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Can you combine engineering majors....please read!!!

MotorsportMotorsport Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2011 in Engineering Majors
I want to combine electrical engineering + computer engineering + software engineering.

What is the best route for me to major into?

1. Computer Science

2. Major in Computer Engineering / Minor in electrical engineering and take computer science related courses.

3. Major in electrical engineering / Minor in computer engineering

My goal is to do jobs in all three fields, whatever gets paid the most is what I want to go into.

If it doesn't work out, I will go into biomedical engineering (which I have no interest into, nor do i want to go into medical school). I want to go into a field with the most demand in jobs.

I can't find anything in electrical/computer (in job growth wise). Computer science has the best and biomed is even better.

I was told by a friend that all the jobs including engineering jobs are being outsourced...so meaning that to live in America...you can only go into healthcare? Is this true!

Can you please help me!
Post edited by Motorsport on
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Replies to: Can you combine engineering majors....please read!!!

  • MokononMokonon Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    Some schools don't allow you to double major within engineering. My school was that way. Engineering majors have a lot of required courses so double majoring within the engineering school is likely to take a long time -- schools don't like that because one of the criteria by which they are judged is the amount of years it takes for the average student to graduate.

    That said, computer science isn't part of the engineering school at some universities. Computer Engineering is usually a combination of computer science and EE, so a EE/CE combination is kind of redundant. Also, some schools don't offer a computer engineering program, so students do a EE/CS double major instead. From my observations, most CE majors end up working in the software side.

    If making money is your primary concern, you should go into the field you have the most interest in. I'm sure you're a bright student but guess what? Engineering is full of bright students and there will always be guys much brighter than you. Knowing that, what makes you think you can excel in an engineering field that you have little to no interest in? The students who excel are the students who are both bright and are passionate about their field of study. And the students who excel are the ones who will be getting paid the high salaries.

    People have been bringing up the great out-sourcing bogey man since I was still an undergrad. You should be skeptical about those stories. Those people don't understand that engineers aren't easily replaceable commodities. Successful tech companies go through a lot of trouble to find and keep the most talented engineers. That's why companies like Google and Apple are so successful.
  • MotorsportMotorsport Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you for replying, what do you mean EE with CE is redundant? Because I always thought having two degree is quite helpful in job market.

    And how do you major in EE with Comp. Science? Is there a way to do that. The university that I am transferring to doesn't offer anything like that.

    I was thinking maybe if I do computer engineering, then do a few classes for computer science and electrical engineering so I can have experience in these 3 areas.

    Any opinions are welcome, thanks!
  • MotorsportMotorsport Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
    And if anyone knows this....What is software engineering? Where does this fall into?
  • youknowme123youknowme123 Posts: 144Registered User Junior Member
    Software engineering pretty much is computer science. A lot of schools do not have a SE major instead offer CS only.
  • MokononMokonon Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    At most schools, CE is a combination of EE and CS. Therefore, majoring in CE and minoring in EE would probably be redundant because you would have already taken all of the courses required for an EE minor as a CE major. In any case, I don't think many schools offer a minor in EE (at least, I've never head of anyone with an EE minor).

    Software engineering is a just a fancy name for a computer programmer.
  • MotorsportMotorsport Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
    So is it worth going into electrical engineering and do computer engineering as a minor along with taking computer science/programming classes to build experience OR should I just switch my major completely to computer science or biomedical engineering...(speaking in terms of job growth.)

    I don't want to go into a career field which has only 2-4% growth vs computer science having 30+% of growth, thats a big difference in getting a job. Biomed has 72% growth rate.
  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Posts: 3,317Registered User Senior Member
    Double-majoring is probably a bad idea. There are more spots (and more lucrative ones) for dedicated specialists than there are for unsure generalists, so going after a single major with passion and effort is usually the most lucrative choice. Realize also that additional years spent in college detract from lifetime earnings pretty fast - stay an extra year or two and you may take decades for that double-major to pay off! Double-majoring only really pays off when you can find a good position that genuinely requires equal knowledge of both fields, and that is a very rare situations.

