Mechanical Engineering vs Electrical Engineering: Which is Better?

In a comparison between mechanical engineering vs electrical engineering, do you know which one is better?

Well, there are not many ways to figure it out. It is very obvious that students want to get into the best streams of engineering in order to be able to have a wonderful career ahead. Well, electrical and mechanical are quite similar making it difficult for the aspiring students to decide which course they should go for.

Engineering is one of the most popular professional courses especially in countries like India. There are so many choices when it comes to engineering courses that students often get confused about which courses to go for. Many times, more than one course looks appealing to the students which is why they often find the need to compare courses. Comparing the features, career scope and other details of courses is a very healthy practice. It helps you to figure out which course fits the best according to your expectations and requirements.

This usually happens in the case of massively popular courses. When two or more engineering courses are wildly popular among students and are very potential to give the students much-needed exposure, it becomes fairly difficult to choose from the courses.

Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering are two such courses that have immense potential. Therefore, it is often a matter of confusion for students to figure out which courses they shall go after. Well, this sort of confusion could only be solved through a detailed comparison of both the courses.

There are certain parameters to judge a course, and comparing both the courses on those parameters would lead us to a conclusion about which of the mentioned courses is better. Mechanical Engineering vs Electrical engineering is a very tough call to make for either of them is one of the oldest engineering streams and has a crucial role in the world.

The future scope, career, salary, and other details look quite similar for both of these engineering courses. As both of them are associated with the biggest industries, i.e, power generation, production, manufacturing, and more, they appear equally opportunistic for the students as well.

So, in order to understand who wins among mechanical engineering vs electrical engineering, we need to understand the core fundamentals of each of the courses. In this article, we’ll go through some of the very important details of the courses such as the subjects covered, the job roles, the employers, etc.

These details will enable the students to understand and compare the differences between these courses. Once they realize the difference in each of these courses, it will then become easy for them to properly compare and reach a conclusion about mechanical engineering vs electrical engineering.

Once you choose a course, there’s no going back. Unless you choose to drop out, you’ll have to study that subject for the next 4 years of your life, in that case, you must be very clear that you’re comfortable with the choice you make, You cannot blindly make a decision about a course and turns out you don’t find it interesting at all. That would be too much of a pain studying something that you don’t like for 4 straight years including assignments, tests, projects, and more.

Some colleges give you the opportunity to switch streams if you score well in the 1st semester or 1st year, but not necessarily all colleges have that facility.

Aspiring engineering who are quite unclear about which courses they shall pursue must go through the details of each one of the courses mentioned below. This will give them clear insights into the details of the courses and help them make smart decisions for themselves.

Also Read: Different types of engineering courses in India

Mechanical Engineering vs Electrical Engineering

Mechanical engineering and electrical engineering are one of the oldest engineering subjects, and their importance in today’s society is tremendous. So, let’s try and figure out what each of these courses deals with to get a step closer towards understanding which course is better in mechanical engineering vs electrical engineering.

Mechanical Engineering vs Electrical Engineering

Let’s first begin with mechanical engineering and then we’ll switch to know more in detail about electrical engineering.

Mechanical Engineering

In very simple words, anything that is operated by a machine is called a mechanical device, and the study of understanding machines, their design and construction, their mechanism, and more is usually referred to as the study of mechanical engineering.

So, from the above definition, it is very clear that mechanical engineering is the branch of science or particularly engineering, that deals with the study of machines. It basically involves the concepts, core operation principles, and core fundamentals behind the functioning of a machine.

The subject is therefore of immense importance as we know we are literally surrounded by devices that run on machines. Whether it is your car, bike, or even the pump that you use to get the water supply to your house, each and everything is operated with the help of some kind of machine.

While we deal with only a limited number of machines, there are other areas where different kinds of machines are used for different purposes. For example, the machines used at construction sites, the machines used to propel our vehicle engines, etc.

From the above information, it is very clear that mechanical engineering is one of the most essential forms of engineering that has been serving mankind in countless ways. The craze for pursuing mechanical engineering after higher secondary education is very valid.

Duration of the Course

The duration of the mechanical engineering course is 4 years and in this period of time, the students get to learn about core fundamentals and in-depth concepts of mechanical engineering. The duration of the course might be different for lateral entry students. This means the students who joined the course after completing their diploma in mechanical engineering will pursue this course from the 3rd semester itself making the duration of the course just 3 years for them.

Eligibility Criteria

To be able to find admission in a mechanical engineering course, the student is supposed to have completed their higher secondary education or +2 (12th standard) in science board from a recognized board. If the students have completed a diploma in mechanical engineering after completing their 10th standard, then they are also eligible to pursue mechanical engineering through lateral entry, meaning, they’ll be pursuing the course from 3rd semester as they’ve learned enough of the basics in 1 extra year of diploma which +2 students do not have.

