Engineering Degree Options - Video
Career opportunities in some of the fastest-growing industries make an Engineering degree a valuable commodity in today's economy. Adding to the field's allure: you can specialize and enter the workforce in a wide range of specializations, including Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering. Learn more about whether earning a degree in one of these areas may be right for you.
Description of Popular Degree Areas
Earning a degree in Engineering can prepare you for diverse careers in a wide range of work environments. That's because Engineering is a very broad discipline that can be broken down into specific areas of specialization.
Civil Engineering, for example, is most often associated with what can be called public works. Instances of this kind of engineering include dams, bridges and other large-scale projects benefiting residents of a given area. Mechanical Engineering generally concerns projects intended to maximize the efficiency of machines, tools or mechanical systems, from automobile engines to building heating systems. Electric Engineering is comparable in terms of the scope, but specifically deals with electricity and ways we can optimize the use of circuits.
Sometimes Computer Engineering is grouped within this discipline, though its emphasis on circuitry applications merits distinct categorization in many instances. Chemical Engineering concerns the mass production of chemical substances to meet everyday societal needs. Aerospace Engineering concerns all kinds of different aircraft, from the commercial liners we all know to space vehicles. While some Engineering programs further delineate programs, these are some of the most commonly differentiated disciplines at colleges and universities.
Skills Obtained/Typical Courses
While there is obviously a great degree of difference between the many of the types of engineering specializations, there is one thing that is universal between them. In all cases, it's the job of the engineer to design and implement systems that will meet a desired objective, whether that objective be greater memory capability in laptops (to cite an instance of Computer Engineering) or maximum engine efficiency (such as in Mechanical Engineering). Engineering as an academic discipline is designed to familiarize you with foundational principles at work in our world. At the same time, these programs are intended to improve mathematical and abstract reasoning abilities so that you may apply solutions in diverse areas. Once you have obtained these base skills and perspectives, you'll be prepared to address engineering problems of all types and varieties. Much of the learning within these programs is hands-on so that you can be fully prepared at graduation to apply acute analytical and problem-solving skills to meet real world problems using the tools available within your discipline. Typical academic courses for Engineering students are:
- Differential Equations
- Engineering Principles
- Engineering Problem Solving
- and Engineering Methods
Career Options/Occupational Outlook
Graduating with an Engineering degree can qualify you for employment in a wide range of careers. Specific opportunities depend in large part upon the discipline you have chosen to concentrate in. As a civil engineer, for example, you may participate in water or environmental projects designed to enhance life in a given area. This might include a lot of on-site work. Working as a mechanical engineer, you might be responsible for drafting, building or testing a wide range of equipment or systems. Electrical engineers often find work with utility companies and engineering firms specializing in electricity projects. Computer engineers, naturally, may find work within the tech industry though positions are also widely available with companies of all kinds. Chemical engineers often find work within labs or industrial plants where new products are designed or produced. Those who become aerospace engineers, unsurprisingly, often find work with aircraft companies. Regardless of specialization or work environment, an engineer's work is often related to manufacturing, product improvement, construction and maximizing efficiency in field operations.
Engineering is an excellent area of study for those with advanced spatial and mechanical abilities. It's also important that you have strong mathematical abilities and advanced abstract reasoning abilities. If you do earn a degree in Engineering, high demand within diverse industries should ensure you have access to many lucrative job opportunities.