As electron microscopist Professor Peter Goodhew CBE FREng mentions in the recent Global Engineering Capability Review by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering:
“Engineers have always played a pivotal role in driving economic and social development and continue to do so by designing and delivering safe systems that facilitate education and healthcare, enhance quality of life and safeguard critical infrastructure.”
So if you want to become an engineer who plays a pivotal role in global society, but you’re not sure which engineering degree you should take, check out these six major branches of engineering and see which one suits your interests best:
Motivated to become a mechanical engineer? Source: Hendrik Schmidt Pool/AFP
For students that graduate with a mechanical engineering degree, there are many different career roles to explore.
For instance, mechanical engineering graduates could end up as aerospace or automotive engineers or choose to work as computer-aided design (CAD) technicians.
Mechanical engineering also deals with the design, development, installation, operation and maintenance of anything that has moving parts, so if this sparks an interest, make sure to explore this type of engineering degree further.
Civil engineering degrees involve the design and construction of the naturally built environment. Source: Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP
According to the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), “Civil engineers design, create and connect up the world around us. They help make our villages, towns and cities work for the people that live there.”
And students that opt for a civil engineering degree at university often become construction managers, transportation engineers and urban planners.
So if you’re interested in working in the construction industry, or business and finance sectors, civil engineering is a great path to take.
Chemical engineering degrees use principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and economics. Source: Angela Weiss/AFP
Are you ready to put on a lab suit and work with ground-breaking technologies to enhance people’s lives?
If so, a chemical engineering degree could be an incredible asset to add to your CV.
Many chemical development engineers work for engineering consultancy and contracting firms, but there are also opportunities for you to work in world-altering sectors that maintain pollution control, environmental protection, energy conservation and alternative energy usage.
Plus, you could secure analytical chemist, energy manager and environmental engineer roles throughout your career.
Electrical engineering involves many different technologies. Source: Fred Dufour/AFP
According to a survey by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the electrical and electronics sector is one of the highest user groups of new and advanced digital technologies – making up 23 percent of overall use of 3D printing and 45 percent of sensors in 2017.
Therefore, there will be a need for specialised engineering experts to create dynamic and innovative solutions for mankind with sustainability and energy-saving practices in mind.
So if you want to become one of those electrical engineering experts and wish to study the design and application of equipment, devices and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism – this engineering degree is best for you.
An engineering manager is responsible for ensuring that key projects and engineering duties are fulfilled. Source: Joe Scarnici Getty Images North America/AFP
Management engineering degrees equip students with the leadership skills they need to progress into management level roles in the engineering sector.
And while you’re studying management engineering, you may come across specialist modules that involve emerging and disruptive technologies, and decision-making for engineering managers.
Plus, with new technologies emerging every year, there has never been a more critical time for businesses to have technically competent managers/engineers.
So if you want to lead the engineering industry with your specialist knowledge, research further into this engineering discipline.
Geotechnics is an engineering discipline that deals with soil and rock behaviour in an engineering perspective. Source: Goh Chain Hin/AFP
Are you interested in the design and construction of foundations, slopes, retaining structures, embankments, tunnels, levees, wharves, landfills and other systems that are made of or are supported by soil or rock?
If so, give geotechnical engineering a go.
This specialism involves using scientific methods and principles of engineering to collect and interpret the physical properties of the ground for use in building and construction.
So if you’re not afraid to get involved in groundwork, geotechnical engineering degrees may end up being the foundation of your career.
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Do you know the difference between these six major engineering degrees?