Is it better to apply to a specific engineering major and later switch or start as general engineer major and move to a more specific field of study?
I am trying to fill out college applications and am uncertain in what I should enter as my major choice. Is there a specific advantage in choosing one path over the other? My goal is not to see how much debt I collect, but to use college as a useful tool to become successful in life. I feel that this decision plays a huge role in making my college experience productive. #engineering #science #mathematics #stem-education
I always recommend starting general and then drilling down to more specialized disciplines after you've had a chance to test the waters and figure out what really tickles your fancy.
Remember there are lots of different types of engineering, and even more types of engineering jobs, so don't rush choosing your career path so early. Get an idea of what you like and what you'd want to do while you're getting your pre-requisite and general education courses knocked out, and make the most informed choice possible. Career fairs and guidance counselors are a huge help in this process.
I suspect certain aspects of engineering appeal to you more than others so you probably already have something in mind. At least at my school, your first year you take a lot of intro courses. You choose 2 different engineering majors and you take an intro course in each. That gives you a feel for each and then you declare your major at the end of freshman year.
One of the many reasons that I love this question.....seems to me that you clearly understand that the goal is to actually graduate...and move on :). The good news is that is also one of the many goals of colleges and universities. Beyond that, I also believe that starting in a general program and learning more about a specific field of study to pursue can be the best use of your time (and money :)).
In my case, my engineering program required freshman to take the same math and physics classes regardless of engineering discipline. Students who declared an engineering major didn't start to take courses in their major until the latter part of their second year. Students who didn't declare an engineering major(or made the decision to change) had time to learn more from others, their peers...about the classes, the professors, the projects :) AND the job prospects. I learned a whole lot about the job prospects from students who were closer to graduating and doing their job hunts.
I do hope you find this response helpful. Best of luck!