Video game design is another field that brings engineers and artists together. Digital gaming is what Arthur Nishimoto studies at University of Illinois—Chicago, home to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, which is an interdisciplinary graduate research lab focused on art and computer science, according to its website.
At the lab, Nishimoto, who is pursuing an M.S. in computer science, created a 20-foot "virtual canvas," which consists of 18 liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. When users touch the screens with their dry brushes, colors, which they mix on iPad palettes, appear on the screens.
College students who aspire to go to engineering school should consider taking an art class, or courses in other departments, to avoid the stereotype of being a programmer who is always "in front of the computer coding away," Nishimoto says. "Computer science can be a useful tool for multiple disciplines."
While Fasano, the engineering job coach, thinks art training can give engineers a leg up in the job hunt, he says combining engineering and business will ultimately serve them better. "It doesn't hurt to have an artistic or creative side," he says. "If I had to decide between that and an M.B.A., personally, from what I've seen so far, I'd go for the M.B.A. or master's in management."
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