My wife just received a call from her (very competitive) sister. She
announced that her son had decided to major in electrical engineering,
which is good because they are the smartest, best paid, and are
highest on the "Engineering Hierarchy". And, she added, Mechanical
Engineers are at the bottom (of course, I am a MechE (PhD) as is her
father (MS)).
Gee, I thought we had all agreed to keep the hierarchy private.
I might also add that her husband is an astronaut with a PhD in
Physics. Evidently the astronauts do not need to depend on any
mechanical systems in the space shuttle, or if they do, they were all
*properly* designed by EE's. We all know how good EE's are at thermal
management of their increasingly small designs...
Her degree is in modern languages. She did not mention where that
appears on the "World Overall All-Told Everything Hierarchy".
Electrical engineering (EE) is not better than mechanical engineering (ME). It is just different. Which is better: apples, bananas, oranges, or pineapples?
The only way to answer the question is the crass way of comparing median annual salaries in \$ over time. The December 2008 issue of JOM magazine just printed another article: =93Engineering Salaries: The AAES Tracks the Trends=94. Table 1 shows median salaries for various intervals in years after the B.S. degree. Results are as follows:
0 ME: 56,208; EE: 57,200 5 ME: 69,500; EE: 69,648 9to10 ME: 81,180; EE: 80,093 13to16 ME: 97,210; EE: 89,298 21to25 ME: 106,523; EE: 97,949 35+ ME: 115,521; EE:102,138
Based on these numbers EEs start out just slightly better than MEs but soon are surpassed by them. Tell her to put that in her stocking.
Also, tell her that if she refuses to rank materials engineering over electrical engineering then she can turn in all her stainless steel cookware.
Pittsburgh Pete
Dear metalengr:
...
Don't you think she could move food around with a taser?
David A. Smith
Hah! ME's design the machine, the machinists build it... and the EE's work late nights for weeks getting the program debugged before the deadline... ;)
-Dana (ME) -- Every election, Mickey Mouse looks better and better as President.

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