Engineering is a fascinating and varied field with a great many avenues to explore. If you are considering working toward a career as an engineer, you are going to have to find a suitable degree or postgraduate course to complete before you can find work. Keep reading to find out more about some of the engineering and engineering-adjacent degrees being offered today.
Degrees and postgraduate qualifications in civil engineering are highly prized. Civil engineers design and oversee the construction of a huge range of projects ranging from giant hydroelectric dams to the renovation of public properties. Civil engineering is one of the oldest established fields within engineering. These engineers help to conceptualize and build environments in which all people live. They work in conjunction with architects, scientists, and construction firms to create structures that solve complicated civil problems. Although there are many sub-fields within civil engineering, a generalized civil engineering degree is a great way to work toward a specialism.
Civil engineers can work in myriad industries. They help local and national governments conceive grand infrastructure projects. They consult with architects on the protection of future buildings from natural disaster. They design efficient power and water delivery systems. They can specialize in geotechnical engineering, which is working with the materials found in earth and rock. The possibilities for career development for a dedicated civil engineer are nearly endless.
A degree in physics is a great base upon which to build a successful career in engineering. Many engineering specialties rely heavily upon an understanding of the complex physical forces that determine material properties and reactions. Many of the more specialized degrees mentioned in this article are only accessible to people with a background in physics.
A degree in physics can help to qualify a budding engineer for more specialized training. People hoping to become senior civil engineers, for instance, will need to have a degree in physics.
Engineering Management MA
Unlike the other degrees on this list, a master’s degree in engineering management is useful for those that don’t want to go into a certain field, but rather want to go into management. This kind of qualification would suit a person with previous engineering experience in a field that wants to move up and begin leading and coordinating projects. Engineering managers have a long list of duties. They recruit and help to retain specialist engineering staff. They liaise with executives and strategic planners to help define the objectives of a project. They monitor progress and report that progress to stakeholders.
Engineering managers typically make use of modern project management software in order to keep tabs on the progress of a product, refit, or integration brief. They deal with the communication between collaborating engineering staff members and have a high level of oversight during projects. They also work to provide engineering expertise and guidance to non-engineer staff, such as construction workers completing a civil engineering project.
Almost all projects in engineering sectors need project managers. Without them, projects would fall apart. A lack of communication, accountability, and expertise can doom a project from the very beginning. Engineering managers with specialist skills are in high demand. Be aware that specialist knowledge is highly prized and a definite necessity. Hone your studies towards working in an engineering field where you know you will want to spend a great time leading projects.
A postgraduate degree in electrical engineering is essential for people wanting to go into the design and construction of complex electrical systems. Electrical engineers are utilized in the construction of power grids, the development of electronics, and the design of ships, aircraft, and ground-based vehicles.
A vast quantity of engineering projects requires the assistance of an electrical engineer. Electrical engineers can find work in a great many fields – offering planning and design advice to specialists in other sectors. They can also find work as freelance consultants hired by companies undertaking large regeneration and building projects.
Chemical engineering degrees are usually offered at a postgraduate level to people that have already earned a more generalized chemistry qualification. Chemical engineers are tasked with using their knowledge and research skills to develop substances and processes using chemicals. This is complex work requiring a great deal of laboratory and academic experience.
Chemical engineers can pursue careers in a number of different industries. Chemical process engineers can find work in the fuel industry, namely, figuring out how to compose new environmentally friendly fuels and engineering processes for making fossil fuels more efficient. In recent years, the recycling industry has hired a great many chemical engineers. Chemical engineering in the recycling industry is concerned with the creation of chemical processes that separate and break down materials so that they can be used again. These engineers have a large part to play in the development of a ‘circular economy’ – a model in which all materials are capable of being used again.
Chemical engineers can also find work developing a new generation of hydrogen cells and batteries that will power future electrical devices, such as cars, aircraft, and handheld technology.
Bioengineers work to develop medical devices and processes that help improve and save lives. They can work on a huge range of different projects, ranging from prosthetic tissue development to surgical diagnosis automation. Bioengineers need to possess a postgraduate degree in the subject if they want to break into the highly competitive healthcare technology industry. Recent developments that have made their way into healthcare from the minds of bioengineers have certainly changed lives. Wearable blood glucose monitors allow diabetics to live with more freedom. Electronic heart rate monitors protect people with a history of heart problems from repeat cardiac arrest. The Danish soccer player Cristian Erikson recently had such a device installed after he suffered a complete cardiac arrest on the pitch.
Bioengineers often make their way into the pharmaceutical and healthcare technology industry, where they work alongside medical professionals and researchers to develop solutions to complex healthcare problems. Work in these fields is very lucrative, as well as having the potential to save and improve the lives of millions of people.
