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Can a mechanical engineer work as a computer engineer?

Can a mechanical engineer work as a computer engineer? this is what we’ll discover in our post today.

Can a mechanical engineer work as a computer engineer?

Mechanical engineers cannot work as computer engineers because, they simply don’t have a background in computer engineering design, electricity, and programming. You have to understand that there is a big difference between Computer Engineering and computer science.

Mechanical engineers don’t have the background to be computer science or computer engineers,  computer science students focus on software development, while computer Engineers focus on hardware programming and electronics design.

 For instance, computer Engineers are designing electronic boards embedded in computers, smartphones TVs, heaters, AC rooms, refrigerators, and any machine that has embedded Electronics.

Mechanical engineers are focusing only on the part of mechanical design, they design mechanical pieces and systems for multiple machines like cars Aerospace, aeronautics crafts, and so on.  They don’t study programming or any electrical or electronics topics that computer engineering is hugely based on.

 So for instance, if we compare a mechanical engineer’s Bachelor’s curriculum and computer engineering will find a big difference.

 mechanical engineer study principal subjects like:

But when we look at the Computer Engineering  curriculum you will find a completely different subject that doesn’t have any overlap with mechanical engineering including:

A lot of people don’t differentiate between computer science and computer engineering, and for this reason, would find themselves asking this type of question.

 It is easy to switch from mechanical engineering to computer science because you will be required to learn all the programming and Basics of computers.

 While computer engineering is very difficult,  you have to go back and study the principal of electrical engineering,  then learn how to program Hardware computers which are totally different from software engineering programs like web design or game applications.

 It is still possible to switch from mechanical engineering to computer engineering, so in the next paragraph, we’re going to give you the 2 principal steps if you want to go from mechanical to computer engineering.

How to switch from mechanical engineering to computer engineering

Here are a few tips for making the switch from mechanical to computer engineering:

1. Update your skillset.

As a mechanical engineer, you likely have experience working with CAD software and other design tools. But to transition into computer engineering, you’ll need to update your skills by going back to school or taking a lot of electrical and programming courses by yourself including:

1 – Electric Circuit Analysis

Electric Circuit Analysis is the study of how electricity flows through a circuit. It is important to understand this so that you can build circuits that work properly without any dysfunctions

In order to learn Electric Circuit Analysis, it is important to first understand the basics of electricity. Once you understand the basics of electricity, you can begin learning about how electricity flows through a circuit. you don’t have to worry about that, in mechanical engineering, you already have the basics, you learned in physics 1 and 2, so you don’t have to begin from scratch.

For instance, in the process, you’ll be required to find the voltages and currents in a circuit. This can be done by using Ohm’s law, which states that the voltage in a circuit is equal to the current times the resistance. 

Another example, if you have a light bulb in a circuit and you know the current and the voltage, you can find the resistance by dividing the voltage by the current. you will surely remember these laws.

2 – electronics design

Electronics design is the process of creating new electronic devices and components. This can involve creating new circuits, chips, and other hardware. It can also involve choosing the right materials and components to use in a device, and designing the layout of those components.

If you want to learn electronics design, you need to learn how to use electronic components and how they work together. You can learn all of this by taking classes, reading books, or doing online research. But the most interesting thing is to do a lot of practice and build your own personal electronics projects to gain experience.

3 – programming

The most interesting languages you have to focus on in computer engineering are C, C++, and Python. In these courses, you will learn how to write programs that are able to control electronic devices, such as motors and sensors, and execute the tasks you want.

The first programming language you should learn is C, which is a very common, basic, and powerful programming language. Then take C++, which is more complicated but if you master it, learning any programming language will be like a piece of cake.

Finally, you should learn python, which is simple, but it is a very famous programming language that is widely used in automation, especially in robotics.

4 – signal transmission

Signal transmission is very important if you want to control devices (sensors, motors, etc..) using the computer. You should learn how to use wires and cables in order to transmit signals from your computer to electronic devices.

To learn signal transmission you have to learn a specific domain called embedded systems where you will be learning how to use communications protocols like SPI, I2C, and UART (for serial devices).  

2. Get some experience.

Once you’ve updated your skillset, it’s time to get some experience working with computers. This can be done through internships. The most interesting thing internships give is allowing you to network with people who raise your chances to find a job. You could be hired by the company you work for if you show some interest and diligence.

The other thing that you should consider is working on your personal experiences, they are beneficial in gaining experience. You can talk about your personal computer engineering projects during interviews, which indicates your interest and effort you put into learning this area.


You have to understand that switching from mechanical engineering to Computer Engineering would not be an easy option,  you have to take a lot of undergrad electrical engineering and computer engineering subjects.

In addition, you have to understand that computer engineering is not a popular field, like mechanical engineering,  finding a job in mechanical engineering is 10 times better than computer engineering,  according to BLS, there are more than 21,000 occupations offered in mechanical engineering while only 4500 for computer engineer.

So if you are doing it for money or finding a job you are totally wrong,  you have to be passionate about it or are looking forward to working in the robotics industry to make this decision.