I was reading a book that I really enjoyed. In fact, I read it several times. It was a wonderful love story. However, one of the characters was an Engineering major. That jarred me a little. Engineering isn’t a major. That’s like saying that Liberal Arts is a major.
Engineering is a group of majors. Entire colleges are devoted to this group of majors. Electrical, Mechanical, Aerospace, Computer Science, Biochemical, Chemical, Civil, and Operations Research are examples of Majors in Engineering.
Now some of these majors have overlap in what skills the student learns. Some schools require Majors in one to minor in another. But they are not completely interchangeable. The problems they solve, the abilities and skills needed, the competition in the field, the pay scale, and a variety of other factors are extremely different.
When someone tells me they have an Engineering degree in Computer Science, I have a certain expectation of what they were taught in school. I understand that they probably spent hours writing programs in a variety of languages.
If someone tells me they have a degree in Electrical Engineering, a field that over laps Computer Science in some ways. I expect they spent time in a lab with a soldering iron. I expect they used cad programs to do chip design. I expect that they were at least introduced to Digital Signal Processing and Control Theory.
The knowledge and approaches of the two people above are different.
Geek’s certainly know the difference. In fact, in typical Geek fashion, they often wouldn’t even use the word engineering. Geek’s love acronyms. I have a CS degree. (Computer Science.) An Electrical Engineer would say they have a degree in “Double E”.
So the next time you are writing a story with an Engineer, choose a major, it makes the story much more realistic.