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    Hey guys! I have applied for uni to study chemical engineering but now I feel that maybe it's not for me. During my interview with Manchester the professor who was interviewing me sincerely asked me if engineering was what i really wanted to study and not just because it seemed like a good career. He used the example of one of his relatives who realised they actually wanted to study straight physics after applying to do engineering. At this point, it hit me. He was right. Last year I had no idea what I wanted to do. I picked engineering because it would lead to a decent job that was well paying. Not because i was passionate about it. It was almost a way to shut up the people who kept asking me what i wanted to study. I would be far more interested in studying a pure science. Should I reapply? but what would i do in my gap year
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    (Original post by nhtw)
    Hey guys! I have applied for uni to study chemical engineering but now I feel that maybe it's not for me. During my interview with Manchester the professor who was interviewing me sincerely asked me if engineering was what i really wanted to study and not just because it seemed like a good career. He used the example of one of his relatives who realised they actually wanted to study straight physics after applying to do engineering. At this point, it hit me. He was right. Last year I had no idea what I wanted to do. I picked engineering because it would lead to a decent job that was well paying. Not because i was passionate about it. It was almost a way to shut up the people who kept asking me what i wanted to study. I would be far more interested in studying a pure science. Should I reapply? but what would i do in my gap year
    if you want to do a pure science then go for it! No point forcing yourself to study something you don't enjoy
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    That's certainly true for me. I find going into more detail of the theory and science behind it all much more interesting and fulfilling.

    You could if you wanted to say do a physics BSc then do some kind of engineering postgrad degree. It wouldn't be ideal but you can still do it.
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    Yep, I agree with a10. You'll spend 3-4 years learning a subject you don't really enjoy and then work in a related field for maybe the rest of your life. It's better to just take a gap year and reapply if you're confident you don't want to do Engineering. There's nothing wrong with picking a course that will lead to a good job but it's important that it's something you enjoy!
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    I don't know. Do you?

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    I should have done physics, but I don't regret doing engineering because I would never have learnt about Aerodynamics.
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    (Original post by djpailo)
    I should have done physics.
    there's far too much b.s. to deal with in physics...the labs are so much more annoying as well (basically lots and lots and lots of error analysis and drawing graphs and that kinda thing).....you also have to deal with the astrophysics and optical physics stuff which personally for me was the worst thing I've learnt in my life lol

    with engineering its a very nice balance between the physics i actually like and the maths.
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    The thing about pure sciences, ok specifically chemistry and physics, is that they're notoriously difficult. With an engineering degree it's a bit easier, from what I've seen, you get better job prospects and you still have the ability to convert with a masters afterwards, although it's less likely than with the other way around.
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    (Original post by Helloworld_95)
    With an engineering degree it's a bit easier.
    Hmm it is subjective and is also based on your personal interests in the subject...for example I don't find engineering that difficult because I'm actually interested in what I'm learning....whereas if I did say Chemistry i would hate it and find it difficult as a result because I have absolutely zero interest in that.
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    If you don't like the subject and think you have made the wrong choice then change for goodness sake.

    If you do not have a passion for it, you will end up resenting it, both in your degree and later on in your career.

    To excel at engineering, it needs to be in your blood. You will be thrust into a world where engineers talk of nothing but engineering, the latest technologies, specifications and stiff that will bore you to death - unless you love it.

    If you have ambition to be an engineering manager and progress up the ladder, you had better be more adept in your specialisation than your peers or that promotion is not going to happen and you will be ripped to shreds at symposiums and conferences not to mention peer reviews.

