What is engineering?
Engineering uses science, math, and technology to solve challenges and fuel technological innovation. From civil engineers who create optimal layouts for cities to software engineers who develop our favorite apps, these tech professionals power much of the world around us. Every time you use an electronic device, drive across a bridge, or fly in an airplane, you’re experiencing the ingenuity of engineers at work.
There are multiple types of engineering, including:
Mechanical engineering: the design and development of heavy machinery and its components.
Electrical engineering: the use of electricity to power computerized devices and digital systems.
Civil engineering: the creation and maintenance of infrastructure like roads, tunnels, public transit systems, and more.
Software engineering: the application of engineering principles to create computer or web applications.
Computer engineering: the building and maintenance of computer hardware and connected systems.
Aerospace engineering: the use of aerodynamics principles to design aircraft and related systems.
Chemical engineering: the study and use of raw chemicals.
Environmental engineering: the practice of improving sustainability and reducing pollution in the natural world.
Biomedical engineering: the creation of equipment and systems for improving human health.
Browse online engineering courses and programs
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Online engineering course curriculum
Because engineering encompasses so many disciplines, coursework will vary depending on your chosen path. General engineering courses can cover scientific, mathematical, and technical concepts. Many engineering fields require knowledge of physics and mechanics, which may be part of an engineering course curriculum, or may be covered in prerequisite courses.
Topics that can be covered in engineering courses include:
MATLAB and other programming languages
It’s also important to develop essential soft skills, such as critical thinking and analysis. Learning to think outside the box and find new solutions to problems is key to succeeding as an engineer.
If you want to study engineering online, there are many courses available. For example, edX offers a wide selection of online engineering courses, online engineering courses with certificates, and engineering degree programs, including an engineering master’s degree program. This comprehensive, diverse suite of learning opportunities covers topics such as:
Engineering project management
Solar energy engineering
Applied artificial intelligence
UX design and evaluation
Explore engineering jobs
Engineering knowledge can open up new career opportunities. The functions that you will perform depend on the type of engineering that you pursue.
Engineers in every specialization need strong problem-solving abilities and working knowledge of data modeling, structural analysis, and computer science.Footnote 1 Whether you have a creative or analytical personality, engineering can engage your mind and challenge you professionally.
The requirements to become an engineer vary by jurisdiction and job title, but a bachelor’s degree in engineering may be necessary for entry-level jobs, while additional education, such as a master’s degree in engineering, may be required for advanced positions and positions in specific fields.Footnote 2 You can pursue this qualification by enrolling in an online engineering course that leads to a degree. In addition, you may have to take an examination after completing your coursework and meet other requirements to become an officially licensed engineer.Footnote 3
Whether you’re interested in becoming an automotive engineer, an engineering project manager, or a supply chain engineer, gaining the requisite skills is the first step. Start your learning journey and prepare for an exciting career in engineering. Explore the learning opportunities that edX offers, which include everything from shorter, intensive boot camps to full graduate degrees.