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SelectinganEngineeringProgramAmericanGraduateEducation

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SelectinganEngineeringProgram
AWideArrayofDisciplines
EngineeringeducationisdrawingrecordnumbersofstudentstotheUnitedStatesfromaroundtheglobewithgoodreason.Thosewithan
engineeringeducationpossesstheabilitytomakearealdifferenceintheirworld,whetheritbealocalenvironmentalimprovementproject,
designinganddevelopingartificialorgans,ordesigningvehiclesofthefutureforamajormanufacturer.Thebroadrangeofcareersavailableto
engineers,andtherisingdemandforthosewithtechnicalknowledge,makethosewithanengineeringdegreehighlydesirabletoemployers.
Studentsinterestedinstudyingengineeringshouldhavebeguntheirpreparationwhilestillinhighschoolsothattheycanproceedwiththeir
degreeprogram"ontrack."Studentsshouldhavesufficientbackgroundcoursesincludingalgebra,geometry,trigonometry,precalculus,physics
andchemistry.
Whentryingtodecidewhichengineeringprogrambestmeetsyourneedsorinterests,youmaywanttotakepartinanexploratoryprogramwhile
inhighschool.ManyuniversitiesandcollegesintheUnitedStatesofferworkshopsandsummerprogramsgearedspecificallytowardhigh
schoolstudents.Studentsmaystayintheresidencehalls,experiencecampuslifeandgetexposuretovariousengineeringfields.Some
programsfocusonspecificengineeringareaswherebyparticipantshaveamoreindepthexperienceworkinginlaboratoriesandevenvisiting
areacompaniesfortours.
Anothersuggestionforpreparationistotourcompaniesinyourhometownorcountrythatemployengineers.Askquestionsaboutwhattypesof
engineerstheyemploy.Knowingwhatemployerswantisoneofthekeystoasuccessfuljobsearchafteryouobtainyourdegree.Keeping
abreastoftheneedsofbusinessandindustryisalsosomethingthatuniversitiesandcollegesstrivefortoensuretheeducationthattheyare
providingwillbeusefultotoday'ssocietyandbeyond.
OneaspectofeducationatAmericanuniversitiesonwhichinternationalstudentsoftencommentisthefreedomtoexpresstheirideasin
classroomorlaboratorydiscussionsaswellastheiraccesstofaculty.Oneofthethingstoinvestigatewhenchoosingauniversityisthestudent
tofacultyratio,whichcangiveyousomeindicationofhowmuchindividualattentionyoucanexpect.Anotheraspectiswhethertheuniversity
utilizesteachingassistants,whoareusuallygraduatestudents.
BecauseEnglishisoftennotthefirstlanguageoftheinternationalstudent,itisimportanttoinquireastotheservicesavailableatauniversity
thatwillhelpyousucceed.StudentsmaywishtoimprovetheirEnglishlanguageskillsthroughgrammarinstruction,vocabularybuilding,
pronunciation,andconversationalskills.
Inaddition,information,advice,andsupportareofferedtohelpstudentsadapttoAmericancultureandcampuslife.
Ifyou,likemanyinternationalstudents,areinterestedingainingsomerelevantworkexperiencewhileincollege,youwillneedtoaskquestions
aboutthestrengthofauniversity'sinternshipprogram.Havingsomeworkexperienceintheengineeringfieldnotonlyincreasesyour
marketabilityaftergraduationbutalsohelpsyoubuildimportantrelationshipswithbusinessandindustry.Thesearrangementsaremadeafter
youareenrolledandattendingschool.

