advice on choosing a major

Hi,
Next fall, I will be transferring to the University of Texas as a junior in engineering. Therefore, it will soon be time for me to choose a specific
engineering major. I have narrowed my choice down to two; electrical and mechanical.
Does anyone have any advice, recommendations, or other input that might aid me in making a choice to major in electrical or mechanical engineering? I am looking for advice regarding the opportunities, outlook, and flexibility provided by each field.
I have taken mid-level classes dealing generally both branches of engineering, and I understand and enjoy the types of problems with both fields. One friend of mine indicated to me that I should go with electrical because the bachelors in electrical engineering is the most flexible in that it is easily transferable to other fields. For example, he stated that one would have no problems using a bachelors in electrical engineering to get a job as a mechanical engineer.
I know my request for advice is general and therefore the answer depends on many factors. I am just trying to make the most informed decision that I possibly can, so I am very appreciative of any advice that I can get.
Thanks a bunch,
Damon
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in article NcW7b.785$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr23.news.prodigy.com, Damon B. at damon snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote on 9/11/03 1:17 AM:

My advice is to choose something you really like. Then become a good engineer. Learn fundamentals. There is much more similarity to various disciplines than meet the eye.
There are similarities between heat transfer and skin effect. Mechanical and electrical vibrations are mathematically very similar. Understanding of these vibrations is very helpful in quantum mechanics. Impedance concepts are everywhere even if they are not called that. Influence coefficients in civil engineering structures come out of circuit theory.
Bill
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Another suggestion. Does UT have a dual path option. Some schools let you go an extra year or so and get degrees in both. This would then make you a very valuable commodity, open up your employment options and allow you to smoothly go in the direction you wish once you are out in the working world. You will probably find out that the company you work for will have a lot more to do with how you enjoy your work than the type of engineering you are doing.
On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 21:23:16 GMT, Repeating Decimal

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Damon B. wrote:

Become a teacher, they get summers off. If you must become an engineer (I had to, it was just something in me). I wouldn't decide on opportunities, outlook, flexibility. It's what you like. Would you rather take apart your washer to see how it works, or your television. That really would be a better question. I walked around figuring out how the transmission and distribution system worked in my neighborhood. Very sick, but you can guess which discipline I chose.
Good luck.
PS some might chastise me for trying to dissuade you from engineering, but if you are an engineer, nothing I do or say would change that.
--
jim

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I'll have to agree with Jim, What do you really LIKE to do? If it's going to be something you will be doing the rest of your life, make damn sure it's something you enjoy. Personally, what I do, I enjoy for the most part. I wear many different hats, depending on what day, or what hour of the day, or which fire is hottest. I enjoy the 'something different all the time' aspect. I may be working on a PLC logic issue with a robot/machine interface one minute, and designing automation, machine fixturing or cutting tools the next. I would strongly suggest, and heartfully encourage, if you go into the mechanical engineering field, to take your summers and work in a machine shop as an apprentice or co-op, or take summer courses in machining and welding at your local adult vocational education school . Not engineering, actually MAKING things on the equipment. This experience will be INVALUABLE in the future when you go to put mouse to CAD.
--
Anthony

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Dumb question I'm sure, but isn't junior year a little late to be choosing your major? For example, how will you make up for a lack of the many introductory courses in EE and its associated math that you missed during your freshman and sophmore years?
Harry C.
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1) I am not a junior yet. I will be next fall when I transfer. 2) The two degree plans have something like 17 or 18 classes in common. Before I transfer, I will have taken all of those in addition to a few courses that count towards mechanical and a few courses that count towards electrical.
I just have to choose my major soon because I am applying to UT in the next few months. I know that I will have not trouble getting into the school of my choice. I just don't know what my school of choice is.

in
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Last time I checked (granted, quite a few years ago) ALL engineering students had to take at least 4 semesters/terms of Calc, a range of common science courses and some common Eng courses. He may have missed out on one or two intro courses covering basic electronics, but nothing he can't catch up on. It may require an additional semester or a summer session or two. Anyway, freshman and sophomore years are usually dominated by the required core courses for a degree - common to all engineering disciplines.
On 13 Sep 2003 11:19:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Harry Conover) wrote:

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I was thinking more of courses like differential equations, a.c. and d.c. circuit analysis, magnetic circuits and other EE oriented courses normally taught in year 2 after the student has already achieved a thorough mastery of calculus and vector analysis.
To my knowledge these courses are rarely taught in a general engineering program, and without having this basic foundation, attempting 3rd year EE courses would pose a bit of a challenge for most students. This is why in many universities the first 2 years of study for physics and EE students is an entirely different mix of courses (usually far more math intensive, for one example) than is required of other engineering majors.
I suppose that this is my source of confusion on this subject.
Harry C.
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