Engineers play a vital role within every country in the world and more and more people are beginning to understand the importance of top quality engineering graduates. Studying engineering will present lots of career opportunities, but anyone interested in an engineering qualification should be aware of some general points before beginning.
Engineering is one of the most rewarding careers of the modern world, and one that can lead to a large number of different roads and areas of specialism. The chance to study engineering abroad is an exciting, dynamic and wonderful road to choose, and can be combined with other subjects if you so wish.
This is a career that can take you around the world, working on many different projects, in the four corners of the earth, and is a very well paid job to get into, with different branches of speciality, according to your areas of interest. If you enjoy solving problems and coming up with a solution, then engineering could be for you. If you enjoy maths, science, technology and design, then this could be a hugely rewarding choice for you, which can lead you into a jet-setting career as a civil engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, aviation engineer… the list goes on!
Engineers use computer technology and mathematical models to work out the solution to structural, genetic or mechanical problems. In your engineering degree, you’ll spend time in the laboratory and use computers and applied mathematics on a daily basis. You may also have the opportunity to apply your theory to real-life projects through case-studies, or internships. Engineering degrees are extremely varied and can focus on particular parts of the engineering industry or just a general overview of the technical processes. Whichever degree you choose to study, you will graduate with a host of transferable skills that will enable you to work in a variety of industries. Skills such as project management, analysis and your practical experience act as great foundations for careers in other industries. It isn’t uncommon to find top quality engineers in banking, politics and financial sectors. The UK government in particular feels this is an expanding field, with the demand of engineering graduates set to rise over the forthcoming years.
Studying abroad can be a scary decision to make, full of ‘what do I do about…’, ‘what happens with…’, and ‘what if…’ – all confusing thoughts, but once the decision is made, it will no doubt become one of the best decisions you ever made, and will leave you with a once in a lifetime experience, and an extremely valuable degree to take wherever you please.
Engineering has maintained its popularity as an academic subject and with technological and social developments taking place all over the globe now, engineering really is an international subject. It doesn’t matter where you want to study engineering, because it is truly a global subject with the best universities for engineering spread across the planet. Whether you wish to study engineering in the UK or you want to find engineering courses in Europe, StudyLink can help you.
Engineering courses are plentiful and there are many different engineering degrees to study, which can be combined with another subject, such as a modern language, law, business, computers or medicine. This will give you even more chance of jetting off on an exciting career! You can also study practically anywhere in the world, but the most popular choices are Australia, New Zealand, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, China and Canada. You can study at different levels, including diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate, however most highly paid engineers studied for a postgraduate degree in engineering, whether that was combined with another subject or not.
Deciding to study engineering abroad will give you access to around 4,000 different courses. This is a difficult decision to make, given the large range available, but a little thought now will mean more reward later.
Before starting your career in engineering it is important to know which particular arm of engineering you wish to specialise in because of the variety of sectors within the engineering industry. If you are certain of what type of engineer you wish to become, you should study a degree which focuses specifically on that field of study. If you are not sure, many institutions offer engineering degrees which provide a basic knowledge of engineering in the first two years then allow you to concentrate on one or two areas of specific interest in the final year.
Engineering courses are available at many levels and the most popular ones are listed below.
There are a huge variety of specialisations, and the more popular ones are listed below for you to browse through.
Undergraduate degrees typically take three to four years to complete and give you a broad understanding of the subject field, as well as developing your theoretical and practical techniques which could be transferred to almost any industry. UK Engineering undergraduate degrees are offered as BEng or MEng, with the latter taking four years of full-time study. In the USA the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is the non-governmental organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in engineering. In Australia, the Bachelor of Engineering (BE) is a four-year undergraduate course which is also often available as a six-year course where you are able to gain work experience or as an eight-year part-time course through some universities. The Institution of Engineers in Australia accredits degree courses and graduates of accredited courses are eligible for membership of the Institution. Even if you decide to work in an industry other than engineering, the skills and knowledge acquired within an engineering degree will be easily transferable.
Postgraduate engineering courses normally take between one and three years of full time study to complete. The most common postgraduate degree in engineering is the Masters degree. It allows you to further your knowledge of a particular field of engineering and usually enhances your employability within that sector.
It’s important to consider which area of engineering you will specialise in, as they can lead to very different careers. Civil engineers build the structures that define our civilisation – bridges, buildings, transport systems. Electrical engineers study how technology can build new products, or develop new processes for manufacturing and design. Or you could design and build planes, aircraft, robots, medical equipment, or even computer programmes. Whatever you choose, you can create and develop projects that improve and change lives. Think carefully about what area of engineering interests you most – what do you want to achieve in the long term with your engineering study?
There are lots of great engineering courses to choose from, so we have picked some of the best degrees at different levels of cost, reputation and location for you to browse through, compare and apply online via the institutions website. StudyLink offers you choice from over 4000 quality engineering programs and courses worldwide. Let StudyLink help you choose an engineering university or school that is right for you. Choose somewhere that specialises in the area you are most interested in, such as civil engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering or mechanical engineering. Or study in a country that appeals to you most.
On a personal level, you will need to be confident, motivated and flexible, as these are all qualities a person needs in order to leave their home, get on a plane and go and study in a completely different country. A sense of being able to get out there and grab life is also needed, but confidence grows, and if you dream it, you can do it!
In order to study engineering abroad, you’ll obviously need a strong interest in problem solving, and maths and science, just as we discussed before, but you’ll also need a strong command of the English language. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the laboratory and you’ll be using your computer and maths skills a lot, in theory and practical work. There will be a lot of problem solving, and applying this to case studies, as well as work experience and theory essays.
As a general rule you’ll need A level or equivalent in maths, physics, chemistry and biology, and if you’re heading into a more specific area you’ll need to check out the specialist subjects for that, as they vary hugely. This is why it’s very important to decide on your subject quite soon, as you may need a different A level requirement, however as a general rule, maths and sciences are your basic needs.
Whichever course , university and indeed country you choose, you will be asked for a good standard of English, and generally that means IELTS 6 or TOEFL 550 for the paper part, and 213 for the computer part, however it’s worth checking with your chosen university because if you do have a lower standard than this, you may still be accepted if you’re willing to do an English course beforehand. Just discuss this with your university to get a clearer idea on your specific requirements with regards to this, and ask about language support whilst you’re on campus.
Obviously the course you choose, the university and the country will all make a difference to how much the degree will cost in terms of tuition fees, and you should look into help with funding and any grants available for overseas students, as this will go a long way into funding your engineering study adventure. You should also find out as soon as you decide on your country choice regarding any visa requirements, whether that be simply to enter the country, or whether you need a study visa or work visa for any work experience as part of your course. A little bit of internet research will give you an idea, but your university will also be able to advise you.
As a general rule, and again, this depends on a lot of factors, you can expect a cost of around US$10,000 to US$23,000 per year. You should be able to get help and advice on living arrangements from your university and the cost of living very much depends on which country you choose to study in. Most universities will have on-site accommodation in the form of halls, both catered and un-catered, although the catered option could be a good one and work out cheaper in the long run. It’s simply a case of looking into your options and your preferences.
As you can see, choosing engineering as your career means a lot of decisions to make, not only regarding the road you see your future career going down, in terms of the type of engineering you want to specialise in, but also the general things about studying abroad, such as the single most important one – which country?!
Studying engineering abroad will leave you with a precious degree, and also highly important life experience and confidence to match. This is probably one of the most important, and best, decisions you’ll make in your life, so make it wisely.
Read our Engineering Degree Guides to learn more about the courses you can take in Engineering.
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