5 Specializations in a M.S. in Engineering Program

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Updated August 4, 2020

Master's of Engineering Specializations

  • Construction Engineering and Management
  • Hydrology and Hydraulics
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Geomatics and Geographic Information Systems

A Master's of Engineering Degree is meant to provide basic knowledge about engineering in an interdisciplinary way. It is a program that allows candidates to pursue a number of specialties. They offer a deeper knowledge about business fundamentals and leadership necessary within all engineering fields.

Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Online Master's Degree Programs in Engineering

Here are five of the top concentration choices open to students.

1. Construction Engineering and Management

Specializing in construction engineering and management is ideal for the person who is fascinated by the construction of buildings from start to finish. It prepares a candidate to effectively manage and deliver capital facilities that are vital parts of the world's productivity. Studies help build an individual's technical background and hone managerial and financial skills. A student learns how to plan, finance, procure, construct, and manage a structure. In the end, students possess the ability to assume leadership roles within government, industry, or education fields.

Having a master's degree in this concentration adds value to any construction project and targets risk management, which determines the success or failure of a particular development project. Comprehending developmental risks provides knowledge that allows an individual to model, quantify, and mitigate risks as well.

2. Hydrology and Hydraulics

When pursuing a Master's Degree in Engineering with a concentration in hydrology and hydraulics, a person will learn hydrologic principles and hydraulic engineering technology that analyzes water-related issues. After locating problems, students brainstorm to develop affordable alternatives and try to optimize the operation of a particular system. In areas of the country where floods are common, prediction and flash flood systems are studied. In urban locations, stormwater simulation and drainage planning is a part of the course of study. Certain groups become involved with flood plain hydraulics and the development of highway and common street drainage systems as well.

3. Transportation Engineering

Transportation engineering is a part of civil engineering that concentrates on the design of airports, railways, bus systems, and highways. While working with government entities, a transportation engineer consults with troubleshooting firms and other entities that produce equipment utilized in transportation. It is possible to target a special area. For instance, a traffic engineer helps plan roads and traffic patterns. Besides planning, these professionals supervise the construction of their work and perform repairs when necessary.

Transportation officials hire these engineers to develop alternative systems and routes when traffic congestion becomes too great. Under certain circumstances, engineers craft plans for large highways in local areas with limited travel patterns. Other times, they may research the best type of commuter services for a particular location.

4. Sustainable Infrastructure

When a Master's candidate concentrates on sustainable infrastructure, this person examines the rapid population growth in urban areas and how it places a strain on resources, including water and energy. This individual recognizes the need for resilient, affordable, and eco-friendly infrastructure on global proportions so that urban sustainability is achieved.

Research for a sustainable infrastructure engineer may include new technologies for resource-efficient infrastructure through environmental assessments and material flow analysis. The latest technologies are linked to population growth and distribution so that material can flow better in and out of big cities. It is essential to consider the health and well being of residents within urban communities as well.

5. Geomatics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS is a field enjoying great expansion and has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor as one of the three highest growing careers in the United States. It allows people to visualize and analyze data containing patterns and trends about spatial information. A geometrics engineer designs, develops, and operates systems that collect and analyze data about the oceans, natural resources, and other land features. Besides engineering programs, a person must have experience with computer science and mathematics disciplines as well.

There is a multitude of engineering specialties a person can select when opting to pursue a Master's degree in this area. Since many fields have sub-disciplines, it is possible to become involved with environmental, software, or managerial roles. With the unlimited possibilities, it is simple to see why a Master of Engineering can be the start to an exciting career.

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