Students, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pick up the most fascinating and suitable engineering branch for you:
STEP 1: Know What Each Branch Covers and Requires
You will need to know the engineering branches and what kind of work each one entails. To give you an idea, here is a list of some popular engineering fields:
- Aerospace Engineering – deals with aircraft design, construction, and atmospheric flight principles;
- Chemical Engineering – applies chemistry for various industrial processes like refining oil or manufacturing chemicals;
- Civil Engineering – focuses on the planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining of public works like bridges and roads;
- Control Engineering – studies how to manage or operate any system that involves sensors and a control center.
- Electrical Engineering – covers a wide range of topics from designing circuits, electronic devices, and electrical systems;
- Mechanical Engineering – applies mechanics in the design and manufacturing processes of engines, power plants, machines, instruments, etc.;
- Mining Engineering – studies the extraction and processing of mineral resources;
- Petroleum Engineering – deals with oil and gas exploration.
The list can go on and on, so don’t fret if your specific branch is not included here, just type in your preferred engineering field in a search engine and you will find tons of articles that provide all
STEP 2: Take an Interest in the Branch
It sounds simple, but you have to ask yourself: “What am I interested in?” You should choose a field that will not just benefit you now, but also support your future career. After all, let’s face it: being stuck with a job you dislike might turn out to be frustrating and unbearable even on a daily basis. So, what do you like? Is it cars that intrigue you? If yes, then go on to the next step.
STEP 3: Get Familiar with the Requirements of the Branch
The more educated you are at this point, the better chance you have of thriving in your career. You should know which degree to get and where. For example, if you already know that you want to be an engineer for cars, then a degree from the University of Michigan’s Automotive Engineering program should do. But if you are still unsure about your future career path, take courses in different fields, such as:
- Drafting and design;
- Computer programming;
- Mathematics; and
You can take these courses at community colleges, junior colleges, technical/vocational schools, or even universities that offer bachelor’s degrees in engineering. If you want to be on the safe side, choose a large university near your home because it is more convenient and economical. You should also do some research on the requirements for licensure in your state, so you know when to stop taking courses.
STEP 4: Do Internships
This is a very practical step that you have to follow if you want to be confident about your career path. An internship allows you to apply what you have learned at school and learn some valuable things in the process.
So, if you are a chemical engineering student, for example, go to a refinery or a plant and see all the processes first-hand. If you want to be an engineer on cars, work as a mechanic’s assistant at a local garage. Whatever it is that interests you most will guide your future career path, so it is important to get some work experience before you graduate.
STEP 5: Realize Your Passion for the Branch
After all these steps, you should be familiar with what kind of work you want to do in the future. The only thing left is to master your chosen career path by acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge. If your passion does not thrill you anymore, then it might be time to consider a shift in your career. This may not be easy at first, but going through the steps above will help you such that hard times won’t seem so hard after all.
Job Prospects are Important!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in architecture and engineering occupations 1re expected to grow by 6% from 2020 to 2030 – about as fast as the average for all occupations. Engineering professionals will be most in-demand in the following fields:
- Rebuilding of Infrastructure,
- Renewable Energy,
- Oil and Gas Extraction, and
It predicts that professionals in the following engineering fields will be most in-demand in the years to come:
|Occupation||Job Summary||Entry-Level Education||Median Pay in 2020|
|Petroleum Engineering||A branch of engineering that deals with the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons which can be either crude oil or natural gas.|
Petroleum Engineering is further classified into two types:
Offshore can be further classified into subcategories based on depth:
|Computer Hardware Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the study and research of electronic, electromechanical, and computer systems. It also studies the design, development, construction, testing, and manufacturing related to these systems.||Bachelor’s degree||$119,560|
|Aerospace Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the designing, development, testing, and manufacturing of air-flight vehicles like airplanes, helicopters, missiles, rockets, etc.||Bachelor’s degree||$118,610|
|Nuclear Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the study and research into nuclear energy, nuclear power, radiation, nuclear weapons, etc.||Bachelor’s degree||$116,140|
|Chemical Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the application of physical science, biology, and mathematics to solve problems related to chemical manufacturing or dealing with chemical processes.||Bachelor’s degree||$108,540|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the research, designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of electrical equipment like motors, generators, transformers, lighting systems, etc.||Bachelor’s degree||$103,390|
|Materials Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the study and research into the properties and fabrication of materials like metals, ceramics, glasses, semiconductors, etc.||Bachelor’s degree||$95,640|
|Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture||A type of engineering that deals with the research, designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of equipment used in marine environments like ships, offshore platforms, etc.||Bachelor’s degree||$95,440|
|Health and Safety Engineering||A branch of engineering that deals with the issues of health, safety, and environmental impact of products used in all types of industries.||Bachelor’s degree||$94,240|
|Mining and Geological Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the application and research into mining and metallurgy along with soil, rock, groundwater, etc. studies.||Bachelor’s degree||$93,800|
|Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering||A branch of engineering that deals with the research, designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of biomedical devices like prosthetic limbs.||Bachelor’s degree||$92,620|
|Environmental Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the designing, constructing, maintaining, and decommissioning of infrastructures to deal with issues related to the environment.||Bachelor’s degree||$92,120|
|Mechanical Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the research, designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of mechanical devices like engines, power tools, vehicles.||Bachelor’s degree||$90,160|
|Industrial Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the research, designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of devices used in industry.||Bachelor’s degree||$88,950|
|Civil Engineering||A type of engineering that deals with the study, designing, construction, and maintenance of infrastructures like roads, railways, bridges, etc.||Bachelor’s degree||$88,570|
|Agricultural Engineering||A branch of engineering that deals with the research, designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of equipment used in agriculture.||Bachelor’s degree||$84,410|
|Architecture||A branch of engineering that deals with the designing, construction, and maintenance of buildings.||Bachelor’s degree||$82,320|
If money and a job your priorities, you may choose an engineering course in one of these branches.
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