Software Engeering (SE) or Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)?

<p>For the past couple years now I've wanted to be in engineering, but at this point I am stuck between computer engineering (CE) and mechanical engineering (ME). I think I understand the fields pretty well and that the majority of the decision lies in what I personally desire to do, but I still sway back and fourth between the two. I really would be interested in doing a dual major to understand both, but I'm not sure how much longer I would have to stay in college to do that or if I would have to at all (I'll probably be finding out when I visit my university of choice at the end of this month). </p>

<p>I'm 16 years old and a junior in high school. My school is an early college high school meaning that students dual enroll and graduate with both a high school diploma and a 2 year degree in the major of their choice. My question is between a 2 year degree in Software Engineering (SE) or Computer Aided Drafting (CAD). School is starting back soon and I've already switched from CAD to SE before, so I've had experience in both (learning a bit of drafting and programming skills) and like them both, but I'm not sure I know which one is a better base, or trait, to have when planning on getting a degree in ME and/or CE. I understand that if I knew I was going to be in CE I should probably stick with SE, and if I wanted to do ME to do CAD. ...but if I wanted to do the dual major, which one should I then do? Which one is more valuable in the long run?</p>

<p>(NOTE: I know SE isn't exactly CE, but CE has software design in it, and that's the closest major I could seem to find to prepare me. Also, in almost all engineering fields I know you use CAD to design nearly everything, but is that something worth spending a 2 year degree over when I could be doing software engineering? Again, which one is more valuable in the long run?)</p>

<p>What else do you learn in the CAD program? Just that?</p>

<p>Honestly, regardless of ME vs. CE I would do the software engineering program. It is much easier just to pick up the CAD tricks in the course of normal ME study than it is to be an efficient programmer. CAD will only be useful as an mE, while the programming would be useful for both. For my money, I would do the software.</p>

<p>^ Pretty much.</p>

<p>That's why I was wondering if for the CAD program that's all you get to learn.</p>

<p>Actually, thrillernite, you learn basic machining in the CAD program as well. You learn how to draft a part then actually make it a real object, such as a wrench for starters. ...also, thanks Bonehead... that does help me some. I still would like some more opinions on it this though, so please anyone else feel free to post your thoughts as well.</p>

<p>I agree with boneh3ad.</p>

<p>Is CAD difficult for the artistically challenged? I have always wanted to ask. I hope this isn't a stupid question, but I just have no idea about what CAD really is.</p>

<p>^No, it's not, thank goodness! I am severely artistically challenged, but I love using AutoCAD. It reminds me of playing video games, actually. I think having good eye-hand coordination helps! And there are lots of cool short-cuts and tricks, so I'm always learning something new, every time I talk to a different CAD technician. It's very fun to me. :) I know it's boring to a lot of people, though.</p>

<p>@Aggieengineer (btw I'm an aggie... Texas A&M WOOT! gig'em) ... Not necessarily, at least that I've found in my own practices. I'm not necessarily great as far as free hand drawing, but like many people if I have a ruler and/or compass I can somewhat better drawings. On CAD, you have so many tools to help that almost anyone can do it. It's not that hard. I'm horrible at drawing but I was still able to create the complex objects that the class assigned. ...but this is partly because there were some specs that came along with it. So, on the hand at the same time, yes you have to be competent at the least as far as judging shapes, curves, and in depth 3D objects, but as far as having to be a great artist, I don't think it really matters. ...though, I would guess that it would help greatly if you are.</p>

<p>Ok, so... I'm still having second thoughts. I guess I'm attracted to how cool AutoCAD and Solid Works is. Being able to create visuals like that... urghh..</p>

<p>I think your decision will become easier when you get to college. Try out intro classes for both majors and see which you like more. Don't need to worry about it now. You still got time to change your mind and stuff.</p>