Engineering Schools

Everything You Need to Know About Engineering School

What is an engineer?  Engineering covers a broad range of disciplines but all are based on constructing things based on mathematical and scientific principles.  The goal of engineering is to design and create structures that will help to improve the lives of the public.  The best engineer candidates possess several key characteristics:

  • Strong proficiency in science and math
  • Good communicators and team players
  • Detail oriented and extremely analytical
  • Inventive and creative

Areas That Engineering School Programs May Specialize In

Civil engineering.  Concerns itself with the design and development of buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructures.

Chemical Engineering.  Employing the use of chemical principles to design new materials and fuels.

Electrical engineering.  Focuses on the design and study of electrical and electronic systems.  This includes telecommunications, motors, circuits, computer systems, generators, etc.

Mechanical engineering.  Deals with the design and implementation of mechanical systems such as weapon systems and aerospace products.

Other popular areas of interest include:

  • Environmental engineering
  • Nuclear engineering.
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • General engineering

By no means, however, is this list exhaustive.  In total there are over 20 kinds of disciplines in engineering.

Why Go to Engineering School?

If you seek to eventually secure a professional job as an engineer, with out a doubt, obtaining a 4-year degree from an accredited college. A Bachelor of science in engineering or a Bachelor of engineering technology will allow you to pursue a successful career in the engineering field. 

How Do I Choose the Right Engineering School for Me?

Choosing the best school and degree program for you can be a daunting and difficult task.  There are numerous variables to take into consideration, and ultimately you must choose an institution that that can satisfy your needs.  For most, the top three contributing factors are tuition costs, location and reputation.  Other factors to consider are:

  • Is the school ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited?
  • What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
  • Do they offer continued education (Masters/Doctoral programs)?
  • Will the school provide you with internship and foreign study opportunities?
  • Is the curriculum suited to your particular area of interest?
  • Does the school offer any sort of job placement help or service?

After Engineering School

Another essential is the acquisition of a professional engineering license.  If you ultimately wish to offer your services as an engineer in the US, state law requires that you pass a series of engineering test.

The engineering exams required for getting your license are broken up into two test.  The first is the fundamentals of engineering exam.  The 180 question test covers:

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Computers
  • Probability and stats
  • Ethics and business practice
  • Economics
  • Engineering and fluid mechanics
  • Strength of materials
  • Material properties
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Thermodynamics

The second test in the series of exam is the Principles and Practice of Engineering  test.  By contrast, the PE exam is dependent on your discipline of engineering.  Pre-requisites for taking the exam include a degree and 4 years of experience working under a licensed engineer.  The exam is offered twice a year by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES.)

As an engineer you may work as a self-employed contract for hire, or work at a large firm.  Regardless of the route you decide to take, increasingly, firms and clients are looking for individuals with a PhD or Master’s degree.  Doctoral programs require a bit more schooling and tend to be either 5 or 7-year programs.  Acquiring a Master’s degree is a little less intense and only calls for a 2 year, full-time program.