Is it Worth Studying Engineering in the U.S.?

Is it worth getting an engineering degree in the US?

The short answer is yes. The country has state-of-the-art technology, and has made groundbreaking progress in the field. Universities in the U.S. are revolutionizing the world by investing in and developing their technology.

As an international student, the scope of what you can do in the U.S. in the field of engineering is endless. There are countless research areas to choose from. As an engineering major, you also have a better chance of getting a job in the U.S.

Here are six ways you can benefit from studying engineering in the U.S.:

1. You can specialize early in your education

In most countries, students enrolled in an engineering program are asked to choose their specialization in the last two years of their education. However, in the U.S., you’ll be asked to pick a particular department or course of study as soon as possible.

For the remaining duration of the program, you’ll work closely with an advisor to shape your course of study. This means you’ll gain the required skills early on, so you can work on independent projects.

In your first year, you’ll get to explore the major. You can seek out the department of your choice and even start working with them in the first year.

Universities also have external programs designed for undergraduate students. At MIT, you can join the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) to reimagine engineering education at MIT. The program stretches across departments, and you can work with some of the leading researchers to develop skills and address the problems of the 21st century.

2. Your chances of getting a job with an engineering degree are higher

Getting a job in the U.S. is very hard, especially if you are an international student. The immigration laws are always changing, and companies are reluctant to hire nonresidents.

You can beat the competition by getting an engineering degree in the U.S., as this sector is thriving and opportunities are abundant. This is why the top major among international students in 2017-2018 was engineering.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this field is expected to grow by nearly 140,000 new jobs over the next decade.

3. You get a chance to learn with the best technology and researchers in the world

There is always something exciting going on in the U.S., especially in the field of engineering. This is because the universities are always working towards finding groundbreaking technology that can revolutionize the world.

For example, at Yale University, you can pitch your ideas and receive funding to materialize your project. Your funding can come from the faculty member, or external or internal grant sources. You’ll get access to the university’s data and labs. You can also conduct off-campus research.

You also get access to The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) which provides assistance with registration of trials and reporting results of completed trials.

In most colleges, you can begin research as early as your first year. You can also participate in ongoing projects in the laboratory, as per your interests.

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4. Engineers in the U.S. have higher earning potential

The remuneration of engineering jobs in the U.S. is increasing each year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), engineers have a median annual wage of $91,010.

Here are the figures of the most common engineering fields published by Michigan Tech, 2021.

IndustryBLS StatsMean Entry-Level SalaryMean Annual SalaryTop 10 Percent
Biomedical EngineeringNational Labor Stats$62,328$98,340$149,440
Chemical EngineeringNational Labor Stats$68,031$114,820$168,960
Civil EngineeringNational Labor Stats$58,840$95,440$144,810
Computer EngineeringComputer Hardware Engineers   Software Developers, Systems Software$75,376     $70,115$126,140     $114,270$192,110     $170,100
Construction ManagementNational Labor Stats$58,076$107,260$169,070
Electrical EngineeringNational Labor Stats$67,593$105,990$159,520
Environmental EngineeringNational Labor Stats$57,733$96,890$144,670
Electrical Engineering Technology / MechatronicsRecruiter  —-$86,6904$133,2804
Geological and Mining Engineering and SciencesNational Labor Stats$69,879$100,140$156,270
Geospatial Science and TechnologyNational Labor Stats$57,221$72,420$108,890
Materials Science and EngineeringNational Labor Stats$67,303$100,550$154,340
Mechanical EngineeringNational Labor Stats$63,527$95,560$141,060
Mechanical Engineering TechnologyNational Labor Stats $99,310$154,720
Surveying EngineeringNational Labor Stats$32,385$70,260$109,010

5. You can work in the U.S. after you graduate

If you want to pursue a career in the U.S. after graduation, going for a STEM major is the best option.

After you graduate from a university in the U.S., you can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) which gives you a chance to work in the country for a year. As an engineering or other STEM major, you can extend the time period to 36 months.

This will help you gain work experience in the field. You can also use this period to work for a company that provides an H1B visa. If you perform well and convince the company that you’re an asset, you can ask the company to sponsor you for an H1B visa.

If you engage in research projects during your course of study, you can start your own project by the time you graduate. You can pitch the project to your university and receive funding. If you achieve noteworthy success, you can get an O1 visa, which is awarded to people who have extraordinary abilities.

6. Teaching methods in the U.S. may suit you better

An undergraduate program in the U.S. takes four years to complete. The four-year span gives you enough time to come up with your own project, intern while studying, and get field experience.

You can also participate in a transfer program and use a semester to study abroad. In your first year, you’ll be encouraged to explore disciplines beyond engineering. This will help you understand the context in which you can apply your engineering skills.

You’ll have to venture into physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology, as well as the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Unlike other countries, your grades will not rely on one or two exams. Rather, you will be continually assessed throughout the course with quizzes and assignments that count towards your final grade. You’ll receive consistent feedback to help you improve.

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