By tpm | June 15, 2016
Guest post by Florida Polytechnic University Director of Admissions Lauren Willison
Quality of life has significantly improved thanks to tools developed by leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. These high-performing minds combine technical skill with innovative ideas to find improvements and alternative solutions to some of the world’s largest problems. Engineering, in particular, is one STEM field that can take credit for many of our greatest inventions. Engineers run through a step-by-step process of research, concept development, analytics, designing, and manufacturing to build prototypes and bring visualizations to life – all of which is studied extensively in a STEM curriculum. STEM education allows students to fine-tune their skills for each step of this process through engaging, project-based work. Here’s why future engineers will benefit from a quality education at one of the many STEM-focused top engineering colleges.
Let’s Talk About Engineering
Besides having one of the lowest unemployment rates of any profession, engineering offers many different fields for specialization. No matter the engineering field chosen, STEM-focused schools teach best practices for reducing energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact and increasing efficiency – three areas that will become more relevant across all engineering branches in the future.
Computer engineering is a hybrid of computer science and electrical engineering. Today, STEM students pursuing a computer engineering degree are trained in disciplines such as embedded system design, machine intelligence and digital logic design. They harness critical thinking skills to be applied to legal, ethical, environmental, private and social implications pertinent to computer engineering. All of these skills will prove crucial, particularly in software development, the fastest-growing branch of computer engineering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17 percent growth rate for software developers from 2014 to 2024.
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Industrial engineering is unlike most other engineering fields because it isn’t exclusive to a specific industry. Instead, these engineers use their specific skill set to improve machines and systems for a wide range of businesses, from manufacturing companies to theme parks. A key part of what employers seek in industrial engineers is the ability to increase profits by reducing internal costs. Under a constant demand for excellence, the next generation of industrial engineers will find themselves in an arms race with peers to stand out for jobs. Intensive, highly elaborate work and STEM study programs, specifically industrial engineering degree programs, help these engineers master their craft. Industrial engineers are also judged by a set of unique personal attributes: candidates for employment must be detail-oriented, critical thinkers, excellent communicators (both verbally and on paper) and be self-starters.
Nanotechnology falls under the discipline of mechanical and industrial engineering, but focuses on manufacturing devices on the molecular and atomic level for custom applications. Nanotechnology engineers design these devices to reduce weight, volume and power demands to make them more durable. STEM-focused nanotechnology degree programs provide cutting-edge technology, allowing students to create these materials and find solutions for real-world problems. This prepares them for a career in a growing nanotechnology field such as the environmental industry. In this industry, nanotechnology engineers are researching pollutants in the world’s food supply on the cellular level, and searching for a solution to reduce these pollutants for a more sustainable future.
Engineering outlook for the future
A degree in engineering-related studies ensures a rewarding college experience and a profitable future. According to a study done by PayScale, degrees in engineering ranked ninth out of the top 10 paying majors in salary potential. With the help of a STEM education, engineers can apply best practices for reducing energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact and increasing efficiency. From computer engineering to nanotechnology, there’s no denying the future of engineering is bright and full of potential.
As the Director of Admissions at Florida Polytechnic University, Lauren Willison is responsible for supporting the Vice Provost of Enrollment in managing recruitment efforts. She develops and coordinates on- and off-campus events, as well as manages the campus visit experience.