Mechanical engineering is the broadest of all engineering disciplines. I work in product development and have supported consumer electronics and medical devices. It is some what unusual to move back and forth between these to. Medical is heavily regulated and therefore has a lot more paperwork, so to speak. Product cycles in consumer electronic are generally from 10 months to 2 years, where in medical devices, it is 10 months to 5 years.
As in all design, we go from concept phase, to feasibility phase, to engineer/design, to production. This means that what we do depends on the phase. We work closely with EE, ID, manufacturing, procurement, product management, project management ... We design, prototype, test, iterate on the design.
I work on the final product. There are people that just design the components as well.
In the end, MEs also work for automotive manufacturers. But the key is to find the education that aligns with your passion. If you are unsure, ME offers more flexibility in your career options.
This professional recommends the following next steps:
- Co-Op or intern if possible
- visit companies when they come to campus. Ask them about what opportunities are like with their company
- do informational interviews with people in the field you are considering. You may want to reach out on LinkedIn to find them and put the reason for contacting them.