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Is biomedical engineering a good major?


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Rebecca’s Answer

Yes--as long as you are willing to work hard! It is a rigorous major but leads to opportunities to develop medical devices, and the health field is ever-growing. Depending on the areas that interest you, you will find various options, from biomaterials developer to doctor (if you want to go that route) to biomedical researcher/scientist, to rehabilitation engineer, and then some. With an MS or Ph.D., you would have more upward mobility and/or have the option of developing your own research within a university (with a Ph.D.) but that also depends on how far you want to go and whether you are interested in developing your own research. If you are just starting college in the fall, meet with one or two faculty in the bioengineering field to find out more about career options--ask faculty what they are researching and what you can do with the major--and use your college career services office. Seek out research opportunities in labs at your school, or through internships (work with Career Services and/or your department). As I said, it is a rigorous major, so you need to have a good science and math background. By "good" I mean you have to really like science and math courses, and do relatively well in them, and be ready to study a lot. If you are in the middle of a degree program and thinking of switching majors, check with your school advisor to see how much you would need to take in order to switch to biomedical engineering without adding extra time to your undergraduate career--unless you have the funding for an extra year or so. Check out these stories from women in bioengineering, https://wie.engineering.illinois.edu/bioengineering-student-stories-lauren-passwater/.

Rebecca recommends the following next steps:

research the major and its requirements
Be realistic: is this a) something you would like , or b) something you think would make a good career? The answer should be "a."

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Zach’s Answer

Biomedical Engineering is a fantastic major! However, you have to make sure that you love it. You will have to take multiple chemistry, biology, and math classes. Biomedical engineering is part of the future and is especially relevant during these times. The work is both rewarding financially, but more importantly in the help that you can provide to others.

Make sure you enjoy what you do and are passionate about it! Especially with a challenging major, make sure you love it so that you can really dive deep into the exciting work!

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Heidi’s Answer

Hi Jessica-
Biomedical Engineering is a great major, it brings challenging course work but can be rewarded with careers in healthcare, research and development and medical device manufacturing. The bigger question to ask yourself it what do you like most about Engineering? Is it problem solving, the science behind engineering, manufacturing. process improvement, quality and reliability, etc? There are many Engineering majors to consider so researching the types of jobs you might be interested in would be a good starting point. Great questions!!

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Rebecca’s Answer

You've gotten great answers already, but I'm going to give a somewhat different perspective. You can't go wrong with any engineering degree, especially one seen as rigorous as biomedical engineering - you will have to be prepared to put in the work, but the reward is almost limitless. Even if you get deep into the curriculum and you feel like, "I don't want to do this, this isn't what I had in mind." Don't let that get you down! It's still possible to forge your own path and do something completely unexpected with your degree.

So, yes. Biomedical engineering is an excellent major. You'll have the standard career paths mapped out for you but you'll also have a lot of doors open for you just because you have an engineering degree.

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