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  1. #1
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Default I am faced with a big decision

    So, I am about to finish my basic studies in mechanical engineering in fall '09. After that I will need to choose a specific field of intrest in which I continue my advanced studies in.

    When I started to study, 3 years ago, I always wanted to go into automotive Engineering. Hence I started to read books about automotive since the day I joined university. Now I already know alot about cars and have more or less lost my intrest in them. Besides that, if you take a look at the job market its not pretty attractive either.

    So I started thinking what I want to do now and visited a few possible lectures from fields I could go in to. What I liked the most so far is "energy management and mechanical process engineering". Those two make up for like 80% of germanys industry so its no bad thing to do (having back in mind the possible impact of regenrative energy sources in the future).

    Hence I visited that lecture but I found out that somehow I am confronted with a very HUUUGGGEE field of study, with alot of information and one can barely learn em all, if he wants to excel at one someday. And given my indecisive nature I really felt lost and couldnt settle for a decision.

    The main thing is for example, if I go into "wind power station" technology for example, I will be prolly stuck in an office as an engineer calculating all day some equations over and over again.

    Dont get me wrong, I like to get lost into abstract mathematics and I like to spent alot of time trying to solve equations, which serve no practical cause in the end, but I like to choose which topics intrest me myself. And I fear if I specialize as a mechanical engineer, I could be faced to work in the same field all my life long, in which I am good, but in which my inventive ability or need to be faced with new challenges may be totally not needed.

    The ability to work like the stereotypical picture of an engineer, who sits in his cellar and assembles an air con for a motorcycle, is a romantic image, but is prolly more like an hobby. To be able to get paid for a job like this, you prolly need to be really good, cause then you are trusted with a lot of money for your research. And I am pretty sure, I will never get there, cause not nerdy enough .

    -----

    So, I found out about another field I could go in. That special field is called "Sales Engineering and Product Management".

    “Sales engineer” (sometimes known as “systems engineer”, or “SE” for short) is one of those unique professions made possible by specialization of labor in an advanced post-industrial economy. Simply put, SEs apply their technical expertise in support of the sale of complex technological products, typically computer hardware, software, and/or services.
    And if I go in that field I could specialize in "energy management and chemical process engineering" aswell, but in the end I would be more like a hybrid engineer, who knows something of all fields. Specialized then to work as a Sales Engineer or Project Manager. Then my work wouldnt have to be limited to an office and I could actually work with people.

    I am working as a student now atm for the department of the promotion of economic development for my hometown. And there I got a first glimpse at the business world. And I have to say I really like it. You drive around with customers, small talk with them about the things that intrest them, explain them technical problems or technical masterpieces (get to know their personalities to which you adapt yourself ). It's a pretty funny world indeed.

    My basic fear in that field would only be that you could end up like a bagman, who always has to fear for his job, cause he doesnt meet his sales statistic. But I think that could happen to you aswell, if you calculate a cog wrong in mechanical engineering and destroy the whole windmill.

    So you see, I am basically searching for a secure occupation (which is prolly an oxymoron) and a versatile job.

    My soft skills have grown a little rusty lately, due to intensive study of mechanical engineering, as has suffered my ability to formulate clear sentences , but I think given some time of practice they will recover.

    So I have wrote alot of BS now and thank you for reading.

    So what do you think, is it in general more clever to proceed on the path and take the chance to become a mechanical office engineer or is it more clever to pursue the way and become a sales engineer. On both ways I would finish with a MSc.

    Thanks for your thoughts in advance.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  2. #2
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    if you are looking for more information, university of waterloo, canada has two programs: system design engineering and a new one- management engineering that, to me, sound like the sales engineer. check out University of Waterloo to see what kind of after-graduation scope do these degrees have...maybe you can find something that matches your interests

    also, couldnt you do a MBA and do the same thing? may take less time?

    it sounds like you just dont ever wanna leave the student life

    im gonna have to keep a tab on this thread cuz im gonna graduate with a BSc too but i cant see myself working in my field for long

  3. #3
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Yea thanks for the info .

    No I was caught in the middle in which in germany all degrees were changed to Bachelor and Master. Before that we got other degrees. So my plan of study is old and If I would change into a newer plan of study, I would need to write some old exams again, which just have new names nowadays.

    So I need to do the MSc. no matter what, besides that a MBA wouldnt enable me to specialize in a field in mechanical engineering. Dont get me wrong, I still want to become an engineer and no manager and the Sales Engineering master would be a co-production of Management and Engineering.

    And to answer your last sentence, in germany people tend to study till the age of 26-28 so its normal. The normal time for mech. engineering is about 12 semesters, which are 6 years. So you go to school at 6, then attend it for 13 years, then you have to join the army for a year and then you study engineering for 6 and you are 26.

