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What work are you doing as an electrical engineer, robotics engineer, software engineer, or a mechanical engineer?

Do I need to take any specific classes?
Do I need to learn coding?
What math should I be taking?

Thank you comment icon Hello Provoke, It's absolutely fantastic to see your diverse array of interests! Each of these areas you're exploring demands a solid foundation in mathematics and science. All of these fields will rely on coding, having a solid background will definitely help Keep up the good work! Brian Brian Walsh

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Stephen’s Answer

As a software engineer, my role encompasses the design, development, testing, and upkeep of software applications and systems. I use a variety of programming languages and frameworks including Javascript, React, PHP, Scala, and Golang to create software that performs specific tasks. This could range from developing web-based applications to crafting large-scale software solutions for businesses.

Indeed, coding is a vital skill for a career in software engineering. Begin with manageable coding exercises, utilize online resources, and engage in hands-on projects. Welcome challenges, keep your curiosity alive, and remember that every line of code you write brings you one step closer to making a significant impact in the field of software development. Plus, once you master a few languages, you'll find that many concepts are similar across them, making it easier to branch out and learn new ones.

While software engineering doesn't demand advanced math skills like some other engineering fields, having a solid grounding in math is still advantageous. Concentrate on areas like algebra and discrete mathematics. These mathematical concepts can aid in understanding algorithms, data structures, and tackling complex programming problems.
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David C’s Answer

Hi Provoke,

Firstly, it's crucial to identify the career path that truly excites you and brings you joy. Once you've pinpointed this, you can then seek more tailored advice for your chosen field.

Although I'm retired now, I've spent over half a century working in diverse engineering sectors and welding fabrication. My engineering journey encompassed machine design, fixture creation, tooling, and product design. During my time in welding, I fabricated a variety of machine tools, cabinets, concrete molds, and some structural elements.

I found immense satisfaction in both fields. My passion for welding led me to engineering. I relished not only designing things but also assembling my designs. There's a unique thrill in witnessing your creations come to life and function as intended. I've had the privilege of designing unique fixtures and tools, which resulted in six patents under my name in the United States.

So, start by discovering your passion, then delve into research to determine if it's a viable career option for you. Remember, college isn't the only path to a fulfilling career. There are outstanding vocational training schools that offer an alternative to traditional high school education, equipping you with a trade skill for immediate employment.

Best Wishes,
Designer Dave
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Mickael’s Answer

Do I need to take any specific classes?
Do I need to learn coding?
What math should I be taking?

Well, it depends from the type of engineering you want to do. Your list is pretty wide.
"""electrical engineer, robotics engineer, software engineer, or a mechanical engineer"""
If you are taking the software engineering, you definitely need coding, but I am not sure this is required for mechanical engineering or even electrical engineering.

I believe all needs Mathematic, but even so, the specifics will be different based on the Engineering domain you want to go.

Mickael recommends the following next steps:

define the one you really like/want before asking
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Amalya’s Answer

Although this is quite far from my field, I can give you some general knowledge about it. In many cases, engineering requires strong educational background in the field, especially for professional work. You mentioned different types of engineering, but usually in most cases, students specialize in one particular type of engineering (industrial, software, chemical, nuclear engineering, and so on.) So you should decide which of the engineering types you are interested in the most. For instance, coding skills are more required if you are a software engineer.
All the best in your career decisions
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Susan’s Answer

I am a mechanical engineer. I've been working in the chemical industry for 28 years. I have primarily worked in a chemical plant. I spent part of that time doing maintenance support work for fixed and rotating equipment. I also spent time working in the reliability group, working on jobs to improve the reliability of the equipment. For the past 12 years I have been working as a project engineer/manager. Throughout my career this has involved working alongside operations and maintenance personnel to solve problems and make improvements. A lot of my time is spent in my office working on my computer, but I also spend some time out in the plant looking at equipment in the units, and I spend time in meetings.

Regarding what classes to take, your degree plan will have a list of required classes. However, one thing that I would highly recommend is taking any courses that you can on learning effective ways to communicate or present information. Being able to communicate well is one of the top skills that are needed. You can have an amazing idea, but if you can't communicate it well, it will likely not be supported by others or successful. And that would apply to any degree that you decide to pursue.

Regarding whether you need to learn coding, back when I was in college (many years ago), there was some coding required in a few classes. We didn't really need to know anything about the coding before the class. In my work as a mechanical engineer, the only "coding" that I have done is in creating an application in Power Apps and Power Automate. There are lots of tutorials online that can help you learn those things.

Regarding what math to take, for any of degrees you mentioned, there will be a list of required math classes in college that you will have to take. My advice before college is take any of the math classes that your high school offers.

One other piece of advice is, don't feel like you have to know right now what field you want to end up in. It is OK to change your mind. You want to end up in a career that you like because you are going to end up spending a lot of your life in that career. Find something that you enjoy. When I started college, I knew I liked computers, so I chose Computer Engineering as my major. After the first year, I realized there was quite of bit of electrical engineering involved, and I didn't like that. I did enjoy some of the coding work that I had done, so I changed my major to Computer Science. Then after a few classes, I realized that I would be so bored if all I ever did was computer coding. So I looked back at the other classes that I had enjoyed, and I realized that mechanical engineering would be a good fit for me. I am so glad that I ended up with that major. I truly enjoy what I do. And don't think of those decision changes as a failure. I count those changes of a major as a success for helping me eliminate two majors that I didn't want to do.

Good luck!
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Igmar’s Answer

As an electrical engineer, I'm currently immersed in the fascinating world of software and hardware development. My role is a mix of hardware analysis and testing, which involves studying schematics, configuring CPUs, and monitoring power consumption, and software development, where I create drivers, apps, and other software components.

In your journey through the various branches of engineering, you'll find that they all share a common foundation: physics, math, and chemistry. Math is the universal language of all engineers, while physics is particularly crucial for those in electrical, mechanical, and robotics engineering. And speaking from my experience as an electrical engineer, I can vouch for the importance of chemistry. If your career path leads you deeper into component design, a solid understanding of chemical processes can be invaluable, especially when it comes to creating key components like batteries, processors, cooling systems, and displays.

When it comes to coding, the degree to which you'll need to master it depends on your chosen career path. If you're leaning towards designing devices or parts/components in fields like mechanical, robotics, or electrical engineering, coding might not be your main focus. A basic understanding can be beneficial to comprehend how your hardware or device is being tested, but you don't necessarily need to be an expert. However, if you're interested in developing your own testing or verification systems, or creating apps and drivers for devices, learning how to code can be a game-changer.

In the realm of software development, coding is not just important, it's essential. It will become the cornerstone of your career, enabling you to create, innovate, and shape the future of technology.
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