Engineering is one of few career fields where knowledge and inventiveness are equal in value. A good engineer is both a visionary and a problem solver. Engineering careers are among the most desired choices of profession in the United States and the world. These jobs are generally well compensated and highly regarded. Key engineering disciplines include software and information technology, electrical and computer, aerospace, agricultural, civil, chemical, mechanical, and energy. The minimum requirement for this profession is a bachelor degree in the specified engineering field. In this article, I will discuss a few of the best engineering careers and their outlook.
Software engineer is the fastest growing career among the engineering disciplines. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for software engineers is expected to grow by 32% over the next 8-10 years. Additionally, the median salary for this profession is about $92,000 per year which is much higher than the median wage of most occupations. These figures produce no surprises since computer technology is a key stable in today’s economy. Consumer demand for software has always been very robust. This trend will only grow in the coming years, as businesses look to modernize their capital investments.
The career of a software engineer is not only financially rewarding; it is also one of high satisfaction. The job of a software engineer is to make sure the software product is delivered on time and within budget, satisfies key business requirements, and is user friendly. By the nature of their work, software engineers are well rounded individuals. In addition to being knowledgeable about computer technologies, successful engineers are also well-versed in areas of business, management, and communication. This inherently makes software engineers natural candidates for managerial positions. Many, in fact, earn promotion to project managers and technology directors within a short time.
If you are looking for opportunities in public works, a civil engineering career may be suitable for you. Civil engineers typically work for state/local governments and large construction firms. These engineers are tasked with planning and managing construction projects such as transportation systems, buildings, dams, and airports. As public infrastructures in the U.S. are in serious need of repair or replacement, employment outlook for American civil engineers is rather bright. Unlike other engineering disciplines, most civil engineering jobs do require a professional license on top of a bachelor degree.
Computer engineer is another interesting engineering career. A computer engineer acts a liaison between computer scientists (and programmers), who deal with the software side of a computer system, and electrical engineers who deal with the hardware side. An engineer in this field must possess the knowledge of a computer scientist and the skills of an electrical engineer. This inevitably makes computer engineering a difficult college major to pursue, since one will need to take courses in both computer science and electrical engineering. Yet, it is also one of the best majors for employment as the diverse range of skills opens one to more opportunities. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, average starting salary for computer engineers is the fifth highest of all occupations.
1) Computer Software Engineers and Computer Programmers. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2) Andrea Koncz and Kevin Gray. Starting Salary Offers Begin to Stabilize. National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).