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Engineering is a vast field in the sciences which covers everything from developing new chemicals to protecting the natural environment. The different branches within this field are offered at many schools which have engineering programs, although some schools may opt to focus on a particular facet of engineering. Students who want to pursue careers in this field should think ahead of time about the type of engineering they want to do, so that they can select an appropriate training program.
Many engineers work with the natural environment, including geotechnical, environmental, ocean and marine, mining, and agricultural engineers. People in these fields come up with new techniques and approaches to dealing with challenges in the environment, ranging from developing submarines which can reach very deep parts of the ocean to finding a more efficient way to harvest crops. They usually spend time in the field testing and developing new products.
Some classical fields within the engineering sector include: nuclear, aerospace, automobile, computer, electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering. People who are interested in building things might be intrigued by civil, architectural, and industrial engineering. Engineers also work in the manufacturing sector, working with things like ceramics and materials, petroleum products, industrial equipment, and workplace efficiency.
Those who are drawn to this field because of its connection with the sciences might enjoy biological engineering, also known as bioengineering, along with the engineering sciences, which apply the principles of this field to mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Engineers also work on safety issues in fields like fire protection, and they can be found in the entertainment industry, as sound and light engineers.
Other engineers may be drawn to management and puzzle solving. Forensic engineers specialize in figuring out why things break, and how failures of products can be prevented. Specialists in engineering management are good at coordinating and organizing projects which can involve supervision of a very diverse group of people. Engineers may also opt to specialize in projects which pertain to a particular industry or application, as members of the Army Corps of Engineers do, for example.
Training in any branch will require strong mathematics and science skills, along with an eye for detail and precision. A good engineer is thoughtful, able to think ahead, and capable of making adjustments to a project as new issues and concerns emerge. Flexibility is a key trait for people who work as engineers, as they must be prepared to adapt to constantly changing situations.