Once thought impossible, more and more colleges and institutions are exploring the viability of teaching engineering online.
Mechanical engineering refers to the science of designing mechanical systems (think machines). It overlaps into electronics to an extent.
- It includes and may overlap with automotive engineering and aerospace or aeronautical engineering.
- Mechanical engineering graduates or diploma holders may go on to do their master’s in automotive, aerospace, or aeronautical engineering.
For the Under Graduate –
- You have a choice of certificate, associate, and bachelors courses
- They are offered by Junior colleges or community colleges
- Online programs are available for Bachelors courses
For the Graduate –
- You have a choice of Master’s or Doctorate
- Most programs are on campus – online options are few
It involves the study of aircraft and air travel including aircraft design, satellite technology, and study of both commercial and defense aircraft. Often confused with Aeronautical engineering, Aerospace engineering refers to study of spacecraft.
For the Undergraduate –
- Choice of Associate, Bachelors, or Certificate Courses
- On campus for the most part though some online courses are available
For the Graduate –
- Choice of Doctorate or Master’s
- Online course options are being increasingly explored
It deals with the mechanics, design, and production of vehicles.
- It is a diverse field requiring knowledge of working, performance, design, and electronics involved in automotives or vehicles.
- It may overlap with electrical engineering to the extent of electronic component of automotives.
- Most programs are available at the Master’s and doctorate levels.
It deals with the application of design in biology with the objective of advancing healthcare options and treatment.
- It includes the study of healthcare technology and devices such as MRI, EEG, CT scan, and other diagnostic equipment.
- It may also include genetic engineering and tissue engineering.
- Biomedical industry is relatively new and growing rapidly
- Programs available include certification, Bachelors Master’s and Doctorate
This is the study of mechanics and organisms with a view to using a combination to resolve social and other problems.
- Applications of biomechanical engineering include solving environmental issues such as waste disposal and pollution
- It overlaps with biomedical engineering and agricultural engineering.
- Most programs are available at the master’s level or above
- A graduate from the Agricultural or Biomedical stream may opt for masters in biomechanical engineering.
Civil engineering is the study of infrastructure. Civil engineers are most likely to find jobs in the construction and development industry in the private or public sector. Programs are available at the certificate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels.
Structural engineering is the study of structures such as buildings, museums, complexes and so on. It overlaps with the study of astronomy and climate to the extent it relates to the impact of natural occurrences on constructions and structures.
- Most programs are available at associate, bachelor’s master’s and doctorate levels.
- A structural engineer may find occupation in the construction of residential complexes, malls, restoration of monuments, etc.
- He may work as a building inspector in the public sector.
- He may be involved in development projects such as construction of roads, metros, railways etc.
- Some universities and colleges offer structural engineering as a specialization under their civil engineering program
Architecctural engineering deals with the design, planning and construction of buildings. An architectural engineer is often the first to be hired in a construction project and the one who lays out the plan of the construction.
- Architectural engineering overlaps with electronics to the extent it deals with the heating, cooling, and ventilation of a building or construction.
- Arcitectural engineers may work in conjunction with structural engineers on government infrastructural projects .
- They may work with builders helping to plan new constructions and redevelopment of old properties.
- They may work with structural engineers for restoration of monuments.
- Most programs are available at Certificate, Bachelors, Master’s, and doctorate levels.
Electrical engineering is the study of electrical energy. It may also include the study of hydro-electricity, wind energy and other energy sources.
- An electrical engineer may himself develop or assist in devveloping technologies using energy sources.
- Applications include power grids, autonomous vehicles, power grids, and appliances.
- Most industries find use for eletrical engineers
- Most common areas and opportunities include working in public sector projects and Working in the development of new technology
Online electric engineering programs are available at the certification, associate, and bachelor’s level although majorty of the programs are still on-campus.
Graduates may go on to pursue their master’s or doctorate degrees.
Computer Engineering Degree
With the rapid expansion of the IT industry during the last 10 decades, a new branch of electrical engineering – Computer Engineering – has emerged. This includes within its scope computer hardware and software as well as the study of electronics and networking. The field is still expanding taking into its realm network and cyber security, cloud computing, AI, ML, and a whole lot more.
As the industry grows, it is highly probable that there may be a further narrowing down of specializations within the field of computer engineering.
