Electrical Engineering to Industrial Design, good combo?

Deciding what college I wanted to attend out of highschool was literally a logical career ( Engineering) vs. an artistic career (Design). Unsure of the outcome of the design path lead me to make my decision to attend the engineering school.

After a year in an engineering college, I almost wanted out. I had actually visited a nearby art college and was in the mindset of transferring. Somehow I convinced myself otherwise, took some summer classes to catch up and continued to attend the engineering school. Now I’m back to where I was, to stay, or to go? My main troubles in engineering have benn the higher level math (Calc 1,2,3,4…etc.) and with that follwed a few of my major classes. I’m majoring in Electrical engineering, but can’t ignore the appeal of Industrial Design.

My initial plan was to graduate with a Bachelor’s at the engineering school and while working at the job attained from there attend and go for the Bachelor’s in ID. But making it through an engineering school is a big “if.”

So, to those what are already in the design field, would an EE degree really help my chances for a sucessful career in ID? I would really appreciate any advice you have to offer.

Well, I’m not in the industry yet, but I am in the same position as you. I’m a Computer Engineering major, sick of engineering, and looking forward to getting a degree in ID.

While there may not be a direct advantage of having an engineering degree in an ID field, but I plan on applying my ID degree to consumer electronics. So while I may not ever actually do any engineering once I have an ID degree, it does help connect me to the more technical side as well as allow me to connect with the engineers that I will undoubtedly be working with.

I can see some advantage of knowing the technical side and combining it with an ID degree, but what if your under a seemingly constant pressure? A pressure that can be described as close to failing but just hanging in there. When might you decide enough is enough, and go for that switch?

Thinking about it I could understand that the next answer might be " it’s up to you", but what signs might make you think of switching majors, and possibly careers?

Speaking as someone who dealt with a similar undergrad experience, I’d advise you to make the switch now, or as soon as possible.

While I’m sure an EE degree couldn’t hurt in a design job, at the same time, it’s not what you want to do ultimately. I can bet though, that design schooling will be much more helpful to getting you into the design field, and sooner than first slogging through an undergrad program that you’ve more or less written off. Also, it’s really draining to expend all that effort on something like an engineering degree, especially if you’ve arrived at the conclusion that it’s not for you.

I would say the biggest factor would be how far into your undergrad you are. I decided that I wanted to go for ID at the end of my junior year, so I figured I should finish this up instead of just switching.

I’m just beginning my second year. I know that if I do transfer, many of my technical courses and their credits will not follow, especially the math courses. The way I’m seeing it, I am already behind in the EE program, struggling to keep afloat and not the happiest about what I’m doing. If I transfer, while it will be a lot different, I will hopefully at least be happy with what I am doing and have a better idea where I am going with it.

I’ll be talking to my advisor about possibly dropping a class(calc) so I can focus more on another course that I am having trouble in. Then over the weekend I will contact someone at the art school about my transfer. The what, where and when. And what i can do about my portfolio that hasn’t changed much since highschool.(Given you don’t have much time to do too many other things when chasing after the engineering degree.)

If I were you I would seriously consider transferring, seeing that you will only be a year and a half in if you do transfer. It’s really not worth it to go for a degree that you don’t care about.

And as of now, I am. I’ve talked to my advisor, who turns out to dabble in photography, who after hearing my situation told me if I have found something I am passionate about I should go for it. He even has looked into taking some night classes there in the past. I was also suprised to get a similar reaction from my Calc III professor( even when I was there to drop his class), who agreed that it was a really good school to go to. So I’m going to try to contact somone I spoke to before in the past about transferring and try to finish out the semester at MSOE. Hopefully in the end I’ll be able to get into MIAD. I really appreciate all the advice, and while I was almost always on the edge deciding what I should do, all I needed was a little push. Thank you.

was at the IDSA conference back in sept and there was a college with a booth talking about their new mfa program and how it accepted students with other degrees. something about blending various backgrounds into a design degree. The college is legite, College for Creative Studies, and it seems it graduates a good number of people into the ID world. i think they said it was a new program.