What is an engineering course at university and an engineering job like?

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Report Thread starter 1 year ago
I asked a question on this same topic a while ago, but I had to add a second part to it as I didn’t want it to get incredibly long (I’ve included the link to it below). I’m currently a first-year physics student at Oxford university and am considering a potential course change. In my previous question I mentioned that I was set on shifting my career to becoming a software developer; but in reality, I’m actually stuck between becoming an engineer (preferably a mechanical or an aerospace engineer) or a software developer. Honestly, I think becoming a software developer is ideal for me and could be fun. The only reason I’m hesitant is that, becoming a developer would mean abandoning math and physics forever; and even though, at this point in time, I don’t enjoy doing math or physics anymore (I really am slightly repulsive towards these now; as I’ve explained in my other question . Have a read if you like listening to someone just ramble!!), it still seems so difficult for me to say goodbye; so, I decided to also consider engineering as a plausible career path (even though it’s probably less ideal for me at my current circumstance). The only issue is that I have no clue what a university course in engineering or a job as an engineer would involve. My impression of engineering is that it involves a considerable amount of practicals and lab work; which if the case, I probably will have to just go for software engineering all together (I hated every minute of lab work at physics and would literally just fall down dead if I had to do even more at a course I have to start over; also, surprisingly, I’m shocking bad at lab too ). My question really is, what does an engineering course (either mechanical or aerospace engineering) involve; is it mostly on paper (calculations of systems), or practical? Are most jobs centred around practical work and testing different systems, or are they mostly calculating the behaviour of systems, or just boring paper work (as I’ve heard from a few)?

my other question: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6429694
Last edited by Amp527; 1 year ago
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Report 1 year ago
What you could be doing in a graduate engineering role will depend entirely on the company/role you're in, however you should typically expect that you'll be doing a lot more theoretical/paper based work rather than hands on stuff. Maybe this is mean to say, but once you've got a degree you're progressed past the hands on fabrication work, that's done by blue collar workers, you've 'progressed' past that. Instead you may be developing the CAD files/ analysis to produce the work, or using computer modelling tools to predict how something will behave.

What you find 'boring' s completely up to you, but do expect to be doing more analysis and paper based work for a lot of it, such as writing reports based on work that's been completed.

Again all of this depends on the role that you get.

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