The field of engineering is a widely growing area of study that has been around for centuries. Many people who find math and sciences as their strong subjects throughout their early years of school opt to study some type of engineering as a major in college. With myself fitting this criterion, I am going to list the pros and cons of taking up engineering in college. While the rewards may be very benefiting, the road to get there is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to reach your final goal.
Before I outline the pros and cons of engineering, I will give a brief background of the subject. First off, if math and science were your weakest subjects growing up then ditch this idea completely. While I was going through the early years of school, including high school, I found math and science to be some of my stronger classes. One year in high school I finished with a 99 average in my math class. This completely changed once I reached the college level. The days of 90’s and high 80’s in my math classes have quickly turned to C’s and C-‘s.
Prepare For Hard Work
The workload in college-level calculus courses is much more intense than high school level math, and this is coming from a student who went to a specialized technical high school. While the transition from high school science classes to college level science is not as bad as math, it is also a lot more challenging, and only gets harder as the years’ progress. So this is my biggest warning to anyone that is considering engineering. If you are struggling in high school level math and science classes, and do not feel like struggling mightily throughout college, drop the idea of taking up engineering as a major.
Choose Your Major Carefully
Another idea to consider is the type of engineering degree you would like to pursue. There are many different types of engineering majors that can be taken up in college, such as Civil, Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical, Biomedical, etc. During the first year or so in college, it is ok if you are still unsure of your exact major since most engineers take the same exact core classes in their early semesters anyway. However, usually by your third semester, you should know which field you would like to pursue since it is usually around the third or fourth semester that you start taking classes related to your exact major.
It is also ok to change your major early on if you find that your current major is not best suited for you. At the end of my first semester, I opted to switch from Civil Engineering to Engineering management, because I found myself more interested in the business aspect of engineering, rather than the technical side. Changing majors in your first or second semesters usually is no big deal, but the longer you wait for the more classes you will have to make up.
High Salary Potential. Engineering degrees usually result in higher starting salaries and give you the most return on your investment when compared to other degrees. Payscale.com lists the 10 college majors that lead to the highest salaries, and 7 of those 10 are some form of engineering.
Diversity. There are many different types of engineering majors that you can pursue, so while the core classes may be the same, you can focus more on a field of your choice.
Job Availability. Due to the hard curriculum, most people do not graduate with a degree in engineering. This leads to less competition after graduation. Engineering is also a field that continues to grow over time as technology progresses, so there tend to be more jobs becoming open.
Intense Curriculum: The amount of time and effort taken in college is intense. A lot of hard work will need to be taken in order to graduate with an engineering degree.
Cost of Education: Like most schools, in order to earn a good education in engineering, you have to make a good investment. With only a few exceptions, most quality educations have tuition costs in the range of 30,000-50,000.