Drop out?


Senior Member
I'm a freshman at SDSU right now and I'm in the mechanical engineering program that is an extremely well respected program. They've built a electric-diesel hybrid that gets 80mpg and makes 240 whp. Look around and you can find it in an old issue of MotorTrend.
I was looking at motorcareers.com and it seemed like hardly any of the openings really required a mechancal engineering degree and I know it is early but it seems like a lot of the upcoming courses arent specific enough to cars. Now my question is should I look into dropping out of SDSU and look into getting some sort of degree at a trade school like UTI or something? I was also thinking about switching majors to some bullshit major so I appear "well rounded" and then going to a trade school later on. Or should I should I just stick with the ME program? I know that I want to work with cars bottom line but its not easy right now either in these classes.
Thanks for any replies, but please no stupid posts about me being a whiney kid or some shit like that. I'm just looking for those that have been in the same shoes or close too..... like I remember hearing Calesta has a degree. Thanks again.
You're a whiney kid who should get their degree so you have something to fall back on. Never settle for bare minimum. If you have that mentality, I don't really want to operate anything you design. Get my meaning?


Senior Member
Stick it out, The diploma will not only open more doors but higher paying salaries. Im kind of in the opposite situation as you. Out of high school I had no idea of what the hell I wanted to do, but cars were about my only topic of interest. I went to a two year auto body program and received an associates degree (woopie :roll: ) in that, and now im taking classes in hopes transferring to PSU for some sort of degree.
PS: IF anyone here goes to Penn State PM me, Ill be moving ther with my girlfriend in August.


Admin with a big stick
Think of it this way...

If you drop out and go to an automotive trade school, all you will be trained to do is automotive grunt work. If you follow through with the ME degree, you'll have all the training you need to go into any aspect of the automotive industry- design or otherwise- as well as pretty much any other engineering job out there.

The entry level positions for mechanical engineers in the automotive industry are generally higher level than what you can get with a trade school degree anyway, meaning that you'll have a better career path for promotion, as well as higher pay. If you ever get tired of the automotive industry, you can also move to something else.

Think of a trade school degree as something that's extremely beneficial in the short term, but somewhat "pigeon holes" you in a certain part of the work force a little too early. The ME degree lets you explore more and opens up more doors for you. When you want to specialize, the master's programs at other universities are there for you- and that will take you farther than a trade school can.

If you want to take the time, you could take some trade school classes after you finish your ME degree- that would give you training on both sides of the table.

It's up to you and what you want to do. I'm very happy that I followed through on my ME degree.
I can tell you without my diploma I would not have come close to where I sit right now as I type. It is worth more than you can imagine. It simply shows you have the ability to complete what you have started, and that my friend is worth more than anything to a potential employer. Outside of felony charges and such.


Senior Member
Thanks for the replies..... seems like I'm pretty much getting the same response from whoever I talk to. So it looks like M.E. degree then trade school after that. Now I'm off to study calculus :wall:


Neighborhood Lush
not to go against the grain here, but i was in the same boat as you, and went a little different route.

I was a freshman at a real college, and realized pretty early on that what i was there for was not what i wanted to be doing. It would have been a waste of time and money for me to finish out the 4 years there. So after my first year, i left.

I went to a community college, for automotive technology. Im taking my last class now, graduate this spring. I will still have an associates degree, as well as my emissions certification (like that matters now).

I chose to go this way for a couple reasons. First off, i am a very bluw collar person. I couldt stand to be in an office at a computer all day. So being in a shop offers the kind of freedom and daily variety that i like. Also, at the time i was away at school, i really didnt know what i wanted to do, or even what i wanted to consider doing. But i did know that i wasnt that good with studying things unless i was interested, and i like working on cars. So for me, going that route has been a good decision so far.

It really all depends on the kind of person you are. What you really enjoy doing? A bachelors degree in anything is certainly a valuable thing to have, and you can always change what your doing it. That piece of paper never goes bad. Hell, look at my brother, hes got an associates in marketing, a bachelors in bussiness something, and he went and sold cars for 1 1/2 years after he got out of school. Now he went back to be a teacher. It really doesnt matter what the degree is in, as long as you get it. My associates is not as good as a bachelors, but atleast its something.

Good luch with it, and dont worry, your only 1 of about 20 million college freshman that are thinking the same thing.



Senior Member
Simply put, it will be an investment for your future, the more educational achievements you have - the better position you will be in terms of "pay".

Your increasing your personal equity for that matter.


