A mechanical engineering degree can be worth it if you are interested in the field and want to pursue a career in it. Mechanical engineering is a broad field that involves the design, development, and testing of mechanical systems and devices, such as engines, machines, and tools. It is a highly respected and well-paying profession, with many opportunities for advancement.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that earning a degree in any field requires a significant time and financial investment, and it’s not for everyone. Before deciding to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, you should carefully consider your interests, strengths, and career goals to determine if it’s the right fit for you.

If you are considering a mechanical engineering degree, it’s a good idea to research the job market and talk to professionals in the field to get a better understanding of the career opportunities and challenges you may face. You should also talk to your school’s career center or a career counselor to get more information and guidance on how to succeed in the field.

Here is a video to explain Why Mechanical Engineering Is A Great Degree

Credit To:Shane Hummus

So, first of all, what exactly is mechanical engineering? Well, mechanical engineers are going to design, develop, build and implement mechanical devices and systems. It’s one of the oldest and most broad categories of engineering.

Your classes are going to focus quite a bit on materials, science, engineering, physics and mathematics. Now this is one of the most common engineering degrees, with around 35 000 graduates per year. Now, when it comes to salary or earning potential, engineering, degrees tend to do really well, with a mechanical engineering degree you’re going to start off making 67 000 a year in early career and then in mid-career pay you’ll be making around 111 000 If you decide to become a mechanical engineer, they make around 88 000 a year, but mechanical engineering is one of the most versatile types of engineering degrees, and so they end up working in all kinds of different engineering related professions.


For instance, you could become a materials engineer and they make around 93 000.. Now, if you look at the earnings of an engineer over a lifetime compared to other types of degrees, the average degree is going to earn around 2.4 million and engineering degrees earn 3.5 million.


Over a lifetime, that’s by far the highest out of any type of degree out there, and of course this was census data that’s been taken, like you know, the last 40 years or so so that might not be true. 40 years from now, there might be a better one, but right now engineering is the best and the best thing about engineering degrees in general is that they’re very well respected. So, even if you don’t end up working as an engineer, there’s tons of different career paths, you could potentially go down it’s because owners and hiring managers, respect engineering degrees so much that a lot of the time they’ll just hire someone purely because they think they’re. Really smart and hard working, and so there’s so many different career paths that you can go down and the salary is going to be really good in a lot of them. On top of that engineering degrees tend to become entrepreneurs where they have a chance of making much more than any salaried 9 to 5 career and i’ll talk about that a little more later.


Overall, i’m going to give this one a score of 9 5 out of 10 Now, when it comes to satisfaction, i always talk about job satisfaction as well as meaning job satisfaction is how much you enjoy doing your job on a day-to-day basis, and then meaning is how much you think your job positively impacts the world. Now, when it comes to the meaning score, it’s around 51 for mechanical engineering graduates, which is pretty average, and when you look at a specific career like a mechanical engineer, you’ll see that it’s around 53 for the meaning score, which again pretty average, maybe slightly above average. However, when you look at the job satisfaction, it’s going to be around 69, which is definitely above average. You can compare that to a good one like clergy or a bad one like parking lot attendant according to ziprecruiter engineering degrees are the third least regretted type of degree, at only around 15 percent of people who get them, who major in them end up regretting them And the reason for that is some of the best jobs are going to require advanced degrees. However, i will mention here that when it comes to engineering degrees in general, a lot of the time people are going to get a mechanical engineering degree and then they don’t end up becoming a mechanical engineer.


Engineering degrees tend to be really highly respected and also very flexible. So a lot of the time you’re going to end up becoming a mechanical engineer. Maybe you decide you don’t like it. It’S very easy for you to switch careers go into something else. I think flexibility is extremely underrated because, hey let’s say you have a plan, you know exactly what you’re going to do.


I would say 95 percent of the time. Even if you have a good plan, things are going to end up changing, and so flexibility is almost like a safety blanket for you in case your plan ends up not working out. You still have something to fall back on with that being said, satisfaction is extremely subjective. It could depend on all kinds of different things from the industry. You work in the business you work for the people.


You work around the area of the country you’re in the company. You’Re working for all kinds of different things can basically have a huge effect on your quality of life, as well as your job, satisfaction and your meaning. So this is the most subjective section. By far it could be 1 out of 10 for one person and 10 out of 10 for another one. But overall i have to be as objective as possible here and look at the statistics as well as my research.


