Undergrad Engineering to Design??

Just finished my first year of mechanical engineering and have learned this is not what I was really looking for and that I would in face LOVE ID. However my school doesn’t have an ID program. That all being said I really do enjoy my school/the environment and really don’t want to change. Should I finish up my undergrad in engineering then do a masters in ID?

Sounds so familar …

I did 3 years of ME before I dropped out and went to “art” school. Needless to say, that did not play well with my parents. I still only need 40 credits to get an ME degree.

Would have that second degree helped my career? Probably, but that is crystal ball speculation. On the other hand, the satisfaction of never doing a Power Law equation for non-Newtonian flow through a square tube (that was the moment for me) is priceless.

So should you complete the ME degree? I dunno. If the education was free and you have interest in it, sure. If you are going to add another 3 years of large debt and you don’t give a rat’s ass about fluid dynamics or any other engineering principle, get out now.

On the other hand, many ID firms look for engineering grads. You could always market yourself as an engineer and try to make the switch later. Can you choose the focus, or are you stuck doing systems/fluids/boring stuff?

I’ve managed to combine engineering and art at my college, but the engineering does have more of a design leaning.

You are only 1 year in. Its not that much schooling you are giving up, Essentially its just basics. I would make the switch now. Undergrad ID programs focus more on the core skills needed for ID. While masters programs often focus more on the theory of ID and less on the technical side of things. The technical side of ID will be the foundation of your career.

As for the school/enviroment you can always find a school with a similar size/vibe. Might be hard to say bye to a few good friends. But there will always be people you connect with no matter what college you are at.

So you are going to let your enjoyment of an environment for one year define the rest of your life? That is neither logical nor the purpose of higher education. You are not there to enjoy yourself, you are there to build the foundation of a life, it is about setting you up to enjoy your future.

Looking back at school, the classes that were the most valuable were the ones we all hated, the ones in which students regularly left crying because the professors cared not about our enjoyment, but about our future.

If you truly want to be an industrial designer then transfer now. Life is about change, and as an investment in your future, it is not to much to ask.

I really doubt any part of college would really define the rest of one’s life for certain. College really isn’t about what you learn in the classroom, it’s more about learning how to learn. If the environment is conducive to that, then it’s a great environment. What degree you end up with really isn’t going to define your life, whether it’s engineering, ID, or marine biology.

So an ID grad can be a brain surgeon and a marine biologist can be a civil engineer because they all learned how to learn? All these people’s lives are the same and not effected by what school and what program they chose?

I think that is a pretty false bag of goods. Obviously you can change your path later, but if you know what you want to do why dither about? Comity to it and begin the journey to shape your future.

Actually, an ID grad could easily become a brain surgeon. Or a lawyer. Or probably just about anything else other than an engineer, in the professional degree sense of the word. Most graduate-school-requiring professions really just require some pre-reqs at the college level. Engineering is the one exception (that I can think of as I type this) where it is significantly harder to become an engineer after you graduate college.

iab - Would you mind if I ask you a couple(and some more) questions? See, I just graduated from ME- and though I knew art is what I really wanted to study, I just never had the balls to quit. So I want to ask you - hows it going studying art? Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to pursue artistically when you quit ME? Did you have to start right from foundation? Was it tough to inculcate yourself into the curriculum of formal art education? And this ones ofcourse pretty ambiguous, but, was it worth it?
I ask because Im just about ready to quit my job, invest my all my savings into art college and earn a rotten repo with my parents! Your answers would definitely be of some help

I grew up around cars. Restoring cars, racing cars, wrenching - you name it, I did it at a young age. I worked on GT40s, Cobras, RSRs, Jag C, D, and E-Types along with 120s and 140s. Then there was the occasional Ferarri , Aston Martin or Lambo. At first, naively, I wanted to be an F1 driver. Closest I ever came was working the crew my freshman year in HS for the winning Camel Light division car at the 24 hours of Daytona.

Knowing I didn’t have the resourses to drive, I then decided I wanted to design cars. And I knew I wasn’t much interested in the mechanics, I liked the styling. In HS, I did not know of ID. Neither did any other of the people I knew. Everyone was ignorant of ID. So if I wanted to design cars, ME was the only place for me to go. But I did have the knowledge to take some drawing classes while I was in the engineering school.

After that 6-page differential equation I mentioned in the previous post, I went out and found ID. Some basic credits and the drawing classes credits did transfer. But I did have to take a lot of foundation. Most of the time I was taking 18-20 credits a semester and rarely sleeping. I finished in 5 semesters. I could have done it in 4 with 2 summer sessions but I needed to work 80 hours/week in the summer to pay for school.

I did take a car design course in undergrad. There I learned I never wanted to design a car again. Way too repetitive for me.

Now I do use my engineering knowledge, but on a limited basis. I even don’t use much of my undergrad knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, sketching and designing is great, but it is easy to get into a rut and get burned-out. I found early I love the research/strategy end. I went to grad school to get a foundation in that area of design.