To be an Imagineer or what is the most artistic engineering degree?

<p>I am a very artistically oriented student that is thinking of what career path I should take. I am very strong in the sciences, English, and art of course, but have to work my butt off in math. (I make B's in that with a lot of work). I don't want to go for a degree solely in the fine arts, but instead would like to have one with a better prospect of a landing a secure job upon graduation. My questions are:
1. If I am not the strongest math student, is engineering even a possibility?
2. If the answer to 1 is yes, which engineering degree would be the most art/design oriented?
3. What schools would be best to get a good art education and pursue engineering? Can this even be done?
4. The "dream" job for me? Someday I could see myself being an imagineer for a company like Disney, doing animation or 3d character design, or designing rides/experiences in a theme park. Would careers like this fall into the engineering category or computer science?</p>

<p>Thanks for any help you can give me.</p>

<p>Ahhh. You've hit on my dream job.</p>

<p>For as long as I can remember, I've secretly wanted to be a Disney Imagineer. I've been submitting my resume to them every time I send out resumes. Still no dice, but I'll keep on trying. =)</p>

<p>There are a lot of computer programmers doing that sort of thing... SMU has a really excellent and exclusive computer game design program called Guildhall.</p>

<p>I picked structural engineering so I could segue into architecture if I so desired. I figured out that I really liked structural engineering.</p>

<p>Have you considered architecture? It's a good blend of art and engineering, IMHO, and while it's a rough field, it's certainly not as rough a field as the art biz. Also, it's an excellent way to get into Imagineering-ish sorts of careers.</p>

<p>Ever consider architecture? It's the classic career for those interested in both art and engineering. Less math and more creativity than engineering. Lots of computer animation: architects routinely design "virtual" buildings and environments for clients to "walk through" before they construct real ones. Many Disney imagineers are architects or landscape architects.</p>

<p>Note: Believe it or not, any similarity to the previous post is purely coincidental. I wrote mine independently, and didn't see the previous post until after I hit the "Submit" button</p>

<p>You should try Industrial Design</p>

<p>As for 4, do comp sci and you can do all sorts of stuff with graphics. Really, it could be all art, its just that medium is code and not brush and canvas.</p>

<p>Thanks for all of the replies. ItsNotTheSame, is it true as my grandfather says that majoring in computer science is not as great a career as it used to be? He says that so much of the work is being done now by companies overseas. He feels that engineering is more of an open-ended field and would open more doors for me. I have thought about architecture as a possibility, but would I be restricted to designing buildings? That doesn't appeal to me as much. I just don't want to be a starving artist though. I will continue to read all of your advice with much interest!</p>

<p>I think the question of whether computer science has future is more of a question of how the market will be years from now, and noone knows for sure.<br>
Personally I really appreciate computer science because it gives you the tools to make ideas into reality. Now, that's exciting, isnt it? ;)
Engineering is an open field... but in today's society, jobs are so specialized that if you want to work as a design engineer, you definitely need a strong concentration. If you're happy being a support or applications engineer, that's a different story.<br>
What I can say with reasonable confidence is that today's architecture relies heavily on software, in modeling airflow, drawing plans etc. It's not to say that you will write software if you go into architecture, but will be sure to use some.</p>

<p>Here's the way I figure it:</p>

<p>I'm typing on a computer. You're typing on a computer. We're all reading this on computers. Therefore, unless smoke signals come back into vogue, I highly doubt that computer scientists are doomed.</p>

<p>Back to architecture... Architects do a lot of different things. They design monuments. They design buildings. They design museum exhibits. They design all sorts of stuff, actually... Check out Michael Graves, for example. World-renowned architect, also designs groovy teapots and paper towel holders for Target. One of my archi friends from high school currently owns her own bookmaking business, and she makes gorgeous hand-made journals and guestbooks. Architecture just gives you a solid background for general design, with a quasi-engineering flavor, so I think it'd be a really great option for you to look at.</p>

<p>Anyhow... Check out "Architect?: A Candid Guide to the Profession" by Roger K. Lewis. It's a really good guide to the architectural world for prospective architects, and it really weighs all the pros and cons, and gives you a really good idea of both what it's like to become an architect and also what it's like to actually be an architect.</p>

<p>it sounds like you are looking for something in graphic design/animation, rather than engineering for the most part (except for designing the rides).</p>

<p>huskem55, I don't know what I am looking for really! :) I have a lot of interests right now because I am pretty young- rising junior in high school. Even though I love art, I worry that going into something like animation and/or graphic design is very limiting and is also a very saturated field. From what I have read so far, it would be better for me to have a degree that is more technically oriented AND have the artistic skills to make my self attractive to employers. I just don't know which technical field would be best to go for. </p>

<p>From what you all have said, maybe I should look more into computer science or architecture rather than engineering and minor in art? Do you know of universities or colleges that have a strong comp sci program and allow for a dual degree or minor in art? I am taking architectural drawing as one of my electives next year, so maybe that will help me decide if I like the architecture side of design. Thanks again!</p>

<p>WPI has a game development major .. its pretty good</p>

<p>Let me second those people advising you about architecture. Architecture is all those things people have said and can be a lot more. Don't always think of architecture as something physical and real. The study of architecture isn't all about just building buildings. In a good school that deals with conceptual design, You will spend a good deal of time in your early years working on theoretical projects. This means dealing with ideas as opposed to thinking of the physical built world. For example. What is the meaning of a chair. What does it do? What does it mean. What could it mean. It is this theoretical foundation that makes architecture so much different than engineering and why so many in this thread are suggesting it. </p>

