There are many different types of engineering, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. So, how do you know which one is right for you? Choosing the right branch of engineering to study at the start will help you to fast-track your career in the right direction.
If you decide you want to change course later in your career, you may need to undergo additional training. For this reason, it makes sense to choose the right course for you from the start. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:
The first step in choosing your career path is to get familiar with the different types of engineering available to you. Here are some of the most popular:
Aerospace engineering: If you’re interested in studying aircraft design, this is the branch for you.
Chemical engineering: This type of engineering focuses on the production and use of chemicals and other materials.
Civil engineering: Civil engineers are responsible for the design and construction of infrastructure projects like bridges, roads, and dams.
Computer engineering: As the name suggests, computer engineers work on designing and developing computer systems.
Electrical engineering: As the name suggests, electrical engineers work with electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
Environmental engineering: Environmental engineers work to protect the environment and human health. They may design systems to clean up pollution or to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Industrial engineering: Industrial engineers focus on improving efficiency in manufacturing and other industrial processes.
Materials science and engineering: This branch deals with the properties of materials like metals, plastics, ceramics, and semiconductors.
Mechanical engineering: Mechanical engineers design machines like engines, turbines, and refrigeration systems.
As you can see, there are many different branches available. You should make sure you are familiar with all of the different areas before you make a final decision, as a straightforward engineering degree might not be the best path for you.
Before you can decide which type of engineering is right for you, you need to think about your long-term career goals. What do you want to do with your engineering degree? Do you want to work in a specific industry? Do you want to be involved in the design process, or would you rather focus on the manufacturing side of things?
Your answers to these questions will help you narrow down your options. For example, if you’re interested in working in the automotive industry, you might want to study mechanical engineering. If you’re interested in designing computer systems, you should study computer engineering.
Engineering is a sector that can fit into your personal interests, so don’t be afraid to let your hobbies and passions shape your career path.
It’s also important to consider your own strengths and weaknesses when choosing a branch of engineering to study. Some people are better at maths than others, while some have a natural aptitude for problem-solving.
You don't have to let your weaknesses hold you back, however. If there is a branch of engineering that you are passionate about, you can work on strengthening any areas of weakness before you apply for your course.
Finally, you need to think about where you want to study. Different universities offer different courses, so it’s important to do your research before you make your decision.
Some universities specialise in different areas of engineering. For example, The Engineering and Design Institute in London only teaches engineering, while Imperial College London is the top ranked engineering university in the UK. If you are flexible on your location, you could also look at courses overseas in Europe and the USA.
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you should have a good idea of which type of engineering is right for you. If you’re still not sure, why not speak to a careers advisor or someone who works in the engineering industry? They’ll be able to give you some more information and advice.
Consider all of these factors before you decide which type of engineering is right for you. Once you have a good understanding of the different options available to you, choosing the right path will be much easier.