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So I'm in the middle of my senior year and am well on my way to heading to college for a degree in mechanical engineering. I'm looking for some opinions on a few schools and would really like to know what employers look for in people fresh from school.

Drexel, known for engineering and it's co-op program, and it's pretty close to home.

PennState, also well known for engineering, little further from home, might cost a little more in the long run.

University of Colorado, big engineering program, beautiful area, co-op program, farthest from home, and the most expensive.

Feel free to chime in.

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I went to RPI for civil/mech engineering. I would recommend going to community college for 2 years, then transferring. That's what I did and it saves you a boatload of money. Not to mention there are a lot of kids who go into engineering and then realize they can't pass calculus...not saying that's you necessarily but if you do decide to switch majors it's not such a big deal when tuition is 3500 bucks versus 17 grand. Also, I thought my community college teachers were better than RPI, where most of them were foreign with a thick accent and liked to teach at a theoretical versus practical level.

Oh, and if you can, find a good engineering school that also has a lot of hot women...some engineering schools (RPI is one) has 3 guys to every girl. And if you've seen the girls in engineering...let's just say your standards will go down after a couple years :smirk:

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Check out Kettering in MI. I've had a few friends and family get their ME's from there. Great co-op, and they were all hired right out of the completion of their programs.

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I graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in ME a few years ago and I have three words for you to help you get a job fresh out of school, extra curricular activities. A degree is great and all, but every single person interviewing for a position you would want also has the same or similar degree, and many of them may have a decade or two of experience over you. The best way to stand out other than a stellar GPA is extra curricular activities. If the school you go to has an SAE team join it and be active, have some good hobbies so they know you are more than just a boring smart guy (obviously you have this one covered as you ride, but don't be afraid to mention things like this that may seem unrelated to the job), be a student teacher and get to know some of your professors really well (a letter of recommendation can go a long way). Just think of ways to stand out, because most likely your degree alone won't do it and being fresh out of school you may be behind the pack average on experience.

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Drexel, known for engineering and it's co-op program, and it's pretty close to home.

PennState, also well known for engineering, little further from home, might cost a little more in the long run.

I grew up near Philly and went to Penn State for engineering (EE). Both Drexel and PSU are good schools - PSU has a MUCH better environment, IMHO, unless you like living in an inner-city.

Both schools are equally attractive to employers. Not MIT, but well-respected. Potential employers look at how you approach a problem in an interview (even if you get it wrong), so learn the theory behind what each class is throwing at you and don't get mired up in the minutia. If you understand the theory, you'll get As. Do your homework every night, sit in the front row in lectures and ASK QUESTIONS (don't worry about what the 100 people behind you think)! Learn as you go and don't do any work on the weekends (DON'T plan on it), and you'll do fine. Folks that try to cram everything at the end of the semester are the guys that flunk out.

JayC

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It is also important to try to figure out what type of engineering your are most interested in as each school will have strengths in certain areas. As I'm sure you know, mechanical engineering is a huge field from control systems, mechatronics, structures, thermodynamics, fluids, etc.

You may not know what type of focus you would like, but understand the schools strengths and weaknesses and what you would like from the experience and the skill set you want when you graduate (or continue on to grad school). What are your key factors in your decision process?

The best engineers have a solid understanding of the fundamentals and first principles combined with hands on experience. Find ways in your education to work on extra projects (outside of class) such as FSAE or supporting some graduate research.

Eric

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Check out Kettering in MI. I've had a few friends and family get their ME's from there. Great co-op, and they were all hired right out of the completion of their programs.

Looks like they're free to apply, can't hurt.

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I agree, community college will save you money (if that is an issue). I am currently attending one (with M.E. transfer in mind) and am taking Calculus 2 this semester. Be careful about taking "engineering" classes at a community college though, because they may not transfer, and are usually intended for someone pursuing a Engineering Technology degree.

Edited by jrjack
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I agree, community college will save you money (if that is an issue). I am currently attending one (with M.E. transfer in mind) and am taking Calculus 2 this semester. Be careful about taking "engineering" classes at a community college though, because they may not transfer, and are usually intended for someone pursuing a Engineering Technology degree.

The issue with community college is that most of the schools have a set engineering program that you have to be in for all 4 years.

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Public universities usually have the best technical schools.

Do an internet search for school ratings.

There is very little difference in class requirements between the different engineering disciplines so school selection is very important.

Community Colleges can save you money and provide better one on one help during the first two years (very important). Check for transfer of courses to your four year school before committing.

Be forewarned, second year college level Calculus can be a road block to your goals.

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The issue with community college is that most of the schools have a set engineering program that you have to be in for all 4 years.

Yes, definitely make sure your credits transfer. My community college was really good and had a partnership with several schools where you knew your credits would be accepted.

Also, I think another poster said it too, make sure you get good internships or co-ops. Part of my problem getting a job out of school was I didn't have much real world experience in engineering.

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