Engineering is both a discipline and a profession that mostly deals with the application of technical and scientific knowledge by the specially trained engineers. It involves the utilization of natural laws and physical resources in order to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems and processes which are aimed at realizing desired objectives in accordance with a specified criteria. These engineers apply scientific knowledge gained from such fields like mathematics and physics in order to find solutions to problems
The engineering profession is among the few highly prestigious professions in the United States and as parents responded to a survey they said that they would like their children to enroll in such a profession.
This being a fact it is important for those aspiring to be engineers to have some knowledge about the main requirements necessary for one to enroll for an engineering course. It is a necessity for the aspirant to have a good foundation in the science based subjects in high school as these act as prerequisite for good performance in the engineering courses.
This includes such subjects like Mathematics, Biology,Physics,Chemistry, Mechanics and computer knowledge. The students should also have good knowledge in English and the Social Sciences since they also form part of the program in the university. Apart from being good in the class work more is also expected to have some character traits From a study done by Ross Harrison (1955) mechanical engineers were found to be emotionally stable without any neurotic symptoms, goal oriented, serious minded, energetic while advocating for direct action when faced with problems.
Other character traits found in the mechanical engineers was that they were straight forward people who rarely show analytical interest in other people. They also avoid introspection and self examination as revealed by the study. In addition they are expected to be trustworthy, honest, and maintain high levels of integrity(Carbajal 2006). From these studies learners should seek to develop these traits although it is not such a requirement. Pre-college activities
There exists some program which students preparing to join engineering courses at the university can participate in. Most of these programs are organized by universities and are called Summer Programs. One such program that students can participate in is the Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley (SUPERB). It is an eight weeks program that prepares students before they enroll for their studies and gives them an opportunity to participate in the area of interest.
Another internship program that high school students can enroll in is the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program which is sponsored by the office of Naval Research and offered annually. There are many summer programs related to engineering studies but they take the already registered students during the summers. Main branches of Engineering. Engineering is a broad discipline which is often broken down into several sub disciplines all of which do concentrate on different areas of engineering work.
Over history the major renown branches of engineering are; Aerospace (dealing with aircraft and spacecraft),Chemical(dealing with conversion of raw materials in to usable commodities),Civil(deals with design and construction of private and public works like bridges building), Electrical engineering which deals with design of electrical systems, Mechanical Engineering which deals with design of physical or mechanical systems, Computer Engineering dealing with design of software and hardware integration. With advancement in technology new fields are coming up.
Such fields include Software Engineering, Molecular Engineering, Mechatronics and Biomedical Engineering. Top engineering colleges in the U. S According to the ranking done by Graduates Hotline 2006 the best universities in engineering were ranked as, Massachusetts Institute of Technology being the best followed by Stanford University then third placed was University of California-Berkeley. The others were California institute Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon and University of Texas at Austin in that order of the top ten institutions.
How to find engineering colleges There are about 1,830 programs at colleges and universities that offer bachelors in engineering and in order for one to locate the best he/she should consider whether they are accredited by the Accredition Board For Technology(ABET). The student should investigate the curriculum and check accreditions carefully before selecting a college. This because programs may have the same name but vary in terms of the content to be covered. Enrollment into engineering
There has been an increase in enrollment for graduate students in science and engineering fields in the U. S. Full time enrollment increased by 16% in the year 2006 to reach a peak of 343,603 students and this comprised of both foreign and U. S. Citizens(Oliver 2007). This increase was in all engineering subfields except for civil, agricultural and computer sciences. Typical first year engineering class. Different institutions have different first year programs for their engineering students.
But in majority of the institutions students spend most of their first year while studying mathematics(Calculus,Algebra,Geometry) and basic sciences like Physics, Biology and Chemistry It is called the first year engineering transition program which helps students to upgrade their Grade Point Average and improve their academic standing. It also helps the students to prepare adequately for the subsequent years of study. The typical first year class is usually divided into two semesters with specified courses of study for each semester.
These are the winter semester and the summer semester. The bachelors program is designed to last four years but mostly students find themselves taking up to five years to complete their degree programs. Importance of internships for students. The internships usually offered during the summer periods provide valuable experiences for the students. This because they provide first hand perspectives of a career and as such begin to realize the value of their courses. Through internships students develop essential skills that are required on the job.
Again they create opportunities through which students understand what is expected of them in the industry. They also explore their career in order to apply their skills and talents which rhyme with their interests. Internship periods have also been know to be transformative since during such times the students meet and overcome many challenges that come their way. This increases their confidence and drive to learn to achieve. Licensure All states in the U. S require licensure of all engineers who offer their services directly to the public.
Those who manage to get the license must be in possession of a degree from an accredited institution in addition to four years of relevant experience. They are also expected to sit and pass a state exam. After getting the license they are then referred as professional engineers. Salaries and employment for engineers The earnings for engineers vary depending on speciality ones level of education and the industry one works in. In the federal government the mean annual salaries for engineers in the year 2007 ranged from $75,144 in Agricultural engineering to $107,546.
when all other groups of employees are considered it is the engineering group that earns the highest average starting salary. In the same year engineers held about 1. 5 million jobs in the U. S. Out of these jobs 37% was in the manufacturing industries while 28% was in the professional sector. As regards the federal state employment it employed 12% of all the engineers while 3% took consultancy as a form of self employment. One thing that is important for practicing engineers is for them to continue upgrading their education throughout their careers.
This is because employers will attach more value to highly trained engineers as opposed to those who are not highly educated. Again promotion in this profession is closely associated with the level of education and as such the highly educated ones end up getting promoted easily. As mentioned earlier engineers play a very significant role in the society since they provide solutions to most of the problems that the society face. Therefore we can not under emphasize the role they play in the society as they apply scientific knowledge in meeting the society’s need.
They are viewed as very important people in the society and thus they should maintain the integrity in serving the society in line with the professional code of conduct.
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