Almost everything in use today has features or is built with processes that combine elements of mechanical, electrical, computational, chemical, or structural engineering. For example, a cell phone involves mechanical design, electrical design, the development of software, and the design of an elaborate communications system; it is powered by a battery whose design is based on electrochemical processes and built on assembly lines operated by robots and controlled by computers. Interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams are most often used in the design and development of such products, and people with training in multiple disciplines are a major asset to such teams since they are better able to evaluate the cross-disciplinary tradeoffs involved in a design. A Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in Engineering Science degree enables students to prepare for these types of careers by engaging in interdisciplinary studies combining learning outcomes and skills from several discipline-specific engineering programs as well as complementary studies in the sciences, liberal arts, and business.
Many students who earn undergraduate engineering degrees go on to earn graduate-level professional degrees in fields such as law, business, international business, medicine, and education. The problem-solving skills learned in engineering provide a solid foundation for the student’s studies and the work required in these professions. Patent attorneys are required to have a technical undergraduate degree as well as a JD degree. The Engineering Science degree program also gives students the flexibility needed to prepare for and, in some cases, even begin their studies in a graduate professional field such as law, business, medicine, or education while completing their undergraduate engineering degree; this may shorten the total time and reduce the expense of obtaining both degrees.
In addition, employers often find that engineering graduates with some training in such complementary skills as project management, product management, and various foreign languages are more valuable employees. The flexibility built into the Engineering Science program allows students a better opportunity to learn these types of professional practice and cross-disciplinary skills while earning their undergraduate degree.
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