Preparing graduates for the Engineering and Science careers of the future
Source: Deakin University

The landscape of engineering and science is constantly evolving, demanding a new approach to preparing graduates for the unknown. While a strong foundation in core principles remains vital, universities are revamping curricula to equip students with the adaptability and skills needed to thrive in the future workforce.

One key area of focus is interdisciplinary learning. Gone are the days of siloed disciplines. Today’s engineers might collaborate with biologists on bioprinting organs, while data scientists work alongside chemists to develop life-saving drugs. Programmes incorporate cross-departmental projects and electives, fostering a holistic understanding of how multiple disciplines intertwine.

Real-world experience is another crucial element. Universities are partnering with companies to offer internships and apprenticeships, allowing students to put theory into practice. The best universities get engineering students working on self-driving car projects and budding astrophysicists assisting with data analysis from a real telescope. These experiences not only hone technical skills but also build valuable workplace communication and collaboration abilities.

If these are the experiences you seek, then consider pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate programmes at these top universities:

Deakin University

Ranked within the top 1% globally (ARWU Rankings 2023, THE World University Rankings 2023, QS World University Rankings 2024), Deakin University — set in Melbourne and Geelong, Australia — offers a dynamic learning environment for aspiring engineers.

“At Deakin, we offer our Bachelor of Engineering at the undergraduate level and Master of Engineering (Professional) at the postgraduate level, and each course has a range of different majors,” says Professor Ben Horan, Head of School, School of Engineering.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) programme equips you with the essential skills to create solutions to complex engineering problems. You’ll have the opportunity to specialise in civil, environmental, electrical and electronics, mechanical, or mechatronics engineering. What’s more, if you’re interested in building a sustainable future through engineering, you can study units that focus on environmental health, waste engineering and structural design, control systems engineering, and more

Through the Master of Engineering (Professional) you’ll sharpen your research, technical, and problem-solving skills, preparing you to confidently design and implement engineering projects within professional teams. The best part? Thanks to the focus on practical learning, you’ll develop a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial mindset that employers seek. You can further specialise by taking electives like Environmental Management Systems, and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, giving you a competitive edge in the job market. You can also gain valuable industry experience through a 12-week internship, solidifying the bridge from theory to professional practice.

Regardless of your chosen modules, you’ll gain hands-on experience before entering the workforce. Project and design-based learning form the core of the curriculum, with 50% of each trimester dedicated to practical application, empowering you with the expertise to tackle real-world challenges.

Courses are designed in collaboration with industry leaders, ensuring graduates possess the skillset most desired by employers. Through work-integrated learning opportunities and professional practice units, you’ll gain valuable industry experience, with 92% of engineering graduates finding full-time employment within four months of completing their studies. Taking all of this into account, it’s little wonder Deakin engineering graduates not only set in motion a successful career for themselves but go on to make the world a better, greener and more sustainable place as well.

The Faculty of Engineering is among the two original faculties of the University of Hong Kong upon its founding in 1912. Source: University of Hong Kong/Facebook

University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong (HKU), established in 1912, is Hong Kong’s oldest and most distinguished institution of higher learning. With a rich history and a global reputation for research excellence, HKU is a top choice for future engineers and scientists in pursuit of higher education in Asia.

HKU’s Faculty of Engineering is one of the largest and most well-rounded in Hong Kong. It’s home to various engineering disciplines, including Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

The faculty takes pride in its commitment to producing well-rounded engineers. Their programmes provide a rigorous curriculum that equips students with the technical skills and global knowledge to thrive in today’s knowledge-based economy. This dedication has resulted in a long line of top-rated engineers who have made significant contributions to Hong Kong and the international engineering community.

One programme that exemplifies this commitment is the Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Science (BEng(EngSc)). It offers a unique blend of multidisciplinary knowledge and practical skills, preparing students for diverse career paths beyond traditional engineering roles. Thanks to its flexible structure, students can specialise in areas like Healthcare Engineering, Energy Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Systems Analytics. They can even pursue a double major within the programme or explore options offered by other faculties. 

