Mechanical Engineering with a computer science minor?

<p>I find my intro programming course (C and Matlab) very enjoying. I am very likely to get an A in the course, and I hardly studied for it (just went straight into writing codes for assignments and learned from applying concepts). It's not a time-sink compared to my other engineering courses.</p>

<p>I am taking a next level course (C++, programming robots, and etc) in the fall semester as a sophomore instead of as a junior. If I enjoy that course as well, then I might consider a computer science minor. Maybe even look for a college that teaches FORTRAN.</p>

<p>One issue is that the academic advisers and the seniors/juniors are split on how useful a computer science minor would be if combined with a mechanical engineering degree.</p>

<p>Some of them said I could work in the robotics field, but others said that companies could simply hire actual programmers to do the programming.</p>

<p>Another issue is that I would have to take around 20 semester hours per semester to graduate in four years, or graduate in 4.5-5 years instead. But I could use that 1-2 semesters for an extra co-op and/or mechanical engineering related courses, or simply graduate in 4 years.</p>

<p>In short, how useful would a computer science minor would be with a mechanical engineer and would it be worth an extra 1-2 semesters, if I fully enjoy programming?</p>

<p>(EDIT: Tuition funding is not an issue. But I prefer not to waste 6-12 months of my life on something that won't yield much reward other than being a graded hobby.)</p>

<p>So, any advice of if I should pursue a minor in computer science?</p>

<p>My last intern did the above, we ended up hiring him.It’s an awesome combination.</p>

<p>What kind of tasks did he do for his internship and his current job?</p>

<p>Sorry for the double post, but I just learned that the computer science minor would only take 13 semester hours. I think I can try to compensate for the extra hours by taking additional summer courses.</p>

<p>Though I plan on pursuing full-time summer internships starting next year as a sophomore…</p>

<p>Extra computer and programming courses are helpful. But you may or may not like comp sci minor. Some students that enjoy programming do not like deeper courses like Data Structure. (That was required for CS minor at DD’s school. Hint - if you take it, be leery of taking it in compressed summer session like she did.) </p>

<p>Nothing related to mechanical. He was an exceptional student (laughed off thermodynamics and diffy-q at a major engineering school) and decided belatedly he liked mobile app software better. He did his minor in CS. He wrote a bunch of code for us for a web prototype portal, and some Android code. We hired him to do so-called ‘systems engineering’ job which is a witch’s brew of software, hardware, and the part that deals with the customer. Awesome kid.</p>

<p>I’m not really that interested in web design, which is part of the reason why I’m wondering how would a CS minor help me when I’m a mechanical engineer. I was informed by a programming professor that I would’ve been better off majoring in electrical engineering while minoring in CS.</p>

<p>Less job as a mechanical engineer ( even 30 years ago) and 30 years ago EE was better than ME but I think CS has the most job demand now. Everything needs software.
I have an EE degree, loved studying EE but I rarely used any of it in my 30+ years working. My programming classes are keep me working. But of course, my job requires me to understand EE but not using it directly is what I’m trying to convey.</p>

<p>That wasn’t just web design actually, there was a LOT of work behind the scenes to pull data from various sources and integrate them into a cohesive result. The web portal part itself was pretty simple, but the work behind the scenes was anything but. The ultimate consumer was a mobile device using HTML 5, which by itself is a pretty complex task. </p>

<p>A CS / ME combo is also valuable in other ways. There’s a small company I know that hires fresh grad ME’s and AE’s with CS background to do CFD work. The stuff is not for the faint at heart either CS wise or ME wise, and involves lots of math and engineering.</p>

<p>Good CS skills are always useful, that’s the bottom line. One may not be able to take a hardcore coding position with Google but if the code ever talks to anything ‘real’ the ME has a big advantage. A former coworker spent a few years in a company that writes software for robotic mowers… </p>

<p>Being able to program is applicable to just about everything in some sense. In Mechanical engineering, you have programming to aid with data analysis, simulation, numerical optimization, etc. Depends on your focus area, but you can use computing for many of the problems you might face. So the things you might learn with a CS minor could be quite beneficial to you.</p>

<p>The idea that “EE is betterthan ME” is ridiculous. They are both entirely necessary careers with lots of opportunities.</p>

<p>On a side note, is it worth taking a FORTRAN programming course at another college since Uni of Iowa doesn’t offer such course?</p>

<p>I know it’s an old language and not a lot of companies use it, but I did hear that some companies still holding onto legacy equipments/software highly value engineers that know fortran.</p>

<p>You can learn Fortran in a weekend if you already know any other language…</p>

<p>No Fortran, I took this in college but has not used it ever and I’m old.</p>

<p>I see Fortran get used all the time in the aerospace industry. A lot of legacy codes use it.</p>

<p>I also work in this field when I first started college and a few years ago. I think people write a wrapper using C code for code that was written years ago for backward compatibility or because they want to reuse code. I’m not aware that anybody writes new code in Fortran. It’s not taught in college and all the older folks are already retired.</p>

<p>And I’m talking you that it’s still popular in the aerospace industry, for example.</p>

<p>Good to know. Perhaps its a very old program.</p>

<p>An example, SolidWorks is created by mechanical engineer. If you look at most advance design softwares in different fields. Most of them are not created by software engineers. Software engineers work on these products but they are not the core.</p>