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The Associate’s Degree in Engineering: Employment Opportunities

Majors Overview December 9, 2013

Getting an associate’s degree in engineering opens up a trove of employment and educational opportunities. Within the scope of this vast profession, one can specialize in computers, electronics, mechanics, agriculture and more interesting fields. All of these specialties can lead to jobs, and these courses can further prepare the student for more specialized education in their chosen field.

Overview of Current Field

Engineering is a vast field that includes many disciplines or sub-fields. Students can specialize in many disciplines to become an aerospace, agriculture, chemical, electrical or mechanical engineer. An associate’s degree can prepare you for entry-level jobs as a technician or assistant in a lab or plant. You can also use these credits later toward a degree, allowing you to become a more specialized engineer in one of the previously mentioned disciplines.

As a student, you will basically study how to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve practical problems. You will also study electronics, CAD, manufacturing and mechanical design. You can get a general degree and get to know the field overall, or you can specialize in areas such as computers or electronics.

Courses to Expect as an Associate-level Student

This is a degree designed for individuals who love to solve problems, and most of your courses will revolve around doing just that. Students will be tasked with problems in mathematics, analytic, critical thinking, computers, chemistry and design. Expect to take a lot of math, chemistry and physics in your first year. You will most likely take at least calculus I through III, and most schools require linear algebra courses as well. Students will also typically take courses in differential equations, creative critical thinking or design courses in dynamics and modeling.

Employment Opportunities and Income

At the associate’s level, you can expect to find employment that requires your skills as a problem solver. Many places will employ an engineer because of their extensive prowess in math and physics as the difficulty of such courses alone speak for your problem-solving skill. Specialized associate-level programs will prepare students to compete in specialized fields as an electrical, mechanical or computer engineer. Newly graduated engineers can seek employment in a variety of labs, plants, manufacturing companies, construction companies and government agencies.

As the world becomes increasingly technological, engineers are needed everywhere: all over the United States and the world. People will always need engineers to solve problems to help their small business, large corporation or huge industry to operate successfully. You will always be able to find employment, even during lean economic times.

Some of the specific jobs you can get with an associate’s degree include the following:

•Electronics technician
•Mechanical technician
•Industrial engineer
•Civil engineer

All of these careers pay averagely $40,000 a year. In fact, this particular associate’s degree is one of the only two-year degrees, besides nursing, that promise such a lucrative salary.

A Successful, Lucrative Future Is Assured

Whatever you decide, try to pick a specialty that you know you will enjoy. Attend a local technical school or university and ask to sit in on a couple of classes in specialties that interest you to help narrow your focus and assure yourself that you have made the right choice. Whatever field you choose, an associate‘s degree is a sure stepping stone to a successful future.

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