Major Decision: Engineering Technology (ABET Accredited) vs Engineering (non accredited)

Hi,

I’m facing a little bit of a dilemma, I want to learn and work in the world of mechatronics. I understand some people advise not going with this field of study because it’s pretty broad, and doesn’t really specialize enough in one of the disciplines. But I personally want to learn as much as I can within all the different engineering fields that go into working with robotics and automation technology. With my education, I’ll be starting courses at community college (since I’m a GED holder and have been out of school for some time (currently 25 years old), I figured I should get my math up to a college engineering level).

When it comes to transferring, I can’t really afford to attend an out of state school (I’m from Ohio) I have two options

Kent State University BS Mechatronics Engineering (Not currently ABET-accredited)
-Link to program: http://catalog.kent.edu/colleges/ar/mechatronics-engineering-bs/
-The accreditation is really my only red flag about this program

Bowling Green State University Mechatronics Engineering Technology (Only ABET-accredited mechatronics program in all of Ohio)
-Link to program: https://www.bgsu.edu/technology-architecture-and-applied-engineering/schools-and-departments/engineering-technologies/mechatronics-engineering-technology.html

The pros to the BGSU program is that the University is only about 30 minutes away from me, (KSU is about 2 1/2 hours away). However, I guess the con would be that since it’s an engineering technology program, I understand I wouldn’t be considered a real engineer. From what I understand engineering programs are more focused on the theory and application of those theories? And engineering technology is basically a technician? Which I don’t necessarily mind because I’m more of a hands-on person anyways.

If I choose BGSU I’m planning to work part-time at Honda Manufacturing (who would actually, might have a tuition assistance program available). I guess my only fear is that, someday, I might want to be able to have the skills and knowledge to create my own robotics, and maybe take a shot at entrepreneurship. If I choose the engineering technology program, can I learn the engineering theory and skills on my own?

I think I will end there, I apologize if some of my thoughts seemed redundant, but thank you for your time in reading.

Why not study mechanical or electrical engineering?

I would go for the accredited program.

Regarding engineering versus engineering technology, you may want to read https://www.rit.edu/admissions/freshman/eng-vs-eng-tech .

But, as stated in reply #1, why not study mechanical or electrical engineering? You can study either (ABET accredited) at University of Toledo or numerous other Ohio public universities (e.g. Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Miami, Ohio State, Ohio, Wright State, Youngstown State).

Perhaps we could help more if you explain why mechatronics interests you.

Just asking but is Case Western out of reach for you?

I have no familiarity with the Kent State program, but is it possible that they are ‘in the process’ of becoming ABET accredited? Generally, in addition to a defined course curriculum, a program must graduate a class of students before they can be accredited. I would call and ask.

I am just very leery of engineering technology. It seems people think it’s close enough to engineering I would talk to people in both fields. They aren’t the same. Purdue seems to have a well known but newer program on it.

I would really research this in depth to make sure you are making the correct decision. There is so much cross over in engineering. As stated you can go into X field and still study the field you want to. There are many paths to the same place.

Congrats on finishing your Ged and continuing on BTW. That’s awesome!

It’s been awhile since someone posted but I thought I’d put my 2 cents in. If you are that close to BGSU I would visit U of Toledo. They have a tremendous engineering program as well as Engineering Technology and mandatory coops for both. I would tell them what you are interested in and see what they might recommend for someone interested in Mechatronics. An Engineering degree is going to require higher level math and more science than a ET degree. The courses will be more conceptual and less practical than the ET degree. Normally I’d suggest seeing if you could find a college and career day at a nearby university or HS but I’m pretty sure those aren’t occurring now. Based on the fact that you have a lot of catching up to do in the core sciences and want a hands on career then I think the Technology degree is worth consideration. If you find you are strong in Calculus, Physics and Chemistry then you might talk with Engineering programs about the difference. I don’t know enough about Kent’s States program to have a comment on that. Good luck.