Engineering Degrees Open the Door to a Variety of Career Opportunities

Engineering degrees are highly sought-after these days, largely because they can prepare students to work in a variety of fields. Many people may hear “engineering” and picture elaborate construction projects, but in today’s world, pursuing a degree in engineering can mean working alongside almost every industry. Rick Sturdivant, PhD, a professor in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science at Azusa Pacific University, offered insight into the degree, noting the many career paths available for students who graduate with an engineering degree.

Engineering Degrees Offer Vast Options

Engineering may be a broad field, but it has a number of specialized disciplines. All of these paths start with earning a Bachelor of Science in a given field of engineering—but they lead to different destinations.

“After graduation, engineers can apply their degree to design new products, perform technical support on existing products, enter technical sales, or business management,” Sturdivant said. “In fact, it is common for high tech companies to be managed by engineers.”

An understanding of the complexities of engineering is often a prerequisite for working on the management side of major engineering firms. Similarly, supporting and selling technical products requires a high-level understanding of their applications, which means students who pursue a BS in Engineering are not limited to working strictly as engineers. Understanding this field of science is a strong qualification for a number of different jobs in a variety of systems-based fields.

“Engineers can become program managers, component designers, system designers, technical salespeople, technical support engineers, or cybersecurity professionals,” Sturdivant continued. “Some of our graduates are entrepreneurial and may start their own business. The range of opportunities is wide. Some engineer friends of mine have gone to law school to become patent lawyers, and others have gone to medical school to become practicing medical doctors.”

Types of Engineering Explained

When it comes to the many different types of engineering, Sturdivant explained the two different paths engineering majors enrolled at APU can take. For instance, students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering can choose an emphasis in either Systems Engineering or Computer Engineering.

“Both degrees are in demand and will launch their career,” Sturdivant noted. “Graduates with the systems engineering emphasis can obtain jobs where they focus on the big picture of products, such as satellite systems, transportation systems, and military radar systems. The computer engineering emphasis graduates will focus more on the details of computing, components, and electronics.”

Both fields offer stability and the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, promising a varied—and rewarding—career. Best of all, employers are increasingly showing their commitment to engineers. As Sturdivant noted, “It is common, but not required, for engineers to pursue a graduate degree in engineering or business administration while working. Many employers have programs available to pay for a Master of Science in Engineering.”

Opportunities Abound for APU Engineering Graduates

Thanks to rapid advancements in technology, career and research opportunities in engineering are expanding every year. With new fields created by computer science, satellite communications, and more, professionals with engineering degrees are not only in demand, they tend to have their pick of options in the job market. This is increasingly true for graduates of Azusa Pacific University.

“Both degree emphasis options provide interesting job opportunities,” Sturdivant concluded. “This year, APU graduates are obtaining job offers from large defense contractors such as Raytheon, while others have opportunities at smaller companies. We are in the middle of a technology and business expansion in satellites, which is why some of our students have been able to work on research efforts with our department faculty in this area.”

From defense and cybersecurity to video game design and building bridges and skyscrapers, the engineering major at APU creates a wide array of opportunities for students. Whether you’ve always been interested in engineering or you’re considering a program that offers you an intellectual challenge and successful career, this degree could have something for you.