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Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 10:01 AM

Hello everyone! First time poster :) I'm looking for some assistance from professionals/educators for how I should structure my education to suit my interests. (College) There are a few loose categories I've narrowed it down to (not in order of importance): 1. Virtual interfaces (Virtual reality, Augmented reality) 2. Engineering Psychology/ Human Factor 3. Design (Of all sorts, I'm sure this applies to all of engineering) 4. Audio/Video Realism (Anything progressive in audio/video -- ex. Oculus Rift, Tactical Bone Conductors) 5. Computer Science So :) I am interested in so many different categories of engineering, but mainly overall design, innovation, and problem solving. I like the "macro" angle best, if you catch my drift, but I also want the knowledge of the "micro" so that I can backup what I'm talking about :P. I also have a knack for technical art. I would be happy to clarify further, but if anyone can lend me a hand I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

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#1

Re: Help needed with education path choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 10:03 AM

Sorry about the formatting, posted this from my phone and it looked differently when typing it than it does now. :/

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Help needed with education path choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 10:56 AM

This isn't your fault. Unfortunately, formatting doesn't work in Safari. There are some tags with brackets you can use, for example [p] for a paragraph break.

The best advice I can give you is to pursue internships, part time jobs, etc. in the fields you are considering. This is the best way to narrow your focus and decide what you like. Real world experience also helps you land that first full time job!

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#3

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 10:57 AM

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that includes a combination of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, control engineering and computer engineering.

Winner winner chicken dinner...

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#4

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 2:18 PM

Some good advice thus far, but I'd like to add on a couple points.

First, are you limited based on school selection? Meaning, do you have the ability to go to any University in any Country, or are you limited to a specific Country, or can you attend any University, within the continental US - let's say, that falls within a certain budget? This is important because it limits your options and the root of this question is how to best leverage your options to maximize your value.

For example, let say your interests were Polymers and your limit is any State-Level Public University within the Continental United States… University of Akron, in Ohio would be a prime candidate and then you start tailoring your electives based on their particular offerings.

Second point is to remember your University Education is going to be your foundation - the beginning of a life-time of continuing education. The more specific your foundation, the more limits you may find in branching off in the future. Now, that's not to say you can't overcome these limits - you could spend 6 years getting a Masters in Electrical Engineering and end up being an Architect… just the journey will have more challenges in it.

So, in my opinion, and many may disagree with me - your University Education should be broad in scope, and then as others have mentioned - intern and part-time work into specific areas.

Engineering is broken down into Disciplines, there are 4 main ones: Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, and Chemical... well, with a 5th I suppose being Interdisciplinary (Mechatronics was mentioned previously is Interdisciplinary.) Each of these is further broken down. (e.g. Civil > Transportation > Railway Systems or Electrical > Computer > Network, etc.) The further you get down into the Discipline, the more refined the scope of your education will be.

So the selection of how far down into the discipline you want to go will be influenced by your institutional limitations and their offerings. If can find a school that offers a very specific program that fits perfectly with what you want - go for it. But, if you can't, then you may have to back up, take something a little broader, then hand-pick your electives and focus on internships.

Also, it's good to understand your marketability and how many people will have similar degrees. Percentage-wise - and this is extremely generalized:

  • Civil, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, collectively account for approximately 65% of all engineering bachelor's degrees awarded annually.
  • Aerospace, Biomedical, Chemical, and Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering, collectively account for approximately 20% of all engineering bachelor's degrees awarded annually.
  • Agricultural, Architectural, Engineering Management, Engineering Physics/Engineering Science, Environmental, General Engineering Studies, Materials, Mining, Nuclear, and Petroleum Engineering, collectively account for less than 10% of all engineering bachelor's degrees awarded annually.
  • Specialty Disciplines, such as Ocean Engineering, collectively account for less than 5% of all engineering bachelor's degrees awarded annually.

Hope this helps.

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#5

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 3:59 PM

Your education is the foundation you build on, make it broad and cover all the basics...then as you go forward sharpen your focus, take one specialty as far as you can, then you can make lateral moves to other areas, if your interests change, easier....A lot of what you do in life depends on how well you present yourself and communicate with people by projecting a positive attitude... building relationships is an important aspect of success...don't neglect your human interface skills...

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#6

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 4:34 PM

If I had it to do over again, now, with the world at my fingertips, I would strive to have a good look at anything that interested me, usually this leads to more questions and expanded interest.

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#7

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 4:49 PM

Talk to people who know, and know about, you.

Coming here is like calling a fortune teller and asking about your past life.

I'd just take engineering courses for the first two years. Then pick a speciality.

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#8

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 8:37 PM

Edit: Formatted for readability.**

Hello everyone! First time poster :)

I'm looking for some assistance from professionals/educators for how I should structure my education to suit my interests. (College)

There are a few loose categories I've narrowed it down to (not in order of importance):

  • Virtual interfaces (Virtual reality, Augmented reality)
  • Engineering Psychology/ Human Factor
  • Design (Of all sorts, I'm sure this applies to all of engineering)
  • Audio/Video Realism (Anything progressive in audio/video -- ex. Oculus Rift, Tactical Bone Conductors)
  • Computer Science

So :) I am interested in so many different categories of engineering, but mainly overall design, innovation, and problem solving. I like the "macro" angle best (if you catch my drift) but I also want the knowledge of the "micro" so that I can backup what I'm talking about :P. I also have a knack for technical art.

