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Thread: Engineering Question for Newbie

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1

    Engineering Question for Newbie

    Dear all,

    I am interested in becoming an engineer, however there are so many fields of engineering to chose from.

    Is it possible to learn a few types of engineering and still be very competent in each one? or is each subject so in depth that it is best to focus only on one?

    Generally I would say I am interested in electronic, electrical, mechanical, aerospace, IT, wireless communications and civil engineering.

    I want to learn for a profession but as well be able to use my skills to have a bit of fun like build my own car, aeroplane, helicopter or house.

    I also want to use my skills to design and create new inventions.

    Do you think it would be impossible to do all of this?

    Any advice, or recommendations?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by I_am_Neo; 02-28-2014 at 11:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rochester Pennsylvania
    Posts
    396
    Quote Originally Posted by I_am_Neo View Post
    Dear all,

    I am interested in becoming an engineer, however there are so many fields of engineering to chose from.

    Is it possible to learn a few types of engineering and still be very competent in each one? (Possible yes... If you have a lot of time.)or are each subject so in depth that it is best to focus only on one? (Pick one field and after some of the earlier more basic classes you might be inspired or get a feeling for one field in particular that you'd like to get into more heavily.

    Generally I would say I am interested in electronic, electrical, mechanical, aerospace, IT, wireless communications and civil engineering.

    I want to learn for a profession but as well be able to use my skills to have a bit of fun like build my own car, aeroplane, helicopter or house.

    I also want to use my skills to design and create new inventions.

    Do you think it would be impossible to do all of this? (Lot of work but got to appreciate your enthusiasm...

    Any advice, or recommendations? (Start & see what happens. Lot of times something will jump out at you. Also consider working a job that allows you some exposure to the real world side of whichever field you pick. Can put a little cabbage in your pocket, even if part time, and give you a better understanding of the real world applications rather than a purely academic perspective. So often I see prints that you can tell the person who whipped them up has never made a chip or doesn't have a thorough understanding of the physical operations involved in creating the component they drew. It's easy to draw perfection... not always easy to recreate it in the real world... )
    Thanks in advance.
    Good luck...!!
    Bob

  3. #3
    Senior Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    58
    Neo,

    Yes, it is possible to remain a generalist in the engineering field, difficult but not impossible. First, tailor your education. I double majored in mechanical and electrical, which took me 6 years. Second, look for employment at small companies and startups. Small companies need people that can wear many hats. Third, look for companies that are doing something that interests you a lot. Forth, fight any effort to promote you into management. This may be your biggest problem. Engineers that can do more are usually perceived as potential management and will be promoted into management ranks quickly. I myself had to change jobs several times because places promoted me out of the jobs I loved into "people management positions".

    Good luck,

    Timelord

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