Engineering Majors Explained: Cost, Requirements, Careers & Salary

Engineering Majors Explained: Cost, Requirements, Careers & Salary
Imed Bouchrika by Imed Bouchrika
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

Engineering is an indispensable ingredient of global economic development. To suffice, the improvement of infrastructure strengthens the impact of economic factors that speed up the development process, such as improvement of transport links that, in turn, level up the prospects to labor mobility and contribute immensely to growth in trade (Royal Academy of Engineering, 2016).

There is no doubt, engineers make the world a better place, and more of these professionals are required to continue supporting the growth of the economy and improving the quality of life of citizens. To have the biggest impact, however, individuals need to pick engineering programs that perfectly suit their intrinsic interest to help amplify their voice in changing the world.

This post explores the diverse scope of the field to reveal the top engineering majors that students can pursue. It also discusses important details about engineering, such as how long and how much it takes to study an engineering course. For students, the information divulged here will help abridge course selection. On the other hand, it will enable parents and organizations that are funding the study to evaluate the nature of the investment they are making.

Engineering Majors Table of Contents

  1. What is an Engineering Major?
  2. What are the Requirements to Take Up Engineering?
  3. Motivations to Pursue an Engineering Degree
  4. How Much Does it Cost to Study Engineering?
  5. How Long Does it Take to Complete an Engineering Course?
  6. How Much Do People with an Engineering Major Make?
  7. Key Statistics on Engineering Majors
  8. Engineering Majors and Possible Careers

What is an Engineering Major?

First things first, what is engineering? Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles that are put in practice to design, invent, build, improve, and maintain machines, structures, systems, devices, processes, and materials. The principles are utilized singly or in combination, to construct or operate machines, manufacturing processes, and apparatus with full cognizance of their design (Royal Academy of Engineering, 2016).

Engineering as a discipline borrows heavily from mathematics, chemistry, and physics, as well as other courses, such as natural science, social science, and humanity. These courses are taught to students to help them understand the aforementioned scientific principles and gain knowledge that can be brought to bear on practical problems using two natural resources—materials and energy.

Since engineering as an occupation has an extremely wide reach, students are often afforded the freedom to pick their field of interest. Depending on what one wants to become, he or she can choose to study general engineering or specialize in a specific engineering principle. Generally, because of the broadness of the field, the coursework begins broad with foundational and introductory courses and ends with the major engineering areas.

Definition of an Engineering Major

As a curriculum, an engineering major is a program or course of study that concentrates on a particular specialty, supplemented by disciplines in both mathematics and science. Depending on the institution and the program, students are expected to study industrial practices to prepare for a hands-on career or/and theoretical principles to lay the foundation for a research career.

As with other academic majors, engineering students complete the core courses and a number of elective courses, which enable them to gain in-depth knowledge of specific areas of study. They learn how to apply specific engineering principles (say, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and more) to meet the needs of different businesses or groups of people. Moreover, they gain comprehensive knowledge about how to make systems work better and invent new products for public use.

What are the Requirements to Take Up Engineering?

All engineering programs (undergraduate or graduate) have minimum requirements that must be met by students in the college or university. Aspiring engineers should understand what the core requirements are for most of the learning institutions:

Undergraduate Engineering Requirements

Incoming undergraduate engineering students should demonstrate a solid background in science and mathematics. As such, the more courses a student takes in these subjects in high school, the better. Besides, taking advanced courses, such as at the Advanced Placement (AP) level, can help nail a spot in an undergraduate engineering class.

In addition, engineering programs require applicants to meet a stipulated GPA requirement. Even though the GPA range varies, many colleges and universities require a score of at least 3.0. Alternatively, incoming students need to demonstrate that they were at least in the top 25% of their graduating high school class.

Moreover, in many engineering schools, students are required to take standardized testing. The most common tests are ACT and SAT with SAT II subjects in maths and/or science discipline. The middle ACT and SAT scores for top engineering colleges and universities fall in the range of 29 to 35 and 630 to 800, respectively (ACT, 2018).

undergraduate engineering degree requirements

Masters in Engineering Requirements

The core requirements for graduate engineering applicants in the U.S. is a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by the American Chemical Society and Accredited Board for Engineering and Technology or other authorized national body. International students applying for Master’s programs in the U.S. may be required to prove the validity of their undergraduate programs.