    Choose wisely.
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    (Original post by a10)
    Hmm it is subjective and is also based on your personal interests in the subject...for example I don't find engineering that difficult because I'm actually interested in what I'm learning....whereas if I did say Chemistry i would hate it and find it difficult as a result because I have absolutely zero interest in that.
    That sounds like a good idea but I'm not sure I'd entirely agree, I know people who do chemistry and love it and find it incredibly difficult and a lot of work and I also know those who do engineering, are ok with it and find it easy. So yeah it's definitely subjective but the trend I've seen is most of the people who love a pure science find it hard whereas with engineering, especially the interdisciplinary subjects like chem and aero, most do not find it hard.
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    (Original post by a10)
    there's far too much b.s. to deal with in physics...the labs are so much more annoying as well (basically lots and lots and lots of error analysis and drawing graphs and that kinda thing).....you also have to deal with the astrophysics and optical physics stuff which personally for me was the worst thing I've learnt in my life lol

    with engineering its a very nice balance between the physics i actually like and the maths.
    You do optics in engineering. Space Systems and PIV equipment which is commonly used in Aerodynamics. Astrophysics is also briefly covered in some space units.

    I personally think the balance isn't right in engineering. It may not be the subject, probably the curriculum, but nothing felt anything but a chore learning Engineering except perhaps a handful of units. Everything else was a chore and just commit to memory, no real need to understand.

    Prime example would be Eng Maths. We spent half a lecture on Taylor Series. I distinctly remember that we spent so little time on something that always appeared everywhere. Problem with that, as an example, would be having to use the maths later on and during lectures, our class frequently struggled with trying to do a taylor series on a function without having memorized the formula. I could list more too such as Laplace Transforms (which comes up in Vibrations and Control).

    Engineering, the way its taught now is "here, learn everything and just memorize memorize". I don't think the subject is wrong in any way, but the way its taught needs a rethink. Anyone remember electronics unit in first year? :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by djpailo)
    You do optics in engineering. Space Systems and PIV equipment which is commonly used in Aerodynamics. Astrophysics is also briefly covered in some space units.

    I personally think the balance isn't right in engineering. It may not be the subject, probably the curriculum, but nothing felt anything but a chore learning Engineering except perhaps a handful of units. Everything else was a chore and just commit to memory, no real need to understand.

    Prime example would be Eng Maths. We spent half a lecture on Taylor Series. I distinctly remember that we spent so little time on something that always appeared everywhere. Problem with that, as an example, would be having to use the maths later on and during lectures, our class frequently struggled with trying to do a taylor series on a function without having memorized the formula. I could list more too such as Laplace Transforms (which comes up in Vibrations and Control).

    Engineering, the way its taught now is "here, learn everything and just memorize memorize". I don't think the subject is wrong in any way, but the way its taught needs a rethink. Anyone remember electronics unit in first year? :rolleyes:
    Even though you say you did optics I doubt you would have covered the actual optical science in as much detail as physics students do. They delve deep to the realms of science whereas engineering keeps the science specific; we are only concerned with the science that actually helps us engineer great solutions.

    I've said this many times and ill say it again engineering at university is not teaching you to be an engineer so I don't really understand why people find it odd that most of it is just memorising stuff for an exam....the whole point of the degree is that it is teaching you how to think like an engineer. You will only start to become a fully fledged engineer when you learn on the job and put those skills to practise.

    Scientists find out WHY things are the way they are and introduce new problems....Engineers on the other hand tell them HOW to go about solving that problem and making a useful product out of it to benefit society.
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    (Original post by djpailo)
    You do optics in engineering. Space Systems and PIV equipment which is commonly used in Aerodynamics. Astrophysics is also briefly covered in some space units.

    I personally think the balance isn't right in engineering. It may not be the subject, probably the curriculum, but nothing felt anything but a chore learning Engineering except perhaps a handful of units. Everything else was a chore and just commit to memory, no real need to understand.

    Prime example would be Eng Maths. We spent half a lecture on Taylor Series. I distinctly remember that we spent so little time on something that always appeared everywhere. Problem with that, as an example, would be having to use the maths later on and during lectures, our class frequently struggled with trying to do a taylor series on a function without having memorized the formula. I could list more too such as Laplace Transforms (which comes up in Vibrations and Control).

