Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Education in Mechanical Engineering


Career Education in Mechanical Engineering

Planning for your career as a mechanical engineer

Engineers must combine a good understanding of science, mathematics, and computers with a good knowledge of current technology. At the high school level, the emphasis is on mathematics. Two years of algebra plus courses in geometry and trigonometry generally are required.

In addition to the sciences and math, engineers need good communication skills, so don't neglect the liberal arts and humanities. In addition, remember that many of the large industrial firms that employ mechanical engineers are multinational. That means a second language can be extremely valuable.

At the university level, mechanical engineering majors can expect to learn advanced mathematics, calculus, chemistry, and physics. After some of these core courses, mechanical engineering majors take specialized courses in:
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Materials science
  • Robotics
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Thermodynamics and heat transfer
  • Environmental science
They will also take advanced computer classes that deal with design.

A typical Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering will require communications classes (composition, technical writing), humanities (history language, political science), basic science (chemistry, physics), business (accounting, marketing), mathematics, and basic engineering and computer skills. Usually the core mechanical engineering classes (fluid mechanics, engineering design, heat transfer) begin in the sophomore year.

Evaluate your potential future as a mechanical engineering major by asking yourself these questions:
  • How are your grades in math and science? If you struggle, choose another specialty. If you do well and ask for more, mechanical engineering might be the right choice.
  • Do you have a curiosity about how things work? Have you found yourself taking things apart and putting them back together? This is a natural attribute of the mechanical engineer.
  • If you live to discover new or better ways to do things, you are definitely on the right track.
  • Are computer games, mazes, and jigsaw puzzles fun for you? What could be better than doing work you enjoy?
  • Do people turn to you for advice or trust your decisions? That means you think clearly and have demonstrated decision-making abilities in the past. It is an important requirement for a mechanical engineer.

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