Experiential learning opportunities and exchange programmes add invaluable practical experience and a global perspective — further ensuring students become successful scientists, researchers, consultants, entrepreneurs, or business analysts, to name just a few.

The broad-based training of BEng(EngSc) graduates, coupled with their multidisciplinary skillset, gives them an edge in a competitive job market. They are prepared to tackle challenging careers in various sectors, from engineering to business to government, or pursue further study.

At Nanyang Technological University’s College of Engineering, learning extends beyond traditional settings. Students gain real-world experience through professional internships. Source: Nanyang Technological University/Facebook

Nanyang Technological University

Nanyang Technological University‘s College of Engineering (CoE) is a leader in engineering education and research.  It has six internationally acclaimed schools — Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, and Materials Science — and consistently ranks among the top universities globally.

Fuelled by a passion for innovation, CoE is dedicated to groundbreaking research and nurturing future engineering leaders. Their well-rounded curriculum, combined with a holistic teaching approach and a diverse, enriching environment, fosters a generation of dynamic young talent.

CoE’s six specialised schools offer 14 undergraduate programmes, including a Bachelor of Engineering in 11 disciplines and three Bachelor of Science programmes. Minors, second majors, double majors, and double degrees provide students with further avenues for exploration.

The undergraduate curriculum provides a holistic education and unlocks students’ potential. Recognising the increasing complexity of global challenges, CoE equips graduates for the future with a rigorous yet flexible curriculum. This broad-based, multidisciplinary approach integrates core engineering knowledge with Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core (ICC) courses. ICC courses tackle global issues and promote key transferable skills by encouraging collaboration with students from other disciplines. This creates a collaborative learning environment, preparing students come up with sustainable solutions — a valuable skill set for professional practice.

In their third year, CoE students often participate in internships to gain exposure to local and international companies or organisations. The Career and Attachment Office (CAO) works closely with all schools and programmes to secure these opportunities.

NTU’s College of Engineering also offers postgraduate programmes such as PhD, Master of Engineering (MEng), Master of Science (MSc), FlexiMasters, and Graduate Diplomas.

According to Times Higher Education, Auckland University Of Technology ranks in the top 1% globally, top 50 under 50 years, top 5% for social impact, and first in New Zealand for international outlook. Source: Auckland University Of Technology/Facebook

Auckland University Of Technology

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is a leader among modern universities. As one of New Zealand’s largest universities, AUT offers a vibrant academic environment with over 250 programmes and a thriving alumni network of more than 150,000 graduates worldwide.

Ranked within the top 1% of universities globally, an AUT degree equips you with a globally recognised qualification, valuable experiences, and strong industry connections to propel your future success.  

For those seeking an engineering career, AUT’s Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) is a top choice. Accredited by Engineering New Zealand and aligned with the Washington Accord, this programme equips you with the skills and knowledge to become a valuable member of the engineering profession. Throughout the programme, you’ll gain practical experience through projects and coursework, learning to analyse, design, and solve complex problems ethically and sustainably. Strong industry partnerships with leading companies like Fisher & Paykel and Spark provide real-world experience and strengthen your career prospects.

The programme offers various specialisations, allowing you to tailor your studies to your interests. Choose from a range of majors including Architectural Engineering, Civil Construction, or Software Engineering.

If you want to further refine your expertise, consider the Master of Engineering programme.  This programme offers two pathways — research-focused with a thesis or coursework with a research project. As AUT has a strong research environment, many students collaborate with renowned research institutes on their projects. Areas of expertise span from telecommunications to manufacturing technologies, ensuring there’s a perfect fit for your academic aspirations.

Graduating with an AUT engineering degree opens doors to many career opportunities.  Become a systems engineer, or a biomedical engineer, or get into fields like computer or manufacturing engineering.  

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International