    At the same time, there is no engineering field where you will be well-qualified to cross fields with only a few extra courses. Starting with a single engineering major, it typically takes a semester full of classes just to get the basics of a second engineering major, 2-3 semesters to get enough knowledge to be employable, and 3-4 semesters to get enough education in the second field that you are equivalent to your first major! Don't think that taking a couple of EE courses is going to get you an EE job offer!

    Outsourcing will happen in every field (Including medicine! Ever hear of medical vacations?), but there are things you can do to maximize your security, such as excelling in your field and entering specific industries (not fields, industries) that are less likely ot outsource.
  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Posts: 3,317Registered User Senior Member
    Growth rate isn't everything - consider what you actually want to do with the rest of your life as well. I know both biomedical engineers and software engineers, and I would not want their jobs for a 50% raise.
  • DylanKDylanK Posts: 347Registered User Member
    Just do CE it combines EE and CS basically. With a little more emphasis on EE at least thats my understanding. Also the EE is focused more towards computers.
  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Posts: 3,317Registered User Senior Member
    CE combines elements of EE and CS, but leaves out wide swaths of both - the EE portions are very specialized and the CS portions are focused on "machine-level" programming, not the high-level languages most CS jobs require. CE is a narrower field of education than either CS or EE.
  • broken_symlinkbroken_symlink Posts: 690Registered User Member
    My school won't allow you to minor in cs or ee if you are computer engineering major.
  • aegrisomniaaegrisomnia Posts: 1,025Registered User Senior Member
    You should check the bureau of labor statistics' operational outlook handbook for information regarding number of jobs, growth and pay. Study what you enjoy, find a job where you do what you love and you won't work a day in your life.
  • MotorsportMotorsport Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
    The university that I want to transfer to does allow EE with minor CE. But I noticed that some schools are allowing EE with CS minor. I am not sure if thats the route I want to go to. Honestly my worry is the job market, if I graduate in a field and later on I find out that jobs are not as what I was expecting to me or I can't end up getting a job. Then what?

    BTW, this is random but I have two questions (again I am new to college, not much experience):

    1. What is biomedical engineering?
    2. How does your interest play a factor in what you want to major? If I am good with computers and have many years of experience with them, should I go into computer eng or should i switch to biomed for job growth?

    Thanks for the help!
  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Posts: 3,317Registered User Senior Member
    1. What is biomedical engineering?
    Biomedical Engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology. This field seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine: It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve healthcare diagnosis, monitoring and therapy.
    This CAN mean the engineering of biological materials but more often refers to the design of devices intended for implantation in or attachment to the body. I.e., artificial organs and limbs, medical instrumentation, etc.
    2. How does your interest play a factor in what you want to major? If I am good with computers and have many years of experience with them, should I go into computer eng or should i switch to biomed for job growth?
    From experience, day after day doing something you don't like is not generally worthwhile regardless of the pay. I would not recommend going into biomedical if your only impetus is the job opportunities - the money is only marginally better than other engineering fields, and the dissatisfaction will not be worth the difference. Also remember that in the long run, you will probably do better in a field which you enjoy than you will in a field you merely tolerate. Enjoying the field will help you to get better grades, which leads to a higher starting salary. Continuing to enjoy the field will result in better reviews, better opportunities, and finally a better ongoing salary than you would in that field you took only because it had a higher starting salary.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 35,558Registered User Senior Member
    Motorsport wrote:
    If it doesn't work out, I will go into biomedical engineering (which I have no interest into, nor do i want to go into medical school). I want to go into a field with the most demand in jobs.

    I can't find anything in electrical/computer (in job growth wise). Computer science has the best and biomed is even better.

    Biomedical engineering may have a high growth rate, but the current number of jobs is apparently not high enough to give graduates in that major good job and career prospects compared to electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science graduates in university career surveys.

    This is a case where knowing the difference between something (e.g. the number of jobs) and its first derivative (e.g. the rate of change of the number of jobs) is a useful concept to understand.
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