I’M going to give this one a 7.5 out of 10 when it comes to satisfaction. Next, we’re going to be talking about demand, and this is all about how much the market is currently at this time in history, wanting some of the skills that you are going to learn with your particular degree. So this one is all about supply and demand. So businesses need to hire certain types of people that have certain skills and there might only be a limited number of people out there.


That can do those things, and so, if that happens, then they’re probably going to have to raise their prices and pay people more. That’S the great thing about being in a job in demand. One of the downsides, though, is sometimes, if it’s too in demand, then you’re going to be forced to do a lot of extra work. Just because there’s nobody else that can do the things that you can do so if you decide to become a mechanical engineer, there’s 316 000 jobs available and it’s growing at 4, which is average now the 316 000 is pretty impressive. The four percent is not that great.


Keep in mind, though, that there are a lot of different career paths, especially engineering career paths. You can go down with a mechanical engineering degree. A lot of the engineering degrees, don’t have extremely good job outlooks, for instance, materials engineering. There’S only 27 000 jobs available and it’s growing slower than average at 2 percent. If you look at petroleum engineering, there’s 33 000 jobs available and it’s growing around average at 3 percent.


So again it doesn’t look all that great but, like i said before, there’s tons of different career paths that you can go down with your engineering degree. A lot of engineers will end up becoming coders. They might go into a leadership role working for a company. Many of them will open up their own businesses to be competitive. As a mechanical engineer, you might want to learn some of the more modern skills like simulation computational design, that sort of thing learning these skills will help you out quite a bit.


It might also be a good idea to learn some coding and statistics, as well as some business skills is never a bad idea either. Now, according to the national center of educational statistics, stem degrees have the second lowest unemployment rate behind health degrees, of course, and so that’s always a really good sign. Low unemployment rate is generally a good thing, and if you look up the keyword, mechanical engineering degree on monster.com you’ll see that 13 000 job postings pop up. You can compare this to a really good one, as well as a really bad one and 13 000 is actually on the higher side, believe it or not.


Now, if you look at surveys of big companies on the types of degrees that they’re looking to hire engineering degrees come in at number one even more than business degrees. So even though they may not be actively posting a ton of job listings for engineering degrees. Specifically, if you apply to a job, you have a much better chance of getting an interview and likely getting hired. So overall i’m going to go ahead and give this one a 9 out of 10 Next, we’re going to be talking about x factors, and this is anything that we didn’t go over before, but still important. So, for instance, i like to focus on skills flexibility, how easily automated or outsourced something is now.


One thing i like to look at is how much you end up earning over a lifetime with a degree and engineering degrees in general are going to earn a lot more than your average major. So all majors and all different occupations earn around 2 4 million over a lifetime and engineering degrees earn on average around 3.5, but it doesn’t stop there because we already knew the engineering degrees and the careers you end up going down tend to pay pretty well. The amazing thing here is that it pretty much doesn’t matter what career path you go down. You’Re gon na be making well above average.


So, for instance, if you become an engineer, you’ll make around 3.6 over a lifetime and if you get into computer and math it’ll, be 3.7 management, you’re going to see 4.1 and even if you go all the way down to something like community and legal service, which Generally is only going to make around 1 8 over a lifetime you’ll see that, with an engineering degree, you make 3.2 million pretty much across the board, no matter what career path you end up, going down, you’re gon na make really good money with an engineering degree.


Now you can argue why this is it. Could be correlation causation, it could be that people who are smart tend to go into engineering, and so they tend to do better. Nobody really knows, i don’t know either. My best guess is that it has a little bit to do with both, but with that being said, when it comes to the skills, you learn as a mechanical engineer, according to zip recruiter, it’s going to rank around 77 out of 100, which is very, very good. You can compare this to the best skill on the list, which is software engineering or the worst one which is industrial, sewing and you’ll, see here that people who have the skill set of mechanical engineering are going to be very valuable to different companies.


Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that if you get a different degree, you’re not going to have a valuable skill set value is extremely subjective. All i’m saying is that people on the open market to business owners and hiring managers how much value they have to those companies in terms of those companies giving them money to perform a service for them. So, for instance, industrial sewing might have been the most valuable skill you could know a hundred years ago, but right now it’s not now. I also like to look at the likelihood of automation, which is extremely low for mechanical engineering only about 1.1, and you can see that with all different types of engineering degrees, the skills that you learn as an engineer are very, very unlikely to be automated.


First of all, you have to learn how to communicate with other human beings. Robots are very unlikely to do that. Second of all, when it comes to problem solving, there’s a lot of feedback that is involved. So you know, you’ve got a problem, you have a solution or you think you came up with a solution. Somebody else puts their input in there and then you have to put your input in there.


