How do I Choose the Best Engineering Curriculum?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2018
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A person who wants to become a successful engineer needs to select an appropriate engineering curriculum so that he or she can gain the knowledge and credentials necessary to secure a good job after graduation. It is important to consider a number of factors when choosing the best engineering curriculum, such as checking the credentials of a program and the success of its graduates, investigating the type of courses offered, and deciding whether to pursue a bachelor's or graduate degree. Completing a difficult engineering program shows potential employers that an individual is motivated and willing to work hard.

When selecting an engineering curriculum, a person should research universities to confirm their credentials and find out if their programs will be helpful in finding a future job. Engineering programs are usually accredited by a national organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in the United States, to ensure the quality of teachers, material, and resources. In addition, a prospective student can find out about graduation statistics and the success of professionals who complete a certain program. Information about accreditation and graduate statistics can usually be found by visiting a university's website or speaking with an admissions counselor at the school.


Accredited universities and colleges typically offer four-year bachelor's degree programs in several engineering specialties. Since the types of courses and instruction can be very different between specialties, it is important for a student to determine the most appropriate engineering curriculum for the type of work he or she wants to do. A civil engineering curriculum, for example, usually focuses on the aspects of safety and design for large structures, including bridges, buildings, and tunnels, whereas a mechanical engineering program involves the research and development of machines, products, and equipment. In addition to specific engineering courses, most programs include a wide range of more general classes in math, physical science, computer science, and language.

While a bachelor's degree is sufficient for many entry-level jobs in engineering, an individual who plans on teaching or conducting independent research should consider pursuing an advanced degree in his or her specialty. Most accredited graduate programs take two to three years to complete, and focus on practical design and building. Students learn how to organize research studies, create drafts and blueprints, and build prototypes or models. Many graduate programs offer individuals the opportunity to pursue internships at private engineering firms, manufacturing plants, or university facilities so they may gain firsthand experience and better prepare for their eventual jobs. After completing an engineering curriculum and internship, graduates typically enjoy ample employment opportunities.



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