Subjects in Mechanical Engineering

As mentioned earlier in this article, mechanical engineering mainly deals with the study of machines. So, it can be expected that the syllabus contains subjects that guide the students about mechanisms on which certain machines operate, their function, finding efficiency, and stuff like that. Well, here are some of the subjects in the syllabus of mechanical engineering.

  • Thermodynamics
  • 3D modelling and drafting
  • Solid mechanics
  • Engineering materials and metallurgy
  • Kinematics of machinery
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Manufacturing processes

These are some of the subjects involved in mechanical engineering and they give a clear idea about what the course deals with and what kind of skills and knowledge the students get through this course.

Career Scope 

Considering the importance of mechanical engineering in this world, there seems a very good career scope for the students. The industry poses immense potential and is already at full swing. So, this might be the perfect career choice for students who are passionate about working with machines and aspire to become mechanical engineers in the near future.

Since mechanical engineering finds it’s use in almost every industry in different processes ranging from production, manufacturing, construction, designing and more, therefore the job market for mechanical engineers is also diverse. They may get placed in automobile companies, metal sheet manufacturing units, energy and power generation companies etc.

Mostly the manufacturing units are where the companies need the mechanical engineers to be. The mechanical engineers depending upon the nature of their job are paid very well, especially the ones placed in top tier companies. Here are some of the job roles for mechanical engineers that the students can look forward to achieve post completion of their mechanical engineering course.

Job Roles for Mechanical Engineers:

  • Quality Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Service Engineer
  • Maintainance Engineer
  • Construction Engineer

These are only some of all the engineering roles that the students can look up to post completion of their mechanical engineering studies.

Best Companies for Mechanical Engineers

Just like any other sector, mechanical engineering students also look up to finding a job at one of the top companies that deals with the work of mechanical engineering. This includes automobile companies, construction companies, electrical and power generation companies, manufacturing companies and more.

Here is a list of the top companies for mechanical engineers:

  • Tata Group
  • Larsen and Tuobro
  • Ashok Leyland
  • General Motors
  • Kirloskar
  • Siemens
  • Mahindra & Mahindra

The students might as well find employment opportunities in the government sector. Some of the government organizations for mechanical engineers are:

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited
  • Defence Research and Development Organization
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited
  • National Hydroelectric Power Corporation
  • Gas Authority of India Limited

These were only few of all the government organizations where mechanical engineers can find employment opportunities.

These were some of the very important details about the mechanical engineering course that would give you more clarity to compare and reach a conclusion about mechanical engineering vs electrical engineering.

We’ll figure out the similar details about electrical engineering course and then it will become easier for us to compare both the engineering courses based on the mentioned parameters.

Let’s now explore electrical engineering and the very details of the course. These details will further help the students aspiring to become electrical engineers to know what exactly to expect from the course.

Electrical Engineering

Electrtrical engineering is evidently one of the oldest and very essential form of engineering. It is hard to imagine a world without electricity. Electricity facilitates a lot of industrial, commercial and residential operation on a daily basis.

The continuous cycle of generation transmission and distribution of energy is very important. Disturbance in any of the mentioned processes can cause massive loss in every aspect.

So, being such an important field, it is quite obvious that the industry is massive and there are good opportunities for electrical engineers out there. Electrical engineering itself is a very diverse industry and there are a lot of operations that are carried out when it comes to electrical industry.

Genreation of electricity itself is a very diverse field of electrical engineering and there are several modes of generating electricity. Some companies and organizations use turbine and wind energy to produce electricity while others rely on hydro power and the solar is also evolving for the last couple of years.

Similarly the transmission is also of several types depending upon the quantity of voltage to be transmitted and same goes for distribution as well. The distribution has to be very specific according to the requirements. For example, residential areas requires less electricity while the commercial buildings need more electricity and factories or industrial units require the most.

So, for such diverse industry, it is quite obvious that a majority of the students want to be a part of such and industry through pursuing electrical engineering. It is now very clear from the above mentioned details, that electrical engineering is a very potential field and therefore the craze for pursuing this course is justified.

Duration of the Course

Just like any other engineering course, the duration of electrical engineering is 4 years. In these 4 years, the students will go through extensive training about each and every little detail about electrical engineering. Moreover they’ll learn the fundamental concepts on which the entire electrical industry functions. This includes, the theories, the laws and more.

The course is also quite focused towards practical approach. Electricity is a important and dangerous element and handling it improperly can cause unimaginable damage to a lot of people, things, etc. So, operating electricity just based on the text books might be the wrong way, therefore the electrical engineering course contains plenty practical exercises that allow the students to understand how exactly things work when it comes to electrical engineering.

