How to become a better civil engineer
Working in the public and private sector, civil engineers are involved in creating, maintaining, adapting, and updating the infrastructures we use every day. From roads to railways, bridges, water supply, and waste, civil engineers keep our systems updated and running effectively and efficiently as society and systems change.
Designing and supervising major infrastructure projects and systems takes a mix of technical experience, project management, and leadership skills. Starting with the end in mind, civil engineers not only plan and lead projects, they must be able to problem solve and adjust when things don't go exactly as planned, create and stick to budgets, work with clients, and maintain projects as a whole.
As a civil engineer, you know the value of continuing to broaden and deepen your knowledge in the field. With a solid base, a master’s degree or certificate program will allow you to focus on the technical side of your field of interest, as well as hone in on the areas where you want to focus.
Where do civil engineers work?
Due to aging infrastructure and a growing population, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of civil engineers will grow over the next 10 years. Companies across the country need experts to plan and manage projects to rebuild, repair, and upgrade bridges, roads, levees, dams, airports, buildings, and many more structures.
What types of civil engineering jobs are available?
Civil engineering has been listed on the top of Forbes.com’s list of master’s degrees for job placement. Typical titles include design engineer, structural engineer, project manager and project leader. There are a wide range of potential jobs that require civil engineering knowledge in both the public and private sector. These potential career sectors include construction, public health, urban planning, and more.
Employers also look for those with experience in various design capabilities such as timber, advanced steel, dynamics, reliability, and more. These design focuses often require additional learning than what is covered in the traditional civil engineering bachelor’s degree.
What skills do I need to advance as a civil engineer?
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the required knowledge to practice structural engineering "...exceeds today's typical civil engineering baccalaureate degree, even when coupled with the practical experience gained prior to licensure." Obtaining a master’s degree or certificate in civil engineering, and completing the Professional Engineering and Structural Engineering exams, are great ways to advance in your civil engineering career. Furthering your education will also help you focus on an area of expertise.
The Master of Civil Engineering program at the KU Edwards Campus helps prepare you for both the Professional Engineering Exam and the Structural Engineering Exam, and helps students stay abreast of emerging technologies in the field.
Why should I get a master’s degree in civil engineering?
If you are interested in advancing your career in civil engineering, it’s highly recommended by firms and other employers to take the next steps with master’s level training. The training this program focuses on will also help prepare you for the Professional Engineering or Structural Engineering exams. While most undergraduate programs focus on two materials, the Structural Engineering exam requires engineers to prove they are competent in at least four materials. Completing the Master of Civil Engineering program at KU gives you the time and training to gain additional knowledge in one to two years, while offering the flexibility to work in the field full time.
What are some other civil engineering professional development opportunities?
If you’re not ready to commit to a full degree program, KU Edwards Campus offers certificates in structural analysis, as well as structural design and structural forensics. These certificates allow for a deep dive into their respective focus area. Most states require professional development hours to renew a license, and these two concentrated certificates can be the perfect fit as you are working through that process.