The minimum GPA requirements vary, but many engineering schools require master’s degree applicants to have a score of 3.0 for undergraduate work. Even more, schools require applicants to pass standardized tests, such as the GRE, before they are accepted in a masters program. Some programs such as the New York University Management and Management of Technology accepts a GMAT score in place of the GRE.

Moreover, international students whose English is not the first language are required to take TOEFL exams.

masters in engineering degree requirements

PhD Requirements

The PhD requirements for engineering students are certainly higher and more strict than those of master’s programs. Most notably, the GPA score for incoming PhD engineering students is higher (greater than 3.0), and so is the threshold for GRE scores.

Some programs such as the PhD bridge require students to present solid proof of remarkable performance in an MS program and evidence of publications, research, and other curricular and extracurricular contributions to engineering (Online Engineering Programs).

engineering phd degree requirements

Motivations to Pursue an Engineering Degree

Between 2003 and 2009, approximately 41% of undergraduate engineering students ultimately left the major (Painter, Snyder, & Ralston, 2017). In this regard, retention in engineering programs continues to be the center of attention for researchers as countries strive to diversify and expand their engineering workforce.

One potential precursor to students completing their engineering studies may be the reason for initially choosing the major (Painter, et al, 2017). Students pursue different engineering majors for an assortment of reasons, including:

To get a chance to improve the world

According to Philip Greenish, chief executive officer of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2003 to 2017), most of the issues that face countries around the world, such as water availability, climate change, and energy security, need engineers to fix them (Painter, et al, 2017).

Some students recognize the problem at hand and believe they can gain the engineering knowledge and skills to devise the perfect remedy. As a result, they go all out to take engineering courses that help them positively contribute to society.

The genuine interest in engineering concepts

In addition, some students are driven by an interest in concepts related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). According to a study published by ASEE, interest is a significant part of the Social Cognitive Career Theory and is recognized as a predictor of major selection in college (Painter et al, 2017).

The same study posits that interest is a valued aspect of the decision to pursue engineering. It is associated with academic satisfaction, which mediates the urge and intention to persist. From this, we can deduce that students who join engineering out of interest in STEM are more likely to complete their studies.

To achieve various outcome expectations

Outcome expectations in engineering manifest on three fronts: employment prospects, financial goals, and social recognition (Shehab, Walden, & Wellborn, 2015). Generally, outcome expectations have been pinpointed as predictors for engineering major selection and academic performance.

First, students take engineering for their lucrative financial rewards. As you will notice, year over year, engineering has been ranked among the highest-paying jobs. The promise of top pay draws students to engineering, and many are ready to endure the difficult academic journey.

Second, freshmen undergraduates enter college hoping to pursue a course with good employment prospects. Engineering happens to be one such course since, as a profession, it is diverse and offers endless career options for graduates.

Lastly, social recognition is another aspect that influences students to take engineering courses. Social recognition refers to the intrinsic work beliefs that are tied to engineering. For example, people believe engineering brings prestige, and naturally, engineers are smart individuals who are respected in society. The urge to claim a spot in the echelon of engineers and earn the respect that comes with it propels students to study engineering.

Social support

Moreover, contextual factors or aspects within the environment can play a significant role in a student’s career choice. In most cases, the contextual factors influencing students’ decision to pursue engineering persist in the form of family and friend’s influence.

Seeing a sibling or extended family member who succeeds or thrives in engineering contributes to a student’s self-efficacy beliefs with respect to an engineering career. Put simply, engineers beget engineers (Godwin, Potvin, & Hazari, 2014)

How Much Does it Cost to Study Engineering?

Engineering is one of the most sought-after professions, and the reason behind it is vivid. The occupation offers diverse career options and brings prestige to students who pursue it. Most importantly, engineering is one of the highest paying careers in the world, and the financial security that comes with it is simply irresistible.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) survey, the starting salary for the class of 2019 engineering graduates in the U.S. was projected to be $69,613 (National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2019). But, before jumping on the mesmerizing returns, one has to first consider the high cost of studying engineering.

Generally, engineering is one of the most expensive programs in college. To get a clear picture of how much studying engineering costs, this section looks at the prices in one of the world’s popular academic destinations—the USA. It discusses the tuition fees and the cost of accommodation.

