School Options

Hey guys, I’m a senior about to graduate with a degree in engineering science. I started off studying mechanical engineering, it kicked my ass and I found I didn’t really have a passion for it, and I really wanted to be a car designer. So I took some art courses, made a portfolio, and I got into the bachelor program at CCS. I’m stoked, but…

The job market is kinda shit. And CCS is $$$$. So, my parents suggested that I pick up where I left off with mechanical, take an extra couple of years, work my ass off and finish that degree to have something a little more legitimate than engineering science to fall back on if I find myself years down the road graduating from CCS and not having job offers. They also think a “real” engineering degree may help me as a designer as well.

I guess my big problem is that 2.5 more years of engineering school will still cost money, and I’ll be like 30 years old (at least) by the time I graduate from CCS and I’m ready for a job.

Other options might include:

Pratt Masters in ID-still waiting to hear back, maybe not the most direct shot into car design, but still, I’d be interested in other design jobs too, so maybe more versatility here

Cincinnati-again, haven’t heard back yet, but I think if I’d did their trans design bachelors, I might also be able to double major in mech e as well

Try to get a job with my degree-it’s geared more towards business, so I would probably look at consulting or analyst positions and try to save money for design school later. Meh.

I suppose all of this is more bitching than actual questions, but opinions are appreciated!

ps, what to people with transportation design degrees do if they don’t get placements in the automotive sector?

Is your degree ABET accredited? If so, I don’t think I would bother with picking up another engineering bachelors degree. Thats a lot of work. If you are considering getting another engineering degree I would try to get a masters at least. 2.5 years is more than enough time to get masters in ME at most places, assuming you have the pre-reqs for entrance. You sound more driven to design. You also want to get into transportation - which is among the most competitive of all fields in ID. Going the ID bachelors route will probably be your best bet. Go now. School is getting more expensive, you aren’t going to get any younger, and there’s no sense being miserable in a career that you dislike.

Doing ME and ID at Cincinnati will be difficult as they require a number of co-ops. Plus as I said earlier, your ES degree should provide a nice complement to an ID credential - no need for another bachelors on top of that. Parents are always concerned - they should realize that you are more likely to be successful if you are happy. 30 isn’t exactly 22, but this generation will most likely have careers that last 50 years or more. Four years of school is nothing compared to the duration of your time in the workforce. Many find ID later in life and come with other experiences and degrees. Good luck to you.

First of all, thanks for the feedback!

Very good points. I gotta say, most of the worry comes from the fact that ES isn’t accredited at Vanderbilt. On one hand, it’s a bit of a cop out from other engineering degrees, but on the other hand, a lot of people use it to launch into some very legit stuff (law, medicine, business, hell, sometimes even engineering). I’ve talked to the dean at another engineering school here (not an awesome one, but accredited) and he said if I could do well in like 7 or so pre-reqs, he’d let me do the ME masters.

Some stuff comes from the fact that I haven’t tried in earnest to get a job with my degree, because I assumed I was going to design school until my parents kinda burst my bubble. I don’t know what I can or can’t get with my skillset right now. Well, I’ve tried getting in at some design places, and the answer has predictably been no so far.

I want to get right into design-i’m fairly confident it’s my passion (as confident as one can be without having actually seen the workplace in person), and I’d do it for free if I had to. But I do understand the point of view that taking a couple years to secure a mech e degree would always make me better off if worst came to worst. I would just have to prepare myself for more ME torture! No more thermo, please :frowning: !

I dunno, it’s just scary to think of the debt I’d have if I go to CCS, and if I couldn’t find a solid placement (very possible in a “glamorous” field). I think more than anything, I’m just stressed out trying to figure out what I should do with my life while also getting ready for finals!

Anyways, my issues, I have to deal with them, thanks for listening and giving your .02!