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Biomedical Engineering?

pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
edited February 2019 in Engineering Majors
Hi I wanted some advice on picking biomedical engineering as an undergraduate major. I read varying reports. It seems to be a jack of all trades engineering major according to many. Job prospects seem worse than other fields of engineering.
My son is a sophomore in High school and is trying to pick a major of interest but also wants one with practical value and good job prospects. Please give advice ,opinions, experiences with this.
edited February 2019
27 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: Biomedical Engineering?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8759 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Many pre-meds go into biomedical engineering so those who aren't accepted to med school are causing a bit of an inundation in the job market.

    Many of my DD's friends who were interested in biomedical, but not planning on med school, are doing mechanical instead since it provides more post graduation opportunities.
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  • pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
    edited February 2019
    @momofsenior1 Thanks! that makes sense.. but wouldn't BME be better than basic sciences as premed ? what if one is not interested in engineering ?
    edited February 2019
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8759 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Many students think BME will give them a leg up as premeds but it's very difficult to keep up the near perfect GPA that is needed for med school admissions in any kind of engineering major.

    If someone isn't interested in engineering, I'm not sure why they would choose any engineering major. Not sure I understand that part of the question?
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  • pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
    I assume that bio medical engineering is not a typical engineering field and has more connections with the medical field. maybe I was wrong.
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  • pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
    congratulations! @ NorthernMom61 may I ask which college she is graduating from ?
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  • ekeeda001ekeeda001 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Biomedical Engineering also called Bioengineering is an excellent option for engineers in Electronics, Mechanical, Electrical or other allied branches as they readily fit into the profile. It doesn’t mean that others are not capable of pursuing this program. One with enough dedication an enthusiasm in this field can go for this engineering program. It is one of the hottest careers these days.

    CNN Money placed Bioengineering in 37th position in the best jobs in the US.

    A biomedical engineer has been placed on the top of high-paying and low-stress jobs by the Times magazine. These days everything works with technology and there is no limitation for the medical field as there are many devices like MRI scans, sonograph devices which use advanced technology. This trend and usage of technology will keep on increasing, laying a path to newer, better innovations and discoveries in the medical field. Thus, you don’t have to worry about the future of Biomedical Engineering. Several millions of people owe their health and lives to these devices. In this era of the increasing population you’ll of more demand.

    Visit: https://ekeeda.com/branch/biomedical-engineering
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  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4179 replies30 threads Senior Member
    I won't share where she went to school or her current graduate school for confidentiality sake. But I can say that she loves the variety of tasks that she has been involved in since starting graduate school, and she was expected to do engineering in that setting from the get go. As a younger person, she thought she wanted to go into medicine, but once she found biomedical engineering she knew this was her path. However, medicine was not ruled out until about junior year in college when she decided to take the GRE versus the MCAT. And even in graduate school she is taking her first class along side medical students. She loves the merging of biology and engineering. For those sets of interests, BME is perfect.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5461 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Why is a sophomore in high school picking a major to go into in college that specifically? Kids enter college and change their focus (even in engineering) all the time. If planning on medical school any engineering program can put a stop to that dream quickly. Engineering is really hard and most likely the hardest path to medicine.

    The only medical school that truly combines both just started and could be very interesting...

    https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/666604

    This is a very interesting approach to me.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35239 replies399 threads Senior Member
    ^ That. Why so soon and why engineering, if the goal is medicine. What's he really know about what engineerining is? The time is better spent finding the right colleges for his record (not that he can have much record, at this point,) and learning more about engineering and the types.

    And what is does take to get into med school.
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  • WaterguruWaterguru 8 replies0 threads New Member
    As a working engineer with 30 years experience, it's just my opinion that the more specified the engineering field sounds, usually so are the job prospects. It doesn't mean they aren't there, or aren't lucrative, but specialization that finite in anything can make one more vulnerable to market forces. Companies merge. Layoffs happen. Biomedical device makers get sued. Unforeseen challenges occur.

    I'm not suggesting your offspring is pursuing a bad career choice, but if they are interested in "bio-medical engineering", they need a good idea of what the job market looks like prior to entering. Who are the major players? Are there more than a handful? That's why a more generic title such as mechanical engineer is more marketable in more places. In reality, both have likely had nearly identical coursework. In my opinion, if it's only a handful of employers, then use caution.

    If it were me, I would pursue the generic degree, try and work for a company that specializes in medical devices, or possibly get the MSME with research project in a medical area of some sort, then look for that company.

    The beauty of engineering is that you can take the 4, 6 or 7 year routes on education and pretty much all of them work out just fine.