    They try to change that atm, they cutted a year from school to reduce it to 12 and changed university degrees to Bachelor and Master. But tho they changed the name to the degrees, they didnt changed the contents of the study much and therefore the process of getting people earlier into business is not just finished yet. Pretty much sucks that I am caught in the middle of it, but I ccant change it :/
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  4. #4
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    I was basically looking for someone having some experience through his job and what he would think is better to proceed with. Classic mechanical engineer or sales engineer with management abilities (also with the thing in mind of course of what could be more appealing for an entp)
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  5. #5
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Get some experience first, would be my suggestion. Going on for higher education without experience isn't the best idea in the mechanical engineering field, in my limited opinion. Perhaps I missed experience that you do have.

    I'm not sure how it works in Germany but I'm not sure about the specializing so greatly. One part that is interesting about a mechE is being able to do so many different things. The university I went to has a good undergrad polymer specialization I wish I would have done (founnd out about it my last year)

    I imagine you could be a sales engineer without any specialization. I'm really not sure that would benefit you at all. You start at a company and become familiar with their products and move into the sales aspect.

    Note: Yes, I have a BSME ('97) but the only work I did in the field was as a co-op (a year total, 2 different companies, about 6 months of actual engineering experience) I went the mom-way. My husband has a BSME too. He went back and got an MBA after working for a while (12 years of engineering) and is now in finance. Also, I'm in the USA and am talking only from the little bit of engineering I know. (of course, I have mechanical engineering friends, too, since I have a degree in engineering)

  6. #6
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Thanks that is some good advice. I see it equally about the sales engineer, you prolly can still become one, tho you made a degree in classic mech eng.

    The thing is in germany, the old degree consisted of a basic part and an advanced part. And only if you completed both you got a degree at all. If you quitted before finishing both parts, you were left with your school deegre. (Thats why people used to be around 28 years old before they finished, not having the slightest practical experience)

    So now they changed everything to Bsc. and Msc. And the thing formally known as "basic study" is covered by the BSc. and the advanced study by the MSc. Therefore companies just dont accept BSc. graduates, cause they think they lack the qualifications. And at the moment its naturally do take the MSc after you have done the BSc. This condition will improve in the future hopefully, I am just caught in the wake of the change atm.

    But you are right about the sales engineer. Its prolly better to take the chance if you can succeed at mech. eng. in the first place and then later on, if you are good make a MBA and go in finance / management ^^.

    I had the terrible luck that I was of the first generation, who got the Bsc. degree. My old study plan wants that I write about 30 exams and do 2 internships (around 6 month together) and am supposed to be finished in 6 semester lol. The majority of students needed 8 semester and I am gonna make it in 9 . After having witnessed that they expanded the Bachelor to 7 semester and threw out around 10 exams (which I all already wrote *lol*).

    German bureaucracy ftw !!
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  7. #7

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    Sorry I can't be of much help.

    The Mechanical Engineers I knew (all three of them) went into to Biomedical Engineering afterwards, and one went to Med. School after that.

    I suppose that is an option to consider. Apparently Mech. Eng. is considered good preperation from Biomedical Engineeering, somehow.

    Also, patent law is a big deal in the U.S. Perhaps you could to German or International Patent Law. From what I've heard, at least in the U.S., law schools like it when engineers join with the intention of going into patent law.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  8. #8
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Thanks for your advice y.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  9. #9
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    shiit...germans and their crazy schooling!! in canada, it takes 8 semesters to get bachelors + 2 for masters...

    my uni (waterloo DUH!) it takes 8 study semesters + 6 co-op work terms and then i have the option of taking 2 or 3 more study terms and getting a masters at the same time...

    ive gotten some advice from people all around too, i was told (by 2 mech engs who both do management jobs) that i should get some work experience before thinking bout masters, including MBA...their reason was that then i would realize what the industry demands and educate myself accordingly

    you never liked aerospace engineering? half the mech engs i talk to want to do a masters in aerospace

  10. #10
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    How about green technology engineering? I mean there's going to be an explosion of demand in the next ten or so years for mechanical engineers who understand alternative energy solutions.

    I'm currently playing around with a new design of solar panels and consumer (yes, consumer) solar electric source that has the potential to power an entire house for the day. However, I need some mathematics and experimenting to do it before hand. The motivation? There's an application to my theory and I can do something that has never been done before (something us ENTP's drool over)

    But that's only my suggestion, try something that you can see yourself enjoying, and if you can't, don't fret and listen to what your intuition is telling you.

    As a wise old friend once told me, "No one knows your talents and intuition better than you; so it makes sense that no one knows the perfect job for you besides yourself."

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