Can engineering be easy? That’s probably a question you’re asking yourself since engineering is notoriously a challenging major to pursue. But it’s true, engineering can be easy, and there are multiple ways to go about an easy engineering major since there’s more than one easy engineering major.
Of course, easy is a relative term, but don’t worry about that for right now, as it’ll be elaborated on later. Instead, think about how broad engineering is and how the easiest engineering degree to obtain will most likely be the best engineering degree for you to further your future career.
What are the Different Types of Engineering?
There are many different types of engineering, ranging from a wide variety of applications, from city logistics to spaceships and astronautics. Specifically, there are six major branches of engineering: Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Management, and Geotechnical. Each major category has hundreds of subcategories. All of them specialize in one thing or another, like Civil engineering, which focuses on logistical projects, Computer engineering focuses on computer hardware, and Electrical engineering focuses on electricity.
If that seems daunting, there’s an easy way to know what specialty the engineering degree you want to know about is. Every engineering degree specialty can be figured out by looking at the specifying word, as in the preceding word before engineering. Here’s an example: Aeronautical engineering. Aeronautical means air/flight, and aeronautical engineering focus on aircraft.
Which Engineering is Most Difficult?
There’s a lot of debate about what types of engineering are the hardest, and there’s a lot of debate about what types of engineering are the easiest. The overarching theme of this guide is that engineering degrees are especially relative when it comes to studying them because of the varying degrees of skill required for each one. There are a few key factors to determine a general sense of difficulty, though, and one of them is the difficulty of the math used in the engineering course.
Not all engineering degrees are created equal since not all engineering degrees use the same levels of math. For example, Mechanical Engineering has a general consensus that it’s an easier degree to earn than Nuclear Engineering because Nuclear Engineering is just so much more complex. Here are some engineering degrees that are agreed to be the hardest around (including Nuclear Engineering):
Can you guess why this is ranked so highly in the difficulty list? It has something to do with knowing both the general concepts of engineering and physics and then having to combine the two together, which is usually difficult to grasp in peoples’ heads. You’re not only going to have to know what a gluon is, but you’re also going to have to be able to apply that knowledge to designing cooling and reactor systems.
There are three main fields to nuclear engineering, with increasing difficulty for each: thermal hydraulics, the heat and fluid transfer in a reactor, radiation detection and measurement, which requires advanced knowledge of subatomic particles, and reactor physics, which is working with a nuclear reactor. Each of these is hard, and those who have the dedication to go through with the degree are subjecting themselves to the hard for at least four years.
Circuits, like nuclear reactors, are incredibly complex pieces of equipment used to better human lives around the world. But unlike nuclear reactors, circuits are found in every single electronic device used by those humans who lives around the world, and those circuits utilize very intangible concepts to work. You can see the coolant system in a nuclear reactor, but you can’t see a magnetic field, and you also can’t see a current move through a circuit.
There’s a lot of abstract thinking involved with electrical engineering since you obviously can’t see electricity unless it’s in the form of lightning or some other high-voltage, potentially lethal dosage, which is what you don’t want in electrical engineering. And even if you’re good at that abstract thinking, it doesn’t always work out practically, so frustration over repeated failures when trying real-world applications is common and can wear down on even the most dedicated student. If you’re looking for the best electrical engineering textbooks, check out our article here.
If you know how to code, this may be easier than it should be, but remember, you also have to use electrical engineering concepts as well. Think circuits and coding at the same time; if that doesn’t sound like a headache waiting to happen, who knows what will. You’ll also need to take extensive amounts of math courses on top of the electrical engineering courses, as well as a decent amount of labs, all so you can comprehend what’s going on.
You’ll have to take Calculus III, which is no easy task, and if you don’t know how to code, good luck cause you’re going to need it. In fact, if you don’t know how to code, don’t even bother taking a computer engineering degree because it’s not worth the amount of hassle it is to basically learn a new language.
Chemistry is a significant reason why most students on a pre-medicine track switch majors, due to how hard it is. Engineering is considered a challenging major, and so is chemistry. If you put two and two together, you can see where this is going. Just like Nuclear Engineering, when you combine a hard science with engineering, you get an excruciating amount of difficulty, although it’s chemistry instead of physics this time around.
Even though it’s more chemistry-based, don’t forget that you’ll still be using physics because you still need an in-depth understanding of electrons and how they interact with each other and other molecules or ions. You’ll need to know how those tiny, almost insignificant interactions on the microscopic level manage to result in huge changes on the macroscopic scale and how those changes can be used for human gain. Each one of those knowledge requirements requires a vigorous mathematical basis as well, so don’t think you’ll be escaping the math either.
If you feel safe flying in a plane, it’s thanks to an aerospace engineer somewhere, who designed that aircraft for passenger transportation. And that aerospace engineer had to take a variety of physics courses, including mechanical physics and thermodynamics physics. Considering how physics is possibly the hardest course available to take in college, aerospace engineering is no easy major to complete. There’s just a lot of variables to take into account, all of which directly affect the passengers of the aircraft you will be designing.
