Why Engineering?

Here's why studying engineering will set you up for success.

Design & Innovation Day, Martin Dee

"Why Engineering?" It’s a great question, and one that’s likely on your mind if you’re currently deciding which university major and potential career path is right for you.

Engineering is a versatile, practical and rewarding choice. Studying to be an engineer will set you up for success – whether you decide to work as an engineer or ultimately pursue a different career path.

Engineering teaches you to think in new ways

As an undergraduate engineering student, from your foundation year onwards, you’ll learn how to think about challenges the way an engineer does, using a problem-solving mindset to apply knowledge to find innovative solutions. This is an incredible skill that will not only help you in your engineering classes and work as an engineer, but also in virtually any other field you pursue and in life in general.

Engineering is creative

Solving problems is an inherently creative act. Engineers look at the world and imagine how it might be better.

As Executive Associate Dean of the School of Engineering (Okanagan) Dr. Rehan Sadiq said in a virtual open house in 2021, engineers “build and improve things, analyzing ideas and using their imagination and creativity to develop new and more efficient ways of addressing life’s challenges.”

If you are concerned about the challenges our world is facing, engineering can empower you to use your creativity to take action and make a difference.

Engineers are resourceful and get things done

There’s a strong practical bent to engineers. If you want to get something done, get an engineer involved!

As Assistant Professor Dr. Naomi Zimmerman said at the same open house, “when you study engineering, you learn how to be creative and resourceful – how to connect the dots and think of solutions. Engineers get stuff done.”

Check out some of our student and alumni success stories to be inspired by what UBC Engineering grads have achieved.

Engineering is useful

Engineering touches every aspect of our built environment and technology. Engineers solve the most complex of problems, and their expertise and skills are needed now more than ever.

Dr. James Olson, the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science says that engineering could be for you “if you want to develop life-saving technology, to build sustainable infrastructure or to create new highly impactful technology – if you want to positively impact the climate or improve society.”

Engineers are developing solutions to global challenges, but they also work on the smallest scale – designing new microchips and biotechnology – and are creating new processes in manufacturing to use natural resources and materials more efficiently. Even during their undergraduate program, UBC Engineering students have numerous opportunities to apply their knowledge and make a difference through innovative student projects.

Design & Innovation Day, Martin Dee

Engineering is a versatile degree

Unlike many undergraduate programs, engineering enables you to start working in your field right away (check out UBC’s 14 specialized engineering programs to learn more about career paths). And engineering jobs are some of the highest paying of any undergraduate degree.

Many people also choose engineering as an undergraduate degree before pursuing law, medicine, business or graduate school. Their training as an engineer gives them strong leadership and organizational abilities, as well as the skills, knowledge and mindset for academic and professional success. See our article Engineers Make Great Leaders about the transferability of engineering skills.

Engineering welcomes diversity

The challenges that engineers tackle are complex, often requiring the skills and insight of teams of individuals representing a range of expertise and perspectives. Engineers are adept at collaborating with others to create solutions that benefit all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, class or other factors. Check out our resources specific to women, Indigenous and international students for more information.

Design & Innovation Day, Kai Jacobson

Build your future as an engineer

UBC is a great place to start your future as an engineer. Our engineering program ranks first in Canada, our university is consistently named one of the top public universities in the world and we offer unique opportunities you simply won’t find anywhere else.

An engineering student at the Design and Innovation day exhibit

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Design & Innovation Day, Kai Jacobson

Start Your Future at UBC Engineering

You may not know yet if you’re interested in leading an organization. But one thing is certain. Starting your future at UBC Engineering will give you a well-balanced education and sought-after skills – the first step and the foundation for a challenging and rewarding career.

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