Most Marketable Engineering Courses In The World

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by Alvina Ibe

Engineering is an extensive subject, and with so many types of engineering to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down which one is for you. To help you to decide, you should try and identify what you’re passionate about. What gets you excited, and what do you spend your free time on? All types of engineering include some form of problem-solving (and generally focus on making life easier), but what engineering-related solution gives you the biggest buzz? If you choose a subject you’re naturally interested in, you’ll find it easier to stay motivated during your course and stay involved with the subject whilst pursuing an engineering career.

Here’s a rundown of the various branches of engineering, to help you decide which one could be for you.

Aerospace/aeronautical engineering 

This branch of engineering deals with the research, design, development, construction, testing, science and technology of aircraft. You could also study astronautical engineering, focusing on spacecraft and the deep conditions of space. 

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You’re fascinated by the history and methodology behind flying machines, from the earliest conceptual sketches to the advancement of modern jets.
  • You have a keen interest in the mechanics of flight travel.
  • You’re intrigued by computer simulations and in seeing how aircraft machinery performs under extreme conditions.

Aeronautical engineering specializations

If you study aeronautical engineering, you could specialize in aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, composites analysis, avionics, propulsion and structures and materials. Find out more here.

Discover our most recent ranking of the best universities for aeronautical engineering here.

Chemical engineering 

This type of engineering concerns the use of chemical and biological processes to produce useful materials or substances. It’s a multidisciplinary subject, combining natural and experimental sciences (such as chemistry and physics), along with life sciences (such as biology, microbiology and biochemistry), plus mathematics and economics.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You have an analytical mindset.
  • You’re also considering studying chemistry or another natural/life science.
  • You’re interested in the chemical processes behind producing everyday items.

Chemical engineering specializations

If you choose to study chemical engineering, you may like to specialize in chemical reaction engineering, plant design, process engineering, process design or transport phenomena. You can read more about these here.

Civil engineering 

Civil engineering is the professional practice of designing and developing infrastructure projects. This can be on a huge scale, such as the development of nationwide transport systems or water supply networks, or on a smaller scale, such as the development of single roads or buildings.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You’re interested in designing and building things.
  • You’re interested in mechanics, hydraulics, geotechnics (using knowledge of the Earth’s crust to solve construction problems), materials science and statistical analysis.
  • You’d like to develop your design skills, particularly in computer-aided design.

Civil engineering specializations

Common specializations of civil engineering include structural engineering, architectural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering and hydraulic engineering. You can read more about these here

Computer engineering 

Computer engineering concerns the design and prototyping of computing hardware and software. This subject merges electrical engineering with computer science, and you may prefer to study computer engineering alongside one of these similar subjects.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You’re interested in an engineering career related to computers – for example as a software developer or computer engineer.
  • You’re interested in mathematics, science and computers, and want to learn more about how computers operate at a physical level.
  • You want to produce new products and systems based on the technological advances of computer scientists.

Computer engineering specializations

You may find that computer engineering specializations overlap with those offered in computer science degrees, for example with subjects such as computer graphics and network security. However, specialized subjects generally unique to computer engineering include microprocessor/microcontroller systems, computer architecture and VHDL (hardware description language) design.

Electrical/electronic engineering 

Electrical and electronics engineering both focus on applications of electrical power. The two fields differ in that electrical engineers chiefly focus on the large-scale production and supply of electrical power, while electronics engineers focus on much smaller electronic circuits, such as those used in computers.

This type of engineering is for you if:

  • You’re interested in how electrical devices and systems work.
  • You want to help power the next phase of technological developments.
  • You naturally want to understand how any electrical system is set up and have ideas for how it could be improved.

Electrical engineering specializations

You could specialize in the following areas of electrical and electronics engineering: power generation and supply, communications and media, computer systems and robotic systems. You can learn more about these here.

Types Of Engineering

There are dozens and dozens of different types of engineering, but when it comes down to the basics, engineering is about using specialized bases of knowledge to solve a problem. Since we encounter a wide variety of problems, we have an equally wide range of engineering disciplines, many of which are highly specialized, designed to solve those problems.

In broad terms, engineering can be divided into four main categories – chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Each of these types requires different skills and engineering educations.

  1. Chemical Engineering
    2020 median salary – $108,540
    Typical required education – Bachelor’s Degree
    Job growth outlook through 2030 – 9%
    Infographic with the text 4 categories of engineering chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical
    Chemical engineers use their knowledge of sciences – such as chemistry, biology, physics and math – to solve problems that affect the use or production of chemicals, food, drugs and more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They often work in offices and laboratories, and nearly all of them work full-time, according to BLS.

Chemical engineers use their knowledge in the sciences as well as manufacturing to bring chemical processes developed in a laboratory to a commercial or industrial process to create products and then evaluate and improve those processes, according to the American Chemical Society.

Chemical engineers translate processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the commercial production of products and then work to maintain and improve those processes. They rely on the main foundations of engineering: math, physics, and chemistry (though biology is playing an increasing role). The primary function of chemical engineers is to design and troubleshoot processes for the production of chemicals, fuels, foods, pharmaceuticals, and biologicals, just to name a few. They are most often employed by large-scale manufacturing plants to maximize productivity and product quality while minimizing costs.

Similar occupations include biomedical or nuclear engineering and occupational and health safety specialists or technicians, according to BLS.

  1. Civil Engineering
    2020 median salary – $88,570
    Typical required education – Bachelor’s Degree
    Job growth outlook through 2030 – 8%
    Civil engineers solve infrastructure problems. The projects they design, build and maintain span a wide range in both the public and private sector, including bridges, roads and tunnels; dams and water and sewer systems, according to BLS. Infrastructure such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Erie Canal and the Thames Tunnel in London were all made possible because of the work of civil engineers. Those are just three on a list of dozens of civil engineering landmarks listed by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

They often split their time between an office and project sites. Similar occupations include construction manager, landscape architect and urban or regional planning, according to BLS.

  1. Electrical Engineering
    BLS reports electrical engineers earned a median salary of $103,390 in 20202020 median salary – $103,390
    Typical required education – Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering
    Job growth outlook through 2030 – 7%
    Electrical engineers focus on the design, testing and manufacturing of electrical components, such as motors, navigation and communications systems, and power generation, according to BLS. They work in a range of industries, including research, manufacturing, telecommunications and more.

Electrical engineering is one of the industries broadest fields, which means what you can do varies widely from one sector to another. From working with circuits, making computers and other electronics used to build fiber-optic networks or vision sensors for cars, many disciplines employ electrical engineers.
Similar occupations include electrician, biomedical engineer and architectural and engineering manager, according to BLS.

  1. Mechanical Engineering
    2020 median salary – $90,160BLS reports mechanical engineers earned a median salary of $90,160 in 2020
    Typical required education – Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering
    Job growth outlook through 2030 – 7%
    Mechanical engineers design, build and develop mechanical and thermal sensing devices, such as engines, tools and machines. Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest of the engineering fields, according to BLS, and they can be found a huge range of products from electric generators to batteries to refrigeration systems. Mechanical engineers analyze projects to determine how a mechanical device can be used and then design and test machines to help the project. They can also investigate equipment that has failed to determine how part of the mechanics needs to be repaired, according to BLS.

Other similar occupations include materials engineer, petroleum engineer and mechanical engineering technician, according to BLS