The course duration for lateral entry students, or the ones who joined electrical engineering after completing their diploma in electrical engineering is 3 years. This is because, the students who come after 12th standard get the basic knowledge in the first year, while the diploma students have already learned it as their course is of three years, so they’ll be able to pursue the coursefrom the 3rd semester itself.

Eligibility Criteria

The students are required to have completed their 12th standard from a recognized board in science discipline. Many students prefer to pursue diploma in engineering post completion of their 10th standard, they are also eligible to apply for admission in electrical engineering, however, they’ll be joining as lateral entry students. This means they’ll continue the course from 3rd sem.

Subjects in Electrical Engineering

Since the electrical engineering is a very diverse field that deals with one of the most crucial resources, it must include some very interesting subjects in the syllabus. Let’s take a look at what are the subjects in electrical engineering.

  • Analog Electronics
  • Circuits and Systems
  • Power Systems
  • Microcontrollers
  • Power Electronics
  • Transmission and Distribution
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Computer Programming

These are some of the subjects involved in electrical engineering. there are certainly more subjects and also there are plenty of practical exercises and experiments included in the syllabus in fact the students are required to submit a project in their final year.

These projects are very important as they are the most important factors that employers consider before recruiting. Not just that, but the students might as well land their dream internships as well.

Career Scope

So, it is very clear from the mentioned details that electrical engineering is one of the most opportunistic field and has a brilliant scope for aspiring electrical engineers. The industry is evolving very fast and new ways are being introduced to make electrical systems more efficient.

New technologies are being introduced such as Programmable logic unit, SCADA and more that helps in making the electrical systems immensely efficient and effective. So, with such evolution, there is a good space for young and aspiring electrical engineers to try a career in the field of electrical engineering.

Some job roles that students can look up to post completion of their electrical engineering are:

  • Service Engineer
  • Maintainance Engineer
  • CNC Machine Operator
  • Site Supervisor
  • Quality Engineer
  • Junior Electrical Engineer
  • Sub Division Officer

These are some of the career positions in electrical engineering and there are so many of them. Since electrical engineering is also associated with other industries, the students might as well expect jobs from manufacturing units, and other companies where electrical operations are carried out.

Best Companies for Electrical Engineers

India is a a country that is rich in resources. Whether it is hydro power or wind energy, our geographical position is so perfect that we are one of the richest countries in terms of resoures and that is the reason there are plenty companies dealing with electrical operations such as generation, transmission and distribution.

Here are some of the top companies for electrical engineers :

  • TATA Group
  • Adani Power
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
  • Siemens
  • Bajaj Electricals
  • V-Guard Industries
  • Polycab India

These were only some of the best companies for electrical engineers that the students can look up to. These organizations offer handsome salaries and there is a good chance of career growth in such companies.

So, these were some of the details about mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Both the engineering courses appear very promising and are very potential options for engineering aspirants. So, it is still difficult to reach to a conclusion about mechanical engineering vs electrical engineering, but now the insights are more clear.

FAQs

Q. Is Mechanical Engineering better than Electrical Engineering?

Ans- Since both the industries have a very important role in the industrial sector, and both contributing a lot to the world, it is nearly impossible to say that one is better that the other. However, depending on the preferences of individuals, they may prefer to go for any of the engineering courses.

Q- Who are paid more Electrical Engineers or Mechanical Engineers?

Ans- Many surveys conducted by several organizations suggest that electrical engineers are paid well as compared to mechanical engineers.

Q- Can mechanical engineer work as electrical engineer?

Ans- Only if the person has completed any certification course in electrical engineering and possesses the skills of an electrical engineer, they might as well find employment opportunities as electrical engineers.

Conclusion

The choice of course is very individually subjective. Therefore, the students who are passionate about working with machines and are interested in machinery work can go for mechanical engineering which the students passionate about working in solar sector, electricity generation or transmission might want to go for electrical.

But before going to any of the mentioned engineering course, they must be clear about the details of each of the course and shall know what to expect from such engineering courses before making a decision. The aspiring engineering students or professionals shall go through the mentioned details of each one of the courses to be able to decide better about mechanical engineering vs electrical engineering, which is best for them.

Also Read: Computer Courses After 12th Science

Vaibhav Kakkar

Vaibhav Kakkar is an Indian Entrepreneur and digital marketing expert. He is the founder of IIMSKILLS, Coursedekho, and Advisor Uncle and writes blogs on digital marketing, the content industry, career development, and education. He has been instrumental in helping various brands across different sectors with their marketing initiatives. He is the author of the book Word Castle "Building a content marketing business" and is a mentor to budding digital marketers.

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