If you’re exploring careers in Engineering, look no further. Engineering is a very vast field. It can get quite confusing to figure out which engineering career path to choose, and accordingly which college majors to take. We’re going to walk you through the various possible engineering careers, and hopefully help you figure out which one is the right fit for you. If you’re transitioning in from another domain, this course may help work out a better career transition and get your dream job.
Is Engineering the right career choice for you?
Many high schoolers or even new college graduates are enchanted by Silicon Valley success stories. They close their eyes and want to get into Computer Engineering, without understanding what it really means and whether they are up to it. By default, all Engineering fields are highly analytical, and rational. They require a deep sense of rational analysis and ability to logically think through the details. While this can be extremely challenging, it is also quite rewarding. Not to mention engineering fields are in general, well paying. But before you jump into engineering, we’d highly recommend you take an aptitude test to determine whether this really is your true calling.
We’ll now walk you through various engineering fields to give you an idea what each is like. We’ll start with the more popular ones, and then work our way through to the other rewarding ones.
Most walks of life in the modern world today require you to use a computer. You are most likely reading this article on your computer right now, or perhaps on your phone or tablet. Computer Engineers are the folks who made that possible. They are the guys and gals who made the first computer, then took it to the masses. Computer Engineering today involves creating new computer or chip architectures, creating new computing devices (perhaps the next generation phones or wearable devices), along with a large chunk of the software or infrastructure that makes it all possible. Computer Engineering will typically require you spend a major part of your day in front of a computer. And in spite of the all stereotypes media propagates, you don’t quite have to be a nerd or a geek to be a Computer Engineer.
Information Technology is broadly all about the software and peripherals that bind computers, the internet and various usages of both. It’s a rather vast field to define quite clearly. People with an IT degree perform various roles that you would have encountered in your everyday life. For example, the folks that created the Content Management System on which you’re reading this article, or those that help create the internet infrastructure and manage your ISP account. This would also cover the engineers who help create your and maintain the software infrastructure at your bank, or the billing system at your local store.
Electronic Engineering is like the less glamorous sibling to Computer Engineering. Electronic engineers are the folks who figured out how semiconductors work and created the first ‘gates’ and circuits that made it possible to build silicon chips to power our computers. They are ones who make all the electronic pieces that drive our televisions, washing machines and just about every other piece of consumer electronic equipment you see out there. If you like the idea of tinkering on robots, this is the field you should take up.
More often than not, Electronics engineers, Computer engineers and IT engineers work together on different aspects of the modern equipments and the internet.
A hundred years ago, people were still using candles and oil lamps for light. Today we have an uninterrupted supply of electricity in our houses powering everything from the stove to the garage door. The electric supply that we take for granted, and powers almost every modern day usage, is the result of hard core engineering. Electric engineering, as the name states, deals with generating and distributing electricity everywhere.
This is field of engineering dealing with machines and mechanics – how things move, how they fit together. Mechanical Engineers are the ones that design cars – the engines, brakes etc. They build things from small gears, to giant planes, locomotives, turbines and jet engines. All the machines, all the gear and pulley and much more sophisticated contraptions that make so much of life easier today, were made by mechanical engineers. If you loved opening up your Dad’s car as a kid and exploring under the hood – this is the field for you.
Ever wondered how a 20 story building stands so securely tall? Who decides how to combine the brick, mortar, steel, glass and cement into these amazing structures? The Civil Engineer. This branch of engineering deals with the brick and mortar infrastructure we see around us. Smooth plain tarred roads winding across the hills, freeways that seem to hang in mid air, bridges across gushing rivers, railroad tracks crisscrossing the country side is all the handy work of civil engineers. Have you seen a photo of the Hoover dam, that’s also a marvel of Civil engineering.
Do you know how plastic is made? Or paper or dye? Look around you and you’ll see our lifestyle is heavily supported by the work of chemical engineers. This branch of engineering deals with how to make all the man-made synthetic materials you see around you. This includes the basic stuff like rubber, plastic and thermocol, to the more complex aerosols, fertilizers and drugs. Chemical engineers are in high demand on oil rigs, in the petrochemical industry, in pharmaceuticals, and even in agriculture, among other things.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Engineering is really a vast field, with many flavors. We do hope this article gave you a bit of an insight into figuring out the best engineering career path for you. We wish you the best as you find your dream job!