Graduates of electrical engineering may go on to complete their master’s or doctorate in computer engineering, specializing in a particular area. There are also certificate, diploma and bachelor’s programs in the field of computer engineering.
Electronic engineering deals with the study of circuit boards, chipsets, switchboards, and other electronic configuration.
- Electronic engineering is a small subsection of electrical engineering.
- Most electronic engineers take up freelance work fixing all appliances – from computers to television sets – that use circuit boards.
- They may also work for a manufacturer helping in the manufacturing process and designing new products or servicing customers.
- Programs are available at the diploma, bachelor’s and master’s level.
ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING IS SOMETIMES CONFUSED WITH ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING THOUGH THERE ARE SUBTLE DIFFERENCES
As the name suggests, this is a blend of mechanical and electronic engineering.
A blend of mechanical engineering and electronics engineering, Mechatronics, or Mechatronics Engineering, is an emerging area for hybrid engineers. Nearly all mechanical equipment in this day and age is operated with a mix of electronics and software, all based on computers and technology. Mechatronics engineers help bridge that gap, and have intrinsic knowledge of electrical, electronics, and mechanical engineering. Some more experienced Mechatronics Engineers also have computer, hardware, and software engineering experience as well. Programs are available at diploma, bachelor’s and master’s levels.
Robotics is a recent advancement of computer technology. It deals with higher levels automation and use of machines for repetitive tasks – particularly along the assembly line and on the production floor. Robotics is relatively new and expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Programs are available at certificate, master’s and doctorate levels.
Micro electronics is a branch of engineering dealing with electronics of small devices and parts. It is available at the certification, bachelor’s and master’s levels. There is an increasing demand for microelectronics in designing new products and maintenance of existing devices and parts.
Chemical engineering deals with the engineering of chemical substances and their reactions. It finds use in the pharmaceutical and agriculture industries as well as in the cosmetics, and food and beverage industries. Chemical engineering covers a broad spectrum of degrees and certifications.
One may opt for certification, bachelor’s degree, master’s or doctorate in chemical engineering or specialize in one of the following –
With growing concerns about pollution, global warming and the weakening of the ozone layer, environmental engineers are increasingly in demand. Environmental engineers study the environment and suggest ways to improve it. This includes the purification of air, water, and land. Environmental engineers generally find employment in the agro industry or in public sector projects.
Environmental engineering is available as a certificate course or a master’s or doctorate degree.
Material Science Engineering is the study of materials and their behaviour and reactions to other material and environment. Materials include everything from metals to plastic, ceramic, and polymer. It includes electroplating and manufacture of alloys.
Material engineers may find employment in a multitude of industries including manufacturing and steel as well as manufacture and preservation of curios and artifacts.
Programs are available at the certification, master’s and doctorate levels.
An agricultural engineer is someone who applies the principles of chemical engineering to the nurturing and preservation of crops. It also includes knowledge of mechanics, design, and production of farm equipment.
Agricultural engineers find employment in organizations manufacturing pesticides, germicides, and fertilizers. Those with a mechanical mindset may find work designing and manufacturing agricultural engineering.
Agricultural engineering courses are available at the certificate, bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate levels.
A branch of chemical engineering paper engineering involves the study of manufacturing paper. It includes both the chemical and mechanical process of paper manufacture. The course includes molecular science, knowledge about wood and its types, and the study of fluid and related mechanics among other things. Paper engineering programs are available as certification programs as well as master’s or doctorate degrees.
Another subdivision of chemical engineering, the study of sustainability involves the study of the socio-economic impact natural events. It includes the study of construction and product lifecycle with a view to preserving the environment and ensuring sustainability.
Sustainability engineers may find employment in public sector projects such as waste management, water management, environmental control and hazard management.
Industrial engineering is a specialization under mechanical engineering. Industrial engineers usually work for manufacturers aiding in the design, building, and maintenance of machines to be used for production. The scope of work also includes ensuring LEAN production by reducing waste and improving productivity as well as process design and a few other responsibilities. Some Industrial engineers prefer to work independently as consultants servicing many manufacturers.
Industrial engineering programs are available at certificate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels.
Systems engineering is a multi-disciplinary course. The focus of the curriculum is on design and modification of all types systems. Whether electrical, mechanical, or IT system engineers work with organizations to design and maintain various systems such as the production system, the network system and so on.