<p>Having said all that, if this is a path that you are considering, you must choose your architectural school very carefully. I graduated a few decades ago so I am not up on the latest of things, but look into a school like Cooper Union. Read up on architecture to know more about architectural theory. You might want to go to an architectural school that also has engineering and computer science depts. Also, try looking at the Disney website to see who works there and what their educational backgrounds are. Or just try Google. You are not the first person to think of this as a career and I believe articles have been written on just what you are looking for. I know I have rambled but I hope this is useful.</p>

<p>I just typed in imagineer in Google and in less than a minute came up with this. <a href=""&gt;;/a>. You can learn to be an imagineer at Disney. They have internships. I did not read it all but I am sure it will tell you what kinds of training they are looking for in this program. Good Luck.</p>

<p>Hey,I was soooo happy when i spotted this thread......I'm in the same spot as u Imagine........i'd like to ask 4 sum advice......I was oscillating betwen engineering and architecture too when i researched architecture.......i went through undergraduate projects of students on wesites of sum universities like GeorgiaTech.........and even though i'm artistically inclined i felt architecture seemed very limiting........i mean when u've gotta make building its basic shape is gonna be rectangular(in most cases) n as for memorials or towers or any of that glamorous stuff i'm sure it won't b possible for every architecture to build one ........this is the MAIN reason i'm turning down architecture.......but I MIGHT B TOTALLY WRONG.........could nebody here please advise........also i'll mostly major in Mech enineering (i love robotics,mechatronics n automotive designing 2 ) n i thought i might do a minor in product design(if tis possible) or do my masters in product desing........would really appreciate sum input here...thanx in advance</p>

<p>My opinion is definately biased but my belief is that it takes a lot more than understanding mechanics to be an Imagineer. Do you have the imagination to think "outside the box". Architecture as an art is not about what can be built. There are many architectural "projects" that are designed but will never and can never built. This does not diminish their power as an idea. An architectural school that stresses theory as opposed to practice will help with this.</p>

<p>Well i'm sorry i didn't get everything u posted ^ but i got sum of it.......neways wad i wanna say is yes i am creative n i want a job which will be creatively satisfying n at the same time be financially stable.....n i would really like to do something like design spacecraft,futuristic cars,appliances n the like.......stuff thats shown in STAR WARS.........i hope that's not too over the the same time i know i animation/graphic desinging is not for me......this field is already saturated......also i like sculpting(never done 2 much but i still like it) and wanted to pursue automotive design but that offers limited job prospects......the next thing as i stated earlier was produict design......n yeah i like robotics too........n about the idea thingie in architecture i can think out of the box n yes what u stated excites me......but whats the use if i think of a really cool building that's way out in terms of design but i can't build it in real will i quench my creatiive thirst if i'm supposed to make bland buildings(with aesthetics given importance here n there)......also according to what ive read architecture takes a lot of care about the people who will reside/use the buildings nd only according to that a structure is envisioned.........oh sorry but iv'e been rambling tooooo much........</p>

<p>Not to beat a dead horse but one of the things I was trying to say was that you can study architecture and not necessarily be an architect who designs buildings. The theoritical training will allow you to handle any kind of design. The best design in any medium works on many levels not just the solving of a basic problem. This is one of the basic differences between architecture and engineering.</p>

<p>Take a look at the masters in Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon - it's a mix between CS and art. Here's a guy who went from Imagineer to CMU prof:</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Not to mention:</p>

<p>Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center has established an internship program with Walt Disney Imagineering, home to the Imagineers who create new theme park attractions for The Walt Disney Company.</p>

<p>Under this program, a number of ETC masters students will spend a summer internship with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. in southern California.</p>

<p>There a such thing as Architectural Engineering. Here's some stuff on it. Not just a U of I plug. <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Yes, but it's a very new and relatively unknown field... I looked into architectural engineering at one point, and my advisor pointed out that since it's such a new and unheard-of field, employers aren't confident that they know what sorts of things your degree covered. It may pique some employers' curiosities, but on the other hand, a lot of copies of your resume might find their way into the circular files of HR people who are unsure of your qualifications...</p>

<p>Just something to think about.</p>

<p>If it's still something you want to consider, look at the ArchEng programs at Penn State, Kansas, Colorado, and UT, as well as UIUC.</p>

<p>more architecture advice </p>


<p>I posted awhile back about looking into careers that I thought would fit some of my interests: art, science, design. You all gave me some good advice about looking into architecture. I am a rising junior in high school. Because of some of your replies (thanks) I have been investigating the area of Landscape Architecture. It seems like it would be a career that involves all of those areas. I have emailed an area architecture firm and they have been kind enough to give me the opportunity to talk with one of their landscape architects next week. Besides the questions I have in mind, what do you all think would be some good questions to ask? </p>

<p>One thing that I am worried about as well. From reading through posts on this forum and others, I know that architecture requires a huge amount of time. I swim competitively (year round) and could be able to swim in college. My worry is that I wouldn't be able to do it if I studied architecture because of those time constraints. My other concern is that I looked at the top rated landscape architecture schools: UGA, Va. Tech, etc. Most if not all are DI-which I am not fast enough for now. So, even if I wanted to swim at a DII or DIII school, I wouldn't be able to because they wouldn't have what I needed to help me prepare me for a career in architecture. </p>

<p>Any thoughts from all of you veterans would be really appreciated.</p>