What is Engineering?

We live in a very technical world. Think about your cell phone, the Internet, the operating room, the grocery store, your automobile. Engineers are responsible for all of this. Engineers use science and math fundamentals to create things to make this world a better place (that’s our goal). Scientists discover, then engineers create, synthesize, solve problems and innovate.

Think of the challenges facing our nation: terrorism, energy resources, balance of trade, health care, food, transportation, communications, the environment, even education and entertainment. The jobs of the future are just now being created! There are opportunities to explore everything from outer space to the molecular or nano level. A vibrant engineering education benefits our society. It is essential for national security, economic growth, medical care, and ecologically sound resource management.

The biggest change in the practice of engineering has been the computer. We use them everywhere. We can visualize and interact with a building or an automobile before it is built. The amount of information available today and the computer power to use this information is staggering. The computing disciplines themselves offer worlds of possibilities.

Today’s world and today’s challenges are complex. This means that teamwork is necessary. Engineering has become a social profession. We need to understand others and other disciplines, and to appreciate diverse environments. It takes communication skills and life-long learning. We need many types of people – the technical genius, the tinkerer, the creative, the teachers, and those that can sell ideas and products.

The joy of engineering is problem solving. Today, more than ever, an engineering education is preparation for the future. Whether you ultimately go into engineering practice, law, medicine, education, politics, business, or start your own business, engineering can be the key to your future.

The links below will take you to a comprehensive overview of each engineering discipline. You will find subject descriptions, career paths and average starting salaries that could help you decide which discipline is right for you.

*note that both Software Engineering and Computer Science go hand in hand with the preparation and job market being very similar. At OC, your degree would be in Computer Science.