    Engineering, the way its taught now is "here, learn everything and just memorize memorize". I don't think the subject is wrong in any way, but the way its taught needs a rethink. Anyone remember electronics unit in first year? :rolleyes:
    You are missing the point entirely.

    I agree completely with a10.

    You seem to be stuck in a school environment type mentality where a degree is 'taught' rather than lectures used as a springboard to further private study and research.

    There are plenty of college courses that teach engineering to a good standard of Higher National Certificate and are far more hands on vocational than a traditional engineering degree. Perhaps one of those may have suited you better.

    Engineering is about bridging the gap between the laws of physics, manipulating materials within the boundaries of physics and developing technologies to solve problems in the real-world.

    Physicists concentrate on the abstract knowledge and need to push the boundaries of the science into the unknown.

    Engineers convert the abstract into workable solutions for a given problem. Engineering spans a very wide range of disciplines from the cutting edge of science, where Engineers must have the ability to both converse with physicists in the language of mathematics (including Laplace Transforms and Taylor Series) to the applications end where testing and proving a final product ready for market is their specialisation.

    It seems like your course is laying the foundations to appreciate the range of engineering disciplines that you will encounter in your professional career.

    This should be viewed as a precursor to further private study which will eventually lead to a specialisation.

    Scientists need engineers as the arbiters of what is and is not possible given the state-of -the-art in materials and technologies. Engineers need scientists to define the mathematical laws and concepts within which they must work.

    The two are inseparable on anything larger than the small lab projects.
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    (Original post by uberteknik)
    You are missing the point entirely.

    I agree completely with a10.

    You seem to be stuck in a school environment type mentality where a degree is 'taught' rather than lectures used as a springboard to further private study and research.

    There are plenty of college courses that teach engineering to a good standard of Higher National Certificate and are far more hands on vocational than a traditional engineering degree. Perhaps one of those may have suited you better.

    Engineering is about bridging the gap between the laws of physics, manipulating materials within the boundaries of physics and developing technologies to solve problems in the real-world.

    Physicists concentrate on the abstract knowledge and need to push the boundaries of the science into the unknown.

    Engineers convert the abstract into workable solutions for a given problem. Engineering spans a very wide range of disciplines from the cutting edge of science, where Engineers must have the ability to both converse with physicists in the language of mathematics (including Laplace Transforms and Taylor Series) to the applications end where testing and proving a final product ready for market is their specialisation.

    It seems like your course is laying the foundations to appreciate the range of engineering disciplines that you will encounter in your professional career.

    This should be viewed as a precursor to further private study which will eventually lead to a specialisation.

    Scientists need engineers as the arbiters of what is and is not possible given the state-of -the-art in materials and technologies. Engineers need scientists to define the mathematical laws and concepts within which they must work.

    The two are inseparable on anything larger than the small lab projects.
    You seemed to miss my point which I'll clarify:

    I'm not saying it needs to be more abstract. I'm saying less needs to be taught in engineering so students have more time to appreciate key concepts. Spending a whole unit on electronics and avionics in Aero was completely pointless - no one remembers ANYTHING from them, so why teach them? Same with thermodynamics tbh. Don't remember a single thing. Look at textbook and realize I have to start from scratch with it. The subjects that are taught well (Aero, structures) are taught throughout the programme. This is what needs to happen more. You need more units taught properly and not try and teach people everything.

