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what skills should i have coming into mechanical engineering?

#mechanical-engineering

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Gordon’s Answer

Did you repair bicycles for your friends? Did you ever do maintenance on a power mower? Have you built any models from a kit, rocket or flying aircraft models? If so, you have some mechanical ability. Can you use hand tools?

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G. Mark’s Answer

The skills you should have before embarking on ME as a career are those you've probably already gained prior to entering college. That is, if you actually are interested in ME, you probably have always been interested in machines, have enjoyed tinkering, taking them apart, repairing them. If, like me, as a toddler, you got up on a dresser and took a clock off the wall to take it apart and generally made adults crazy by doing things like that, you've probably never been able to resist getting those skills.

Now as to what skills you'll need to get in college before getting a job, mathematics including algebra and geometry, computer programming (part of just about every discipline today), metallurgy, discrete mathematics, statics and dynamics and chemistry will be good.

However, one thing that a lot of folks realize is essential to success in any technical field is the ability to communicate well. Projects get larger all the time, and so do the teams that build them. And because of that, the interfaces between the components of the projects themselves and the team members that work on those pieces increase in number geometrically. So a larger and larger part of your job will be communicating the details of what you do for others. So get used to public speaking and clear writing.

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