5 myths about engineering majors

Think you know what it's like to be an engineering major? Read on to discover what's true - and what's a myth - when it comes to studying engineering.

Engineering graduates wearing hard hats at commencement

5 myths about engineering majors

Think you know what it's like to be an engineering major? Read on to discover what's true - and what's a myth - when it comes to studying engineering.

Engineering graduates wearing hard hats at commencement

MYTH #1: They’re all math geeks.

TRUTH: While it’s true you’ll take a lot of math as an engineering major, engineering students have a wide range of interests and talents. Engineering students can double major in fields such as art, dance or English.

Classes that require creativity can teach you problem-solving skills relevant to your engineering degree, and the dedication required to pursue a performing art will come in handy when studying for your engineering classes.

MYTH #2: They have poor communication skills.

TRUTH: Communication is essential for engineers! Many engineers work on multidisciplinary teams and are responsible for translating complex technical concepts into everyday language.

Many engineering majors include dedicated communication courses that focus on technical communication, presentation skills and more, so if you’re not a strong communicator when you start college, you can be one when you leave.

MYTH #3: They’re all men.

TRUTH: Men do comprise the majority of engineering majors, but the percentage of women in engineering has been growing. While women are still underrepresented in the field, there's a growing recognition that women are crucial to developing equitable engineering designs and solutions.

Most universities offer student clubs and programs designed to support women in STEM fields, such as student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers and Women into Computer Science and Engineering. Through networking, professionalization and financial support, these groups work to promote opportunities for women in engineering.

MYTH #4: They don't have time for a social life.

TRUTH: Don’t get us wrong, your classes will keep you busy, but engineering students still find time for lots of activities outside the classroom.

At the University of Nevada, Reno, we have a thriving group of student clubs & competition teams that allow you to apply engineering skills to fun, real-world projects. Our students are also active in K-12 outreach programs, bringing engineering into local classrooms to get kids excited about engineering.

MYTH #5: They work with machines, not people.

TRUTH: A lot of engineering involves working closely with people. Computer scientists study how people interact with technologies like robots or virtual reality programs. Biomedical engineers work on human health and may focus on designing adaptive devices for specific individuals. Civil and environmental engineers work closely with communities to design infrastructure that improves quality of life. 

At its core, engineering is about using science and technology to build a better world for people to live in, so if you want to earn a degree that can help improve your community, an engineering major might just be for you.

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