People think engineers are nerdy math and science geeks – but really, they’re creative problem-solvers! This post is for you if you’re considering studying engineering in college.
First of all, “engineering” isn’t just one thing! There are so many ways to approach a problem using engineering skills, which is why there are many, many different types of engineering educational paths. For example, Missouri University of Science and Technology has 18 different engineering majors at the undergraduate level! (We’ve visited this awesome campus, by the way – our write-up and photos from our 2-day visit are here, and the list of engineering departments and majors is here.)
One of the resources we like to investigate with students who think they are interested in studying engineering is the Grand Challenges website. David Bowker, Director of the Office of Future Engineers at Purdue University, says that this website “gets students thinking about what impact to they want to make, what problems can they help solve…health care, hunger, the environment, space exploration, energy etc. You could study multiple engineering majors for each of the Grand Challenges.”
Here are a few more resources to help you explore some engineering options:
- Videos from different women practicing different engineering disciplines
- Description of different engineering disciplines, with examples of the jobs that different kinds of engineers hold
- We found this flyer detailing the differences between biomedical engineering and biological engineering, from Wentworth Institute of Technology (which we have also visited – check out our write-up and photos here!), to be really helpful!
Purdue’s Bowker recommends that students who may be interested in studying engineering attend an engineering summer camp, or some program that will help them get a hands-on idea of what four years of studying engineering in college would look and feel like. High school students can also take advantage of local community college courses to get a taste of the exciting challenges that may await them as engineering students.
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