Engineers design our future. They are the masterminds behind the buildings we live in, the cars we drive, and the phones we use. Thus, as you can imagine, engineering requires a great deal of education and training, as well as a sound understanding of mathematics and physics.
And these subjects are often cited as some of the most difficult to study. So it’s no wonder that many students feel overwhelmed when they first start researching engineering programs, because math and physics are a big part of basically every engineering program.
But choosing the right engineering degree doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be quite simple if you know what you’re looking for. There are many different types of engineering degrees, each with its own set of specialties and focus.
In this article, you are going to learn which engineering degrees are the easiest one to pursue. You’ll also learn what skills to focus on to ensure a smooth academic path in college.
Types of Engineering Degrees
There are many different types of engineering degrees, each with its own set of specialties and focus.
The most common type of engineering degree is a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE). This degree typically takes four years to complete and provides students with a broad overview of the field of engineering.
Another popular type of engineering degree is a Bachelor of Engineering (BE). This degree usually takes four years to complete as well and provides students with a more focused education in a specific type of engineering. Examples of fields you can specialize in are mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering.
There are also several types of specialized engineering degrees, such as a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering or a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. These degrees typically take five years to complete and provide students with a more in-depth education in their chosen field.
But, while 4-5 years are enough for most engineering degrees, the most advanced certifications will take additional years to get. Although, naturally, these are beyond the scope of this article.
Also, getting a degree is only the beginning of the path to becoming an engineer. After completing an engineering program, graduates must then pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
This exam is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) and is required in order to become a licensed engineer.
Now that you know the different types of engineering degrees, let’s see what makes one easier than another.
What Makes an Engineering Degree Easier than Others?
There are several factors that can make an engineering degree easier than others.
The first factor is the amount of mathematics and physics required. As you might expect, degrees that require less math and physics are generally considered to be easier.
For example, a degree in civil engineering would typically require less math and physics than a degree in electrical engineering.
The second factor is the amount of laboratory work required. Laboratory work can be very time-consuming and often requires students to work long hours.
Degrees that require less laboratory work are generally considered to be easier.
For example, a degree in mechanical engineering would typically require less laboratory work than a degree in chemical engineering.
The third factor is the amount of design work required. Design work can be very challenging and often requires students to use complex software programs. The more mundane the tools you’ll use, the easier the degree.
For example, a degree in environmental engineering would typically require less design work than a degree in computer engineering.
The fourth and final factor is the job market for each degree. The job market for engineering degrees can vary widely depending on the type of degree.
For example, the job market for civil engineering degrees is much larger than the job market for chemical engineering degrees. However, chemical engineers are rarer, which makes them more valuable for the companies who need them.
It’s always a good idea to consult with an engineering career counselor to get a better understanding of the job market for each type of degree.
Now that you know what makes an engineering degree easier than others, let’s take a look at the easiest engineering degrees.
The 8 Easiest Engineering Degrees to Pursue
Now that you know how to pick a degree that ‘s right for you, let’s take a look at some of the easiest engineering degrees.
Remember, “easy” is a relative term. What might be easy for one person might be difficult for another. It’s important to pick a degree that you’re interested in and that you have the ability to succeed in.
Editor’s note: the items on this list are in no particular order.
With that said, here are some of the easiest engineering degrees:
This is considered the holy grail of easy engineering degrees. The reason is quite simple. While other engineering fields deal with abstract concepts and things we don’t really have a chance to see in action every day—like nuclear or astrophysics—civil engineering is mostly about things we interact with every day.
Buildings, bridges, roads—these are all things that a civil engineer designs and builds. It’s not that they are that easier than the rest, but it’s stuff that you can actually wrap your head around. You are constantly exposed to works of civil engineering, and that makes it seem a bit more approachable.
The curriculum for most civil engineering degrees is also relatively straightforward, and you can expect to find courses in subjects like calculus, physics, and statics.
Additionally, the job market is quite good for civil engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a civil engineer is $88,050 per year, with an average job growth of 8%.
So, if you’re looking for an easy engineering degree that will lead to a well-paying job, then civil engineering is a good choice.
Environmental engineering is all about finding ways to protect and conserve our natural resources. This can include things like designing recycling programs, developing new water purification methods, or creating better air pollution control systems.
A cool perk of pursuing this degree is that your work will have a real impact in the world. You’ll be working to make a difference, and that’s always satisfying. Who knows, you might be the one to find the solution to climate change.
Like civil engineering, environmental engineering is also a very hands-on field. You’ll get to work on projects that have a direct and tangible impact on the world around you. Unlike other engineering degrees, this one isn’t as focused on advanced math and physics. That’s why it’s often considered one of the easier engineering degrees.
The curriculum for an environmental engineering degree will vary depending on the school you attend, but you can expect to find courses in subjects like biology, chemistry, and physics. You’ll also learn about topics like sustainable development and solid waste management.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an environmental engineer is $96,820 per year, with an expected job growth of 4% by the end of 2030.
Industrial engineering is all about improving efficiency in businesses and factories. This can involve things like streamlining production processes, developing new management techniques, or designing better workplace layouts.
There is still some math to power through, but less than in other programs. This is because industrial energy focuses a lot of on business processes and industrial organization.
