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Studying Mechanical Engineering after Product Design

Hi, I'm new to the forums and hope that am asking my question in the right place. The question is: is it worth doing an MSc in Product Design (already have a BSc) or would it be better to start over and study another Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering?

I am employed as a CAD guy and the job is more inclined towards the mechanical field rather than arts and design; I have already applied to Oxford Brookes to start a part-time course in BEng Mechanical Engineering next year whilst working. However, it will take 5-7 years to complete 2 academic years at uni at this pace, which makes me wonder whether it is worth the effort.

Ideally I would like to improve my technical knowledge (which is what most MSc programs in Design don't offer), but without completely abandoning my first degree. I am not sure how employers will consider this though, will they consider both degrees valuable or regard me simply as a novice in a Mechanical Engineering field? Perhaps its best to stick to Product Design and continue with an MSc?

Has anyone switched/mixed career paths like this? Please let me know what your thoughts are.

Cheers.
Reply 1
Original post by gkalitve
Hi, I'm new to the forums and hope that am asking my question in the right place. The question is: is it worth doing an MSc in Product Design (already have a BSc) or would it be better to start over and study another Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering?

I am employed as a CAD guy and the job is more inclined towards the mechanical field rather than arts and design; I have already applied to Oxford Brookes to start a part-time course in BEng Mechanical Engineering next year whilst working. However, it will take 5-7 years to complete 2 academic years at uni at this pace, which makes me wonder whether it is worth the effort.

Ideally I would like to improve my technical knowledge (which is what most MSc programs in Design don't offer), but without completely abandoning my first degree. I am not sure how employers will consider this though, will they consider both degrees valuable or regard me simply as a novice in a Mechanical Engineering field? Perhaps its best to stick to Product Design and continue with an MSc?

Has anyone switched/mixed career paths like this? Please let me know what your thoughts are.

Cheers.


It depends what you want but I would say financially you're much better off doing an MSc in product design. If you want to be an engineer then you will have to do a bachelors degree in engineering which will be expensive but if you can afford it and that's what you want then go for it.
Original post by gkalitve
Hi, I'm new to the forums and hope that am asking my question in the right place. The question is: is it worth doing an MSc in Product Design (already have a BSc) or would it be better to start over and study another Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering?

I am employed as a CAD guy and the job is more inclined towards the mechanical field rather than arts and design; I have already applied to Oxford Brookes to start a part-time course in BEng Mechanical Engineering next year whilst working. However, it will take 5-7 years to complete 2 academic years at uni at this pace, which makes me wonder whether it is worth the effort.

Ideally I would like to improve my technical knowledge (which is what most MSc programs in Design don't offer), but without completely abandoning my first degree. I am not sure how employers will consider this though, will they consider both degrees valuable or regard me simply as a novice in a Mechanical Engineering field? Perhaps its best to stick to Product Design and continue with an MSc?

Has anyone switched/mixed career paths like this? Please let me know what your thoughts are.

Cheers.


How technical is the work you're currently doing? And do you want to move into engineering or are you happy staying in design?
Reply 3
Thank you for responding.

Original post by a10
It depends what you want but I would say financially you're much better off doing an MSc in product design. If you want to be an engineer then you will have to do a bachelors degree in engineering which will be expensive but if you can afford it and that's what you want then go for it.


finance is not the problem, as the company is sponsoring 2/3 of it. I would like to strengthen my technical knowledge, but not at the cost of starting over my whole carreer from scratch in 5 years time... I know some universities teach Product Design with a more science and mathematical bias (not really my case), which is what I am trying to achieve here. I am a bit concerned whether both qualifications will go hand in hand or not...



Original post by Smack
How technical is the work you're currently doing? And do you want to move into engineering or are you happy staying in design?


The work I'm doing atm is probably not as technical as a Mechanical Engineers job ought to be. I do simple FEA stress analysis and some hand calculations, but mostly do design and draughting in SolidWorks, revising and checking drawings before they are sent to production. The company designs and builds ground power supply units for commercial aircraft. Im involved in designing electrical enclosures on mobile trailers.

As I said above, I would like to get a stronger technical background and potentially move into a more engineering oriented field. I am just not sure whether a 2nd Bachelor's is the right way to go.
Reply 4
Original post by gkalitve
Thank you for responding.



finance is not the problem, as the company is sponsoring 2/3 of it. I would like to strengthen my technical knowledge, but not at the cost of starting over my whole carreer from scratch in 5 years time... I know some universities teach Product Design with a more science and mathematical bias (not really my case), which is what I am trying to achieve here. I am a bit concerned whether both qualifications will go hand in hand or not...





The work I'm doing atm is probably not as technical as a Mechanical Engineers job ought to be. I do simple FEA stress analysis and some hand calculations, but mostly do design and draughting in SolidWorks, revising and checking drawings before they are sent to production. The company designs and builds ground power supply units for commercial aircraft. Im involved in designing electrical enclosures on mobile trailers.

As I said above, I would like to get a stronger technical background and potentially move into a more engineering oriented field. I am just not sure whether a 2nd Bachelor's is the right way to go.


With a product design undergraduate degree it is more than likely that you will not able to do a masters degree in mechanical engineering. I have copied the entry requirements from my uni for example:

A first- or second-class undergraduate honours degree in engineering, mathematics or physics. The undergraduate honours degree should normally be in mechanical or automotive engineering, or in a closely related discipline that has covered topics such as mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid flow. Applicants with relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.


You will probably have to do a bachelors degree in engineering. Perhaps you might have more luck going into a more technical area related to product design?
Original post by gkalitve
The work I'm doing atm is probably not as technical as a Mechanical Engineers job ought to be. I do simple FEA stress analysis and some hand calculations, but mostly do design and draughting in SolidWorks, revising and checking drawings before they are sent to production. The company designs and builds ground power supply units for commercial aircraft. Im involved in designing electrical enclosures on mobile trailers.

As I said above, I would like to get a stronger technical background and potentially move into a more engineering oriented field. I am just not sure whether a 2nd Bachelor's is the right way to go.


Sounds quite technical for someone without a engineering background. Could you maybe negotiate advanced entry to an engineering degree?
Reply 6
I am almost in the exact same position as you. I graduated with a BSc in product design and I am about to graduate with a MSc in Design Engineering. I have just received my first job offer as a CAD engineer for a renewable form where I will have the same responsibilities as you for rotating machinery.

Before this job offer I also enquired about taking on another undergrad course in mechanical engineering to gain technical skills to gain better career path opportunities. It’s a big commitment and I don’t know wether doing another undergrad or just climbing the ladder is a better idea?? Still don’t know but I want experience under my belt first and will decide what the best option is later. Good luck with your whatever route you take. No matter what there will be opportunities to advance your career and skill set.

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