There are many engineering fields of study as it’s a broad subject with several disciplines and interesting ways to specialise. The list is extensive and includes civil engineering, aerospace and automotive engineering, biomedical and materials science engineering among many others.
Not too long ago, the categories were limited to civil, electrical, mechanical and chemical but new subsets are emerging as technology continues to evolve. To find out which engineering fields of study might be best for you, here is a summary that could shed some light and open a few doors.
Interesting Engineering Fields Of Study
From the outside, engineering may seem like one big profession consisting of people who love doing math. The truth is, there are a host of disciplines that involve various aspects covering different areas of specialities. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most fascinating engineering fields of study with a bonus article here giving tips for mechanical engineering graduates.
As a structural engineer, you will work under the civil engineering category which involves designing, managing and operating infrastructure. Civil engineering remains one of the most sought-after jobs and was listed as NewEngineer.com’s fourth most in-demand engineering job.
There are several subsets of civil engineering which make it difficult to saturate the market and that means more job opportunities. The main civil engineering fields of study include structural engineering, environmental engineering, road/highway engineering and transportation engineering.
When choosing structural engineering, you will learn the disciplines needed to analyse, design, plan, and research structural components and systems. This also includes taking into account safety, aesthetic and social factors among other things.
Environmental engineering is another subset of civil engineering but some also put it under chemical engineering. It focuses on environmental stability with these engineers solving some of the most pressing issues the world faces today. This includes aspects such as water purity, air purity, and reduction of pollution or other hazards.
As far as engineering fields of study go, choosing environmental engineering could mean making a real impact. You will work to reduce hazardous waste, predict the effects of contaminants, pollution and manage the proper disposal of chemicals.
This degree essentially builds on the fundamentals of civil engineering, construction and project management with regards to social, economic and environmental issues. If alternative energy is something you’re into, becoming an Alternative Energy Engineer is one of the most in-demand engineering jobs in the world.
If technology and science-fiction are among your favourite things, or you’re keen on building robots, unmanned vehicles or bionic implants, you’d want to do a robotics engineering or mechatronics engineering degree. It will teach you everything you need to know about robots in terms of design, construction and operation. The syllabus of such a course or degree will likely include systems for information processing and computerisation.
In terms of the main engineering fields of study, robotics fall under electrical engineering but you will also benefit from learning the foundation of mechanical engineering. For anyone interested in this direction, it’s also referred to as automation and robotics automation engineer. It was recently listed as one of the most in-demand engineering jobs.
Petroleum Engineering Fields Of Study
Becoming a petroleum engineer becomes an expert on hydrocarbons such as crude oil and natural gas. It focuses on the extraction and production of hydrocarbon fuels and even though it’s not the most “popular” in the age of global warming, fossil fuels and natural gas still play an essential part in modern energy production.
Petroleum engineers need a good understanding of environmental engineering and geotechnical engineering. The latter combines specific skills regarding structures and properties related to soil, groundwork, and construction practices. Some of the subcategories include Natural Gas, Pipeline Engineering and Fracking.
Aerospace engineering fields of study have been around for some time and it’s getting bigger and better as technology continues to evolve. An aerospace engineer is involved in designing, researching and simulating aircraft but also anything airborne such as spacecraft, rockets and missiles.
Pursuing a specialist degree in the field of mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering boasts a variety of topics. This includes aircraft performance, control, structures, composites, noise, and space flight. Aerospace engineering programs will teach you how to build and design structures that can survive re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
Considering how far we’ve come from the first moon landing to the Mars mission, this field is exceptionally fast-growing and tremendously exciting. How amazing would it be to work on the next spacecraft that will take astronauts to Mars?
Whilst many puts automotive engineering as a subset of mechanical engineering, it does involve its own set of engineering principles. Automotive engineers work on designing cars, lorries, tractors, motorcycles or anything that drives on land.
If you want to become an automotive engineer but want to specialise in devices that make these machines work, you can focus on engine design or transmission design. Some of the subcategories include rendering, machine design and efficiency design.
Data Science And Machine Learning
Software engineering has seen enormous growth over the last few years and it’s only going to continue. Data science is a branch of software engineering where you create meaningful information based on large amounts of data. These datasets are also known as “big data” which can come from various sources, including eCommerce, medical or financial sectors.
Whilst data science is a subset of software engineering, Machine learning (ML) is a subset of data science. Companies use this to make predictions of what might happen in the future based on historic data. Special machine learning algorithms make predictions, test whether they are accurate and then optimise to improve the accuracy going forward.
A Bachelor’s degree may not always be necessary to start a career in data science as various short courses cover the required topics. However, it does require a particularly strong background in mathematics and coding.
Engineering Fields Of Study Conclusion
The list of engineering fields of study in this article only highlights some of the most prominent. However, it should provide you with a good overview of the current job market. Based on technology trends, jobs in data science and automation along with automation and robotics are the most in-demand.
Whilst traditional engineering fields are still offering good salaries and opportunities, it’s often difficult to get into the industry due to an oversupply of entry-level engineers. This is why specialisation is important as it will set you apart and make the job search easier. Regardless of the field you choose, make sure it’s something that excites you and where you want to grow.