All of these majors are hard, there’s no question about it, but they’re still may be some people who question it because they’re good at it, so why aren’t you? Rhetorical question aside, there’s no shame in backing away from a challenge, especially if that challenge involves hours upon hours of tedium, trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. Not everybody is up for that, and their position is perfectly valid.
What’s the Easiest Engineering Degree to Earn?
Any engineering degree will be the easiest if you are comfortable with the specialty it provides, because some things come easier than others for most people. For example, not everybody is good at math, but those who do tend to find math-related degrees to be easier than non-math degrees. The same concept applies to engineering, although the math portion of that statement also applies as well. If you feel confident when doing electrical work, electrical engineering will probably be easier for you than other types of engineering. However, that being said, there are definite engineering degrees that are easier than others, and a few of them are listed:
There is very little prior math knowledge required for a mechanical engineering degree, and many mechanical engineering majors actually enjoy studying what they do, because there’s only four basic knowledge rules on top of the math knowledge: Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Energy, Conservation of Momentum, and Force Balance. Everything else in mechanical engineering is just an application of those four rules.
Agricultural engineering is one of the easiest engineering majors/degrees out there, because there’s very little math knowledge required, like mechanical engineering, and we all should be very aware of the major turnoff that math is to most students at this point. There is an understanding of hydroponics that needs to be learned, but that’s just one section of the degree, and it isn’t even that hard. Besides, you’ll be working with plants and irrigation, and that isn’t exactly rocket science.
Civil engineering is mostly practical application of skills you’ll learn, and if you can comprehend the basics of what you’re supposed to learn while taking civil engineering, the major will be a breeze. You simply just have to have a passion or desire to learn, and actually want to learn how to be a better civil engineer, because those who don’t will struggle. Those who struggle simply lack the drive to improve and learn, because the concepts are relatively easy to grasp and understand.
Those are just a few of the easy engineering majors, but keep in mind that easy is relative, the same way hard is relative. What’s easy for you might be hard for someone else, and what’s easy for someone else might be hard for you.
What is the Shortest Engineering Degree?
There are no “short” engineering degrees, like an associate’s or whatnot, unfortunately, because the shortest engineering degree you can get is a bachelor’s. Unless the school you’re planning on going to has an “abbreviated” program, meaning it’s at a faster pace than a normal degree, you’re out of luck. Even then, abbreviated programs only speed up the process of getting an engineering degree by a year, changing the total time needed to obtain said degree from four years to three.
Other than that, you’d have to have taken AP courses or an equivalent college credit course beforehand during high school in order to graduate with the bachelor’s earlier. However, some community colleges allow you to take two years of an engineering degree at the community college, and then transfer those credits to a four year college to finish the degree. It will still end up being four years total, but community colleges are much cheaper than a four year college, so you’ll be able to take your time, without having to rush or feel the pressure of finishing as many credits as possible to avoid wasting money on tuition.
What Type of Engineering Should You Study?
The type of engineering you should study is the one you feel like you want to study. That doesn’t mean you have to take the easiest major there is, it means take something you’re interested in. If you don’t like your major, you can always change it. If you’re an underclassman, there will be time to change your major if you don’t like it because all the prerequisites for most engineering classes are the same, so don’t worry, you’re not locked in immediately.
If you’re passionate about aerospace engineering, study aerospace engineering. If you’re passionate about civil engineering, study civil engineering. Pick the one that interests you the most, but don’t forget that choosing engineering as a career is a huge commitment.
How to Choose the Best Engineering Major to Obtain?
When choosing the best engineering major to obtain, you’ll want to consider both the job opportunities that engineering major will offer and the interest you have in the major. When looking at job opportunities, pick something that will be able to financially support you, so you can make back the money you spent on tuition. If you took out any student loans, it would be optimal to pay those back as soon as possible to avoid accumulating too much interest, so money is a major factor in career choice.
If you can manage to find a high paying job in a field that interests you, then choosing engineering as a career should be a serious option for you. There’s the saying that goes something like when you pick a job you enjoy doing, you won’t work a day in your life. The engineering major that allows you to enjoy what you’re doing for a good wage is the best major for you. And if you enjoy what you’re studying, it won’t be difficult, because it won’t seem as tedious as it actually is.
Wrapping Things Up: What is the Easiest Engineering Degree?
The most important thing to take away from this is that everything is relative when comparing the difficulty of engineering degrees. Again, what’s difficult for you may not be for somebody else, and vice versa. What interests you might not be interesting for others, but what interests you is the best major for you, and since whatever interests you will most likely be the easiest degree for you to pursue, pursue what you like. Don’t forget to financially support yourself at the end of it all, since you’re certain to accumulate expenses over your college studies. But there’s literally no reason to worry about that at all, since engineering is a high-paying career choice, no matter what type of engineering you pick.
If you’re still undecided on what major to take in college, here are some college tips that might help you out: