So I’m currently a freshman in Petroleum Engineering. I am thinking about switching to Mechanical Engineering next semester for various reasons and I wanted to see what ya’ll thought about them and if it is a good idea or maybe my perceptions are wrong. Basically, I love Petroleum. I want to work in the oil industry on the oil rigs specifically if possible. MEs, CHEs, EEs, and PEs all have openings in the oil industry.
However, PE is a very narrow field. The oil industry goes up and down a lot. I talked to the President of some very large independent oil company who majored in PE at MsState and he said he couldn’t find a job relating to his major right out of college because the industry was down. Obviously he’s doing great now but it was difficult. If I had an ME or another common engineering degree, there is almost always an industry I can get into with those degrees. I also talked to a CHE and he claimed that CHEs could do all and more that PEs can do in the oil industry with the same degree. So those are some of the cons that are making me rethink my major.
The pros of majoring in PE are that I’m actually interested in petroleum which could translate to me doing better in it whereas if I major in something I don’t find interesting, i.e. ME and CHE, maybe my grades won’t be so great. Also, looking at the bureau of labor statistics on PEs vs other engineering majors, PEs make a good $40,000 more than most other engineering majors. I don’t want to get passed over in the industry by someone with a PE degree when I have an ME degree.
What do ya’ll think about this? Are those good reasons to switch? Are my perceptions of the different majors and what career paths they can get me into incorrect?