Tuition Fees

Even though it is a popular program in many universities and colleges, engineering is without a doubt one of the most expensive courses of study. The average undergraduate tuition and fee in the best engineering institutions in the U.S. are $13,072 for state residents and $44,742 for out of state students in the academic year 2019/2020 (College Tuition Compare, 2020).

The fee varies from institution to institution, with Purdue University-Main Campus posting the lowest undergraduate tuition fee of $28,794. On the other hand, Carnegie Mellon University has the highest fee at $57,119. The following are the tuition fees for the best engineering universities and colleges in the U.S. for the year 2019/2020 (College Tuition Compare, 2020):

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Undergraduate: $53,790
  • Graduate: $57,059

Stanford University

  • Undergraduate: $53,529
  • Graduate: $49,617

University of California-Berkeley

  • Undergraduate:$14,253 (in-state), / $44,007 (out-of-state)
  • Graduate: $14,187 (in-state), / $29,289 (out-of-state)

California Institute of Technology

  • Undergraduate:$54,600
  • Graduate: $54,537

Carnegie Mellon University

  • Undergraduate:$57,119
  • Graduate: $45,909

Source: College Tuition Compare

Accommodation & Transportation

In addition to tuition fees, one should factor in other elements such as accommodation, living expenses, and transportation costs. This way, one should be able to understand the total cost of studying an engineering course in the U.S. The cost of living varies widely depending on four factors:

  • Accommodation type: on-campus or outside the campus.
  • Traveling: Public or private transport.
  • Meal plans, eating out, or personal grocery shopping.
  • Amount budgeted for entertainment.

The figures below represent the average accommodation and transportation at key student cities in the U.S. (Das, 2016):

Boston

  • Accommodation: $1,500/month
  • Transportation: $20

New York

  • Accommodation: $3649/month
  • Transportation: $177

San Francisco

  • Accommodation: $900/month
  • Transportation: $65

Chicago

  • Accommodation:$936/month
  • Transportation: $99

Los Angeles

  • Accommodation: $1,141/month
  • Transportation: $93

Source: Career360 (2016)

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Engineering Course?

Engineering is a career that epitomizes the saying “the roots of education are bitter but the fruits are sweet.” Truth be told, at the end of engineering study awaits a lucrative salary, but the academic journey itself is not for the faint of heart. Put differently, engineering courses are not for people who do not put a lot of hard work in education.

The programs are notoriously difficult and engineering students take comparatively longer to graduate than their peers in other degree programs. For this reason, it is important for students to perfectly understand how long it will take to complete an engineering degree program.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in engineering requires four to five years of full-time study. Mostly in the U.S., it takes four years to finish a bachelor’s degree in engineering, but in many countries in Europe, three years of academic study are required. Either way, students should be prepared for a grueling, but exciting journey embodied by challenging coursework and projects (Degree Query, 2020).

Master’s Degree Programs

Theoretically, master’s degree programs are structured to be completed in two years of full-time study. However, this is not always the case for many graduate students, especially those who are already employed. In this case, many students enroll for part-time or online studies, which often take longer to complete than full-time studies.

On average, it takes three years to complete a master’s degree in engineering, even when the programs are stipulated to take two years. In an annual survey by US News, it was found that 55.4% of graduate engineering students finish their online master’s programs in three years (Friedman, 2017).

Doctoral Degree Programs

Earning a PhD in engineering is arguably the steepest and lengthiest part of the discipline’s ladder. Unlike the master’s degree program. which is both professional and research-focused, the traditional doctoral degree program is a research degree and it can take twice as long as the bachelor’s degree (O’Shaughnessy, 2012).

It requires a dissertation and usually involves high-level research at government research labs, tenure-track faculty positions at universities, and competitive industry roles that are hard to come by. That being said, the compensation for engineering PhD holders is lucrative and totally worth the hassle.

How Much Do People with an Engineering Major Make?

While engineering programs are difficult and take longer to complete, a look into the compensation by numbers justifies the time and effort put in the academic journey. Year after year, engineering dominates the charts for the highest-paying jobs. Of course, respective engineering salaries vary based on various factors including field of specialization, level of education, and the region of the world.

