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Thread: Unveiling My Journey into Engineering: Seeking Your Valuable Input

  1. #1

    Unveiling My Journey into Engineering: Seeking Your Valuable Input

    Hello Engineers

    In this text, I am going to number statements with question marks and I would kindly ask you if you can just say if they are right or wrong. I would also like to hear your comments or opinions on my plan to study Engineering. I will happily accept positive and negative comments.

    I am 18 years old, and I have less than a year to start university.

    I am 100% sure that I am going to study Engineering. At first, I wanted to study Mechanical Engineering because it's the most versatile (1?), but after talking to my counsellor and talking with my parents they mentioned why I don't go study something more specific in Engineering eg. Chemical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering, because they are more specific and you are here an expert compared to if you are a Mechanical Engineer where you are jack of all trades, but master of none, and they said salary is better in more specific types of Engineering (2?).

    I don't like electrics or chemistry too much, so I think electrical and chemical Engineering won't be for me. But I find great interest in big things eg. aeroplane engines, ship engines, oil rigs, big valves... I don't care whether it's on an aeroplane, oil rig or just a big ship engine. To me the bigger the better. I find the most interest in Mechanical Engineering because it's the most versatile, I also like Civil Engineering and Marine Engineering, but I don't find those 2 so interesting that I would be ready to devote my whole life to them. I would much rather start with Mechanical Engineering and then see where the road takes me. I also like the idea of a Mechanical Engineer because I can work basically everywhere.

    I did 2 short quizzes on which type of Engineer I should be and they both said Mechanical Engineering.

    I am from Slovenia and I plan to go and study in the UK. I plan to do a bachelor's for 3 years in Mechanical Engineering and then go work for 1 year. During those 3 years and then 1 year just working I will be able to see where I find the most interest and then maybe do a Master's in what I find the most interesting. Do you recommend I do Masters or are more years on the field better? (3?)

    I heard that in Engineering the thing that matters the most with employers are the experiences and not which level of degree you have (Bachelor, Master) (4?). During my Bachelor's, I plan to work as much as the time will allow me in different engineering companies eg. a summer job... If everything goes well I also plan to do MBA. (just in case .)

    If I graduate as a Mechanical Engineer with just a bachelor's degree, will the employers employ me or not because I would be a jack of all trades but a master of none? Is it better I do a Master's in Mechanical Engineering or I specialize in something else? (5?)That is my biggest concern if I graduate with Mechanical Engineering I wouldn't be highly desired because I don't know anything specific.

    Thank you very much, I am looking forward to your answers .

    Sorry for grammatical mistakes, English is not my first language.

  2. #2
    (1) Yes, mechanical engineering is traditionally the most flexible of the disciplines. I think the only older engineering discipline is civil civil engineering.

    Salary. I'm telling you this from the other end of the engineering career. I am currently 7 years beyond the normal retirement age, and still working - because I love it. Think about that for a minute. If someone really doesn't like what they are doing every single day, I can imagine that they look forward to retirement with great anticipation. But, on the other hand, if they are enjoying their daily challenges and still getting satisfaction and fulfillment from their work, why jump off into something else?

    Bottom line? A high salary without that daily dose of encouragement and joy in your work, is still a just an unending slog of long days to get through. FIND WHAT YOU ENJOY AND DO THAT! You could make a lot more money as a plastic surgeon. Would you enjoy that? Ask anyone who has been an engineer for a few decades and they will tell you the same thing.

    (2) One thing about having a degree with this kind of flexibility is that you can literally go ANYWHERE and find work. Can you name ANY field of non-financial business, especially any manufacturing, that at some point does not involve the services of a mechanical engineer to some degree? You cannot. Specialists might make more money, but they have fewer options. Example: how many aerospace engineers are involved in fuel production, or automotive systems? Very few. But how many mechanical engineers work for aerospace companies? A LOT!

    Over the years, I have become a specialist in Machine Design. But mechanical engineers also work in HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning), Piping, Power, Structural, and many other fields. Personally I have worked in the following fields: Volume control components, hearing aids, commercial insurance, tire manufacturing (with a patent), heavy duty transportation components, high speed machine tools, engineering consulting firms, steel manufacturing (with two patents), high end water jet manufacturing, glass manufacturing, and a few others.

    (3) Masters? That really is up to you. While you are in school two years longer, other engineers are two years higher on the ladder of experience. From what I have seen, a Masters might open a few more doors, or move you ahead of some other candidates, but in general any advantage of a Masters degree disappears after a few years. The experience of others may be different, but that's what I have seen.

    Another consideration of a Master degree, it tends to take you down an alley of some specialty. A good friend of mine got his Masters in vibrations analysis. After nearly 40 years in industry he used that knowledge ZERO times. On the other hand, a Masters would definitely be a benefit if you see yourself heading in a more academic direction, rather than applied engineering.

  3. #3

    It's great to hear about your enthusiasm for engineering. Let's address your statements:

    Right. Mechanical Engineering is indeed considered versatile. It provides a broad foundation, allowing for flexibility in career choices.

    Partially right. While more specialized fields can offer higher salaries due to their expertise, it's not a universal rule. Salaries can vary based on industry demand, location, and individual roles within engineering.

    It depends. A Master's can provide specialized knowledge and may be beneficial if you're interested in a specific field or a career in research or academia. However, practical experience is highly valuable and often a key factor in hiring decisions.

    Right. Experience is crucial in engineering. Practical knowledge and the ability to apply your skills can be more influential than the level of degree alone.

    Not necessarily right. Employers value Mechanical Engineers for their broad skill set. You can be employed as a Mechanical Engineer with a bachelor's degree, especially if you have relevant experience. Specializing with a Master's can be beneficial depending on your career aspirations.

    Your plan to work and gain experience alongside your studies is excellent. It will help you understand what you enjoy and where you might want to specialize. Both paths, whether heading straight into the workforce after a bachelor's or pursuing further specialization, have their merits. It often comes down to personal preference and career goals. Good luck with your studies in the UK!

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