What Is Engineering?


"Engineering is all around us, so people often take it for granted. Ask yourself, what do I touch that is not engineered? Engineering develops and delivers consumer goods, builds the networks of highways, air and rail travel, and the Internet, mass produces antibiotics, creates artificial heart valves, builds lasers, and offers such wonders as imaging technology and conveniences like microwave ovens and compact discs. In short, engineers make our quality of life possible."
- Bill Wulf, Former president, National Academy of Engineering"

Engineers are creative problem solvers. Engineers couple creativity and imagination with analytical skills to meet the needs of people while preserving our planet's resources and cultures.

Engineers make a world of difference. Engineers have a hand in designing, creating or modifying nearly everything in our daily lives. Things like cars and computers are all products of imaginative engineering, and so are bubble gum and movie special effects.

Engineering is essential to our health, happiness and safety. The innovations of engineers fuel economic growth, fortify national security systems, improve health care and safeguard the environment.

Engineers help shape the future. Engineers are at the center of creative solutions to address current and future global challenges.

"Scientists investigate what is; they discover new knowledge by peering into the unknown. Engineers create what has not been; they make things that have never existed before."
- Joe Bordogna, former deputy director, National Science Foundation

Check out the What Is Engineering? What Is Design? lesson to learn more!

Career Paths in Engineering

Engineers have a hand in every part of our daily lives. The websites below describe many different career paths for people with engineering degrees and also provide role models in those areas.

Types of Engineers

Engineer Your Life "Find Your Dream Job"
ASEE Engineering Go For It! (eGFI) "Engineer Your Path"
ASEE eGFI "On the Job" (career info on 15 disciplines)
Discover Engineering "Engineering Careers"
EngineerGirl! "What They Do" (50 examples in 15 categories)
Sloan Career Cornerstone Center (engineering degree descriptions and career planning resources)

Role Models in Engineering

Engineer Your Life "Meet Inspiring Women Engineers" and short video profiles
EngineerGirl "Interviews" (190+ female engineers in 15 categories)
ASEE eGFI "Find out Why These Students Chose Engineering"
TryEngineering "Life of an Engineer" (profiles of practicing engineers and engineering students)