In 2016, engineers in the U.S. earned a median annual wage of $91,010, which was more than double the median wage for all workers (Torpey, 2018). Further, the most recent (2017) data show that engineers have an average salary of $111,636, representing a 2.11% increase from 2016’s figures (Data USA, 2018).

Engineer salaries may also vary depending on the focus of the career. According to data from Data USA, the yearly income for common engineering jobs is $125, 284 for software developers, $116,006 for chemical engineers, $113,611 for aerospace engineers, $105,216 for miscellaneous engineers, including nuclear engineers, $98,013 for civil engineers, and $93,139 for mechanical engineers (Data USA, 2018).

Source: Data USA

Key Statistics on Engineering Majors

  1. The average age of a person working in the U.S. workforce as an engineer is 43.1 years.
  2. The most common ages of workers with engineering majors are 30 and 34 years, which represents 2.84% and 2.87% of the total population, respectively. 
  3. The most common types of degrees awarded to students graduating in engineering in 2017 include Bachelor’s degrees (62%), Master’s degrees (28.3%), research Doctorate (5.49%), and Postbaccalaureate certificates (1.05%). 
  4. The most common types of degrees held by the U.S. working population in engineering in 2018 are Bachelor’s degrees (58.5%), Master’s degrees (32.4%), Doctorate degrees (5.81%), and Professional degrees (3.35%).
  5. Besides, 77.7% of male professionals have a degree in engineering, compared to 22.3% of women. 
  6. The distribution of engineering degrees awarded for each race and ethnicity is as follows White (47.3%), non-resident (25.7%), Asian (9.33%), Hispanic (8.61%), African American (3.25%), unknown (3.03%), and two or more races (2.46%). 
  7. In addition, engineering was the fourth field of research in terms of bachelor’s earned in the academic year 2017/18 with 121,956 degrees. Other disciplines in the top five list include business (386,201), health professionals and related programs (244,909), social science and history (159,967), and biological and biomedical sciences (118,663). 
  8. In 2018,  132 institutions in the U.S. awarded at least one bachelor’s degree in an engineering technology discipline.
  9. Besides, in 2018, the number of bachelor’s degree awarded by engineering discipline in the U.S. were as follows: mechanical (31,936), electrical (13,767), civil (12,221), chemical (11,586), computer (7,906), biomedical (7,130), and aerospace (4,148).
  10. Moreover, in 2018, of the total number of students that graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in the U.S., 21.9% were female.
  11. On the other hand, of the total number of master’s degree graduates in engineering, 26.4% were female. Whereas, of the total doctoral degree in engineering awarded 23.6% were given to women.

Percentage of Degree in Engineering Awarded to Women

(of the total number of students graduating with degree in engineering)

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Source: ASEE

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Engineering Majors and Possible Careers

“What type of engineer should I be?” is a familiar question for many high school graduates who aspire to pursue a career in engineering. As mentioned several times in this post, engineering is a broad field and has numerous career options. If you are at a crossroads with your engineering career decision, the following information will help you settle on the right career.

Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering

Aerospace or aeronautical engineering is a branch of engineering that entails the study of the design, construction, and operations of aircraft. The branch has been broadened to cover the design, construction, and operations of all flying machines or simply, any vehicle that operates above the Earth’s surface. As such, it also includes astronautical engineering, a sub-branch that focuses on spacecraft.

Potential candidates

  • Students who are fascinated by the methodology and history behind flying machines.
  • Students that are intrigued by computer simulations and have inborn interest in how aircraft machinery works under extreme conditions.
  • Students with an innate liking for the mechanics of flight travel.

Where to study aerospace engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2019, the following are the top universities to study aerospace engineering (Top University, 2020)

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
  2. Stanford University – USA
  3. University of Cambridge – UK

Average entry-level salary – $68,900 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers

The following are some of the possible careers for aerospace/astronautical engineering majors:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Commercial pilot
  • Flight engineer
  • Aircraft design engineer
  • Meteorologist
  • Astronaut

Civil/Structural Engineering

Civil engineering deals with the design and construction of infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, dams, buildings, and water supply systems. It is a branch of engineering that is pivotal to responding to the growing social problems such as waste disposal, housing, and water resources conservation.

