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Viridia Deere

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About Viridia Deere

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    Ex-Patriarch of House Ironstride
  • Birthday 09/23/1999


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  1. Any engineering undergrad students on atherys?  Been looking into various fields of engineering, and was wondering if anyone with the experience could give me some advice on choosing a field, and how the coursework is undergrad.  Primarily looking at software, aerospace, and civil engineering.

    1. Barnie


      @OccidentalAnvil is an AeroSpace Engineer


    2. OccidentalAnvil


      TL;DR Don't pigeonhole yourself in aero unless you really wanna, ME and EE are great jack-of-all-trades choices, CS is good but do specialize and have a portfolio, CompE seems to need an advanced degree but it's all chips and electrons anyway, Civil is just fine and especially the environmental aspects.

      Alright, so I just graduated in December as a Mechanical Engineer, with a concentration in Automation & Robotic Systems. So basically here's how it goes as I've seen friends graduate and do this, just my perspective here so keep that in mind.

      If you're into software, that's a CS degree - you'll want to specialize and do a lot of GitHub coding and what all on your own. Maybe find an open source language you like on there, Google has a ton like Go, and work on it. Learn that way, meet folks, have a serious resume booster. CS is a great field at the moment but even now, "coder" is a job that's fading. Sure you gotta know the languages, but these days the big money and guaranteed jobs are in data. Not even analysing it yourself, but making and using programs to crunch big data sets. Amazon, Google, and companies you've never heard of who are gigantic, they all love it and everyone needs it more and more these days. To go with my systems concentration I took some Java and Machine Learning, the latter was fascinating and definitely a great field for the future. "Software" is a giant field, but the modern, good paying jobs narrow it a good deal. Food for thought.

      The more I learned about the various types of engineering, the more they blurred together with respect to the undergraduate level. The projects you work on, and a graduate program if you choose it, do a lot more to differentiate you. At my school, Georgia Tech, the biggest differences showed up in the Aerospace crowd, so I'm less likely to assess it for you properly than I am for Civils.  Civil engineering is buildings and construction, like an architect without the hours of studio to an extent, but things like HVAC and all that mechanicals can do too. Facilities companies hire both for the same jobs there, so really it's the specifics that'll get you civil. Construction firms of all shapes and sizes. Environmental too, at my school C&E were a part of the same school. So erosion control and all that jazz - I'd say it's a good choice if you like Civil to take a bunch of the environment-focused classes. We need roads, bridges, canals, and all that more than ever, depending on the country you're in (in the US it's a huge issue that isn't yet being addressed properly).

      Aerospace is the odd one out. All the folks I knew who were AEs ended up doing tons of fluids and modelling and all that jazz. Which I did plenty of too, but not in the same context. My energy and fluid systems stuff was more pertaining to pipes and all, theirs is naturally flow over non-constrained surfaces. It can get wild, I hope you like math. Very interesting stuff, but to me (anecdotal warning) it always seemed like AE undergrads were destined for the same kind of work an ME could already do too with a broader degree classification, or for grad school where they got really good at X aspect of the modelling or design. I worked as an ME at a small satellite company, and everyone else on the design team was also an ME. These were veterans of the aerospace industry, JPL and Boeing and all them. So don't make the mistake of "I like space / planes / missiles / flying things, so I MUST be an AE." If you're interested in that sort of thing like I am, an ME or an EE will do the job just fine for you. Unless you want to be the guy designing rocket fins and nose cones and missile housings, in which case, yeah go for AE and also get that fluid dynamics masters.

      I will also mention EE since I made a lot of EE friends recently and I've gotten a look at the sort of jobs they do. ME and EE, now that I've been educated in one, I can see are extremely similar. Obviously you'll learn about the mechanical/electrical system analogues (each can be modelled as the other with the same math, which is good if your brain likes one kind better like mine), but up to a point the coursework is the same too. You just end up doing more statics/dynamics/fluids/"real stuff" as an ME, and more physics/systems/controls (unless you're like me) as an EE. Different spheres, same kind of engineers. And I see a LOT of EE positions in the Aerospace field. Reason: avionics. As a new student potentially entering the field, I very highly recommend taking a look at EE. It may seem scary at first but the job market is just booming, and naturally will be for the foreseeable future.

      Hope that helped! If you wanna know more about my degree in specific, I can sure help you there too.


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