The system engineering specialty has evolved from an increasing demand and is available at certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels.
As the name suggests, a manufacturing engineer works exclusively in the manufacturing industry. The scope of work includes design and maintenance of the manufacturing process as well as equipment and may include quality control.
A manufacturing engineering program may overlap with other engineering disciplines and covers a broad spectrum of specialties including but not limited to material science, mechanical engineering, automation, hydraulics, and more.
It is available at certificate, master’s, and doctorate levels.
A petroleum engineer must have knowledge about chemical engineering, fluid mechanics, and mechanics of equipment because he works in the Oil and Natural Gas industry mining oil and gas. Developing new procedures and exploring new technology to make the process efficient and cost effective also fall within his scope of work.
The petroleum, oil, and natural gas industry is thriving and petroleum engineers are in high demand.
Petroleum engineering programs are available at master’s and doctorate levels. An engineer from any specialty such as chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, or material science may pursue his master’s and doctorate in petroleum engineering.
A geological engineer is one who possesses the skills required for overseeing mining projects. They must have knowledge about mechanics along with geology (the study of the earth). They are required to assess and identify sites for mining taking into account risk for natural calamities such as earthquakes.
Geological engineering is available at the master’s and doctorate levels.
Nuclear engineering is used in several sectors including healthcare, diagnostics, radiology, and defense. Nuclear engineers are therefore in high demand both in the public and private sector.
Nuclear engineering programs are available at master’s and doctorate levels.
Marine engineering deals with the mechanics of sea faring vehicles such as ships and submarines. Marine engineering is sometimes confused with nautical engineering – also called oceanic engineering). While the former deals with the design, setup, and maintainenece of the machines and equipment within a vehicle the latter deals with navigation. There is however considerable overlap and any program would ideally include both within its scope.
Marine engineering is available at certificate, master’s and doctorate levels.
Photonics deals with the study of light and light rays. It is concerned with the generation, processing, amplification and modulation of light. Applications include telecommunication, healthcare, manufacture, aviation, computer technology etc. It is also used in the entertainment industry.
Photonics is an emerging branch of physics and is expected to grow rapidly. Programs are available at master’s and doctorate levels.
Nanotechnology deals with the technology and working of small elements. It may be in the field of nuclear technology – the working of molecules and atoms or circuits in small devices such as smart watches and fit bits.
Nanotechnology has great potential for advancement and development as the demand for technology increases. Programs are available at the certification, master’s and doctorate levels.
While a petroleum engineer deals with mining of fluid a mining engineer deals with all types of mining activities. Knowledge of geology and seismology are therefore an essential of the study of mining engineering as are the study of machinery and equipment required for mining activities.
Mining engineering programs are available at the master’s and doctorate levels.
Ceramics is a familiar household term. The study of ceramics deals with excavation, refining, design, and other aspects of ceramics and clay. Areas of application for ceramics engineering include healthcare, electronics, and bath ware.
Programs are available at master’s and doctorate levels.
The study of metallurgy is the study of metals. It involves an understanding of the behaviour of various metals in different conditions. Metallurgy finds application in almost every industry and sector. From production to automotive to curios almost every product requires molding and coating (electroplating) of metals and metal parts. The scope of metallurgical engineering includes the study of electronics and fluids.
Programs are available at master’s and doctorate levels.
Geomatics is the study of the earth’s environment. It involves precise measurement and mapping of the environment using evolving techniques and equipment. Geomatic engineers find employment in public and private sector infrastructure industry, observatories, and so on. A deeper than surface understanding of statistics and data management is essential to geomatics.
Programs are available at master’s and doctorate levels.
Engineering and Management
It has become a common practice for graduates to pursue MBA alongside their chosen specialty. Many colleges and universities are now offering MBA as a part of their Engineering program. The study of Engineering Management involves the study of the selected stream of engineering together with business management.
- It is ideal for those considering entrepreneurship or hoping to climb the corporate ladder.
- It provides soft skills along with technical knowledge
- The combined stream is fast becoming a popular choice among the more aware and focused GenZ.
- It is available at Bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels
- Project management is required in all walks of life. To be an effective project manager and lead your team to success in a cost-effective and efficient manner requires in-depth knowledge about certain tools, techniques, and principles. These are what you will learn if you take up project management. Some programs offer project management as a part of their engineering programs.
- You can also take up project management at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels.