There are usually two choices that haunt new engineering students before they enter college: which school they should go to and which concentration they’re going to choose. While choosing an engineering field might seem simple at first, the job of engineer can be incredibly diverse and making the wrong choice could not only hurt your job prospects, but make you miserable as well. However, there are a few tips that you can apply that will allow you to find a perfect concentration in no time. Here are just a few of them:
Choose Based on Your Interests First
While at first glance, choosing a concentration purely based on salary and prospects looks like the pragmatic thing to do, there is no point in entering a major if you’re not going to enjoy it. The field of engineering is so vast that you can easily find a concentration that you will not only love, but that provides great job opportunities as well.
Choose Based on College First
Another dilemma that hits new students is whether to go to an obscure college because of its specialization in a particular field of engineering or going to a prestigious school. My first pick would be to go to a prestigious school first, and look at the options available there. A degree from a reputable school will take you far in this business. However, there is a growing number of great online civil engineering degrees being offered at the moment and more and more companies are trusting students who received their civil engineering degree online more than ever. So, if the particular concentration you’re looking for is only being dispensed by an online college, don’t hesitate.
While interest and natural abilities should always be the first choice when choosing a concentration, job prospects should also be considered. After all, there is no point in holding a degree if no one will hire you. Before you choose a concentration, make sure that the field is not oversaturated and that it shows steady growth. Any field with below average growth should be avoided. Also look at international job prospects if you don’t have issues working overseas.
The recession also affected many sectors in engineering. One of these sectors is IT engineering. Many in the IT sector were axed during the recent recession and many IT engineers that came from second tier schools were having difficulty finding good jobs as a result.
These are all aspects every new engineering student should look for when choosing a concentration. While job prospects and the school you’re going to go to are of extreme importance, the main aspect any new student should concentrate on first is strengths and interest. It will not only insure that you enjoy your future position, but will improve your chances of completing your studies as well. Engineering is a bright field full of possibilities, so don’t be afraid to explore and choose a major that will fit your needs and personality the best.