Any mechanical engineers or anyone recently done mech eng degree?
Currently work for SME engineering company that make bespoke bits for the petrochemical area
Under the current climate and to ‘better myself’ as they say – engage my brain in something new (rather than PS3-TV) i am looking at a mechanical engineering degree part time.
If i make enough tea and drop my trousers work would probably pay the fees also ‘maybe’ day release at a push….
any advice on the actual degree… I’m guessing i could incorporate alot of what i do in work into the course work for projects etc as we are looking into R&D all the time.
What type of course work did you do, im going to do the run of the local colleges next week.
I know part time will be a slog but it will give me something to focus on.
Cheers for any advice. 😀Posted 9 years agopk-ripperMember
for my mech eng degree, we pretty much did a maths degree in our first year, in addition to everything else – nothing in the 2, 3 and 4 year would have been possible or made any sense without it.
Depending on where you go, it’s not something I would consider you could do on day release. Admittedly I finished my degree about 11 years ago, but even then we were doing a 28 hour tutored week, and there was lab time and study time on top of that, I reckon I was putting in a 40+ hour week consistently over the 4 years. Sure, you could get away with less, but depends what you ultimately want to achieve.
Coursework was generally epic, again involving lots of lab time, leaving things, checking them periodically etc, and never quite walking away from it. Lots of presentations and question / answer sessions too. In terms of incorporating it into the current role, that may be course specific (I know mine we couldn’t), although a year in industry was possible, that would have taken it to a 5 year course.
If I’m honest, it’s pretty much a full-time “degree”. You may be able to do other mech eng courses that have lesser accreditation on a day release basis, but I reckon to do well at that and work full time you’d be kissing goodbye to pretty much any social life.Posted 9 years agoHarry_the_SpiderSubscriber
I’m with Brant on the drinking (as I was back in the day), but I got quite good at it along with dancing like a ****t.
The maths is tough and, as I have found out after working for 17 years in engineering, utterly utterly pointless.
On reflection I should have spent more time pogoing and drinking Directors bitter.Posted 9 years agostevomcdSubscriber
Second pk-ripper, you’re going to be doing a LOT of maths. I don’t think your idea of incorporating your day job into project work is much of a goer. We didn’t do major projects until 4th/5th year (Scottish degree, not free in a Christmas cracker like an English one :wink:).
Also as pk says, it’s one of the most time-intensive degrees to do, we were effectively doing a 9-5 day for most of our Uni time, occasional afternoons free depending on lab rotas and stuff.
You may find you’re able to use your existing experience/qualifications to skip some practical classes.
Overall, I’d say it would be very tough or take a very long time to do a Mech Eng degree part-time.
Brant has a mech eng degree? Doesn’t he just glue tubes together and hit them with a hammer to see if they’re strong enough? 😀Posted 9 years agomboySubscriber
Maths WAS my strongest subject in school, got a B grade at A Level.
I still found the Maths a level above what I could do in the first year of Mech Eng, and ended up switching degree to something with less Maths in it.
Also, the degree was approx 24 hours per week in the first year (that’s 3 full working days you’d have to find time for EACH WEEK!), but those I know that carried it on in the 2nd year were spending between 32 and 36 hours per week in the classroom! When do you plan on doing your day job in the meantime? 😕Posted 9 years agoDAVE66Member
Good for you pal! (waihiboy)Posted 9 years ago
I’m a Lead Mechanical Engineer in a large mechanical design office with over 25 years experience. I didn’t go the Degree route as my maths was just not up to it (Maxed out at HNC). I did a 4 year apprenticeship and went on to work in a drawing office then onto CAD and 3D modelling. from there I went into a higher level and more leading role. You need to be A level standard maths I would say, as there is a hell of a lot of it from what I’ve seen.
My advice is if you think you can get a Degree, get one, many have gone part time who I work with and never looked back.
Good luck with your efforts. Many fields to go into and areas within those fields. We are recruiting experienced people at the moment, I’ve interviewed two people in two weeks, so crunch is not hitting too badly fortunately.
cheers all again, much food for thought.
at the moment i do a bit of everything in work, technical sales/support, dabble in CAD, electrics etc. have a hands on part in the whole operation from sheet steel right through to the end product.
the open university may be a better route you can basically ‘make up your degree’ dont know how mickey mouse they are though.Posted 9 years agoDAVE66Member
Remember there are many cogs in the machine and all play an important part.Posted 9 years ago
Find your place and study towards that.
