How Can You Specialize an Engineering Degree?

Engineering DegreeIf you excel at figuring out how things work, enjoy putting things together, and have an affinity for math and science, you might wonder how you can specialize an engineering degree to suit your aspirations. Fortunately, a degree in engineering can focus on a variety of different specializations. Some students enroll in engineering programs with a clear idea of their preferred specialization. Others like to take core classes first and learn about specializations later. Either way, as long as you choose a school that provides a variety of engineering options, you can get a specialization that suits your talents and interests. Here are a few types of engineering specialties:

Chemical Engineering

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a chemical engineering degree program, students learn to apply chemistry and biology toward making raw materials more useful. Chemical engineers often specialize even further by studying biomolecular engineering, concentrating on materials as a materials engineer, or focusing on operations and optimization of various chemical processes. A chemical engineer might work for the pharmaceuticals industry, have a career in agriculture, or work in the petroleum industry.

Civil Engineering

Individuals fascinated with building bridges, designing transportation systems or constructing buildings will likely enjoy a specialization within civil engineering. Civil engineers are at the forefront of green building initiatives. Many civil engineers specialize in water resources engineers while others focus on geotechnical engineering in an effort to ensure that structures such as skyscrapers are properly anchored with foundations that will support their height. Structural engineering and transport engineering are two other specializations common among civil engineers.

Electrical Engineering

Students wishing to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla should specialize in a branch of electrical engineering. Electrical power and other elements of electromagnetism are studied and applied by electrical engineers. Some focus on computer engineering to design computer hardware, software, or extensive digital networks. Telecommunications and electronic engineering are also popular specializations for those who enjoy working with electrical components.

Mechanical Engineering

The design and application of heavy machinery are the focus of mechanical engineering. With this specialization, engineers might work in the automotive industry as a vehicle engineer, work in naval architecture to design and construct marine vehicles, or get a job in aerospace engineering in order to design airplanes and spacecraft. Mechanical engineers can also specialize in acoustical engineering, an important part of designing concert halls and other spaces for optimal acoustics. Manufacturing engineers are mechanical engineers who specialize in bringing practical solutions to improve the manufacture of a variety of products.

Related Resource: Graduate Fellowship

When choosing a course of study in engineering, you can choose a specialization that interests you. A good engineering program will feature a variety of specializations, and many students can choose both primary and secondary specializations in order to improve their marketability in the job place. If you love science and especially enjoy finding ways to apply scientific principles to improve the world around you, consider how you might like to specialize an engineering degree in order to make your career dreams come true.