Engineering?College

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I am a Jr. in high school and deciding what I want to go to college for. I think I wan to be an engineer but I am not entirely sure exactly what that means. i realize there are many types of engineers and I am sure i don't want to be a civil engineer. I want to work with the design of things. I believe that is called industrial design. I want to do basically what Ives does although i may not go into computers. I am very intrested also in like the design of the interface of programs which i think is a totally different area but oh well. I just wnat to know what to major in to be in industrial design. Is this a decent field to get into?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    thttht Posts: 5,496member
    Some colleges will have industrial engineering departments or share it with the mechanical or systems engineering departments. You would be majoring in industrial engineering itself. This major should encapsulate the fundamental principles behind user interface design, but won't cover any of it in detail, if at all.



    You'll also need to look into minoring in art design, psychology and kinesiology courses to give you a good sense of human-machine interaction. For user interface design, it'll require a lot more computer science courses.



    There are plenty of colleges that do these sorts of things, so it's your choice. One of the most important things for you to do is to have real world experience while still in school, which means internships, co-ops, research/tech grants, et al.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Kettering University (née General Motors Instutute—GMI) in lovely Flint, MI used to have an industrial engineering degree. They may still do. I think they may even have girls.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    rmh1572rmh1572 Posts: 94member
    So does the industrial engineering thing also include industrial design, as in design of the appearance of things?
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Actually...Industrial Engineering is more like managing a manufacturing facility (inventory control, workflow, etc.) It's about optimizing and streamlining a given process. Cornell University (my beloved alma mater) has a degree in Operations Research & Industrial Engineering (yes...I agree that's a long ass name for one major). I looked up the link to the department here:



    Cornell's School of OR & IE



    I think Industrial DESIGN could be more characterized as something akin to Architecture, i.e. something more artistic and less technical. Not that there's no technical side to those professions...but the emphasis being more on ergonomics and asthetics.



    Engineering in general can be characterized as being the practical application of technology to solve a problem. I am a chemical engineer. Hence, I need to know a lot of chemistry, but I also learn about stuff like designing chemical reactors and seperations processses to purify a finished product. But there is also Chem E research in many other fields. My grad work was in biotech, so I did a lot of molecular biology. I was still a chemical engineering student, but I was working with very small (i.e. cellular level) systems as opposed to your typical chemical plant. The same goes for many other engineering disciplines (electrical, civil, mechanical and so on). If you like science and math a lot....than engineering would be a good profession. However, it sounds like you want to do design more than engineering. If thats the case, then I would think you want to start assembling a portfolio of any drawings and such that you have made. Perhaps some of the graphics and design professionals who frequent AI could give this young 'un more detailed advice?
  • Reply 5 of 21
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    At Princeton the architecture dept does more industrial design related projects than structure/building related projects. And there are indeed girls in the arch dept, though, like most people in that dept, they are kinda the flaky type.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    I think what you're aiming for is an art/design major rather an engineering. Most engineering subjects are flooded with calculus and science and the sort (I'm a mechE myself). Industrial engineering is not the designing of products but more towards the management side.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    kwondokwondo Posts: 217member
    I think what he really want IS Design per ergomonics...hence the best school for that kind of specialization is like The Art Center @ Pasadena, Ca or SVA, School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, NYC and etc. These places are extremely competative and expensive and if you already don't have some artistic talent, it will be a rude awakening. Having said that, a lot of the graduates still have difficult time finding work since the field itself is less defined (like fine art field vs traditional job field). But then again, after the "Dot-Bomb" market, we all know that whatever field you are in there is no longevity in a job/career because there is no loyalty left in companies/businesses.



    You would be doing it because you love it, not because it is well paying or otherwise. I hope I'm not being too damp in discribing reality. It's just that I've been around the block, several times
  • Reply 8 of 21
    rmh1572rmh1572 Posts: 94member
    Well thanks for the replys. I am definetly not good at art so maybe I am going in the right direction. I do like math and science but I know I don't want to design bridges and things. ( I know thats not all a civil engineer does.) Truth is i don't know eactly what I want and am kinda mad about it. I am a person who likes to get things done but I also like to design so maybe its jsut a matter of choosing. What sort of things does an industrial engineer do. Also anyone who has any other ideas about what I might want to major in, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Rmh1572

    Well thanks for the replys. I am definetly not good at art so maybe I am going in the right direction. I do like math and science but I know I don't want to design bridges and things. ( I know thats not all a civil engineer does.) Truth is i don't know eactly what I want and am kinda mad about it. I am a person who likes to get things done but I also like to design so maybe its jsut a matter of choosing. What sort of things does an industrial engineer do. Also anyone who has any other ideas about what I might want to major in, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance



    Well first off YOU have to decide what you want to major in. We can all chime in and tell you to major in our own fields (or not major...depending on current job satisfaction ). Look at the link in my previous post above to see what Industrial Engineering entails. As I stated before...its a more managerial type of subject. A lot of people I knew in school in this major ended up going into banking surprisingly (good analytical skills), or consulting. Look at the web sites of some reputable engineering schools (MIT, CalTech, RPI, Cornell, Princeton, many of the Big Ten schools, etc). You can get a lot of info on what sorts of courses you would take (calculus and physics for sure...maybe extra chem or bio if you go into chem eng, along with more specific courses jr and sr years).