Senior Member
Originally posted by Tonyd0821@Mar 23 2004, 07:06 PM
i just went to the 311 concert @ Rimac Arena....they fucking kicked ass


I think I'm dumber now because of the G forces my brain just pulled from changing topic so fast... :D


Senior Member
yeah homie, i'm a freshmen ME at Villanova- I went through the same things you're going through- But Calesta is ABSOULTELY right- Please stick with it and keep the every option possible open- THis is the worst point in your life to start closing doors and opportunities for yourself- Stay in school, get a well paying job and then work on your own cars :thumbsup:


Senior Member
also to add in......it's a lot easier to go to school now when you have literally no bills, no wife, no kids....etc.

try going back to school, if you really need it for advancement within a company when you are 40 years old. When you have a mortgage, health insurance payments, day care bills,,,,all that shit. Then it becomes much much more difficult.

example, kind of is me:

high school graduation for me status: I had a band, did some drugs, didn't have a car, smoked stogs, was pretty much future tax drain.

post high school for 2 years: I worked from job to job, tried the Stock broker shit, took the series 7, worked in restaurants, etc..

at 19 I saw a dead end, so decided to go to school and change my entire life style around like you wouldn't believe, night and day literally.

Now, I am 25 "just turned" :) Graduated a year ago with a degree in Management and Marketing, currently pursueing a degree in Accounting and then taking the CPA exam while studying for the GMAT exam "graduate school" then off to obtain my MBA.

When I talk to people, or I should say people that I haven't seen in a while, they say that they can't believe what a different person I currently am.

Honestly, it sounds corny but I have my college to thank for that, I matured and developed into the individual that I am today. I know what I want to do in life, I have a path setup for myself for the next 5-10-20 years, career wise I am sound, and I have a lot to thank to my education.

See, some people graduat college feeling that they didn't learn shit, and my response to something like that is - "what a waste of money", I took all the resources that any university could give and exploited them - for my benefit of course.


saw the light, came to my senses to drop all income and pursue a higher education.
Best move i made and still continueing it.
all i've got to say is....

6 of the top 10 richest people on the forbes list of billionaires are college dropouts.

school, is highly over rated if you plan to do somethign on your own, start your own business, or develop your own product line.
(ala, microsoft, Dell, walmart)

but if you don't have ambhition to do such a thing, you're going to want the degree to work for someone else as a grunt for the rest of your life.

Me, i dropped out- not so much cuz i wanted to, but because i was tired of learning shit i didn't give a 1/4 of a shit about. Basically, I chose the wrong school for my program of study. and that's a big thing.... going to a school that actually offers you what you want.

now, here i am, 3.5 years since i dropped out of my junior year of college.... and i'm making more money than every one of my housemates who graduated.

In the long run, they have a better chance.
In the short run, I could run cirlces around them in web programming.

they get the interview
I build hondaswap.



Admin with a big stick
BlackFrog, JD and Brian have some really good points- it's all up to what you want to do. Right now I'm sitting at a crossroads myself... pursue a Master's degree in ME or go get a job so I can pay all my bills. I have a slim chance of getting into grad school, and I really need the money- but right now I'm not tied to much and the MS is really attractive. MSME + MBA? That would be a nice combination, I think.


If trade school is better suited to what you want to do, give it some serious thought. If you're more the design type and want to be on the creation side of things, get the degree.


Thank you for your business.
Originally posted by Loco Honkey@Mar 23 2004, 05:07 PM
You're a whiney kid who should get their degree so you have something to fall back on. Never settle for bare minimum. If you have that mentality, I don't really want to operate anything you design. Get my meaning?


Don't be a dropout. You'll go nowhere fast.


Senior Member
I was leaning more towards getting a degree in sociology or something similar then going to trade school afterwards... but thats out my mind now, working on the ME degree first and formost, thanx anyways tho guys.


Senior Member
Yes, you can be successful without getting some type of undergraduate or even graduate degree, BUT if he were to start his own business - I think without the knowledge, tools, and knowhow - then he will be the stat that proves why 50% of new business startsups fail.

Easier said than done, and yes things are a lot simpler in life than we percieve them to be.

I look at it as an insurance policy to fall back on something.

For myself - I plan to start a career in Strategic Management Consulting, and there is literally no way in hell that I will even be considered unless I have graduated with an MBA from a Tier I or II school.

I personally have the ambition to start up my own business in 15 years and also to become a professor when I retire, but I honestly and truly feel that I have gained a lot from going to an university.

I guess what I am saying is that you increase your chances of success, in whatever terms you describe it, with the continuation of education.