One of the most character-defining moments of childhood is being asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and while one will most likely end up in a different profession, the common answers are often: lawyer, doctor or engineer. However, all three professions have very specific niches. Lawyers can go on to deal in criminal law or domestic law, doctors branch out into neurology to pediatrics, and there are numerous engineering positions in the world, each differing vastly from one another while sharing one common trait: they all create. As with everything, it is always beneficial to read up and understand what you are getting yourself into before taking the plunge. There are engineering degree guides and quizzes on the internet which can help.
Always enjoyed playing with legos and making your own engines? Perhaps this is your calling. Mechanical engineers are often fascinated with the inner-workings of what makes something tick. As a child, you might have disassembled clocks and other gadgets just to find out how it works. With a degree, you can manufacture your own devices and help build parts which are even more practical than the version before. You will be bettering the gadgets of yesterday.
Obtaining this position seems to come with its level of prestige, from the engineer who saved London from cholera by introducing sewers to the magnificence which is the Sydney Opera house, according to The Guardian. Many people liken the career with building and construction. True enough, many civil engineers are hired by developers and construction firms. However, they also hold a responsibility towards society and have to adapt designs to meet populace demands, including keeping a solid and well-oiled infrastructure. Therefore, one may also be working in the public transportation sector, geo-technology and the stability of any one structure.
If science fiction has always been more your thing, you might find interest in bioengineering, where you will explore artificial limbs and organs; engineer microbes or organisms for pharmaceutical advances; from pacemakers to MRI machines, you will be the guiding force at bettering and evolving technology to help better human survivability including prolonging their lives. You must have a strong aptitude for mathematics and science if you are to pursue this field.
Similar to bio engineers, chemical engineers focus on the very small – think nanotechnology. Students of this particular field combine three subject and should show a natural affinity for engineering, chemistry and biology. Design is a very important aspect of chemical engineering as they are responsible for identifying and combating viruses through the development of vaccines and discover of cures. However, chemical engineers can obtain a position outside a laboratory and offer their skills to oil companies, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals, as well as find a place in the beauty or F&B industry.
Think about what you are most interested in, robotics or biology. Engineering can take you to many places, from creating nanobots to finding renewable sources. It is up to the individual to decide what kind of change they would like to inflict on the world and where their passions lie.