Help deciding engineering field

<p>I'm an incoming freshman at a state university and I am currently declared as undecided in engineering. I haven't picked classes yet, but I will be in about a week. I've been checking out a lot of resources online and at my school's website about various majors and I'm still unsure about which is for me. The thing is all of the engineering programs are around 4-5 years with summers, so I'd like to be able to graduate on time or as soon as possible and don't really want to waste a lot of time with classes I don't need.</p>

<p>My main choices right now are computer science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering, but I am also interested by civil and chemical engineering. So in other words I really have no idea. </p>

<p>I think I like CSE because I've done a little bit of programming and I like what I've done so far, I'm pretty interested in computers, and from the little exposure I've had to more advanced things like AI and logic, they seem very interesting (if quite complicated).</p>

<p>Mechanical I am really only considering because of how broad of a field it is. I am nervous because I really don't think I'd like to end up doing manufacturing, auto, HVAC or something like that. But I am interested in things like aerospace and nuclear, and it could be a very broad field on which to build a more specific grad degree?</p>

<p>Electrical I am mainly interested in because I'm interested in power plants and computer engineering. Other than that I don't really know enough about the major to say whether I'd like it.</p>

<p>Basically, I would like to major in one of these broader areas of engineering, because I believe it would give me a wide range of options. I really want a degree that will allow me to work in rural areas or smaller cities, since I'd like to stay in the Midwest and despise big cities. </p>

<p>Also I am interested in some type of grad school. Either going to law school to be a patent attorney or going to get a masters in something like engineering management or business, or possibly a more specific engineering discipline, like nuclear, systems, structural, ect.</p>

<p>Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.</p>

<p>It's unlikely that you really need to settle on a major in the near future. Most engineering programs have a "freshman engineering" program of some sort, where all engineers more or less take the exact same classes the first year to get the basics out of the way (chemistry, calculus, physics, etc.). Sophomore year is when most schools have students start taking classes specific to their major. So, I wouldn't focus on picking a major. Rather, I'd focus on spending the next few months or so learning about the various majors and job opportunities in those fields. See what you are the most interested in.</p>

<p>Power plants are often located in more rural areas. Computer related things are often located in more urban areas. Once again, spend some time researching job opportunities and see where those jobs are located.</p>