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Becoming an engineer can be a great choice, and there are many reasons to do so. But what exactly is involved?
Here's everything you need to know about engineering programs
What you'll Study
Majors and Minors
The Admission Requirements
|What high-school requirements do I
need for a Bachelor degree?
Admission requirements for engineering programs vary a lot depending on school and country. Generally, a high school diploma (12 years of education) is necessary for admission into an undergraduate program. Your average should be between 70 percent - 90 percent, depending on the prestige of the school you're applying for. You will need courses such as Math (including geometry, algebra and calculus), Sciences (including physics and chemistry,although certain programs may require biology and other sciences as well), English, and some art courses may be desired for things like design.
What tests do I need to write?
For bachelor programs in the US, you will need an SAT score. If your score is around 600 in the math and English sections, you can get into a fine school, but the top schools require scores of over 750. More emphasis is usually given to the math scores. International students will require TOEFL (above 90) or IELTS (over 6.5) scores to study in English-speaking countries. Some institutions also have their own admission entrance exams.
|What are the requirements for graduate
Graduate programs usually require a Bachelor of Engineering degree for admissions. A GPA of at least 3.0 is desirable, and you may need to provide letters of reference and other application requirements. Some graduate schools use the GRE test as an admission requirement.
What type of skills will I need?
Many skills can help you out as an engineer. Basic things like analytical skills, communication, creativity and problem-solving are highly important and can be applicable to many other disciplines as well. Engineers need to be hard working and dedicated to their studies. Leadership and management skills are an asset, especially if you plan to get an MBA later on.
The Engineering Program
|What will I study?
Engineering programs function similarly to most other programs. The undergraduate program lasts for 3-5 years. During the first year or two you will study general courses about math and sciences, as well as generic engineering principles which will serve you no matter what branch of engineering you're going into. You may be required to take some introductory courses in areas such as computers, biology or environmental sciences as well. In upper years you will be able to select a major or concentration, which will lead you into more specific courses like Security Network Analysis and Mechatronic Applications. Some programs offer a coop option, which allows you to work and gain work experience while you study.
What are the majors and minors I can choose from?
The majors available in your degree are determined by the
school. Your choice of major will ultimately determine the type of
engineer you'll be- mechanical, transportation, chemical,
biological, software, civil, etc. You usually choose a major after
1 or 2 years of general study, but you can change your decision
later in most cases.
Minors are completed at the same time, usually by taking elective courses that don't relate to engineering directly. Some engineers minor in topics like economics, English, the sciences, and a large variety of other topics. Minors serve to enhance your profile and give you an edge at better employability, but they should also serve your own personal interests.
|What about the graduate
Graduate programs typically involve research as well as coursework specific to your branch of choice. You may be required to produce a research paper or a thesis in order to receive your degree. Program length is typically 1-2 years.
The Engineering Degree
|What bachelor degree can I
The undergraduate engineering degree is called
Bachelor of Engineering, BE or BEng. In some countries, the BE can
be replaced with a Bachelor of Science, BSc, or a Bachelor of
Applied Science, BASc.
What master degree can I get?
The graduate degree in engineering is the Masters of Engineering, M.Eng, MEng or M.E. The MEng is an advanced professional degree which can lead to a Ph.D. In order to qualify for a Master's, you'll need to perform coursework and research, though usually less research is involved than a MASc, Masters of Applied Science, which is sometimes awarded for certain engineering or science programs.
The Next Steps
|What do I have to do after I
In order to become a professional engineer, you may need a designation or a fellowship in a National Engineering Society. This depends largely on where you plan to work, and on your engineering branch. To get a designation, you'll have to find the board or organization that governs engineering in the area, and apply. Requirements may include a professional degree, writing an admission test, and working as an intern or assistant for a number of hours.
What other options are there?
You can go back to school and get an advanced degree (MSc or PhD), which will increase your employment opportunities and will allow you to get into academia and teach. Many students choose to get an MBA after a few years of relevant work experience, as an MBA provides a boost in employment position and salary.
The Best Part
Engineering programs are great fun! You'll get to learn a lot, about fascinating math and science concepts, and how to apply them in the real world. You'll meet people who are just like you, interested in becoming successful and improving our world. Engineering programs will prepare you for a great, exciting career and are an experience you will never forget!
Join an engineering program today!
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