Going to college and taking full-time courses can be a lot to manage. There are also a ton of majors to choose from. Will you major in the social sciences, or English? What about political science or engineering courses?
When debating which subject to major in, the idea of engineering may come to mind. Majoring in any STEM field is a prudent move for your future career as it will pay off in dividends almost immediately after you graduate.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many engineering jobs pay a considerable salary. In 2018, engineers earned a median wage of around $91,010 per year. Some of the highest earners made close to $208,000.
So, if you want to study engineering, where do you begin? To get started, let’s go over some engineering basics, then follow up with a list of schools that offer top-notch engineering courses.
What Is Engineering and its Subfields?
Engineering is the use of science and technology to design and create new things. The career paths within engineering are very diverse. Engineers design roads, bridges, computer systems, airplanes, and other vital technology that keeps our society running smoothly.
Since there are so many things to create and maintain, it’s only appropriate there would be many unique subsets of engineering. Let’s look at some of the most noteworthy specializations within the field of engineering.
This form of engineering is dedicated to designing and building both aircraft and spacecraft. Aeronautical engineering can also be further broken down into aeronautics and astronautics. Many aeronautical engineers are employed by government agencies or at companies like Boeing or Lockheed Martin.
Computer science and engineering come together in the unique marriage of computer engineering. Computer engineers test and develop hardware and software for computers. Computer science and computer engineering are extremely popular fields of study that result in very well-paid jobs.
Chemical engineering deals with the development and manufacturing of chemical components. Among the best-paid chemical engineers are petroleum engineers, who work directly with crude oil and natural gas. Even earners in the lowest 10th percentile in this field earned well over $70,000 a year.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil and environmental engineers deal with the physical attributes of structures in a given environment. Civil engineers design roads, highways, public transit, and other vital pieces of infrastructure. Environmental engineers deal with water supply, water treatment, and pollution levels.
Biomedical engineering deals with biology and medicine. As a biomedical engineer, you will improve and revolutionize the field of medicine. This is done through the development of new pharmaceuticals, designing better hospital equipment, and a lot of research.
A subsector of civil and environmental engineering, structural engineering focuses on actual structures. Bridges, skyscrapers, tunnels, and more all fall under the purview of those who work in structural engineering.
Electrical engineering deals with work on any objects that use electricity. It often overlaps with other engineering fields like computer science and materials science and engineering.
If circuit boards, radio towers, and electromagnetism pique your interest, then electrical engineering is the right concentration for you.
Mechanical Engineering consists of combining multiple subjects like physics, mechanics, science, and more, to study, create, and repair machines. Car engines, rotors, and power plants are all part of the specialty of mechanical engineers.
Once again, this field also sometimes overlaps with others such as electrical engineering and materials science and engineering.
Materials Science and Engineering
This is the perfect engineering field for those who love to experiment and are particularly interested in chemistry and the life sciences. Materials and science engineering focuses on designing and discovering new materials. This is a particularly useful field, as engineers are tasked with solving problems like resource shortages.
Where Should You Take Engineering Courses?
Hopefully, the introduction to the subsectors of engineering has clued you in to what’s in store should you decide to seek an engineering degree. Now, let’s see which schools offer the best engineering courses.
Stanford School of Engineering
At Stanford, you can take your pick of great engineering courses. All of the school’s degree programs provide among the most comprehensive engineering education in the country.
Stanford’s programs offer extensive degree customization. They also offer various graduate programs and coterminal studies, which allow you to complete your bachelor’s and master’s degrees concurrently.
Where Stanford School of Engineering truly shines is in mechanical engineering, which includes the following courses:
- Foundations of Product Realization
- Visual Thinking
- Product Design Methods
- Food, Design & Technology
University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley has excellent engineering courses among its undergraduate degrees, including:
- Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
- Materials Science & Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT is arguably the most famous and illustrious school of engineering in the US. Any engineering course you take at the MIT School of Engineering will guarantee that you become a skilled engineer. A degree from MIT will also garner the attention of employers the world over.
The institute offers multiple great degrees in all of the forms of engineering mentioned above. It also offers a special engineering course called “Managing Technical Professionals and Organizations.” This engineering management course aims to maximize workplace efficiency so employers can get the most out of their talented teams.
Conclusion: Find the Right Engineering Course for Your Subfield
Now that you know more about engineering courses and the nuances of the field, all you have to do is explore your area of interest to get on the path toward a career that you’ll love.
Find out what type of engineering fits your style the best. Do you see yourself as a civil and environmental engineer? Or more of a biomedical engineer? In engineering, there’s plenty of room for you to make your mark in the fields of science, technology, infrastructure, and aeronautics.