Can’t all be high flyers and some high flyers aren’t necessarily lateral thinkers.
Good attitude will help a lot, which you seem to have from reading the initial post.lank45Member
I’m in my last year of an MEng in mechanical engineering, one thing I’d say is make sure you do mechanical engineering as apposed to other strains such as automotive or aerospace. It gives you a broader base to work from as the other degrees can be very specialised, something which many employers I’ve applied for look at. It’ll be a lot of hard work but worth it, I don’t know if HNC/Ds are accredited by the IMechE but if they are a course with that accreditation would be worth looking at.Posted 9 years agostumpy01Member
I finished my degree in Mech Eng in 2000. It was mechanical engineering with aeronautics (we did some aero specific modules in our finalyr) and I am not sure how much good it has done me to be honest, apart from get my CV in the door.
At all of my jobs since uni I have not had the chance to use much of what I learnt, in terms of the pure engineering side of things – stress calculations, fluid dynamics etc.
I think aswell that you need to go for a course with a fair amount of electronics thrown in as well, and perhaps even software. There is virtually nothing these days that doesn’t use some kind of electronics/processing and I think it really helps to have more of an idea about how that fits into the overall design of things.
Everywhere I have worked, the software engineers seem to basically say what salary they want and get it, whereas all the mech eng guys get looked down on as a necessary evil.Posted 9 years agoclubberMember
I graduated in ’98 with a mech eng degree which I’ve never used in anger (I work in IT now)
Despite really enjoying the engineering side of engineering, I got really fed up with the course (4 year, masters course) towards the end as I felt that it just becaume a maths degree. While I did enjoy maths at school (I did maths and further maths), I didn’t want to do a degree in it…
Can’t say that I regret not getting into engineering as a profession though.Posted 9 years agoJAGSubscriber
I did a part time pure Mech Eng degree whilst working for a large Auto parts manufacturer. I found it very enjoyable and stimulating – I was 30 when I started it and finished it, 4 years later, in 2000. I also did it on day release (made up the hours each week) and my employer payed the fees.
I managed to incorporate some things that I was doing at work in the course but most of the coursework was too specific. My final year project was Auto related (Formula Student car).
There is a lot of mathematics and some advanced stress analysis and thermodynamics but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it did wonders for my career.
I would love to do another but have changed jobs and my new employer is not so forward-thinking :0(Posted 9 years agoVan HalenMember
dont give in before you have started!
not mech eng but civil eng.
we have 4 staff doing part time degrees day release and 1 associate who got his degree that way too.
they find it easier as alot of what is tought is covered at work. (apart from the maths)
if you are no simpleton you should be fine.Posted 9 years agocoffeekingMember
I have to say anyone completing a mech eng degree part time while working gets my respect, I did a slant on mech eng (mech with some elec/electronics and some materials added on) and it was basically a full time job. Just the number of hours of lectures a week – as someone said earlier we had about 28-30 hours “contact time” (lectures) per week, then labs and coursework/home-studying on top, and there was no way you could leave them out and skipping lectures was pretty much impossible without getting vastly behind. For a short time I tried to to a part time job (3 hours a day, 2 days a week) but the pay wasnt good enough for me to deal with cramming studying around it. Obviously if you can do an OU type course where you can work through summer etc when unis close then that lessens the amount per week. The maths involved is fairly high end, the first year was really just a review of A-level with bits added, but 2nd and 3rd years involve digging deeper into the strangities of calculus than A level requires and while the vast majority of modules wont use anything more than basic algebra, one or two naturally require good and thorough understanding. Obviously the university you chose would also make a difference, I’ve seen some with significantly less course content, and you need to check it is an accredited degree course, otherwise it wont be recognised by the engineering institutions at a later date.
Definitely suggest if you want to do a degree then go for it, just make sure you really want to and really have the time. If you work in a position that uses mech eng items already a lot of it will be common sense to you, and/or clarifying why something is done the way it is done – I’m sure you’ll find it really interesting actually.Posted 9 years ago
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