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Participant

Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 2

Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/01/2017 12:06 PM

I'm a first year mechanical student from South Africa. I find the course quite interesting but I feel I want to do more in the engineering field, such as programming and electronics. Mechanical engineering was personally my second choice because I initially wanted to do mechatronics as a full time degree to be a robotic engineer. However only two universities in my country offer it as a bachelors degree. So I'm wondering if I should continue mechanical or switch to another course at my current university or transfer to pursue mechatronics?

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#1

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/01/2017 12:26 PM

Welcome to the real world of youth and college.

Many young students don't really know what they want to do in their lives. That's normal.

Talk to friends, college counselors and adults whom you know and trust.

Continue on the path that you most want to pursue right now. In the mean time research the net, join other forums in the fields you want to pursue. Robotics, math mechanical engineering forums are all over the net. Do some research.

You will have to make these decisions all through life.

Many people pursue fields other than the ones they have degrees in and are very happy.

Good luck.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/01/2017 12:28 PM

Well said.

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United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/01/2017 12:45 PM

Ditto. GA.

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#6
In reply to #1

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/02/2017 3:42 AM

In my case l was fascinated by the burning triodes in radios and television sets in the early 1960s and my mind was set at about 7 years old. I ended up an electrical engineer with interest in application of microprocessor technology. At work all fields of engineering interplay but it is harder for mechanical and civil to think in electrical (the electron) and digital logic than for the electrical to understand the bulk behavior of materials...my opinion. However, please first find your love (and it does not have to be in engineering) and study that. Other things in life will fall in place. And yes, you indeed will end up working in a different field other than the field of your study.

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Power-User

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/02/2017 7:50 AM

Agreed. I am an Electronic engineer, but I love Civil and Mechanical problems. I had a career in computing with both Business and Civil engineering.

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#3

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/01/2017 12:35 PM

Education is a lifelong pursuit, it doesn't really matter where you start....Most engineering fields have several courses in common especially at the beginning, so I would complete at least the first 2 years where you are...no doubt you will be involved in robotics and programming in mechanical engineering...If you feel that you are losing interest or are not being challenged enough after that, then I might consider a change... In addition to your classes you might start or join a robotics group for extracurricular activities of interest...there is a wealth of information available online nowadays, so you are not really restricted by your location anymore, just your resources and imagination....Your motivation and determination are key to success...

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Participant

Join Date: Nov 2017
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#5

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/01/2017 1:42 PM

Thank you very much for the advice. I'll keep it in mind from now on.

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Power-User

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#7

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/02/2017 4:08 AM

Choices, choices.... Why not just go to the three uni's that offers mechatronics? The Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela (P.E.) Universities all offer it (what's it with all the coastal cities! - and you can learn to surf at the same time...). My son started studying it at Stellenbosch, 1400 km away from home. If you're sure you want to do this, I would not waste my precious time and money if I were you - consider switching now. If you're too late, if admissions for 2018 has closed already though, don't give up, try speak to someone such as the Dean or head of department, as a prospective second-year you stand a better chance I suspect!

Just check with the other universities as to what credits you can get, they are usually quite on the ball in recognising prior learning from other SA uni's. Language should not be an issue, I'm Afrikaans but did my electrical engineering course at Stellenbosch mostly in English more than 30 years ago, and they have English-only classes as well now, I understand.

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#9

Re: Rethinking Current Degree Course

11/02/2017 11:13 AM

I know exactly where you're coming from. I grew up wanting to be an auto mechanic. The auto teacher wouldn't let me take his class, because I was too much like my brother. I eventually quit school. Not being able to get anything off the ground, and wanting to avoid the Vietnam draft, I went to the recruiter and found out that I needed a high-school diploma to get any job requests (needs of the Navy come first). I went back to school and had to take "filler" classes just for the credits. Electricity was one of them. Couldn't do it. At the time/place of my class, I turned around and walked the halls. I tried to avoid electricity like the plague. But the Navy made me an electrician anyway. When I got out, I started a college degree. I found out that a lot of engineering fields had a lot of over-lapping courses. What I'd recommend, is find out what the curriculum(s) is/are for each field you're interested in. Then, start your studies with those over-lapping courses so that you can fine-tune your specialty (if any) later as you get more experience/knowledge of what you actually prefer. In spite of my old bias against electricity, I found out that the Electro-mechanical field was actually a good place to start. It was the best cross-training (more versatile) available. It included a curriculum that could be transferred to other fields. The point that I want make here, is that the more general your starting place, the more flexible your adjustments can be. If you change your mind for any reason, you wouldn't have wasted all that previous time/effort. Pick relevant classes; it's all relative anyway. Nobody says you can't custom-design your own degree.

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