Potential candidates

  • Students who are driven by a strong desire to make the world a better place.
  • Students who are interested in design and actualizing projects that make the life of other citizens easier.
  • Students that want to hone design skills, primarily in computer-aided designs.

Where to study civil engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2019, the following are the top universities to study cvil or structural engineering (Top University, 2020).

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
  2. Delft University of Technology –  Netherlands
  3. University of Cambridge – UK

Average entry-level salary – $57,528 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers 

Civil engineering graduates can choose different career paths and specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Civil engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Design engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Waterworks engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Consultant
  • College professor

Chemical Engineering

As the name suggests, this is a branch of engineering concerned with the use of chemical and biological processes to create useful materials or substances. It is a diverse subject that blends natural and experimental science, primarily chemistry and physics, with life sciences, mathematics, and economics.

Potential candidates

  • Students that have an undying interest in chemistry and other life/natural sciences.
  • Students with solid analytical skills
  • Students fascinated by the chemical processes behind the production of everyday items.

Where to study chemical engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2019, the following are the top universities to study Chemical engineering (Top University, 2020).

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
  2. Stanford University -USA
  3. University of Cambridge – U.K

Average entry-level salary – $66,334 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers

A degree in chemical engineering is a gateway to numerous exciting career opportunities including:

  • Chemical engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Petroleum engineering
  • Plastics engineering
  • Production engineering
  • Product designer
  • College professor
  • Metallurgist

Biomedical Engineering

This is a multidisciplinary STEM field that combines biology and engineering principles to help inventors, researchers, and innovators design and create medical equipment and systems, such as machines for diagnosing medical problems, artificial organs, surgical robots, and advanced prosthetics. Biomedical engineering is also referred to as Bioengineering, BioMed, or BME.

Potential candidates

  • Students with an aptitude for biological science and maths, as well as solid interest in medicine.
  • Students who are fascinated by medical imaging, sensors, and the use of neural probes.
  • Students with a firm grasp of engineering techniques and principles.

Where to study biomedical engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2019, the following are the top universities to study biomedical engineering (Top University, 2020)

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
  2. Stanford University – USA
  3. University of Cambridge – U.K.

Average entry-level salary – $61,700 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers

Biomedical engineering is a diverse field with different areas of focus. The exact nature of the jobs you can find in this niche vary depending on the specifics of each role. Some of the possible careers for biomedical engineering major include:

  • Clinical engineering
  • Biomechanical engineer
  • Genetic engineer
  • Orthopedic bioengineer
  • Rehabilitation engineer
  • Biomaterial engineer
  • Medical imaging
  • College professor

Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering, also known as manufacturing engineering, is the study of the organization and conduct of industrial operations. It entails the design of manufacturing systems, and the ability to control, evaluate, and predict data obtained from such systems.

Potential candidates

  • Students who are deeply interested in reengineering unique enterprises for the rigors of the future economy
  • Students with a remarkable high school academic background in chemistry, physics, calculus, and engineering topics
  • Students who are fascinated by how service organizations can be adapted to foster continuous change in manufacturing

Where to study industrial engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2020, the following are the top universities to study industrial or manufacturing engineering (Top University, 2020).

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) -USA
  2. Stanford University – USA
  3. University of Cambridge – U.K.

Average entry-level salary – $60,782 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers

Industrial engineering majors can enjoy a flourishing career in one of the following occupations:

  • Industrial engineer
  • Plant engineer
  • Reliability engineer
  • Engineering management
  • Heat transfer technician
  • Industrial psychologist
  • College professor

Computer Engineering

This an engineering discipline that involves the designing, prototyping, developing, and operating of computer systems. It blends computer science and electrical engineering. At its core, computer engineering focuses on computers and digital hardware devices, as well as the software that controls them.

Potential candidates

  • Students with an innate interest in computers and robust practical computer science skills.
  • Students who are interested in pursuing an engineering career related to computers.

Where to study Computer engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2019, the following are the top universities to study Computer engineering (Top University, 2020).

