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  1. #14

    ME degree

    Go for the ME degree. AND take the EIT (engineering-in-training) exam!!! Get good experience for 4 years then take your respective Professional Engineer exam. This will open losts of doors for you. It will be tough road and you cannot go wrong. An engineer with "hands-on" experience is a hot commodity. Learn and practice working on teams. Get to know and understand technicians.

    I am a Civil Engineer by education but work as a Patent Examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office in the Electrical Engineering Arts, specifically examing dynamic information storage (disk drives, magnetic heads, etc).

    An engineering degree will allow you to approach problems and issues in a systematic way. And with the hands-on experience, you can tackle the most problems. When designing, you will most likely understand what a technician will need or have to go through to provide maintenance. I know lots of engineers who do not know how to replace a simple fuse in their car. Don't be like that.

    Good luck and study hard. hahaahaa

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    North of Boston, MA
    Posts
    270

    Answering your Question

    Getting back to your question: Since you are entering junior year... I suggest you finish and get your degree. Electrical Engineers are more 'in demand' than mechanical. Many manufacturers feel that a degree isn't necessary for mechanical/assembly work. They are more interested in CAD expertise. Electrical engineers get higher pay and more job offers. If you are planning on entering HVAC field, I would STILL go electrical because of building controls. You can pick up the mechanical portion on your own.
    I also agree with the EIT/P.E. license. It will open up many more doors and more money. I passed E.I.T. but never went back for P.E> My biggest career regret.
    While I'm giving advice and reflecting...Don't get married!
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"--Wayne Gretzky

  3. #16

    Some more insight

    I totally agree with "hockey". Folks with EE degrees are in high demand. Get controls experience since the way of the future includes software programs running/handling most systems.

    NOTE: If you happen to get married--don't marry an engineer. haahaa. It just may end up as a "design problem". Shoot for a lawyer or nurse. Business types will want to "control" your hard earned money. All this is from experience. I am married to a tax attorney which is even better. haahaa. Tax refund checks are a nice thing to receive, especially when they are BIG ones..hahaaa

    No matter what decision you make--be flexible and most important--STAY HAPPY. :>)

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    149

    Re: Mechanical Engineer

    Originally posted by hockey
    The current facts are that there is a GREATER need for talented technicians than there are for engineers. Don't believe your college counselors and their statistics. Engineers are considererd "Overhead" (like a tool) by accountants and there is alot of incentive to outsource these jobs (India, Asia, others). A technician who can troubleshoot is more valuable (and has better job security) than ANY engineer.
    I used to be an engineer and I agree with the above statement. All lot of the jobs for engineers moved overseas a long time ago, well before it became popular to do it to programmers.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    149

    Re: Some more insight

    Originally posted by beatnavy89
    Folks with EE degrees are in high demand.
    Yeah, in Taiwan and China.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304

    Higher education or not

    There's a lot to be said for becoming a technician instead of an engineer, too. The job market will not have as drastic highs and lows for a technician, it certainly does for an engineer.

    Technician jobs are a lot less exportable than engineering jobs. You might prefer to learn Spanish rather than Chinese Mandarin <g> if you acquire a 2nd language.

    You can graduate with a whole lot less debt, can sooner get married if you feel like it, can start your IRA and savings sooner. Because of an earlier start, you just might have a better shot at becoming a millionaire by retirement age (it can be done and isn't that hard in theory).

    And sometimes it is possible to gain experience as a technician, then go back to college with a wiser, more mature idea of your goals. But if you support a family that will still be hard.

    Tough choices. Best of luck -- P.Student

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    North of Boston, MA
    Posts
    270

    Engineer vs Technician

    If you do technician work for awhile then go to engineering school you may see that it's a colassal waste of time. I was in engineering jobs for 20 years and got fed up with dopey bosses, decided I needed a trade. I wouldn't return to cubicles EVER again, and I am making more money and have greater satisfaction with a skill/trade.
    Greater satisfaction = priceless!
    hockey
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"--Wayne Gretzky

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    Do what ever makes you happy, just don't blame outsourcing for your life's problem.

    More to engineering than sitting in a cubicle. We aren't all Dilberts.
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  9. #22
    I worked in engineering for 12 years before I got myself fired when I told my boss to "piss off" when he wanted me to spend my Easter weekend at work rather than with my family.

    I've been working in the trades as an electrician for the past 10 years. I do miss some aspects of engineering but I don't miss the stress and the impossible deadlines.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Gone
    Posts
    5,340
    There is more to engineering than just sitting in a cubicle designing. Performing consulting work and getting into the sales side of the industry is very challenging and constantly motivating you as well as meeting different people all the time to break the monotony.

    I would suggest you get your engineer degree in whatever you want and then get a minor in finance, because if you climb the ladder or ever decide to go into business yourself, either way you will need to know the number side of the business. Cash flow is king, and you will need to understand how all the financials work.


  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    North of Boston, MA
    Posts
    270

    Trade vs Engineering

    I agree with "Do what makes you happy". I also agree with "Engineering and Finance" comment. My original point is that alot of engineering is now outsourced to India and Asia. MANY of my engineer friends are unemployed as a result. I am lucky because I can do a trade. I am still learning, too. Having been in both careers, I prefer the (apparent) security of the trades. It's a better choice. Times have changed. The advice I got from my parents was, "Get a college education and get a good job in a big company. They'll take care of you (i.e. benefits...)".
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"--Wayne Gretzky

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    6
    I'm an ME, (by training, but I do rocket stuff by day). I did lots of calcs for my house, but my HVAC guys know their stuff (Really, my calcs were just to see if I had a ballpark, so I could tell when a prospective contractor was oversizing stuff or guessing.). However, it probably took me 3 weeks to figure out what my (sharp) HVAC guy did in an afternoon.

    In a typical ME curriculum, you get:

    Materials
    Statics (think bridge strength) and Dynamics (think car suspension)
    A ton of thermodynamics and heat transfer (5-7 semesters)
    Fluid dynamics (laminar, turbulent flows, pressure drop, etc).
    You'll get basic electronics, a couple of semesters of chemistry,
    a course or two on programming, a lot of really crazy math, a lot of physics.
    A couple of courses on controls
    A course on instrumentation.

    And after all that, you get into the real world, and pretty much just use an off the shelf program or two (depending on the nature of your job) and the right angle trig you learned in high school. And you will probably make more as a tech... That is, until your boss figures out that the guy in India will do your job for 1/10th the pay. It happens.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    North of Boston, MA
    Posts
    270

    Canned Programs

    I worked at 6 Engineering jobs that consisted of transitioning work to Asia and India. Alot of the canned programs (heat transfer, thermo, etc) were written in India. I now have friends in those countries. Mexico is now doing drafting work for governement contract jobs. Romania is going to be building jet engines. China already does. China also mass-produces medical devices for the major providers. Castings are overseas and in Canada. Even phone support is in Bombaii.
    As the Boston Globe news said: Anything that involves a computer can be shipped overseas. That's why all the new jobs created were in retail and the trades (home building/renovations).
    My BSME openeed alot of doors for me, but it's not enough anymore.
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"--Wayne Gretzky

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