“Engineering is not only the study of 45 subjects, but it is moral studies of intellectual life.” – Prakhar Srivastav
The 21st century has been defined by innovation. From high-speed transport networks to the rise of 5G and sustainable energy sources, global infrastructure can no longer simply be detailed by our rail tracks, roads and bridges.
At the centre of each development is a leading team of engineers, each one bringing unique specialisations that allow us to progress. We live in a technological era rife with new and emerging technologies, where engineers stand as the problem-solving visionaries who ensure daily life keeps pace. Constantly working to produce the most advanced devices, systems and machines, this discipline keeps graduates professionally engaged while establishing a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural and multi-location career.
“One of the key attractions of…engineering is the wide variety of roles on offer, from computer-based analysis and design work to overseeing installations on site and funding solutions to problems as part of a wider team of architects, clients and other professionals,” says Paul Kirby, a respected UK academic of the engineering field.
“When students realise what’s involved, often the penny drops in terms of what they want to do with their careers,” he adds. “It’s a very rewarding profession with diverse niches to find a home in, stimulating intellectual challenges and good prospects.”
When we look at the latest Apple device, swallow an antibiotic or even catch a glimpse of the most recent hybrid car, we don’t always consider the brains behind the cutting-edge contraption. Regardless of whether it lies in tech, business, health, physics, design or the environment, engineering is the beating heart of augmentation and improvement.
As such, employers around the world are eager to hire candidates equipped with the skill and competence needed to drive growth. Acknowledging that corporate innovation culture forms the bedrock of success, recruiters actively seek out-of-the-box ideas and new perspectives fresh graduates can bring.
“Things are very competitive for lots of professions right now (fewer jobs, fewer college places and more young people seeking them),” says Pollyanna Dawber, Project Coordinator for the UKRC. “However, there are real shortages in engineering – some of them are in very specific areas, some of them current and some types of skills will be in big demand over the next five to 10 years,” she adds. “So as it’s been pointed out, there will always be peaks and troughs but statistically engineers stand a very good chance of being employed compared to other professions. So for anyone considering engineering, it is still a good choice.”
There are many other aspects that urge prospective students to pursue the growing engineering field. From the considerably bolstered rate for finding graduate employment, to rising opportunities drawn from heightened global demand, to the potential to secure one of the highest-paying graduate roles society has produced – engineering will soon be known as the degree that fuelled the future.
Most universities provide the full range of engineering degrees. While it opens a decision that can first seem difficult to make, the broad yet specialised nature of this intricate discipline yields big returns. Your passion may be in chemical, mechanical, electrical or any other engineering field – just rest assured there will be that perfect programme that can be tailored to your goals.
Here are 5 leading schools that continue to make their mark on the Engineering field…
Johns Hopkins University maintains its position as a premier US institution for online engineering studies. Drawing on the principles of multiple STEM disciplines, this school empowers students with the extensive industry knowledge needed to combat the technical challenges of the 21st century world.
Powered by a mission to give its online students an outstanding education supported by innovation, rigor and relevance, the Whiting School is known to produce graduates who pioneer the field.
The school has offered online courses since 2001, and, today, students can complete their coursework 100% online in most programs. The school’s interactive courses are built specifically for the online environment, and use state-of-the-art technology and learning tools. Plus, its online programs are among the most highly regarded in the world. In particular, the online and part-time Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Data Science and Information Systems Engineering programs were recently ranked #5 by US News & World Report.
Edinburgh’s School of Engineering represents one of the largest the university has to offer, encompassing more than 200 staff, plus over 2,000 students at both UG- and PG-level. The school is set across 10 buildings on the stunning King’s buildings site in south Edinburgh – a city recently named the UK’s best for inward investment.
Here, students can choose from five broad disciplines that include Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mathematics. The university also boasts a strong portfolio of PhD and research activities across seven research institutes. This, in turn, has fostered collaborative ties with industry and government bodies both nationally and worldwide.
Considering these outstanding offerings, it’s no surprise Edinburgh’s School of Engineering fares well on the global stage. In fact, as an institution considered ‘the UK powerhouse of Engineering’, graduates of this school draw long-term benefits from its unparalleled approach.
As one member of the prominent Ivy League collective, Brown University’s School of Engineering provides the ultimate foundation for your globally-recognised degree. Maintaining a strong commitment to diversity among its student body, next year’s intake will promote a female population of an impressive 50 percent, with the school also hosting individual student groups for black, Hispanic and female student engineers to encourage a cohesive and integrated culture.
Undergraduate students can choose to specialise in Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Engineering Physics, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering. These programmes prepare students for long-term careers in engineering, granting them in-depth knowledge within their specialist field.
The breadth of available topics also benefits graduate students, who can take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of the department through Masters and PhDs.
KCL is one of the most cutting-edge, globally-connected education providers in the entire UK capital, intent on producing some of the world’s top graduates for hire, while continually trailblazing the engineering sector.
Ranked in the Top 25 by QS Global World Rankings, a degree from KCL has the potential to place you ahead of other talent entering the field. Its position in the heart of London means students benefit from the UK’s influential scientific network. Here, learners gain proximity to the best libraries, science societies and engineering firms in the country, and more opportunities than anywhere else in the UK.
This school was formally established in 1838, arguably making it one of the oldest of its kind. With so many years’ experience plus an elite reputation for both teaching and research, KCL engineering students are given an edge through industry links and placements that truly are unrivalled.
UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering is the prime example of a world-class research school, defined by an innate entrepreneurial culture and an integrative approach to all things engineering.
This industry-connected school encompasses six departments: Bioengineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NanoEngineering and Structural Engineering, granting the professional qualifications prospective students need to thrive. Despite being fairly young, the school’s impact is felt well beyond its classroom walls, with UCSD Pascal programming language and operating system (developed in the 1970s and early 1980s) making microprocessors accessible to the masses and supporting the PC revolution.
“The…Jacobs School of Engineering includes well over 230 world-class faculty teaching in six academic departments,” the faculty website states. “Throughout our B.S., Master’s, and Ph.D. programs, the Jacobs School education model focuses on deep and broad engineering fundamentals, enhanced by real-world design and research, often in partnership with industry.”
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International