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  • Going to School for Engineering

    As an engineering major, you’ll learn a combination of science, business, and math. General courses teach you how to conduct and design experiments, solve problems, and efficiently communicate. If you want to be an engineer, you have to have a long-term commitment to continuing education in the field. You’ll need to stay updated on new methods and products to advance your job.

    Image of engineering obstacles

    Preparing for School

    Engineering school isn’t for everyone, but you can prepare yourself for rigorous classes while you’re still in high school. In college, you’ll take courses filled with science and math. Take the most challenging science and math classes your school offers, like AP-level ones. Consider taking chemistry, statistics, computer science, or calculus. Even if your school doesn’t have AP courses, you can still challenge yourself. You’ll impress the college admissions team by taking the initiative to do hard classes that aren't necessarily required. Classes aren't the only areas you can impress the admissions team, however. Think about joining a STEM-related club. Since engineering school requires a lot of studying, you might not have time to get a job to help pay for college expenses like tuition. Don’t panic. Consider taking out private student loans to cover tuition so you can save your other funds for living expenses.

    Coursework You’ll Take

    The classes that you’ll take will depend on your area of focus and the school. But you can expect to learn the fundamentals of engineering, as well as math and science. So, you can expect to take classes in areas like:

    • Linear algebra and statistics
    • Calculus
    • Physics
    • Chemistry and biology
    • Geology
    • Engineering sustainability and economics
    • Introduction to materials science

    Taking introductory courses is helpful to get an understanding of the field and choose an area to focus on. You might choose electrical, civil, or mechanical engineering. At some schools, you might need to learn about the interaction between technology and engineering. Expect to do some lab courses, and if you want to gain practical experience internationally, you can choose to study abroad. As an upperclassman, you can work on capstones or individual projects to show your problem-solving skills as the culmination of your degree.

    Are You a Good Fit?

    It goes without saying that you’ll need strong scientific and mathematical skills to succeed. You’ll also need to be able to use technology, but don’t worry about this too much since you can also learn about technology in your courses by working with the computing and design software. In this field, you’ll need to have critical thinking skills since you’ll work to eliminate the margin of error while helping society run smoother. If you want to succeed, you’ll need to be able to collaborate and communicate with other students. Group projects are a core part of this degree. Remember that some schools might require you to have a certain GPA to stay in the program, which means you’ll have to do well in your classes, even if they’re hard. Consider spending your summers doing internships to learn how to apply engineering outside the classroom.