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4 Engineering Fields that Are the Most Difficult to Get Into

Written by CB Community

If you’re considering a career as an engineer, then you probably know that the academic path will be rigorous.

Engineering students need to take high-level math and science courses, plus specialized classes in general engineering and whichever specialty they choose.

But how do you choose the right specialty? 

Although some people have no trouble choosing an engineering field, others may have to do some more exploration before deciding on their major.

Although no engineering field is “easy,” some have a reputation for being more difficult to study or break into after graduation. 

Want to tackle a real challenge? Consider these 4 engineering fields:

1. Electrical Engineering 

One of the most difficult fields overall is electrical engineering. Why? Because it’s so abstract. 

You’re not working with something that you can hold in your hand. You have to have a lot of theoretical knowledge to succeed, along with the ability to understand high-level math and physics. 

Electricity, beyond being abstract, is also potentially quite dangerous. Electrical engineers need to understand related safety principles when working on projects.

Therefore, the industry demands top-notch candidates. 

With that said, getting a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering can be well worth the challenges. They are in high demand, especially as the world’s electricity needs increase and we seek cleaner energy options. 

2. Chemical Engineering 

Another challenging field is chemical engineering. Chemical engineers combine engineering and chemistry to solve important problems in a range of fields.

They might work to create new chemicals that safely deter pests from eating crops or work in the oil industry to ensure safety and quality. 

People who have a strong interest in chemistry and engineering can thrive in this field, but the coursework can be extremely difficult.

Finding a job once you’ve graduated can be fairly simple, however, depending on the demand in your area. There is always a need for more talented chemical engineers. 

3. Civil Engineering 

Although it has a reputation for being one of the easier engineering fields to study, civil engineering is actually very challenging when it comes to building a career.

This is because civil engineers are responsible for signing off on projects that involve public safety. 

If an engineer hasn’t had rigorous testing and training, they are more likely to make an error that causes a bridge to fail or roads to become dangerous.

Because civil engineers often work on core infrastructure projects we rely on every day, people’s lives are at stake. 

For this reason, civil engineers with a bachelor’s degree typically need to go through certification exams and apprenticeships before they can lead projects themselves.

As with any engineering specialty, a master’s degree will also open the door to additional opportunities for more responsibility and better pay. 

4. Biomedical Engineering

Living organisms, especially humans, are complex and difficult to understand, making biomedical engineering one of the most challenging branches of engineering.

Biomedical engineers can have extremely fulfilling careers developing new therapies and medical solutions to improve people’s lives. 

In addition to being a challenging field of study, biomedical engineers have to pay close attention to the safety of the work they do. Since their work will eventually be tested in human subjects, ethics and safety standards are rigorous. 

Although you can get a job as a biomedical engineer with a bachelor’s degree, moving forward will require more education, experience, and licensure.

However, this field has huge growth potential in the coming years, making it an attractive option for engineering students who want to make a positive difference in the world. 

Follow Your Interests 

Generally, you only need a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level engineering job. To move up in your field, however, you’ll likely need to apprentice and pass a licensure exam.

You may also need a master’s degree to land senior-level positions. 

It’s best not to choose your field based on how “easy” or “hard” it is. Instead, follow your interests! Choose an engineering field that consistently holds your attention and sparks your curiosity. 

Being practical is important, but it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when choosing your major.

Finding fulfillment in your engineering career is much more likely when you choose a field that not only has good job opportunities but also will keep you interested and motivated for many years to come. 

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.