Engineering Courses at College or University
Benefits of Engineering Courses
Engineering courses at college or university are extremely practical and useful. In fact, along with business related subjects, engineering is the most popular study choice for international students at college or university institutions.
Engineering is popular because there are many benefits that come with graduating with a qualification in this area.
Most importantly, there are many job opportunities for graduates of engineering courses. This means after your studies, you can look forward to a long career with strong prospects for well-paid work.
Another benefit of engineering is that it helps you to develop a problem-solving mind-set that requires critical thinking and a positive attitude towards challenges.
Even if a graduate never works in an engineering role, the qualification provides extremely valuable skills in critical thinking and problem solving which can be applied to different areas of professional life.
In many situations, engineers will need to apply their theoretical knowledge with original thought to be able to uncover useful solutions. This is a skill that can take years to master, however, it is can lead to an interesting career that has great job satisfaction.
Before going any further, however, you need to ask yourself if you have what it takes to be an engineer. There’s no doubt that studying engineering courses will be challenging, complex and require strong scientific and mathematical skills.
If this sounds like you, then engineering may be the perfect fit for your career.
Engineering Career Opportunities
So what are engineers responsible for? In brief, engineers are responsible for the design and implementation of complex solutions across many industry types, including construction, infrastructure communications, environmental, automotive, mining and computing.
Most importantly, as an engineering student, you will need to carefully consider the types of engineering courses that lead to different job choices.
It is also very important to research the institutions that offer these course, to ensure you find the best fit for your own unique interests and strengths in the engineering area.
The main types of engineering are as follows:
Chemical engineering courses teach how to use chemical processes to extract commodities such as minerals from raw materials, with the aim of turning these minerals into products. The focus is on using methods that have sustainable outcomes for the environment, as well as economic growth for companies.
These days, chemical engineers are mostly employed in the mining sector and their career choices may include the following:
- Chemical Engineer
- Environmental Engineer
- Mineral Processor
Civil Engineering are responsible for the design and maintenance of large scale infrastructure, including roads, bridges and water systems. As well as designing transportation systems, Civil Engineers are employed by companies to design commercial and industrial buildings.
Career opportunities for Civil Engineers include:
- Civil Engineer
- Engineering Consultant
- Design and Construction Engineer
- Infrastructure Maintenance Manager
Communications Systems Engineer
Courses that major in Communications Systems Engineering help students to understand the concepts and processes behind network communication systems. With the widespread deployment of communications technology around the world, the need for innovative solutions in this area is growing fast.
Career opportunities for Communications Systems Engineers include:
- Network Engineer
- Local Area Network Designer
- Communications Systems Manager
A major in Computer Engineering will provide students with the skills in a wide range of areas such as designing and maintaining computer systems and platforms. Students will investigate hardware and software systems that can help organizations to create innovative solutions in robotics and operate large scale mining, manufacturing and production systems.
Computer Engineering graduates may follow in the following areas:
- Computer Engineer
- Computer Systems Consultant
- Computer Systems Design Engineer
- Instrument Designer
Electrical Engineering courses teach students the design, implementation and running of systems and infrastructure networks that distribute power. Students will understand the importance of system planning, safety and ongoing protection of these platforms that deliver benefits in urban and remote settings.
Career opportunities for electrical engineers include:
- Electrical Engineer
- Instrumentation Technician
These courses help student to understand design of sustainable energy systems including solar, wind and tidal energy generation systems. The primary goal of environmental engineers is to work with water, infrastructure and building systems that have a positive outcome of the world’s fragile ecosystems and environment.
Environmental Engineers can enjoy being a part of a fast-paced and emerging industry as organisations seek to alter systems to bring about environmental solutions.
Career opportunities for Environmental Engineers include the following:
- Environmental Consultant
- Environmental Ecologist
- Environmental Planner
- Rural Planner
- Urban Planner
Mechanical Engineering courses cover the fundamentals of force, energy and the physics behind motion, in order to design mechanical solutions and products that people and organisation need. The field is wide-ranging and can cover areas such as robotics, vehicle design and mechanical control systems.
Career opportunities for mechanical engineers can be very diverse, and may include:
- 3D Printing Designer
- Engine Designer
- Product Designer
- Robotics Designer
- Mechanical Systems Manager
- Vehicle Designer
Software Engineers can learn a diverse range of skills that open doors to an exciting world of software design and technology. Modern organizations such as corporations, hospitals, banks and governments are heavily reliant on software solutions that enable their operations to run smoothly and be maintained over time. Software Engineers gain an understanding or client, enterprise and server side systems to enable the efficient processing of information.
Software Engineering is a rapidly developing field that offers many options for employment. Software engineering graduates may enjoy a career in the following areas:
- Software Designer
- Software Platform Consultant
Skills that Engineers Need
Clearly, engineering is suited to students with a mathematics and scientific skill set. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, information technology will all be useful when it comes to gaining the technical skills.
Students who study an engineering course should also keep in mind that English is an important subject as well. This is because professional engineers are often required to write complex reports, that require the ability to write English, as well as include the various calculations and drawings that come with engineering plans.
When working on projects, engineers will need to rely on transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, project management, creative problem solving and of course communication.
About Studying Engineering
While there are great benefits from studying an engineering course, students need to understand that the coursework can be very demanding and challenging.
In fact, students are some of the hardest working students at a university campus, so they will need to give 100% effort into their work if they wish to graduate with a valuable degree at the end.
If English is not your first language and you are studying in an English speaking country, you will need to work extra hard in order to pass your units well. In particular, students will need to work on the specific engineering terminology that comes with the particular course. This is often one of the biggest struggles that engineering students face, because in many cases they come from a scientific and mathematical background as opposed to a language and communication background.
Combining Engineering Units, Majors and Minors
Students should also consider the possibility of combining majors, such as Software Engineering with Civil Engineering.
Alternatively, with the focus on environmental sustainability and rejuvenation, students may choose to study their major, plays units relating to Environmental Engineering, to enable greater opportunities in the rapidly changing world of organisational sustainability.
Because a great deal of engineering work is performed by project teams over a period of months, the area of Project Management becomes particularly important as Engineers advance through their careers.
For this reason, it may be worth combining studies in Engineering with studies in business that focus on Project Management.
For some engineers who want to gain professional skills as well as their technical knowledge, it may be worth considering an MBA, especially if you choose to run a smaller company where you will be responsible for much of the business decision making.
In any case, by combining majors and minors in this way, engineering students will enable further specialization that can lead to greater career success.
Where to Study Engineering
With the increasing popularity of engineering degrees, the world is full of colleges and universities that offer high quality engineering qualifications.
If you are considering being an international student, there are literally thousands of different courses you can choose from.
One way to help you decide where to study may be by considering the types of engineering that is done in particular regions of the world.
For example, if you study engineering in the United Kingdom or Germany, you may find world-class courses in mechanical engineering and environmental engineering.
If you choose to study engineering in Australia or Canada, you may choose a course that looks at chemical and mining engineering, as these resource rich countries have well-developed mining industries.
As you proceed through your Engineering studies, it is advisable that you begin to consider the vast number of opportunities with engineering internships that are available to you as you look to build your chosen career. The good news is that many of the major...