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Did i pick a dead course?

I just started my course of materials science and engineering with metallurgy at the University of manchester and there are very few students, about 100 which is a lot lower than i expected and 90% of them are chinese internationals. Whats going on? Im so confused. Im worried i picked a dead course. i thought it would be in high demand cause everything is made up of materials. Did i really pick a dead course and will i be able to find a good job?
(edited 1 month ago)
Materials tends to be a less popular engineering course among students for whatever reason. Doesn't mean there's any problems with the course or that it's a relevant area, it just means students are applying to other subjects - probably because materials is less "flashy" than stuff like aerospace or mechanical, and perhaps the impression that materials is more science oriented (perhaps they think this means it will be harder - quite possible).

I'd also note that Asian international students are not all "Chinese immigrants" (and even the ones who are Chinese are often not immigrants but just here on a student visa and intending to return home after getting their degree). You may want to examine that bias going forward, in general.
Original post by artful_lounger
I'd also note that Asian international students are not all "Chinese immigrants" (and even the ones who are Chinese are often not immigrants but just here on a student visa and intending to return home after getting their degree). You may want to examine that bias going forward, in general.


Well said there
I did Mat Sci at Loughborough and went to Manchester for my Masters - so am a bit biased

IMO its an exceptionally useful / adaptable degree that can allow you to go in so many directions in a way that the more "pure" engineering or science subjects can't. Don't worry about not following the crowd. Again imo, subjects like aerospace eng or automotive eng just narrow your future options down.

The UK isn't the industrial and manufacturing nation it used to be, many Asian countries are - so I am not surprised at the international mix, it was similar when I went - a lot of those "immigrants" are the wealthy smart kids from those countries (and definitely not just China), so well worth getting to know them if you might want to work in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea (or even China) etc.

Manchester has an exceptional reputation overseas, which is another reason international students go, and why you could work overseas really easily if you wanted to.

Presumably you chose the subject for a reason, I loved to learn about the science of different materials and the way they were made, in my second year I discovered a talent for electro chemistry and went on to do a Masters in Corrosion - very niche. But that is what makes you stand out when you are looking for work, and you likely get to work in an area you are excited about (I have worked on some of the coolest, most interesting corrosion and materials related challenges)
FWIW I looked at the HESA data for your course

AAA Entry and 96% employed or further education at 6 months seems decent but 12% drop out is quite high and I cant see a % for 'working in a field where degree is essential' but my suspicion is that would be up to you.

In my cohort at Loughborough, folks went in all sorts of directions including finance, consulting, design, charities etc, those who stayed in engineering with UK employers went to big companies like BAE Systems, JLR, Worcester Bosch, Ford, GKN or smaller ones like Ferodo, Lotus. One joined Airbus then Boeing and went California. I also got to work in Germany and Italy in automotive for a time.

My guess is there will be a job fair at Manchester soon, they run one of the best in the country - get along and see who is there, see what inspires you

The other thing to do if you are worried about employability is to get placements, internships etc. Again Manchester is great for helping there
Original post by Pakisaurus
I just started my course of materials science and engineering with metallurgy at the University of manchester and there are very few students, about 100 which is a lot lower than i expected and 90% of them are chinese immigrants. Whats going on? Im so confused. Im worried i picked a dead course. i thought it would be in high demand cause everything is made up of materials. Did i really pick a dead course and will i be able to find a good job?

Materials science & engineering certainly isn't a "dead course". None of what you say has much bearing on the prospects from the degree - which are generally good, by the way. While most companies are going to have fewer materials engineers on staff compared to other disciplines, much less people study and graduate in materials compared to other disciplines, so it probably evens out.
Reply 6
Original post by artful_lounger
Materials tends to be a less popular engineering course among students for whatever reason. Doesn't mean there's any problems with the course or that it's a relevant area, it just means students are applying to other subjects - probably because materials is less "flashy" than stuff like aerospace or mechanical, and perhaps the impression that materials is more science oriented (perhaps they think this means it will be harder - quite possible).

I'd also note that Asian international students are not all "Chinese immigrants" (and even the ones who are Chinese are often not immigrants but just here on a student visa and intending to return home after getting their degree). You may want to examine that bias going forward, in general.

meant chinese internationals sorry. i can tell because they speak chinese to eachother. but meant no disrespect they are really nice people.

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