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The world depends on engineers

An engineering degree will give you the skills to solve difficult technological problems. And demand for good engineers is always high, in every country around the world.

The foundation of a brilliant career

According to blogger (and engineering graduate) Brian Hollar, engineering is the most common undergraduate degree amongst Fortune 500 CEOs. Want to be a business leader with a high graduate starting salary? Engineering is proven to provide the skills you need – problem solving and quantitative skills are good background for business, public sector, IT or research careers.

In the UK alone, engineering-led industry accounts for 40% of its gross domestic product. And constant increases in new technology and consumer demand will drive further growth.

Types of engineering degrees

Engineering is an incredibly broad discipline, and it’s important to consider which areas you are interested in before you make your choice of university or degree. Generally, you can choose from five areas of study:

Within each group there are many specialisations, as diverse as nuclear, ocean, robotics or biotechnology.

If you aren’t sure which area appeals most, choose an undergraduate degree with general engineering studies in the first year, so you can transfer as you learn more about the areas that excite you most. Make sure your program is recognised by the relevant professional body in that country.

No longer a subject for boys…

Traditionally, engineering has been a male-dominated area. But many women are now choosing to study all branches of engineering. Huddersfield University, in Britain’s north, offers two 50% fee scholarships each year to Chinese women who will study undergraduate engineering. Professor Xiang Jiang, a world famous metrologist and the first female from the Chinese mainland to become a Professor in the UK, generously funds this scholarship.

Mohammed Burhanuddin, from Hyderabad, also studied at Huddersfield, completing a degree in Engineering Control Systems and Instrumentation. “Huddersfield is one of the best towns in the UK, with people from all different cultural backgrounds. I could complete this degree in one year, and the UK offered international students a one-year work permit to build up useful work experience,” he says.

Closer to London, Kingston University offers over twenty different engineering courses, including software, civil and construction and aerospace. It is also London’s top-ranked modern university. Jeyaram Deivachandran studied a BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering at Kingston, and found the year-long work placement at Sun Microsystems an excellent way to get hands-on experience in the workplace. “I’ve come out of university with good grades and the job I wanted (as a software engineer at IT company Accenture). Things couldn’t be better!

Also in London, the University of Westminster offers excellent research opportunities in the School of Informatics, including wireless communications, grid computing and ultra-low-power digital signal processing. All science and technology courses are held on the Cavendish campus in the heart of London, and are supported by a fantastic library, computing and lab facilities.

Emphasising the support Westminster provides to international students, it’s scholarships office has received and award from the Times Higher Education Supplement for ‘Outstanding Support for Overseas Students’.

Parisa Cheraghi, from Iran, received a diplomatic scholarship from the University of Westminster to study electronic engineering. As a child, she used to break her electronic toys to find circuits to play with.

Parisa says one of the best experiences of her degree was a practical group project. They had to build an robot mouse which could find its way through a maze using robot sensors – the group stayed up all night working on the project. “It was tough, but it wasn’t tiring,” she says.

If you are interested in computer engineering, the University of Houston-Clear Lake offers a Computer Engineering Master of Science (as well as a bachelor program) through their School of Science and Computer Engineering. The program focuses on evaluation, design, and implementation of computers and networks, and you could design and customise software for a range of applications.

You can specialise in telecommunications, computer control systems or advanced system architecture. It’s a practical course with plenty of time in the lab, and guided research in your chosen field.

On the other side of the world, the University of Canterbury (UC) in New Zealand is at the forefront of bioengineering research. Its Centre for Bioengineering aims to solve of the world’s biggest challenges in the 21st Century – such as heart disease. By bringing the world’s best mind from a range of disciplines (mathematics, cell physiology, engineering) the Centre may find solutions that could literally change lives.

Luis Toranzo studied Civil Engineering at UC, specialising in earthquake engineering research – an area where UC is also a world leader. “In New Zealand you are always looking for new solutions, instead of just building on the old ways,” he says.

So whether you want to be the CEO of a major banking organisation, or develop groundbreaking and life-saving products and technologies, engineering will set you on the right path for success.

To find out more about the range of engineering courses available, talk with one of our student counsellors.

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