Instructables

Mechanical vs Electrical Engineering?

What are the primary differences between the two? Which is a more rewarding career path? Which major is better for someone who wants to get a broad understanding of engineering? Is it feasible to get a double major?

bwrussell8 months ago

In very general terms a ME tends to do more spatial work than a EE, at least on a scale that most people can understand.

A career in either will be as rewarding as you make it. Each has great opportunities in the current market although I think ME has a slightly broader scope. Although that could just be because that's my field so it's easier to see the opportunities there. Also in the age of the internet, electronics and most of the principles of EE can be learned online for free. That's not to say a EE degree isn't worth getting just that unless you really want to focus on that side you can learn a lot of the same skills outside of the school setting with a relatively low barrier to entry.

Regardless of what discipline you're in you'll find that engineers in general tend to have similar thought processes and outlooks. If you aren't sure what major to choose (a double major is possible but will take more time and money and from what I've seen it won't give you a huge leg up in industry) find a school that lumps all its engineers together for the first 2 years. That way you get 2 years of general engineering and filler classes to decide which direction to go and if you do decide to double the second degree will only take 2 years at most, probably less.

Chikpeas Brother (author)  bwrussell8 months ago

Thank you for your thoughtful answer!

iceng8 months ago

Twenty years ago, I would have recommended my discipline of Electronic Engineering.

But now Mechanical Engineering is the way I would advise you to go, if you believe you would enjoy a hands on career to see your designs come to fruition.

Either career needs a strong grounding in the other and in software programming to be a serious candidate to become a successful problem solving engineer.

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Chikpeas Brother (author)  iceng8 months ago

Thank you for sharing. I'm looking for a degree which will cover a broad range of engineering and have many varied applications, so I think mechanical may be the way to go.

I've been lucky that mine has encompassed both disciplines, but I am inclined to agree with you, I probably would have gone for a mechanical degree

Yes it is feasible to get two degrees most teachers have two or more here in Canada.

Go to the student counselor and find out which course has the most transferable accredited classes to the other course of study and take that one first.

Not all classes are transferable so you will be taking extra classes.

Thanks for the info!

steveastrouk8 months ago

Check out "mechatronics" for a hybrid degree. Both electronic and mechanical engineering offer great challenges. Speaking as an EE, I might have considered mechatronics if it had existed when I was at school.

Hi, Steve. You mean "mechatronics" isn't all about designing and building giant Japanese robots to attack Godzilla?

Yeah, that's where it'll lead....

Vyger kelseymh8 months ago

If I had the Godzilla assignment I would take 2 different approachs.

The first would be to make tiny rice size fish bots that would eat him from the inside out. Irony at work of course. And the second would be to make a giant size Will it Blend blender and turn the whole thing into a giant comercial. "Will it blend, Godzilla version"

Chikpeas Brother (author)  steveastrouk8 months ago

Cool, thank you for the info!