing with any of the other types of engineers even though I do construction project management for refineries which is more Civil or ChemE.

    A side note, if you really want to make yourself competitive, pick up as much computer knowledge as you can. From programming, to Excel wizardry, anything computer related is HUGE with most companies.
     
  12. Mar 19, 2010 at 9:54 AM
    #12
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Good info ^

    I know at my college only 1 in every 4 ME's make it to graduation. Every one of my friends in year one have dropped. Most switch to either business or civil.
     
  13. Mar 19, 2010 at 2:13 PM
    #13
    SilverStreak05

    SilverStreak05 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was accepted at San Jose State. I applied to Cal Poly Pomona as well but haven't heard back from them yet. I'd prefer to go to Cal Poly, but SJSU is a decent engineering school from what I've heard, and it's 15 minutes from where I live which is convenient.

    The hands on aspect of mechanical is part of what has me gravitating in that direction. Being able to find a job when I graduate is important too, of course. Obviously I'd like to go where the money is, but I also want to be doing something that's interesting on a personal level. Both degrees seem to be pretty well rounded. I guess I should start checking out the specialized upper division courses for each and see which ones sound more interesting.
     
  14. Mar 19, 2010 at 2:16 PM
    #14
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    I say go mechanical. Did you apply to cal poly San louis obispo? They have a good engineering program as well. But if you have to choose between San jose and cpp I say cpp. I love my school. Beautiful scenery. Smart teachers. Just a whole lotta Asians!
     
  15. Mar 20, 2010 at 5:25 AM
    #15
    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob Well-Known Member

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    What ever field you go in just make sure you have common sense. I have seen lots of engineers who are very book smart but in real world applications they just don't get it. Then you see some and you wonder how in the heck did they ever get their job?
     
  16. Mar 21, 2010 at 7:25 PM
    #16
    gtrotter

    gtrotter Well-Known Member

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    Do locomotive engineers count?:D

    I went to school for mechanical engineering...and now I have nothing to do with it. I work for the railroad, currently training to eventually become a locomotive engineer.
     
  17. Mar 21, 2010 at 7:27 PM
    #17
    08pretaco

    08pretaco Almost there

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    im doing mechanical at asu and love it! few other members on here graduated from there
     
  18. Mar 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM
    #18
    david7268

    david7268 Well-Known Member

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    NONE.....yet!
    Whichever one you choose, don't take it for granted. I was a ME student at Texas A&M but did not finish.........too immature (party time) I kick myself in the ass every day. I make a decent living working for THE MAN now, but I wish I had finished.

    Anyway, the federal government is always hiring engineers, even in these tough times. I understand the perks may not be as good as with a private company, but job security is job good. Take a look at www.usajobs.gov

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  19. Mar 21, 2010 at 7:42 PM
    #19
    Beau02

    Beau02 Black Taco

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    I have an MET degree from Purdue. When I was in school all of the ME folks naturally referred to the school of technology people as inferior. Some of the sharpest engineers I've known (in college as well as the professional world) had technology degrees - myself not included.

    The degree is not inferior - it's quite simply a different degree. It all depends on what you want to do. The tech degree will give you more hands-on experience where the straight engineering degree will give more book-based theory. I had an ME roommate in college. He spend ludicrous amounts of time working on engineering theory while I spend hours upon hours in labs, welding, casting, machining, etc. Both degrees are valuable, but neither inferior to the other. It all depends on what you want to do. I am now approaching a decade out of college, and I can tell you I've never once regretted my choice of an education path.

    I personally work for a large snack cake manufacturer as a project engineer. I have MET friends that I graduated with who work for Fender, Andretti/Green Racing, Honda, etc. These guys are phenomenal engineers with great jobs by any standard.

    The bottom line is this; Don't worry about opinions on one degree compared to the other. Do your homework on what each degree has to offer, and do what interests you the most.
     
  20. Mar 21, 2010 at 8:19 PM
    #20
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Thanks! I just assumed that a company would hire an ME over an MET anyday. I can switch I've at anytime. This is a hard decision to make.
     
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