Bachelor's degree programs in engineering exist in a number of different fields, including automotive, mechanical, biomedical, chemical, and petroleum engineering. Sometimes, these fields are simply offered as concentrations within a general engineering program. In all programs, students learn the engineering design process, which is a ten-step process used by engineers to develop machines or products to meet a specific need. The steps include identifying a need, defining the problem, conducting and narrowing the research, analyzing criteria, finding alternative solutions, analyzing possible solutions, making a decision, presenting the product and selling the product.
Most degree programs culminate in capstone projects, which are often collaborative and aim to identify and solve engineering problems. Applicants must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered. Most admissions committees also request standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement, and it is recommended that students have an aptitude for math, computer science, and physical sciences.
Bachelor's Degree in Engineering
Bachelor degree programs may be general or concentrated in a specific field. While engineering students spend a lot of time in the classroom learning theory, they can also expect to log a lot of time in the lab developing engineering solutions. Subjects that might appear in the curriculum include:
- Applied statistics
- Innovation, technology and society
- Applied physics
- Engineering trends
- Professional collaboration and reporting
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment statistics for engineers vary drastically by field. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that industrial engineers will have a faster-than-average 8% job growth for the years 2018-2028. Alternatively, petroleum engineers will have a projected 3% job growth in the same decade. The BLS also reported that industrial and petroleum engineers earned median annual salaries of $87,040 and $137,170, respectively, in May 2018.
Bachelor's degrees in engineering teach students a variety of skills regardless of whether it is general or specialized, with emphasis placed on learning skills applicable to different specializations. Both a general and specialized degree can help students learn about engineering design.