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
  2. Stanford University – USA
  3. Carnegie Mellon University – USA

Average entry-level salary – $91,849 (indeed.com, 2020)

Possible careers

There are different jobs within the scope of computer engineering with several commonalities among them that make this occupation an excellent choice. Computer engineers generally work for computer companies and hold positions such as:

  • Computer engineer
  • Computer hardware developer
  • Corporate IT manager
  • System analysts
  • Computer programmer
  • College professor
  • Entrepreneur

Software Engineering

Software engineering (SE) deals with specifying, designing, building, implementing, testing, and maintaining software systems. It places a great deal of emphasis on the soup-to-nuts software development process while applying the systematic practice to ensure products are reliable and safe. It combines electrical and mechanical engineering principles, with the fundamentals of computer science to develop new software products.

Potential candidates

  • Students who are interested in pursuing an engineering career related to computers.
  • Students with interest in mathematics, computers, and science, and want to learn more about software that drives computers.
  • Students who want to develop new software products and systems based on modern advances in computer science.

Where to study software engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2019, the following are the top universities to study software engineering (Top University, 2020).

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
  2. Stanford University – USA
  3. Carnegie Mellon University – USA

Average entry-level salary – $75,077 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers

Software engineering is a demanding field, but for degree holders, there are numerous promising career opportunities including:

  • Software developer
  • System analysts
  • Software architect
  • Quality analysts
  • Project manager
  • Computer animator
  • Computer programmer

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is one of the earliest and broadest fields of engineering. It deals with the application of engineering principles to mechanical problems. In other words, mechanical engineering is concerned with the design, building, testing, and maintenance of mechanical systems.

Potential candidates

  • Students who enjoy creating new and innovative designs in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence and sustainable energy.
  • Students who like fiddling with mechanical devices.
  • Students who have worked or are interested in working in a team to improve or invent mechanical technologies.

Where to study mechanical engineering

Based on THE World University Ranking by subject, as of 2020, the following are the top universities to study mechanical engineering (THE Ranking, 2020):

  1. California Institute of Technology – USA
  2. Stanford University – USA
  3. Harvard University – USA

Average entry-level salary – $62,423 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers

Mechanical engineering major holders acquire enough knowledge to discharge duties in a wide spectrum of positions including:

  • Mechanical engineer
  • Automotive engineer
  • Research engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Design engineer
  • Consultant
  • College professor
  • Salesperson

Electrical Engineering

Electrical and electronics engineering is the study of systems that depend on electrical power for their operations. Put differently, it is a field of engineering that concentrates on the application of electricity in devices and machines.

Electrical engineering mainly focuses on the large-scale production and supply of electrical power, whereas electronics engineering deals with smaller electronic circuits, such as those on mobile phones and computers.

Potential candidates

  • Students who marvel at how electrical systems and devices work.
  • Students who want to be innovators behind future technological developments.
  • Students who naturally understand how electrical systems work and have raw ideas on how they can be improved.

Where to study electrical engineering

Based on the QS World University Ranking by subject, as of 2020, the following are the top universities to study electrical engineering (Top University, 2020).

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – USA
  2. Stanford University – USA
  3. University of California Berkeley (UCB) – USA

Average entry-level salary – $66,149 (Payscale, 2020)

Possible careers

  • Electrical engineering
  • Automotive engineer
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Military officer
  • Power company manager
  • Production engineer
  • College professor
  • Management consultant

Source: PayScale.com

Encourage Students to Choose the Right Engineering Career

As technological advancement intensifies, no country can afford to ease up on their efforts to conduct engineering in a safe and highly innovative way. But to maintain good engineering standards of design, development, operation, and maintenance of critical infrastructure, each nation should aim to deliver qualified and professional engineers.

The type of engineering professionals required by each country or regional block varies widely. For example, engineering in Africa is largely focused on mitigating the challenges of sustainable development and capacity building. On the other hand, countries such as Chile and India are focused on the energy sector and urbanization, respectively (Royal Engineering Academy, 2016). As such, each nation should create and implement policies that inspire students to pursue courses where demand is high.

Additionally, there is a need to encourage more women to take engineering courses. This is because traditionally, women have been under-represented in the engineering field and current data show that more needs to be done to close the gap. For example, in the U.S. in 2018, out of the 136,233 bachelor’s degrees in engineering awarded, only 21.9% were issued to women. (ASEE, 2018). There is no doubt, there is massive potential for engineering discipline to grow in importance and countries should motivate women to be major partners in this growth.

 

References

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