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Computing or Electrical Engineering Degree?

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posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 11:47 AM
bah, IT isn't that bad. I learn new things all the time. I teach myself tons of things. The school I currently attend prepares you to learn new languages. They teach you to think differently when it comes to programming. Since I attend one of the first schools who offered IT as a major, they have got a great grip on the bustling IT world. The problem is, sometimes I know more than the professors about certain aspects of IT. You just have to keep on top of it. The first class you want to take is a theory course of programming. This will help you learn to look at everything in a programmatic way instead of looking at it any other way. You need to learn the overall logic in programming. Discrete math is great also. You learn one language you can learn them all. Object oriented is the way to go at the moment, but learn COBOL and archaic programming languages because there are a shortage of people who know those, and yes some mainframes still use those languages!

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 12:34 PM
I wasted time with IT and I wish I had not. Seems like everyone is doing it these days and jobs are limited.

I got out of that game.

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 12:39 PM
You could just do a double major (ECE - Electrical and Computer Engineering). Many doors are open in both those fields. Industry is waiting or graduate school in many physical sciences.

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 01:15 PM
Ok, now, keeping in mind my degrees are in pretty much the things furthest away possible from hi-technology... This should still apply - If things are run the way they are here as they are in the UK (you're in the UK, but are you planning on going to school there as well?)

Here, depending on how fast or slow you get through classes based on the number of courses you can handle during a semester, your first two years you don't even declare yourself committed to a specific major. By taking advanced level classes (junior/senior classes, often known as 3000 or 4000 classes) during your first two years (1000/2000) instead of crap like the mentioned "music appreciation" or "poetry of the naturalists" as electives (assuming you don't need them to satisfy your humanities core) you will better learn what you're more interested in. Plus, you'll also get more "quality" points added to your transcript because of level of coursework. This will also help you get a double major if you decide it's worth it.

This way, by the time you're ready to declare your major, you'll have a more solid foundation upon which you can base your decision. On a side note, two of my buddies just recently graduated with standard Computer Science (bachelor's of science)degrees with crap GPAs (I believe one was 2.3 and other was around 2.6) from a University nobody has ever heard of unless they live in the area, and one got picked up right away by Microsoft @ $75k/year and the other for some company I can't remember in Atlanta @ $53k/year. To put it in perspective, not sure what entry-level salary you were expecting, though.

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 01:37 PM
I started off in Computer Engineering, and soon realised just how much of a waste of time it was... then I stumbled across Electro-Mechanical (Robotics) engineering.

While you are correct, the Computer industry is flooded with people, for some reason the Robotics industry is severely lacking people. I guess not enough people think of it when making career decisions.

I'll be joining a company in a month or so, who are offering me about 45K/Annum to start, and are going to make me Project Lead as soon as the contract begins!

The reason people are willing to pay so much for Robotics engineers is because if they wanted to do the same thing without Robotics Engineers, they would have to hire both an Electrical Engineer, and a Mechanical Engineer to do the job of one Robotics Engineer.

Why hire two people, when you can hire one and pay him one and a half times the wage!

Now, another thing is, Robotics Engineering is a very technically minded program to study in. It's quite a heavy course... and even though you're becoming an engineer, you don't get to stay away from the dirty work.

For some reason, a Robotics Engineer is also expected to be a Robotics Technitian, and Technologist aswell... which means you get to get your hands dirty once you're finished with the designs...
This involves welding, machining parts, wiring, contruction, and all the stuff they would normally get the technitians to do.
Essentially, you have to be of strong mind, AND healthy body.

... and you have to be prepared to run a crap load of experiments to test new theories and concepts... if you don't like doing ALOT of work, mentally and physically, Robotics is NOT for you.

But, if you love technology, and like doing everything instead of assigning tasks to people, Robotics is definately the way to go.

BTW, when this contract starts, all new model bomb disposer robots in Ontario Canada will have been constructed by myself, and those who I am in charge of.

A few others in my course have also managed to land themselves some VERY lucrative careers.
One of the graduates now works on the Canada-arm project for NASA.
A handfull now work with various car companies, designing and maintaining their automated production lines.
Others work on designing other automated production lines.