It’s just it’s very unlikely that a robot will ever be able to do that. On top of that, a lot of the time you’re going to be working with your hands – and you know seeing problems, diagnosing those problems and then fixing them again, something very unlikely for a robot to be able to do fine motor skills things you can do with Your hands very difficult to program a robot to do that repeatedly. On top of that, the question of whether this career will be outsourced now. One comment i get a lot of the time on my videos is engineering. Degrees are not as valuable in some other countries, so, for instance, india, and the reason for this is because they’re pretty much over saturated everyone goes to college to become an engineer now, it’s possible that that could happen here in the us, but highly unlikely.


In my opinion, engineering has been around for a long time and it’s not as good as it used to be, but it definitely hasn’t gotten saturated. So in terms of being outsourced, i think that’s highly unlikely, because a lot of the time the projects you’re going to be working on you’ll have to be there in person. I don’t think it’s something that you could do over zoom. Now. I’Ve talked about this before, but engineering degrees tend to create more millionaires than any other type of major, and i think it has more to do with the fact that engineering is a great prerequisite for you to start your own business.


Sure engineering salaries are high and if you learn personal finance skills, you start investing at a young age. You can become a millionaire in a few decades, but if you want to get rich fast, as most people on youtube want to, then you’re going to have to start your own business and, in my opinion, because of the fact that engineering is pretty much just practical Problem solving it’s one of the best prerequisites to becoming an entrepreneur, because entrepreneurship is all about solving people’s problems and you’re going to be on the cutting edge of whatever industry. You’Re in you might even be designing some of the newest products and so you’re going to see big opportunities open up. So after getting a few years of experience and learning valuable skills, it’s very likely you’re going to see an opportunity and you’re going to be able to jump on it, and i think it’s much easier to teach an engineer, business skills than to teach a business person. Engineering skills and out of all the different types of engineering degrees mechanical, has got to be one of the most flexible.


You can go into tons of different career paths and different industries with this type of degree. However, i will say – and this is something that’s worth talking about – because a lot of people don’t mention this engineering degrees are very difficult. I lived in a scholarship hall with 50 guys and i probably had maybe 10 engineers in the hall, and they would basically be studying all the time, especially during finals week like they would be studying all the time. You’D see them with like black rings around their eyes, and then the business majors would just be partying all the time. Okay.


So i know this is not a very nice thing to say because everything’s subjective, but there are some degrees that are just objectively easier than others and engineering degrees are tough. So keep that in mind, if you’re thinking of going into engineering there’s a reason that the dropout rate for certain types of degrees are so high, so many people end up not finishing them, and i can tell you that i probably would not have been ready. My first semester for an engineering curriculum or if i did go into that, i probably would have taken less credits. So with that being said, i’m going to give this one an x factor score of 9 out of 10 So some of the pros here – great salary, even a good salary at the entry level, also a very low chance of it being automated. Some of the cons here are that you’re gon na have to stay on top of things.


Everything is happening. Super fast automation is coming streamlining of processes, so you’re gon na have to learn new skills all the time. It’S also very difficult, especially when you’re going to school engineering degrees are no joke and additional studies might be required for some of the higher paying and more sought after careers. But overall, i’m going to give this one a score of 8.75 out of 10.


It can be a great option for the right person. Obviously, if you hate doing engineering, you hate math, you know you’re not interested in it at all. Don’t go down this career path, just because i say it’s good or just because the pay is good. Make sure you do something that you’re interested in and it’s also somewhat practical, so you’re not wasting your time and your money.

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  • William C Miles

    I earned my MA in US History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I also hold a BA in East Asian Studies. My educational journey equipped me with deep knowledge in diverse cultural and historical contexts, particularly those shaping higher education trends. Presently, I work as a freelance writer and consultant specializing in online colleges across the USA. Over the past eight years, I have collaborated with various educational platforms and e-learning organizations. This role involves creating insightful content that helps potential students make informed decisions about their education paths. Throughout my career, I've had the privilege to contribute articles to notable educational websites and online journals. My work is frequently cited for its clarity and helpfulness, aiding students and educators alike. I've taken part in over 50 webinars as a speaker, sharing my expertise on online education dynamics in the United States. My passion goes beyond writing; it's about making a tangible impact through my words and advice. With over 1,000 articles published under my name related to online education, my aim is clear: to provide readers with reliable information that supports their educational pursuits and career objectives. You can find more details about my professional background and contact me on LinkedIn or through my personal website.

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