4 answers

I am not a creative type but i want to study mechanical engineering am i on a right path?

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4 answers

Lisa’s Answer

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There is much about engineering that requires engineering, but it also requires rigorous math and science education, especially physics. I like to compare engineering to puzzle solving. Another good analogy is inventing.

So if you are good in math and science, and are on track to finish at least pre-calc (preferably calculus) and will take biology, chemistry and physics by the end of high school, mechanical engineering might be a good fit for you. Best wishes as you continue your education.

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Erin’s Answer

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There are many applications for mechanical engineering. Creativity is not necessarily a must have skill set. Being detail-oriented, having strong mathematical skills, having analytical capabilities, an interest in sciences, and a thirst for knowledge are all of the utmost importance in the field of mechanical engineering. Mechanical Engineering degrees have an extremely broad application in the job market as well. Quality control, process controls, manufacturing, all have mechanical engineering applications and usually pay pretty well. Don't worry about being creative at this point but rather completing the classes that are required and becoming proficient in the skills that are taught in the curriculum. Do the best you can, and if you don't pass the class the first time around, retake it until you do.
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Glenn’s Answer

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Lisa provided a great answer. Mechanical Engineering is applied physics. I never considered myself as a creative person. But having a good understanding of the fundamentals, I was able to solve some engineering problem in a unique way that lead to several patents.

Not all engineering jobs require that type of problem solving. A passion around math and science is critical.

Glenn recommends the following next steps:

  • Complete highest level of math and science that you can in High School. Physics and Chemistry are a must. Calculus is ideal.
  • In college, it is not only important to get the right answers. It is also important to understand the principles of why it works the way it does.
  • Intern or co-op in college to get experience.
  • Take a class with projects, like a solar powered dune buggy.
  • Find Mechanical Engineers through your parents, career center, or on LinkedIn and ask for an informational interview to understand how their jobs aligns with your interests.
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Richard’s Answer

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Good day to you . "Engineer" comes from the Latin Word "ingeniare" ( to Create) . SO the nature of the art (ehem, science) is pretty much based on "creativity". But don't panic, my friend... read on!

There is an old saying "If the only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. " (Maslow on Kaplans law of the instrument 1966) .

You looked into Engineering as a field of study, Phemelo ( BTW Thats a great name!) . But perhaps with a hammer in hand.

The point im trying to make is... Dont sell yourself short if everything , creatively, looks like "nails".

The academics of engineering study's is based on collecting and using the "tools" needed to solve problems... If engineering interests you, think about why you need engineering school. You will solve hundreds of problems as you hone the creative process like nobody else.

By the time you get your coveted title of "Engineer" , you are going to learn to use those creative skills as you learn those problem solving principles, such as accams razor, level of detail, building criteria for success, divide and conquer, and order of magnitude problem solving.

If your not sure if engineering is for you, don't feel alone. You can perhaps attend a community college that lets you transfer credits as you prove STEM aptitude , while building your career plan . Then, transfer to university when your ready to do what you want, be it science or engineering, or whatever needs some academic study. BTW , thats a problem solving tool based on gathering all data and making your decision at the last possible moment ("JIT " or just-in-time) . See where im going? "Tools!"

Im going to add that everyone and their brother will scare you with the need to get high grades before college. Its a little true, but if your grades are less than perfect dont let that scare you. In the first year of college you learn study technique that will greatly improve your learning skills.

now, Im going to spring the downside on ya... engineering IS creativity , if an engineer gets assigned a problem to solve, its probably because everyone else failed to solve it. You wont be a great engineer without being able to do what others cant, and thats usually through a creative approach.
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And the upside, your the one of very few that came here looking for information to make a decision. Il argue that engineering spirit may be kicking in. Keep in mind that most engineers get up avery day looking forward to going to work... creative challenge is why.

In the steps to solve a problem, you may be surprised at how much potential you have creatively. Once you assemble the facts in your mind... and break down / define the problem in solvable terms...you will learn your most creative moments that lead to solving problems is just a good night's sleep.

If the solutions were obvious, then it was never a problem to begin with ... so.... Gather your tools, young Phemelo....

Rich "Nailed it!" Wolf
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