    What needs to happen is that Aero students focus on a core set of units for 4 years, electrical engineers and mechanical students focus on their core units. Instead, we get bits and pieces and its pointless. My point was not talking about comparing Physics, Mathematics and engineering. My point was strictly about things were rushed when they needn't be. You raised a point about private study, the majority of the time (which is the problem..) was that there was little time for private study. One example, in 10 weeks we had either a coursework deadline or a test TWICE a week for 10 weeks including I think at least one project in our second year. There was no time for private study - yes tests help you do that, but come on, there is a difference learning things for a test and learning in your own time, yeah, a small difference but nonetheless. We didn't even get a reading week despite other engineering disciplines getting one. So yeah, I am peeved off and I do think engineering isn't taught properly. Just because others have positive experiences doesn't make any points I've raised less valid (and vice versa to be fair).
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    (Original post by a10)
    Even though you say you did optics I doubt you would have covered the actual optical science in as much detail as physics students do. They delve deep to the realms of science whereas engineering keeps the science specific; we are only concerned with the science that actually helps us engineer great solutions.

    I've said this many times and ill say it again engineering at university is not teaching you to be an engineer so I don't really understand why people find it odd that most of it is just memorising stuff for an exam....the whole point of the degree is that it is teaching you how to think like an engineer. You will only start to become a fully fledged engineer when you learn on the job and put those skills to practise.

    Scientists find out WHY things are the way they are and introduce new problems....Engineers on the other hand tell them HOW to go about solving that problem and making a useful product out of it to benefit society.
    Yeah, we did actually, though most people fell asleep. I know it would have been covered in more detail in Physics, I'm not saying it shouldn't, see my post above for clarity.

    If the degree is to teach you how to "think like an engineer", then why shouldn't engineering degrees be stopped and people just go straight into apprenticeships? Why pay so much money in tuition when you can learn AND be an engineer at the same time straight away (albeit an apprentice..).

    I get what you're saying (in your last paragraph), but I'm not interested in going down the discussion of comparing engineering to physics and mathematicians only because that wasn't the point I was making (again, see post above for clarity if necessary).
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    (Original post by djpailo)
    If the degree is to teach you how to "think like an engineer", then why shouldn't engineering degrees be stopped and people just go straight into apprenticeships? Why pay so much money in tuition when you can learn AND be an engineer at the same time straight away (albeit an apprentice..).
    Simple...you need to understand the technical knowledge and the mathematics in order to design complex systems. If you learned on the job sure you would be good at it but you can only go so far until you start needing the technical knowledge to understand complex systems.
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    (Original post by a10)
    Simple...you need to understand the technical knowledge and the mathematics in order to design complex systems. If you learned on the job sure you would be good at it but you can only go so far until you start needing the technical knowledge to understand complex systems.
    I disagree on the basis that I don't believe people get "stuck" at some point. As you progress through the job, I believe people would naturally understand and gain the technical knowledge to develop such systems further. Plenty of people gain a deep level of understanding without needing to know much complex mathematics, its more "intuition". A prime example is how Aerodynamics is sometimes called "a black art".
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    (Original post by djpailo)
    I disagree on the basis that I don't believe people get "stuck" at some point. As you progress through the job, I believe people would naturally understand and gain the technical knowledge to develop such systems further. Plenty of people gain a deep level of understanding without needing to know much complex mathematics, its more "intuition". A prime example is how Aerodynamics is sometimes called "a black art".
    lol have you been in a real engineering environment and see the amount of engineering that companies actually do behind the scenes? I highly doubt an apprentice would learn that all through practical work only. There's a lot of technical stuff you need to understand in order to design very complex systems which is why a degree in an aproppiate engineering discipline is a must on graduate jobs.
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    (Original post by a10)
    lol have you been in a real engineering environment and see the amount of engineering that companies actually do behind the scenes? I highly doubt an apprentice would learn that all through practical work only. There's a lot of technical stuff you need to understand in order to design very complex systems which is why a degree in an aproppiate engineering discipline is a must on graduate jobs.
    Why don't you comment on what I said about the "black art" of aerodynamics? There is the prime example of how you need to be involved within the company to really get a feel for things and how you can grow within a company by becoming more experienced. I'm sorry, but you need to give clearer evidence to show why an engineering graduate would be better off rather than an apprentice.
 
 
 
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