    Ultimately, you need to find something you enjoy doing. I knew a lot of people who "liked math and science" when they started engineering school and ended up HATING it. Also, think about where the good schools for your chosen field are, and whether you would want to spend 4 years there . Ithaca, NY is a pretty town most of the year, but winters were pretty miserable there. But it was a nice place, and I enjoyed my time there. Jesus, I sound like a guidance counselor..... In a nutshell....do a LOT of research and personal evaluation in this process. Oh...and start writing those college admissions essays now, they're a big pain in the ass when you're rushing to meet the application deadline next year 8). Good luck!
  • Reply 10 of 21
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    You can look at georgia tech's industrial engineering program (I think top rated in the country) at http://www.isye.gatech.edu/



    But I do not think this is what you want. Now "design" is a tricky thing, all engineering fields have some level of design, eg designing bridges (civil), designing manufacturing systems (industrial), designing circuits (electrical), designing engines (mechanical), designing robots (electrical/mechanical), designing heart devices (biomedical), designing chemical production pathways (chemical), etc. If it's art design you're after, maybe a minor in art would be ideal (and a hard engineering major).



    I'm in mechanical engineering, which is a very broad engineering field that ecompasses things like building cars and engines, building and designing airplanes, or (what I'm focusing on) building and designing robotics, and many others. Just read up on the many engineering fields and look at descriptions of courses at universities, see what seems interesting to you.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    formerlurkerformerlurker Posts: 2,686member
    Engineering makes a great background for whatever technical area you might want to get into, including everything you mentioned in your initial post. Members of my graduating ChE class went on to medical, law, MBA, or masters degrees, as well as immediately into industry.



    Core curriculum for all engineering majors is usually identical freshman year, so if you end up in a good engineering school you can stay undeclared for at least a year till you have a better handle on your desired future.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    rmh1572rmh1572 Posts: 94member
    Thanks again for continuing to reply. I have been reevaluating and thinking maybe i will just start out in a business major and go from their. I would really also like to be a manager some day too so maybe i will do that. I really do like math and science though so i am jsut totally lost.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    formerlurkerformerlurker Posts: 2,686member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Rmh1572

    Thanks again for continuing to reply. I have been reevaluating and thinking maybe i will just start out in a business major and go from their. I would really also like to be a manager some day too so maybe i will do that. I really do like math and science though so i am jsut totally lost.



    If you want to do something in technology, stay in computers or engineering for your undergrad degreee. Business school is for AFTER your undergrad work !
  • Reply 14 of 21
    I agree with formerlurker. If you get a good technical education, you'll be a far more effective manager in a technical company setting, and sometimes even a nontechnical one since you'll have a good analytical background. One of my roommates from college was in Chem Eng with me and went to law school to do intellectual property law. You can do med school, business school, etc. I know a lot of people in my class who worked a couple years and went back to school for MBA's. Like I said before, don't just choose on a whim. Think about what you really want to do...and go from there.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    since this is related about college, which do you think would be beter to go for, electrical engineering (because i hear it is basically the same as computer engineering only better) or marketing?



    and any suggestions on schoosl for either in PA?
  • Reply 16 of 21
    rmh1572rmh1572 Posts: 94member
    I am not just going on a whim. i have thought about many things to do and I definetly want to be in technology and I am very interested in the last couple of posts. What is a good general engineering "division" to go into? i have also thought about teaching though too. Upper level. Like I said i am having a very difficult time finding what I want to do because i like so much.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    I once heard Chemical Engineering refered to as the "liberal arts degree" of engineering, since it covers such a broad array of subjects (bulk and fine chemicals, microchip fabrication, biotech, environmental, etc.) If you plan to teach at the college level, plan on going to grad school for your PhD (usually a 4-5 year deal).



    If you look at the web pages for engineering departments, you can often read up on the faculty of the dept and see what their research interests are...thats a great source of info about a school.



    And since you have so many interests and aren't completely sure...look at schools that are good for many subjects. If you go to MIT and decide you really don't enjoy engineering, your choices for other majors will be more limited.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    chweave1chweave1 Posts: 164member
    If you have your heart set on engineering, but arent sure which one you want to follow, try to go to a school that makes you take a general engineering course before you select the specific engineering discipline. I go to Virginia Tech, and that's how they do it here and it helped me realize that I did not want to go into computer engineering, but that civil engineering was what was best for me. I dont know for sure, but i think many schools do it this way, but many do not. Take that into account. I think the statistics show that the majority of college students end up switching majors at least once, usually twice. Keep that in mind!!!
  • Reply 19 of 21
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ast3r3x

    since this is related about college, which do you think would be beter to go for, electrical engineering (because i hear it is basically the same as computer engineering only better) or marketing?



    and any suggestions on schoosl for either in PA?




    Lol ast3r3x, what kind of comparison do you want between the two? I'm not sure on the EE vs. CE part, I'm a CS major so I try not to deal with the hardware when possible (though it kinda hurts me cause the FH threads kinda go straight over my head with Programmer et. al's comments)... but engineering and marketing aren't related at all, so it'd be whatever you think is more interesting. Sell features as benefits (marketing), or build the features (engineering)... take your pick
  • Reply 20 of 21
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ast3r3x

    since this is related about college, which do you think would be beter to go for, electrical engineering (because i hear it is basically the same as computer engineering only better) or marketing?



    and any suggestions on schoosl for either in PA?




    Well in a lot of schools, EE and CE programs are in the same major and you focus on one in higher level courses, depending on what attracts you more. Marketing, bah, engineering all the way



    Anyways for PA schools, Carnegie Mellon (my school) has a super good EE/CE program and is also good in businessstuff from what I understand.



    Also, Rmh1572, what sort of science interests you? From my impression, the ones who like physics go into mechanical or electrical engineering, the ones who like chemistry or biology go into chemical/biomedical/materials engineering. May be just a stereotype.
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