Essentially, if it's electronic, and it moves... a Robotics Engineer probably had something to do with it.

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 02:13 PM
What ever Degree you do you will gain new knowledge and life skills. One great skill i learned and fine tuned when doing my Degree was information acquisition - exactly how you go about finding information you need to pass an assignment/exam/project, a skill you can apply to any future job role.

Degrees are strange things, your basically paying lots of money to an organisation only to find that you become your own teacher.

I work in the IT industry in the UK as a support tech, the skills scope of the role encompasses much more than computer knowledge - people skills are very important and no more less so than the ability to prioritise and organise yourself. Personally I enjoy the variety in the day to day work and I like helping people but the wages aren't great and i'm certainly not going to be a rich man - but money isn't everything!

On average a good programmer will earn more money than a support techy but the competition is tough + the pressure can be even tougher!

[edit on 6-3-2007 by freeradical]

[edit on 6-3-2007 by freeradical]

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 02:34 PM
Engineering as a whole seems to have a very dirty perception in the United Kingdom..that's just my perception having lived there. The jobs available didn't seem to command much of a salary despite demanding good qualifications, lots of experience and a total commitment to flexible working. Has anyone else experienced this?

Perhaps the reasons are historical in nature, but overall I didn't find much respect for engineers in that country..the same for IT staff. This was very off-putting in the town I was working in, and it left me with the impression that raising one's head above the gutter and having aspirations really isn't the order of the day especially in an economy that is becoming ever-more reliant on the services rather than having a manufacturing/technology base to build on.

A couple of times I was unemployed and looking for half-decent engineering jobs was an absolute joke. I also had IT qualifications but this didn't seem to count for much, so naturally I looked elsewhere.

How about doing a combined honours degree? As mentioned you don't have to commit and you build up your skill set. I agree that a career in IT carries with it the requirement to constantly update your skills, to keep abreast of new technology and be able to adapt. If you are still interested in the subject when you have other commitments to take care of, great..go for it. But I do think that there is a danger of becoming too specialised in an industry that is forever changing.

[edit on 6-3-2007 by Ross Cross]

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 03:00 PM
I am also in the UK and have worked in the IT industry for a good number of years. I never got a degree i just went straight into work, i deal mostly with installing, building and maintaining networks, servers, switches and offering general support for small businesses.

I would say go the electrical engineering route. The UK IT industry is currently saturated and for new people it's hard to get started with any good job that can lead to good positions. You will most likely end up building pc's on a dell manufacturing line for a few years lol.

Of course i have no experience of the electrical engineering field so i don't know if that's saturated as well.

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 03:06 PM
Thank you for the replies and feedback.

Some mixed views there from both sides, although they seem to back up my original concerns.

What do employers think of business and management degrees?

Perhaps it may be wise to select a joint degree, such as Internet Business and Management-Computing.

Do a lot of students take business and management degrees?

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 04:04 PM
I am taking Nano-engineering. But it's not really what I want... I only take it because it's linked with what I want to be, which is a physicist in quantum mechanics, having my own company working with theorical experiments and many technological approaches with light and matter.

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 04:22 PM

Originally posted by James Daniel
Perhaps it may be wise to select a joint degree, such as Internet Business and Management-Computing.

Do a lot of students take business and management degrees?

Over here, the Colleges of Business and Management within universities tend to be BY FAR the largest schools in terms of enrollment. I would imagine it's the same in the UK. It is because it's such a broad area of study - you really need to go beyond an undergraduate business degree and get your MBA (Master of Business Administration, or whatever the comparable UK graduate degree is) for it to have any worth.

edit: Also, if you plan to ever start your own business, having that MBA will help immensely in securing financing.

[edit on 6-3-2007 by AlphaHumana]

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 04:45 PM
I never realised how difficult it was in selecting a degree. Obivously, with globalisation and the growing population/influx of immigrants, it is essential to have professional qualifications to compete even for a moderate income.

It's great to see that others are doing well, though.

This thread has given me a lot more to think about, which is fantastic, as that is the whole aim of the thread.

Please keep your thoughts coming.

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