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Get Your Career Started with an Engineering Degree

With a nose for problem-solving, a head for math, and an interest in applied science, you could find yourself on the way to a career in engineering. Despite what its name may suggest, though, engineering is anything but just engines. The field is actually focused on making things work in the most efficient manner possible, a strategy that's a vital component in any industry -- whether the product is bridges or nuclear energy.

 

That's why you'll find a place for engineers in nearly any field that interests you. While aspiring techies can enter a career in computer hardware engineering, for example, students who are interested in helping to improve the world of medicine will find a home in biomedical engineering. There are even positions for engineers in the telecommunications industry (electronic engineering), the mining industry (mining and geological engineering), and the aerospace manufacturing industry (aerospace engineering). An engineer could even gain employment with the federal, state, or local government, by entering an architecturally focused specialty such as civil engineering, environmental engineering, or health and safety engineering.

After you have an idea of what area in which you'd like to work, it's time to build your knowledge and credentials. You'll need to have earned at least a bachelor's degree in engineering in order to land an entry-level position in the field. Fortunately, the U.S. is home to almost 400 colleges and universities that have been approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to offer bachelor's degree programs in engineering. Students can even choose to continue their learning with a master's degree or doctorate in engineering. And, according to JobWeb.com, while bachelor's engineering degrees were four of the top 10 bachelor's degrees in-demand by employers, master's engineering degrees and engineering doctorates made the top five of each of their respective degree levels.

 

As can be seen by the demand for qualified employees, there's no shortage of work for engineers. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 1.5 million individuals were employed in the field of engineering, as of 2004. Over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this figure to grow by nine to 17 percent. However, depending on the area in which you specialize, you could find that this figure is lower or higher. For example, environmental engineering is expected to grow 27 percent or more, while nuclear engineering will have a zero to eight percent increase. If you don't want to tie yourself down to one employer, there's also a market for self-employed workers; as of 2004, they constituted nearly 3 percent of employed engineers.

If you find the potential of an engineering career promising, and can't wait to help your industry of choice grow and improve, why not get started with your college search now?
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