engineering is one of the most popular major among college students. it is a very broad field with many specializations, potential jobs, and industries in which you may expect to work. these specializations are very diverse; they range from aerospace engineers to agricultural engineers, from petroleum engineers to computer hardware engineers, from civil engineers to nuclear engineers, and there are many more. to help you get a better idea of the various engineering specialization and see for yourself as to "why become an engineer?" and which major you may choose, we've listed down the most common engineering disciplines along with a brief explanation:
aerospace engineering: it majorly involves design and prototype testing of aircrafts, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.
agricultural engineering: it comprises of a wide variety of activities including but not limited to aquaculture, land farming, forestry, development of bio fuels to improve conservation, food processing, or planning animal environments.
civil engineering: it involves designing and overseeing large and small scale construction projects like roads, buildings, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage treatment systems.
chemical engineering: it is the application of theories of chemistry, biology, and physics to solving practical problems. chemical engineers are usually responsible for designing processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing; they formulate and test processes of manufacturing goods, treat byproducts, and oversee the production process.
environmental engineering: it concerns the development of solutions for solving environmental problems with the help of the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry. environmental engineers play a role in improving recycling, waste disposal, public health, and controlling water and air pollution.
mechanical engineering: mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, building, and testing mechanical devices like tools, engines, and machines.
electrical engineering: electrical equipment including electric motors, power generation equipment, radar and navigation systems, and communications systems are all designed and developed by electrical engineers. they also test and oversee the manufacturing process.
computer hardware engineering: it involves researching, designing, developing, and testing computer equipment including routers, chips, hard drives, disks, and circuit boards. modern day advances in computer technology could to some extent be attributed to computer hardware engineers.
the minimum level of education that may be required will differ depending on your career objectives and the specialization which you choose. although most entry level positions require an associate or bachelor's degree, you should consider getting a master's degree in engineering if you want to seek an advanced level or research oriented position. engineering majors are usually expected to have strong theoretical grounding in mathematics and science.
top engineering majors:
according to the survey 'job outlook for the college class of 2014' conducted by the national association of colleges and employers, the top engineering majors for the year 2014 are mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and chemical engineering.
according the us bureau of labor statistics, in 2012, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, computer hardware engineers, and chemical engineers earned median annual wages of $80,580, $87,920, $100,920, and $94,350, respectively.