You can expect to find courses in subjects like physics, calculus, and statistics. You’ll also learn about topics like production planning and quality control.
The job market is also quite good for industrial engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an industrial engineer is $95,300 per year, with an expected job growth of 14%.
Agriculture has been our main source of food for millennia, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s why agricultural engineering is such an important field.
Agricultural engineering is all about applying engineering principles to the problems faced by farmers and agricultural businesses. This can include things like designing new irrigation systems, developing new crop storage methods, or creating better farm equipment.
You’ll study subjects like calculus, physics, and biology. You’ll also learn about topics like soil science and agricultural economics.
The job market is also quite good for agricultural engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an agricultural engineer is $82,640 per year, with an expected job growth of 5%.
Software engineering is one of the most in-demand fields today. As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the need for well-trained software engineers will only continue to grow.
Software engineering is all about developing and maintaining software applications. This can involve things like designing new algorithms, debugging code, or writing code for new features.
A software engineering degree might sound hard to get, but as long as you can handle the logic of programming, it’s actually one of the easier engineering degrees to obtain. You can expect to find courses in subjects like computer science, mathematics, and software development.
The thing is that even people without a college degree manage to become software developers. And sure, your knowledge will be more theoretical than theirs, but it’s proof that everyone can become a software developer, provided they’re willing to put in the work.
The job market is also quite good for software engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a software engineer is $110,140 per year, with an expected job growth of 22%, which is exorbitant.
As the name suggests, architectural engineering is a mix of architecture and engineering. In other words, it’s the perfect field for people who want to design buildings that are both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound.
Architectural engineering is all about designing and constructing buildings. This can involve things like coming up with new designs, overseeing construction projects, or ensuring that buildings meet safety codes.
As an architectural engineer, you’ll take classes on topics like structural analysis, building materials, and thermodynamics. You’ll also learn about topics like construction management and architectural history.
The bls doesn’t have a page dedicated to architectural engineers, lumping them with engineering managers. This inflates the salary, making the estimate unreliable. However, other sources claim their median salary is $96,000, which, while still excellent, is more in line with other engineering degrees.
General engineering is perfect for people who want to have a broad knowledge of engineering principles. This type of engineer is often involved in projects from start to finish, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
General engineering is all about applying engineering principles to solve problems. This can involve things like designing new systems, overseeing construction projects, or developing new products.
If you’re interested in a career in general engineering, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s one of the easier engineering degrees to get. Courses-wise, you can expect to find subjects like mathematics, physics, and mechanics. Basically all the subjects you’d expect to find in any other engineering degree.
As far as the job market, the data for general engineers is quite lacking. They’re a jack of all trades engineer, and as such, don’t have a page dedicated to them on the bls. However, engineering managers, which general engineers often become, have a median salary of $152,350 per year and an expected job growth of 4%.
Chemical engineering is one of the hardest degrees out there. Surely adding ‘bio’ on top of it makes it sound scary, right?
Biochemical engineering is all about using living organisms to create or modify products. This can involve things like developing new drugs, designing new food processing methods, or creating new biofuels.
But most of the time, you’ll work in industries that work with everyday items like textiles, cleaning products, and other chemicals.
To become a biochemical engineer, you’ll need to have a strong background in chemistry and biology. You’ll also need to be comfortable with topics like calculus and thermodynamics.
You’ll become an expert in producing materials, designing processes, and analyzing data. You’ll also be able to work in a variety of industries, which is always a plus.
The bls doesn’t have any data on biochemical engineers, but other reliable sources claim their median salary is $100,600.
Picking the Right Engineering Degree for You
The easiest engineering degree in the world is worthless if it’s in a field that doesn’t interest you.
To pick the right engineering degree, you first need to know what your interests are. What kind of things do you like to build? Do you like working with your hands? Do you enjoy problem-solving?
These are all important questions to ask yourself, because they will help narrow down which field of engineering is right for you.
For example, if you’re interested in working with your hands and building things, then a degree in mechanical engineering might be a good fit. Or, if you enjoy problem-solving, then a degree in electrical engineering could be right for you.
Don’t worry, there are easy engineering degrees for everyone.
Once you know what field of engineering interests you the most, it’s time to look at the individual degree programs.
When looking at engineering degree programs, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- First, make sure the program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This is important because it ensures that the program meets certain standards and will give you the skills you need to be successful in your career.
- Second, look at the curriculum and make sure it covers the topics you’re interested in. Check what kind of job you can expect to do after graduation.
- Finally, take a look at the faculty’s admission requirements and graduation rates. If the requirements are too high, or the graduation rates are too low, you should probably pick a different course.
All of these can easily be checked with a quick online search.
There’s no need to overthink things when it comes to choosing an engineering degree. Just pick the one that interests you the most, and make sure it’s accredited and has a good curriculum. You can’t go wrong with that.
And remember, what is easy for most people isn’t necessarily easy for you. If you loved math and physics in high school, you can just as easily complete a more advanced engineering degree.
But if you struggle with those subjects, that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in engineering. It just means you might have to work a little harder and pick a course that doesn’t focus too hard on these subjects. And that’s okay, we need engineers of all sorts to push human civilization forward.
The most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing. If you do, then an easy engineering degree is within your reach.
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