Mechatronics vs electronics engineering, which is better?

If you ask which is better, mechatronics or electronics engineering, this article is for you.

In this post, we will discover the differences between mechatronics and electronics engineers in all aspects. 

Also, warning you about some mistakes that students are making. So keep reading to know all details about this subject.

Mechatronics vs Electronics, which is better?

Mechatronics and electronics engineering has 80% of similarities, which means more than 80% of subjects that mechatronics and electronics studying are the same. The difference resides in that electronics is more focused and narrowed than mechatronics, which is more general.

Electronic engineering is a specialization of electrical engineering. In other words, an electronic engineer builds electronics hardware or board and programs them.

Mechatronics engineers can do the tasks of electrical, mechanical, and programming engineer at once. It combines these 3 specialties, so it is a broader specialty than a narrow electronics engineering field.

The mechatronics field is excellent for students who want to become robotics engineers and build robots, while electronics engineering is only a specialization in electronics design and programming electronics hardware like building electronics boards of computers or robots.

People interested in mechatronics engineering have to notice that mechatronics university programs are heavier than electronics engineering. That is normal because this domain is broader than electronics engineer.

If you are interested to see what electronic engineers and mechatronics engineers are studying, we listed the 4 core subjects you will need to focus on if you decide to go to one of these fields.

What do electronics engineers study?

electronics engineers study a lot of subjects, but principally they are categorized into 4 sections:

1 – Math

The first thing you will need to be good at as an electronics engineer is math, which is the first subject demanded in this field. Electronics engineers use math like algebra to design their electronics circuits and build them.

You will need to be good at algebra and calculus. These 2 subjects are principally used in electronic engineering, one of the most challenging math majors like computer science.

2 – Physics

The second thing that you will study in electronics engineering is physics. You will study a lot of physics topics like:

  • electricity law
  • Electromagnetics
  • signal processing, etc

So physics is essential in electronics engineering as much as math, so if you hate math or physics, this major will not be a good choice for you.

3 – Electronics

The critical and central part topic of the major is electronics. You will learn to build electronics circuits from scratch. That is to say:

  • Drawing circuits on the paper
  • Make a test or prototype circuits on electronics test boards to validate it
  • Design a circuit in software design
  • make a final tests

So most job specialty will be focused on these 3 things

  • design
  • building
  • testing
  • modifying

4 – Programming

The other exciting part of electronics is the programming software. You will study hardware programming. In other words, program an electronics board that can run multiples devices like:

  • Washing machine
  • Refrigerators
  • TV
  • Computers
  • Robots etc

In this case, you will need to learn programming languages like:

  • C and C++
  • java and python
  • MatLab

But the high focus is on C and C++, so if you are interested in this major, go and start learning thems programming languages. This domain has another name which is called embedded systems.

If you want more information about this subject, you can read this article.

If you want to know more about embeded systems, go and check this second detailed article that we wrote about electronics and programming.

What do mechatronics engineers study?

Mechatronics has big similarities to electronics engineering, but there are some differences that we will discover below.

1 – math and physics

Math is also important in mechatronics engineering as well as electronic engineering. You won’t go deeper into math subjects like electronics engineering in mechatronics engineering.

The physics of mechatronics engineers is broader and heavier than electronics engineering because it includes many mechanical engineering topics that we will notice in the next paragraph.

2 – mechanical engineering

The interesting thing about mechatronics engineering, which is absent in electronics engineering, is mechanics. As a mechatronics engineer, you will be responsible for seeing and maintaining mechanical systems.

So you will need to learn:

  • design 3D models, including the work in CAD and Solidworks, as the most famous mechanical design software
  • study or lean dynamics (How mechanical objects are moving)
  • physic statics ( How objects resist multiple forces like vibrations or temperature.)

3 -electronics

Electronics are also included in mechatronics. You will need to know the fundamental basics, as we explained at the beginning of the article.

4 -programming

Mechatronics engineers focus importantly on programming. As a mechatronics engineer, you will need to learn how to program robots and machines. So you will need to learn:

  • PLC (you can watch this video to know more about PLC)
  • C and C++
  • java and python
  • Matlab

The difference in programming between electronics engineering and mechatronics is, that mechatronics engineers study multiple software programming platforms. For this reason, they need to learn more programming languages.

mechatronics and electronics are so close

In general, mechatronics and electronics engineering are so close. But, the noticeable difference between these majors is in mechanical engineering. Mechatronics is studying mechanics while electronics engineers don’t.

Mechatronics vs electronics market demand?

The average salary of mechatronics engineers in the united state is $100,000. As a beginner, you will probably start with 80k, but the field is still in its beginnings. This field doesn’t have a lot of popularity like the other traditional fields.

To clarify, as an estimation, only 140,000 mechatronics jobs are in the united state. The growth rate is 6% which means only 8000 new occupations are born every year.

While electronics engineering is 3 times bigger, 300,000 electronics or electrical employees are in the US. In addition, 20,400 new occupations are born every year.

Electronic engineers have the same salary as mechatronics engineering, with $100,000 as a median salary.

Conclusion

Mechatronics is a broad major and made for people who love being multitaskers. As a mechatronics engineer, you will be programming, fixing mechanical and electronics problems.

But the problem is this major is still tiny and doesn’t highly have a significant demand in market jobs like electronics engineering. Unfortunately, some companies or employers don’t belive in this field because they consider it too broad.

In other words, they prefer to hire 2 engineers:

  • 1 Mechanical engineer
  • and Electrical engineer

Instead of hiring 1 mechatronics engineer who could not do well in mechanical or either in electrical engineering.

So as a better option is to go for electronics engineering and have a degree, then switch to mechanical engineering is will be easier and safer. At least if you couldn’t find a job as a mechatronics engineer, you can use your electrical degree again.

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