I received my BS in MechEng, then went on to NucEng. I went back to school again for NavArch/MarEng. I have never had to worry about unemployment. The key is to diversify your experience once you receive your BS. Another important factor is to take the EIT and work for a registered PE a few years, then take the PE exam. This will open many doors, and provide you with higher earning potential per unit rate. After you spend 10 to 15 years in your selected field, it will give you the opportunity to "consult". I took the plunge two years ago, and have enjoyed it thoroughly. No Human Resources BS to deal with, you can concentrate on your craft, make more money, while working your own schedule.
Gittin' mah edumakashuns... in the land of temples and bad traffic.
Originally Posted by MotoH
I did Aero for 2 years, but decided it wasn't for me. (I'm a Classical Civilizationist) I must warn you. Your first year is when they try and weed you out. Generally in the US I have seen that the physics classes, Mechanics, and Electricity + Magnetism will be the class that they use to weed you out with.
Same here. Originally was going for aerospace but math and I did not get along, and I found out it was just going to be all math. Fortunately switched departments my second year before I had to take any actual engineering course (thus allowing a smooth transfer of credit).
It is also noted that, in many cases, that professor who is extremely surly and distant in your entry-level course (which will likely have at least a hundred students), is going to be helpful, friendly, and enthusiastic whenever you are taking his one of his upper level courses (which is going to have around 20 people or less).
And that is the thing: for your first or even second year, unless you have tons of prior math and physics credit, you aren't likely going to be taking much mechE or aero courses. They are usually going to be your math (which are a run-the-gauntlet type system), physics (same thing), entry-level chemistry, humanities/social studies (people tend to get those out of the way their first or second year), and the basic careers-in-engineering courses (guides you to the school's resources, how to work in a design group, etc).
One strong word of advice, and it should be applicable for both science and engineering majors: by your second year (though many science majors can start by their first year), you should be be ready to get an internship, co-op, undergraduate research position at your school.
Also if your school has a design team, it is highly recommend that you join it.
I got a BEng in electronics last year and I have to say that if you like the subject matter and are willing to put in some effort you won't have that hard of a time.
The job market over here(Netherlands) is good in my opinion. None of my former classmates are unemployed afaik at the moment.
I'm currently studying a HND in Mechanical Engineering at South Tyneside College, just outside Newcastle on an engineering officer cadetship programme with Wilhelmsen, a Norwegian shipping line that operates ro-ro and car carrier vessels. There's a lot of demand for marine engineers due to a year on year shortfall in recruitment, so it's a good field to get into if you can tolerate the time away. A typical contract in the industry is 3/4 months, with a 1:1 leave ratio. Pay's pretty good, and under UK rules you don't pay income tax as long as you spend 180 days + a year outside of UK territorial waters. That includes holidays.
Mechanical Engineering student in SoCal at a CSU known for engineering.
I previously applied for an internship with no previous job experience whatsoever, and I got the interview. I hadn't yet taken a class they wanted, and I didn't get hired. Applied at several other places, got 2 interviews, 2 offers, went with the first. I am still working there 1 year later.
So from my perspective, things are good down here. *knocks on wood*
And I would stick with an accredited school for sure.
If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone into engineering (mech or even electrical). I had some weird obsession with foreign languages and history though, but I did well in calculus and chemistry (never took physics, actually). At Michigan, the engineers tended to get weeded out when they took differential equations (I think that was normally a second year math course).
BS in Geological Engineering (Ole Miss), with a Masters in Civil Engineering. Never practiced a day since I graduated (Army, Infantry Branch).
I still get (quite nice, if I wanted to accept) offers from Weatherford, Halliburton/Satan, Cali DOT, etc, due to my resume being on file with my alma mater and USAJobs. Gets better everytime my CV adds a military milestone (just after I made Captain, I started getting headhunted by corporate recruiters).
Go for it....but, as you complete your basic engineering courses (thermo, statics, fluids, mechanics, etc), keep an eye on the other Eng. majors. You might do a couple years as an Aerospace guy, but like the look of Chemical or Civil better. Always keep your options open.
Take the FE as soon as your ready for it...and give yourself 2-3 months to prep. Being able to add "EIT" onto your resume could very well increase your starting salary by several thousand dollars.