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Which engineering discipline is most worthwhile to major in? (mechatronics and nano included) Answered

 I am a student from Canada and I enjoy math physics and logic in general, some programs have a specialized 1st year so I'm wondering which discipline would be most useful in terms of enjoyment career options and pay.  So far I'm leaning towards Mechatronics at Waterloo and Mechanical at UBC and Queens (for those of you familiar with Canadian Universities) 


Engineering isn't about maths, physics and logic. Its MAINLY about ingenuity, your ability to think up neat elegant solutions to the problems posed. Sure, you USE maths and physics to implement the solutions, but if you don't have the spark, forget it.

If you've grown up breaking stuff, taking it to bits, putting it back together, making it work again and then finally improving it it, then you probably are an engineer.  Do you sit in a restaurant and sketch ideas on table napkins or beermats   ?

Engineer is  not a job description, its who you ARE. If it isn't you won't be a good engineer. That's 25 years of experience, in the job and recruiting people to work for me.

I have started to look for instructables membership as a guide to suitability for a job !

A computer engineer, a mechanical engineer and a chemical engineer are driving down the road, the car breaks down, the mechanical engineer says "it must be something wrong with the transmission, or maybe the engine...(ect.)" the chemical engineer says," no you are wrong, it must be something wrong with the gas or the steering fluid, perhaps the oil" and the computer engineer who is in the car still says to the others "Why don't we turn it off, and then turn it on again, it ussually works for me..."

Chemical specificly Petro-Chemical.


8 years ago

 It's like this...
A Mechanical Engineer, an Electrical Engineerand a Civil Engineer are standing around talking about who must have designed the Human body.
The Mechanical Engineer says: "Based on the fact that all muscles pull to do their jobs and there are so many complex articulating joints, it must have been a Mechanical Engineer."
The Electrical Engineer says: "I don't think so. All of those actions are a direct result of ElectroChemical Reactions. It had to be an Electrical Engineer.
The Civil Engineer say: " Sorry friends, Only a Civil Engineer could run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area and make it work."
At which point they all agreed and ordered another round of shots and beers.
I hope this earns the "Best Answer Award" for this question. I don't usually bring it up, but I really think it's warranted this time.

*italian accent* yeah, whata' he said'!

Only that gag is told with an engineer, a doctor and a politician...the punch line being only a politician could run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area....

The one you enjoy the most will be the one to get into.  Nothing worse than getting up every morning to go to a job you don't like.  My degree is in Chemical Engineering, but on the job much of what i do would be considered mechanical engineering.  I'd say mechanical is probably more versatile than the mechatronics, but i'm not that familiar with the mecha thing.

If you find yourself in a major you don't like, eventually you'll be in a job you don't like.  Even if you're 4 years in, change to one you do like or you'll be stuck the rest of your life.  And it never hurts to know a little about all of the fields.  As one of my teachers said, "know a little about everything, but specialize in something.  Jacks of all trades are a dime a dozen."

Good luck.

I'd recommend looking at all the different engineering fields first and recognizing just how many there are:
-Computer Engineer
-Electrical Engineer
-Mechanical Engineer
-Packaging Engineer
-Civil Engineer
-Chemical Engineer
-Industrial and Systems Engineer
-Microelectronic Engineer
-Software Engineer
-Aeronautics Engineer
-Biological Engineer
-Materials Engineer
-Nuclear Engineer

...and lots and lots more with all sorts of specializations.  Pick what you want to do.  Then find a university.  Not the other way around.  Also consider where you'll more than likely end up working.  Consider the biggest candidates for employment.  Consider a lot of things.  You can always call universities, ask about programs, request talking to a current student and alumnae, etc.  Ask them tons of questions but don't ever sound nasty or condescending or rude.  Be sure to leave your name and contact information.

Consider the alternatives to engineering such as becoming a statistician which is a very well paid profession because just about everyone needs one at some point down the line.  If you're good at math and logic, that one immediately pops into my head, but there are lots of other possibilities.

And then consider that if you become an engineer, you'll more than likely be surrounded by engineers the rest of your life.

OHHHHH!  Snap.  :-P

Whichever one you will most enjoy spending your life working on.

Seriously. You spend about half your waking hours at work. It had BETTER be something you enjoy, or you will both do it poorly and spend your life trying to get away from your life.


8 years ago

The best job in the world is the one that pays you to do the things you love to do.
Take a good look at the career fields you are considering and ask yourself, "Which of these do I most want to do for the rest of my life?" 
My dad gave me that same advice 40 years ago and I did as he suggested. I've never regretted my decision.
Pay scales for the various Engineering disciplines are cyclical and what may be the highest today may be only mid-level in ten years. A better gauge is what you are able to do with the skills and training you develop. Enjoying what you do makes you better at your job. The better you do your job, the more money you can anticipate earning.
Good luck and choose well.