    Good luck!
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  • KLSDKLSD 271 replies4 threads Junior Member
    BME is a broad field with very different concentrations that rely on depth in other engineering disciplines which is why some are suggesting another or additional core major. Medical device companies hire ME, EE and CS teams to design, as do imaging manufacturers. Pharmaceutical companies hire chemical engineers. Some BME departments require a double major or just a minor in BME, see CMU as an example.

    There can be a difference between a Biomedical Engineering department and a Bioengineering department (drug development or tissue engineering versus medical devices and equipment) , some schools have both, especially at a graduate level.

    A mechanical engineer will use statics, dynamics, strengths, materials and more to design a knee. A chemical engineer will use fluids, transport, thermo to design the drug delivery mechanism of an oral medication. The point is that a deep engineering core is important, biology classes can be added to any core engineering major.

    Graduate BME and BE programs accept different types of STEM undergrads.
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  • CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 51 replies4 threads Junior Member
    KLSD said "Medical device companies hire ME, EE and CS teams to design"

    I agree (with one small correction: "ME, EE, and CS" should be "ME, EE, CMPE, and CS").

    Actually, after doing a google search on BME majors, the information that I found claimed that medical device companies prefer other engineering majors over BME majors. Because the BME major is, like the OP said, like a "jack of all trades engineering major", the BME major without a double major in another engineering major doesn't really specialize in any particular area really as well as other engineering majors do. So, for example, a BME major may learn some EE, but not as much as an EE major, so for an EE position at a medical device company, the company might prefer the EE major over the BME major. BME majors still get hired at medical device companies, but it will be more likely be as a quality engineer than as a design engineer.

    Of course I'm not a BME major, do not personally know any graduated BME majors, and am just basing this knowledge on a google search, so perhaps I could be wrong about medical device companies possibly preferring other engineering majors over BME major. However, one time I did ask someone from a medical device company out of curiosity if they usually hired BME majors since I thought "well having good knowledge of biology and engineering could be useful for medical device development, right?", and that person said that they usually don't hire BME majors (but they do hire EE, CMPE, and CS majors). I thought it could be because not as many BME majors apply for that company as other engineering majors (like there might be not as many people majoring in BME as other engineering majors and some BME majors do go to medical school or pursue other areas besides medical device development), but I do wonder if the preference of other engineering majors over BME could be another reason for that.
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  • biganthonybiganthony 117 replies20 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    Was a BME major, my advice is DO NOT pursue BME as a undergraduate major. In fact in undergraduate DO NOT pursue any degree that claims to be "interdisciplinary". The job market wants interdisciplinary TEAMS not individuals. BME can be an ok masters degree AFTER the bachelor is completed in a traditional engineering field.

    The job reports are misleading, as others have said, the title may be "biomedical engineer" but they are looking to hire MechE, EE, ChemE. Then they pair the engineers (MechE's, EE) with a surgeon/physician as consultant to give design parameters.

    Just an anecdotal story, I grad from a "top ranked" brand name Ivy BME program, well known orthopedic manufacturers (Zimmer, Stryker, DePuy) came to recruit at our school, advertised positions for most degrees, except BME. BME was intentionally excluded, that should tell you tons about BME prospects in the job market. Most of my graduating class changed career paths into finance, or went into med school or PhD academia. 2 out of a class of ~50 in my major got a job in the medical device industry, and one of those had to get a MS in robotics first.

    Now that said, if the end goal is med school, or PhD academia, there is nothing wrong with BME. BME is a great prep for med school, and the MCAT. However if the goal is engineering industry, BME is not a good choice.
    edited December 2019
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1130 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Please check out this discussion. BME is doing very well in many parts of the country.

    Yes, 1/3 go to graduate school

    What do you want to do?

    See https://www.wpi.edu/academics/departments/biomedical-engineering
    edited December 2019
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  • pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
    thank you . that was helpful and hopeful. My son wants to go into industry and financial aspects of biomedical companies eventually.
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  • pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
    Thank you. biganthony. That is our worry too. but keep above message from retiredfarmer says the opposite and there is good news in WPI so is confusing.
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  • pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
    thank you KSLD. I was told it is very hard to double major if BME is one major. any opinions out there? if one minors in finance , CS would that hold more value?
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5461 replies25 threads Senior Member
    A good friend of mines son is a biomedical engineer. He did do a 5th year BS/MS. He's had a job right out of college with Texas Instrument for 5 years and is working at his choice internationally with another company. He loves the challenges of his job.

    Do what interests you. You will enjoy your job /career more that way.
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  • pearl0607pearl0607 79 replies25 threads Junior Member
    Knowstuff May I ask which college did he do his BS/MS from ?
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