The first step to getting jobs in engineering involves becoming qualified for them. Usually, this means getting an education somewhere that specializes in training people to become engineers. Choosing an engineering school isn’t easy, though. There are many factors that prospective engineers need to take into account.
The first difficulty comes from the broad range that the term engineering covers. There are electrical engineers, civil engineers, nuclear engineers, and even genetic engineers. To make things even more complicated, there are sometimes hundreds of engineering school options for each specialization to choose from.
In order to select the right school, people first need to select the kind of engineering they want to focus on. For instance, someone looking for jobs in engineering bridges and roads would need to go to a school that taught construction and civil engineering classes. This helps narrow down the range of options.
Convenience and practicality also need to be considered. It might be more advantageous for a person to go to an engineering school across town rather than one in another state, even if the out of state school has a better reputation. The additional costs, effort, and stress of moving away might make the convenience of some schools too good to resist. Additionally, some schools with a higher prestige might simply be too difficult for people that are just looking for a basic engineering educations.
Another thing to consider is price. Engineering school can be very expensive. On the other hand, engineering jobs can be very lucrative. Those looking to get an engineering job need to make sure that their future income will be able to cover any debts they incur from going to school.
The costs of engineering school vary. Some technical schools and community colleges offer relatively short two year programs that can land a solid, basic engineering job. These are generally fairly cheap. In order to get the more prestigious and well-paying engineering jobs, though, people need to go to a full-on college or university where programs run four years or more.
There are many such schools around the country. Most states have at least one major public technical school where engineering is the dominant focus. Some popular and famous examples include Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, and Cal Tech. Schools like these can be especially useful because they tend to give students a well-rounded, general engineering education before beginning to work on their area of focus. This gives students time to experiment and see what kinds of engineering they’re best suited for.
by Erik Hervas