Hi There. First post. Might be a long one, so bear with me
I’m a Mechanical Engineer and have been working as a “product development engineer” for the last 7 years in Wisconsin. To start with, I worked at a design firm, doing part design for (primarily) consumer electronics. I would take what the ID guys gave me, and try to make it work…toolability, robustness, FEA, etc while interfacing with electrical engineers and of course, the ID guys. I then moved on to the company I’m at now, designing plastic parts (clips, fasteners, mounts, etc) for the automotive, solar, heavy truck, etc industries. My wife and I have decided to relocate to San Francisco (she got a great job) and will be moving out there this summer.
I have never really loved mechanical engineering, even when I was in school. It has never really fit me right. I enjoyed my first job more than I enjoy my current job, but I still didn’t love it. I currently am bored, uninspired, and frustrated by my current work.
I am discovering that I’m far more interested in the overall aesthetic and function of a product than the inner workings of it. When I look at a consumer device, I find myself thinking about the choices the designers made to come up with the shape, the function, the materials, etc. I don’t find myself wondering how the camera module attaches to the body or how the spring mechanism of the keyboard is made (to give two stupid examples). I’ll occasionally find myself drawing up some random product designs I have been thinking about in Solidworks…cameras, phone concepts, speakers, etc, etc.
Because of this, I have started thinking about switching to ID. I think it fits me better as a person, and more aligns with the things I value.
So, a couple questions.
- Does ID seem like a reasonable path for me, based on what I’ve said?
2 .If I were to go into ID, I’d have to go back to school. Having a BS in Mechanical Engineering, would it make sense to go get another Bachelors, but in ID? What are my other options?
- Is there any practical advantage to me having a degree in both ME and ID? Is that a desirable combination to employers? Or a detriment?
- My wife and I are not wealthy by any means, and me going back to school (especially after moving to SF) is going to be difficult financially. With that in mind, what schools would be recommended? I don’t hear much about the ID program at SFSU (but that would make the most sense for me, location wise and financially).
More questions I’m sure, but that’s the basics of it. I would greatly appreciate any help any of you can give!