Civil Engineering Degree
A career in civil engineering is a lot of hard work, but yields a plethora of opportunities once you complete a degree. Civil engineers are an integral part of our world and, as our nation grows, so does the need for more civil engineers to help design and build the structures that will create a stable, working society. Civil engineers work in a wide range of capacities, developing necessary aspects of our infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and water systems, and a civil engineering degree is the first step in becoming a part of this vital industry.
Before even looking at a civil engineering degree though, it is important to take into account some of the qualities that schools will want in their civil engineering students:
- Math and sciences aptitude: Civil engineering requires quite a thorough understanding of advanced mathematics, physics, trigonometry and chemistry studied in at least some form at the high school level.
- Problem solving: Civil engineers are typically assigned projects to complete, such as the design and construction of a bridge in a specific area, and must be able to develop a strategy for completing the project, regardless of the obstacles.
- Ability to learn and use new techniques and technologies: The field of civil engineering is an ever-expanding one in which research is continuously being done to build structures of high quality and low cost. It is important for civil engineers to remain be up-to-date on the current state of their field and use the newest and best techniques and technologies in their projects.
- Communication skills: Civil engineers work as a part of team and, like any team, communication is an essential key to success.
Civil engineering degrees can be obtained at several levels, offering a number of options to students. By studying for an associate-level civil engineering degree, students can become certified as a civil engineering technician, which would open entry-level job positions. Someone working with an associate’s degree would be a part of a civil engineering team, rather than manage it, and would be tasked with performing on-site tests, analyzing the data obtained and providing cost estimates for the project.
At the bachelor level of study, students focus less on the tools used and more on the science of civil engineering. A graduate of a bachelor program would typically be managing a team, such as one with civil engineering technicians, or be working in close collaboration with the project leader. As a civil engineer, you would be taking the data obtained by a technician and using it to formulate and execute a plan.
Though many choose to remain at the bachelor level, civil engineering degrees are also available at the master’s level. At this level of study, a civil engineer would be working within an academic environment, researching and developing new techniques and technologies to be used in the creation of projects.