Can I do a field change after engineering?
What are the things you need to keep in mind during a Field Change after Engineering (E.g. Engineering in EXTC to Masters in CS)/changing fields after engineering?
Have you ever got bored of studying the branch of engineering you are in? Have you ever felt the need to change your field in order to avail of better job opportunities? If your answer to the above questions is yes, then read on.
Many students have doubts like – Can you apply to a different specialization or major for MS? Or can a student get admit for MS in a field in which he/she has not completed their under graduation?
If you have faced such a dilemma, then there is no need to worry because the open education system today allows students the flexibility and opportunities to change fields after engineering with ease like never before. Students are free to apply for any specialization or major as they wish.
In America, education institutions recognize your degree’s major or specialization based on the number of credits or courses you have taken in a specific subject area. If you want a Major in a specific field, say Electrical Engineering, after you are done with your core courses, you will be required to take a certain number of credits in that subject area. In addition to this, you would need to articulate in your Statement of Purpose, when you apply for MS, why you decided to pursue a different major. Your admission decision is not based on your major or specialization during your Bachelors; rather it will depend on your academic excellence and standardized test scores like GRE and TOEFL.
If you get admission, the school will include in your admission letter stating all the pre-requisite courses that you need to complete for the MS program. The pre-requisites are mandatory as you are switching majors or getting acquainted with a new specialization. So, all your basics and foundations of any major or specialization are covered with pre-requisites and you can pursue your masters without further difficulty. However, it is important to note that prerequisite courses may increase the length of the MS program.
There is one more way in which you can change your field of specialization. First you can apply to the Universities in the same field in which you have completed your undergraduation. Then after going to the University, you can speak with the concerned department adviser of the field that you intend to change to. If you are comfortable after the interaction with the adviser, then you can go ahead for transfer.
Changing fields in engineering can be beneficial due to expanded career opportunities available while looking for jobs. A lot of people change fields because research being done today is extremely interdisciplinary. For example, a mechanical engineering student working on fracture mechanics needs to study characterization of materials; hence, he needs to take material science classes. A civil engineering student working on rehabilitation of steel bridges is using composite materials so he needs to study about composite materials. Also, the fields of ECE and CS are closely integrated with each other. For example, an electronics engineer uses Artificial intelligence and coding extensively for his robots and hence studies computer science.
Despite the benefits, this decision is not immune to its own set of challenges. The major difficulties in changing fields in engineering would be studying all the fundamental courses of the new field. An electronics student might want to take only AI and machine learning courses but if he changes major, he has to learn databases, data mining etc. and other core courses. This may result in working extra hard towards building a strong base, enrolling for extra courses along with the regular course load.
Though changing fields in engineering is not an impediment, students should carefully evaluate the pros and cons in order to take a well informed and thought out decision.
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