In order to find work in the aerospace industry, engineers will have to develop a familiarity with a great many unique concepts. Products designed to fly within or above the reach of the earth’s atmosphere undergo huge stress and a great many material changes during their use. Aerospace engineers are at the forefront of efforts to develop new composite materials and electronics that will make flight cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and more ambitious. In recent years, private companies have become much more prominent players in the extraterrestrial vehicle industry. Companies like Spacex hire engineers by the bucketload in order to develop space-bound products. Aerospace engineering students are expected to specialize early on. Engineers working on civilian, military, or spacefaring craft obviously require differing skills and knowledge bases.
Aerospace engineering has been advancing and becoming more complex ever since the Wright Flyer first escaped the surly bonds of Earth. Despite this, aerospace engineers still essentially work with the basic physical properties of objects operating within or without the atmosphere. They need to have a very advanced understanding of physical processes in order to succeed.
New technologies employed and developed by aerospace engineers include 4D composite wing printing, cube satellites, and hypersonic vehicles. People working at the forefront of aerospace engineering tend to work with incredibly small and strict tolerances and make use of advanced Computer-Aided Design software in their efforts to push the limits of human ingenuity beyond what our ancestors thought was possible.
The aerospace industry is incredibly varied. Military aerospace engineers work on missiles and aircraft designed to fit incredibly demanding briefs. Civilian aerospace engineers work on creating efficient and safe passenger and cargo aircraft. Engineers working in the satellite and space delivery industry work on complex projects that lead to the deployment of vehicles outside of the earth’s atmosphere. The possibilities in the aerospace industry are endless, but almost all roles within it require a large amount of specialization. Postgraduate degrees are usually considered to be the minimum level of qualification for a person wanting to enter the aerospace industry as a junior engineer.
Automotive engineering degrees are available at BA, MA, or PhD levels. Focusing on the engineering behind the development of ground-based vehicles, there are many specializations within the automotive field. Motorsport engineering courses can prepare people for the development of high-performance vehicles. More traditional automotive engineering courses help students develop the skills they need to join one of the many design teams responsible for the creation of cars, motorbikes, and commercial vehicles. Today’s automotive industry relies heavily on robotics and Computer Aided Design. Automotive engineers are expected to have a good grasp of the technology and theory behind modern vehicle design.
Engineers in the industry usually specialize in product, development, or manufacturing engineering. Product engineering involves the design of components and systems that eventually make their way into new vehicles. A product engineer might work on the creation of effective brakes or vehicle computer systems, for instance. Development engineers work on the vehicle as a whole – liaising with product engineers to work towards a desired design. Manufacturing engineers create systems for the manufacture of a complete design. They work towards creating highly accurate and automated production lines. When studying for a postgraduate degree in automotive engineering, it is important to specialize in one of these fields. Specialization is immensely important in engineering due to the huge breadth of skills and knowledge needed within each special application.
In recent years, engineers have been at the forefront of a push to make vehicular travel more environmentally friendly. Ground-based vehicles are massive polluters, and students studying for an automotive engineering degree are expected to take climate impact into account when conducting their research. Hydrogen fuel cell and electric cars are being designed in huge numbers.
Automotive engineers can work within several industries. Commercial vehicle companies hire specialists that can create designs that fit specific industrial briefs. Car and motorbike manufacturers are always seeking talented engineers to improve both their vehicle concepts and production output. Military equipment companies hire engineers specializing in heavy-duty designs. All automotive industry engineering jobs are well paid due to the immense worth of the sector.
Conventional universities do not tend to offer specific courses on military engineering. In most countries, these courses are offered by military colleges. Military colleges like the Royal Military College in Canada, West Point in the USA, and Sandhurst in the United Kingdom usually have specialist engineering faculties.
There are many distinct areas of engineering that are unique to military fields. Armament and armor engineering, encrypted VHF network engineering, and amphibious engineering are all taught in military colleges. Bridge laying, mine detection, and field hospital design are also crucial areas of engineering practiced by militaries around the world. Military engineering has ancient roots. The ancient Romans were considered to be highly reliant on military engineers in order to expand and maintain their empire. They built a whole network of roads to move their armies and standardized many engineering practices. Today, military engineering is a highly specialized field. If you are considering joining the military and have experience in physics, engineering, or construction, then you might be a good candidate for further education.
Career prospects for qualified military engineers are, quite obviously, largely in the military. Engineers are essential to the workings of any modern military, and as such, they can find themselves in some quite lofty positions if they prove their effectiveness. A long spell as a professional soldier does not suit everybody. If you complete engineering courses at military college but choose not to pursue a long career, then you can transfer your skills into the civil engineering field with very little retraining.