Online Engineering Degrees
Engineering, like medicine or law, is a very broad field of study with a wide variety of applications and industries that are critical elements of 21st century life. Whether it is mechanical engineering or electrical engineering, many aspects of engineering form the foundation of first world infrastructure and continue to be important fields and the demand for graduates with expertise in a wide array of engineering disciplines continues to rise as our reliance on technology, devices and even larger scale construction projects increases.
A Challenging Field
As the name implies, engineering is a complex, multi-disciplinary, systematic field of study. People best suited for this area will excel at mathematics and the various sciences such as physics and chemistry. Engineering is a real world discipline, with much of the study devoted to analyzing, refining and helping to develop technical advances with practical uses. In other words, engineering is an applied science or discipline, where ideas and theories must prove themselves out in real world situations, further advancing the knowledge and techniques used in our devices, materials, systems, structures and processes. The Internet and the iPhone simply would not exist without the different fields of engineering collaborating together, and it is engineering that continues to pioneer the future with research into alternative energies and even cars that drive themselves.
Choosing A Field
While many schools offer online engineering degrees, the most important decision a prospective student can make is choosing a field of study. Engineering has many specializations, and the scope and duties of a Materials engineer for example, will differ vastly from the kind of work a nuclear engineer will undertake. Unlike many other academic disciplines, even at the Bachelor level, there’s an enormous degree of specialization open to students, whereas other disciplines such as medicine or law often require a foundation bachelor’s degree before branching off into specific areas of interest or application.
Engineering today can be roughly divided into the studies of Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, Management, Civil and Geotechnical, with and even here, many specializations can be found within these areas. Most online engineering degrees will focus on the less lab intensive studies such as computer engineering. Other engineering courses may offer a mix of distance learning with lab-time necessitating that students be close enough to the physical campus to have access to the facilities for these portions of the course work.
Whatever choice is made, engineering is an absolutely vital combination of science, technology and industry in our modern world. It requires discipline, accuracy, precision and structured, analytical thinking, but those that rise to the challenge of engineering will enjoy a fulfilling career with a lot of demand and prospects for the future.