I know this is weird to be asking career advice on an online forum but I have been thinking this over a lot recently. Currently I am majoring in mechanical engineering and had always planned to use my degree to work in the automotive industry, but recently I have given the motorcycle industry more thought. It seems to be going in a direction that seems more interesting. Motorcycles are all about power and style and building and designing them seems to be something that fits more into my interests. So i guess my real question would be what are you opinions on the automotive industry vs the motorcycle? Stability of both? I ask because i know some of you work in the automotive industry and obviously you all have a passion for motorcycles.
11-29-2007, 03:57 PM
learn to speak japanese.....
Seriously though, the automotive and motorcycle industry have specific schools that they focus their recruiting on, I woudl start by finding out which schools they are and then see about transfering.
The motorcycle industry is obviously smaller and therefore more competetive.
that is about all the advice I can give with my limited expirence.
11-29-2007, 06:01 PM
Auto industry in Detroit seems on the verge of collapse. Cars have become a commodity and the big three are just starting to figure that out. Learning Japanese really does sound pretty wise.
11-29-2007, 06:54 PM
Right now I am planning on fratuationg with majoring in mechanical engineering a minor in spanish a minor in math an MBA and possibly a minor in education. I know I sound like a nerd but the japanese sounds like a very good idea for both the motorcycle or automotive industry so i think i might forget the MBA idea and get a minor in japanese also
11-29-2007, 08:21 PM
A while back, maybe this summer, there was an interview in one of the big car mags with one of the most successful and prolific designers in the industry. After graduating from one of the favored automotive design schools he worked briefly for Chrysler, I think, before he got his big offer.
Hot Wheels. He took the job and never looked back. Has the record for the most models of his own design in production, and yes, I said models, but they are indeed cars, and they're his designs.
11-29-2007, 08:35 PM
Be careful not to restrict your options too much, cars and bikes can always be a passionate hobby. Keep working and studying for that dream job, but watch for other cool job(s) that may come your way.
11-29-2007, 09:32 PM
I would keep the MBA, drop the spanish and go with the japanese instead....just my 2 cents....
11-29-2007, 11:02 PM
Talk to your advisor, see if your school has any sort of a mentoring program that can put you with someone already in the workforce. That may be able to give you an idea of a realistic career path. My experience is that most engineering school graduates spend a relatively short period engineering. My buddy that was just back, graduated, got a job with a utility, built one power plant and got transferred into a management position at another plant. While there they paid for him to get his MBA. He is now with another company, but in a totally managerial position. This is the career path I see most engineers following.
Learn as many languages as you can. It is my belief that in my lifetime I will need to know Spanish just to function. If I were gonna pick one Asian language it would be Chinese. They are the emerging superpower and still a little technology poor. As I see it unless you're a superstar, most Japanese companies don't need you.
11-29-2007, 11:40 PM
Fuck the big salary, career path, education, etc. Find out what really blows your hair back, and then figure out a way to make money doing it. Very few things which are truly important are work related.
11-29-2007, 11:44 PM
Learn Chinese (besides, more than half of the common Japanese alphabet is Chinese symbols anyway--though from my limited understanding they do not directly translate between the two languages, but I digress).
A friend in the motorcycle biz pointed out that the Chinese motorcycle (and car) manufacturers now are where the Japanese manufacturers were in the mid 60's. Limited production offered by subsidiary or up-and-coming companies of small displacement or niche models copied directly from other, more established companies' proven designs. Just look at the Roketa line...this little motor look familiar?
(SIDE NOTE: Holy Crap! Check out their website! They sell Porcelain Dolls and "Blanketry" too!)
Back on topic, we have a Honda plant near us (Marysville, OH - among other things it is the Primary North American production facility for the esteemed Goldwing). EVERYBODY I've ever known who has worked there has said the Japanese are a BITCH to work for. One friend recently said the attrition rate among young engineers and designers is horrible. To be fair, this is probably due in some part to recruiters from other companies trying to cash in on some of Honda's world class employee training. I don't know.
Me? I'd like to be a designer for Ural. Because Russian is way cooler sounding than Japanese (or Chinese) and I think after 60 years, the company might be ready to look into some new designs.