Once you decide to pursue an engineering or engineering technology education, preparation should begin as soon as possible. On the most basic level, college is designed to open doors. It teaches you how to think, solve ambiguous problems and use the tools of engineering such as design and simulation software – this gets you ready for employment.
There are several approaches to pursue an engineering or engineering technology career. You can attend a community or junior college, vocational school, technical college, state university or other public or private university. Programs range from one year or less for a certificate, two-three years for an associate’s degree and four-five years for a bachelor’s degree. Each path has its advantages and disadvantages. College classes are taught with the expectation that you are willing to do some research on your own and that you are motivated to do so.
Choosing the engineering or engineering technology school that is right for you is as important as wheels are to automobiles. Hundreds of schools offer engineering programs; some schools have engineering dorms, some offer engineering fraternities or sororities, some are inner-city and some are spread out over large distances. The advantages and disadvantages of each school will depend on your personal needs and wants. Important considerations for most college-bound students include location, cost, faculty, school size, and academics. To find a program in the United States, visit ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).