ChoosingAnEngineeringProgram
Whateverengineeringdisciplineyouchoose,anengineeringeducationisrecognizedasanexcellentpreparationforawidespectrumofcareer
choices.Someengineerschoosetoworkinaresearchsettingandsomeworkinthemanufacturingsector.Othersaugmenttheireducationwith
abusinessbackgroundtojointheranksofmanagementorstarttheirownhightechcompany.Moreover,engineeringisanexcellentbaseof
knowledgefromwhichstudentsoftenspringboardintostudyingbusiness,lawormedicine.Thisrangeispossiblebecauseofthebreadthof
subjectsthatanundergraduateengineeringdegreeprogramprovidesintheareasofarts,socialsciences,history,andhumanities.
AerospaceEngineeringincludesworkintheaircraftandpartsandguidedmissileandspacevehiclemanufacturingindustries.They
design,analyze,model,simulate,andtestaircraft,spacecraft,satellites,missiles,androckets.Aerospaceengineersalsoapplytheir
knowledgetorelatedfieldssuchasautomatedmasstransportation,bioengineering,medicalsystems,environmentalengineering,and
communications.
ArchitecturalEngineeringcanbedefinedasacollectionofdisciplinesrelatedtothetechnicalaspectsofbuildingdesignandconstruction.
Studentslearnhowtoapplyknowledgeofmathematicsandnaturalsciencestothedevelopmentofwaystousethematerialsandforcesof
natureintheengineeringdesignandconstructionofbuildingsandtheirenvironmentalsystems.Architecturalengineersworkineverystage
ofthebuildingprocessfromdesignconceptsandstructuralintegritytobuildingoperatingsystemsandoverallfunctionality.
BiomedicalEngineeringcombinesengineeringexpertisewithmedicalneedsfortheenhancementofhealthcare.Thefieldattracts
studentswhohaveadeepconcernforpeopleaswellasthesciencesandtechnologiesthatmightbeusedtohelpthempreferactivities
thatrelatetomachines,methods,andprocessesofmedicineenjoybiology,anatomyandphysiologyasmuchasmath,physicsand
chemistry.Biomedicalengineersareresearchfacilitiesofeducationalandmedicalinstitutions.
ChemicalEngineeringappliestheprinciplesofchemistryandengineeringtosolveproblemsinvolvingtheproductionoruseofchemicals.
Chemicalengineersusetheirknowledgeofchemistrytodiscoverandmanufacturebetterplastics,paints,fuels,fibers,medicines,foodand
beverages,fertilizers,semiconductors,paper,andallotherkindsofchemicalsbycarryingoutchemicalreactionsandpurifications.
Chemicalengineersworkinavarietyofsettingsincludingindustry,laboratories,universities,consultingfirms,engineeringfirms,lawoffices,
andgovernmentagencies.
CivilEngineeringistheartandscienceofdesigningtheinfrastructureofamoderncivilizedsociety.Civilengineersdesignandsupervise
theconstructionofroads,buildings,airports,tunnels,dams,bridges,andwatersupplyandsewagesystems.
COMPUTERENGINEERINGprogramsaregearedtowardthedesignandapplicationofcomputersystems,balancinghardwareand
softwarebyintegratingelectricalengineeringhardwaretopicswithcomputersciencesoftwaresubjects.Thisbroadbackgroundenablesthe
computerengineertocontributetothedesign,implementation,testing,maintenanceandapplicationofcomputerbasedsystems,fromtiny
embeddedprocessorstolargedatabaseandnetworkservers.
ELECTRICALENGINEERINGisoneofthebroadestandlargestbranchoftheengineeringprofession.Itcoversnewrapidlygrowingareas
suchassignalprocessing,artificialintelligence,fiberopticcommunications,andmicrocomputersaswellastraditionalareassuchas
circuits,controls,power,electromagneticsandinstrumentation.Digitalphones,personalcomputersandGlobalPositioningSystemsarejust
afewofthehightechnologyproductsthatelectricalengineershavedeveloped.
INDUSTRIALENGINEERINGinvolvestheintegrationoftheresourcesofbusinessandindustrythedesignofsystemsofmaterials,
equipmentandmachines,procedures,information,energy,andpeople.Industrialengineeringprogramscombinehumanrelationswiththe
technicalknowledgeneededtosolvechallengesinorganization,processplanningandevaluation,costanalysis,andqualitycontrol.
Becauseofitshighdegreeofinteractionwithpeople,thefieldtendstoattractstudentswithstrongsocialandcommunicationskillsincluding
thosewho:preferactivitiesthatinvolvebothtechnicalandbusinessaspects.
MECHANICALENGINEERINGcoversthedesign,development,analysis,controlandtestingofmachinesforconvertingenergyfromone
formtoanotherandforperformingusefulwork.Studentslearnthefundamentalssuchasmechanics,thermodynamicsheattransfer,
electronicinstrumentationandmeasurement,controls,anddesign.Thefieldtendstoattractstudentswhoenjoyactivitiesinvolvedwith

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SelectinganEngineeringProgramAmericanGraduateEducation
machinesandothermechanicaldevicescanapplymathematicalprinciplesandbasicprinciplesofphysicstoprojectsandwhoareableto
directprojects.
SOFTWAREENGINEERINGistheapplicationofengineeringconcepts,techniques,andmethodstothedevelopmentofsoftwaresystems.
Softwareengineeringisbasedoncomputerscience.However,itemphasizesprocess,design,measurement,analysisandverification,
providingastrongfoundationinengineeringprinciplesandpracticeasappliedtosoftwaredevelopment.Becauseoftheinherentlysocial
natureofcontemporarysoftwaredevelopment,communicationskillsandteamworkareimportant.
Whateverdisciplineoruniversityyouchoose,anengineeringeducationissomethingthatyouwilldrawuponthroughoutyourlifeasyoupursue
personalandprofessionalfulfillment.Becauseoftheacceleratedevolutionoftechnology,itisalsoimportantforengineerstocontinually
enhancetheirknowledgebasethroughcontinuingeducationandprofessionalcourses.
EditorialprovidedbytheMilwaukeeSchoolofEngineering.

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