I would be happy to clarify further, but if anyone can lend me a hand I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 8:45 PM

I appreciate everyone's response! Thank you so much!

So what I'm gathering here is that every topic mentioned above in the bullets are too specific to be categorized into educational fields. More or less, I need to find the company that specializes in these topics or fill my electives with relevant courses closest to them?

I'm surprised that no one touched upon the topic categories I had mentioned in the OP.

Engineering Psychology seems to be very little "micro" in regards to engineering, so I'm hesitant but still interested. What about Game Design with my interested? What about Computer Science with Electrical?

I'm sorry if I'm asking questions which are difficult to answer unless you knew me very well, but I'm hoping to hear more.

As for college choices, I would like that detail to left out of the equation. I'm US based, so I most likely will not be moving out-of-country for this.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 9:00 PM

Savvy's advice is very good. Dip your toe into some internships, while getting the basic engineering courses under your belt.

Case in point: the other side of my organization deals with event sponsorship and staging events in a downtown environment.

One of our summer interns landed a job as assistant manager of a major hew hotel in our town. He credited his internship as one of the biggest reasons for his success. Different field, I know.

Back when I was hiring engineers, I looked for experience, as well as education.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/09/2015 11:24 PM

First, congratulations for taking the time to re-post with appropriate formatting. That is MUCH easier to read!

I take that as a good sign regarding your motivation/attitude. Since you have expressed interest in Engineering Psychology, you may well be aware that attitude and perseverance are at least as important as education. You can always learn new fields/skills, as long as you have a positive attitude and persevere.

A previous post gave a listing of percentages of engineering in various fields. Note that the field having lower percentages will have less competition, but also fewer opportunities. As an example, you would have very little competition as an Engineering Psychologist, but only very large companies, or possibly the government, would have the need/funds to hire one.

The most important thing is to find something that you enjoy doing. Fortunately, you apparently have wide interests, so that should not be difficult. I have to add my agreement to those who have recommended internships. You will never know whether you really enjoy a particular job until you've done it for a while.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/10/2015 11:51 AM

There is also the options of duel-Majors or Minors is secondary fields of interest... such as Psychology.

Fields such as Game Design are more dependent upon soft-skills and tool familiarization. Soft-skills meaning your level of imagination and creativity; and tool familiarization being able to use various software applications to translate that creative imagination into 3D models and actions. Unless you actually want to get into Gaming Engine development, now you're looking more at programming.

Another example of the benefit of duel-major or minors is let's say your interest is in Process/Organizational Enhancement or Change Management and you also have a preference for the Financial Sector... Major in Industrial Engineering and Minor in Finance.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/10/2015 12:04 PM

That's an interesting concept: "duel-Majors or Minors". Are the two fighting each other, or did you really mean "dual Majors or Minors"?

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#14
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Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/10/2015 12:09 PM

Yeah... thanks... spell-check can't tell which witch is which, and I wrote the reply pretty quickly and didn't really proof... good catch, thanks. Too much time has passed to edit though... so it's there forever.

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#15

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/10/2015 2:40 PM

Intelligent people have a lot of interests, but truth is: time and resources are limited.

Besides some of the excellent ideas you have got from CR4 members, please let me me propose you a little exercise: choose any occupation from your list and imagine yourself doing it for the rest of your life! This will help you a lot to sort things out! Good luck!

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#16

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/15/2015 11:33 PM

The start of your college education is not the time to be specific in your engineering aspirations. Not only will you later have a much greater knowledge within the subject but also about the subject. Start out with the required courses that are necessary for all graduates: English; World Civilization; CAD; etc. Along with those take courses that are common to your present and possibly future areas of vocational interests. As you progress through your studies narrow down the subjects to those that you are currently interested in for your major based on what you know so far. Don't feel pressured to make a decision very early. Do this at the pace that you think is best for you. Listen to others but don't decide based on their communications. You are the one who must make the final decision.

Don't feel pressured to make the lifetime decision now. Many of the CR4 contributors did not start out in the field that they majored in, myself included. On the average individuals make two career changes within their careers, myself included. You must realize that what you start out with is not a life time commitment.

Just a few of the people I know of made the changes. Examples are: Education --> Theology; Biology--> President of major ski resort; Chemist--> football coach; MS in Economics--> firefighter; Education-->Electrical Eng (analog-circuits); Marine Aviator--> 1st man to orbit the earth (his father ran a plumbing supply store); and Political Science major--> nationally internationally know zoo director and television personality.

Don't get stuck in something you may hate in the future just because you made a bad decision years ago. Make your decisions as you progress through your education and life. Besides, enjoy life as you progress through it. Don't waste it on worry. Old Saying---"He who dwells on the mistakes of yesterday and worries about making mistakes tomorrow, is pi$$ing on today." Paraphrased

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#17

Re: Help Needed with Education Path Choices within ENG and PSY

06/22/2015 3:38 AM

I have started my engineering career by taking help of a engineering consultant and educators i have found a combination of both at one place. they are Elxir-india. i suggest u to do the same may b they will help you too.!!!!

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