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What is a good college approach for pursuing robotics, manufacturing engineering, entrepreneurship, and business management?

This is in goals to be able to design, manufacture, and sell innovative mechanical products through single product business models. If you think this is to much to pursue this goal you could suggest that to. Thank you.

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Sheila’s Answer

Thanks for the great question. I am inspired by your ambition. I am a mechanical engineer, and my background is in the automotive manufacturing industry, so I will comment from that perspective.

With your interest in robotics and manufacturing engineering, you may want to consider/explore a manufacturing engineering degree with a specialization in robotics. This technical foundation could then be leveraged to support your entrepreneur endeavors and business ideas. Also, if you choose, the degree could enable you to work in a large landscape of industry companies and roles.

If you found you wanted to grow your business acumen, you could continue your education and pursue a business-related degree. Some manufacturing companies will pay for your continued advanced education. So, you may want to consider this as well. (ie..If you attained a technical engineering degree, went to work for a manufacturing company, you may be able to leverage that company’s advanced education program for your future business degree.)

For myself, I pursued an approach similar to above. I attained my mechanical engineering degree, went to work for a large automotive company, and then pursued part time (while working) my Engineering Management degree (which had many business aspects). The company paid for this advanced degree.

Best wishes as you explore your future career.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hey there Maxwell!

Embarking on a journey towards a career in robotics, manufacturing engineering, entrepreneurship, and business management is like setting sail on a vast ocean of opportunities. It's a path that requires a blend of technical mastery and business savvy to design, create, and market innovative mechanical products using single-product business models.

Here's a friendly guide for your college journey in Robotics, Manufacturing Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Business Management:

Choosing the Right College or University: The first step is finding a school that offers a wide range of programs in your areas of interest. Look for institutions with strong engineering departments focusing on mechanical engineering, robotics, and manufacturing. Also, keep an eye out for universities with prestigious business or entrepreneurship programs.

Dual Major or Combined Degree Programs: Many universities offer dual majors or combined degree programs. These programs are a great way for you to gain expertise in both technical and business-related fields. You'll get to dive deep into engineering principles while also learning the ropes of entrepreneurship and business management.

Specialized Tracks or Concentrations: Some colleges offer specialized tracks within their engineering programs, focusing on areas like robotics, automation, or advanced manufacturing. Similarly, some business schools offer concentrations in entrepreneurship or innovation management. These programs offer targeted training in your area of interest.

Internship Opportunities: Colleges with strong industry connections often offer robust internship programs. Internships are a fantastic way to gain practical insights into manufacturing processes, robotics development, and the business side of product marketing.

Entrepreneurship Programs and Resources: Look for colleges that offer dedicated entrepreneurship programs or resources such as incubators, accelerators, or innovation centers. These resources can be a great help for budding entrepreneurs eager to develop and launch innovative products.

Research Opportunities: Colleges with active research faculty in robotics, advanced manufacturing technologies, or entrepreneurship can provide you with opportunities to work on cutting-edge developments.

Networking and Mentorship: Colleges that offer networking opportunities with industry professionals and alumni can be invaluable. Mentorship from those with relevant experience can provide guidance and insights as you work towards your career goals.

Capstone Projects or Design Challenges: Colleges that incorporate capstone projects or design challenges into their curriculum offer hands-on experience in developing innovative mechanical products. These experiences can be crucial in applying theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Is This Goal Too Ambitious?

While it's a big goal to pursue a career path that includes robotics, manufacturing engineering, entrepreneurship, and business management, it's definitely achievable. Many have successfully navigated this path by using their interdisciplinary skills to create innovative products and establish successful businesses.

However, this journey requires dedication, determination, and a love for continuous learning. Good time management skills will be essential as you juggle different coursework while seeking practical experiences through internships or entrepreneurial ventures.

Whether this goal is "too much" really depends on your passion for these fields and your willingness to commit to the challenging but rewarding journey ahead.

In conclusion, a strategic approach to education that combines technical expertise with entrepreneurial skills is key to a successful career in robotics, manufacturing engineering, entrepreneurship, and business management. By choosing the right college, exploring dual major options, seeking specialized tracks, engaging in internships and research, accessing entrepreneurship programs and resources, building networks, seeking mentorship, and participating in capstone projects, you'll be well-prepared to design, manufacture, and sell innovative mechanical products.

Here are the top 3 authoritative reference publications:

1. IEEE Spectrum - www.spectrum.ieee.org
2. Harvard Business Review - hbr.org
3. MIT Technology Review - www.technologyreview.com

May you be blessed abundantly in your journey!
James Constantine Frangos.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Maxwell
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Caryn’s Answer

Wow! This is a very ambitious question. However, it is very close to what I pursued in college with my degrees !

I suggest, pre-college, exposing yourself to as many of the components as you can. Look at programs your, or other accessible, schools are offering. Also look to companies. I was able to take a basic computer class and learned the 'C' language at school and there was an after school 'scouts' program at a big technology company, IBM, where I learned how to program basic games. If you can't find programs but have access to the internet (home, school, library, teen center) look for on-line courses. Microsoft offers a lot of them to the public.

I also was able to run a small 'food truck' kind of business that taught be business basics, such as profit & loss, product planning, and customer service. It is good to get as much exposure and experience as you can get will help.

If you are going to secondary school, e.g., a trade school or university, look for programs that offer all of these classes. I was able to study computer science at college which include robotics 3-dimensional mathematics and working with actual robotic components. The school I went to also offered a business program and with extra work, I was able to study in both programs at the same time (lots of hours studying). These days though, there are a lot of on-line universities where you can custom design what you are studying and your degree.

Caryn recommends the following next steps:

Look at your school for additional programs that might not be actual classes in the curriculum
Speak with a school advisor
Speak with your teachers, especially those in mathematics and the sciences
Look in your area for technology companies and reach out to them about programs for teens
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Maxwell
Thank you comment icon I have a nice pc at home to do stuff like this including using fusion 360 and some other autocad programs. Would you recommend checking out any specific pre college programs to help me succeed in this. And again thank you very much for providing the time to give such a great answer with personal experience to back it up, I think a good truck is a really great way to get introduced to running a business. Maxwell
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Katherine’s Answer

It certainly isn't too much to pursue that goal! But you might like to look into anyone you've heard of who does something similar, and find out how they got into doing it (Elon Musk perhaps?)....And some of the best resources I know of for the kind of thing you're hoping to set up, in a certain number of helpful steps, are Dave Ramsey's book EntreLeadership and Ken Coleman's book From Paycheck to Purpose.
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