About the Engineering Field

What is Engineering?
Engineering is the multipurpose tool of undergraduate degrees. Since an engineering degree is designed for broad, versatile applications, it is incredibly useful in unexpected situations, and it is the perfect field for astute people who enjoy using unique perspectives to fix real world problems.

What does it take to succeed at engineering?
Students who succeed in engineering are good with science, math, and problem solving. They also tend to be naturally curious, creative, and detail-oriented in their approach to life. At the end of the day, engineers like to solve problems and make a difference in the world.

Engineering Career Trajectory
CollegeBoard’s Big Future Major and Career contains a great breakdown of the necessary skills, job outlook, and career prospects for the fields of agriculturalcivilelectrical or mechanical engineering.

Want more information on engineering?
If any of the above sounds like it’s your skill set and you want more information, or if you are interested in learning about the various challenges faced by engineers today, then you should check out sites like TryEngineering.org or the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering. Otherwise, job shadowing is an excellent opportunity to learn more about engineering.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us by emailing engineering@unk.edu or using the contact information available on this site. We are glad to help!

While there are many areas of engineering -- agricultural, architectural, biological systems, chemical, civil, computer, construction, construction management, electrical, electronics, mechanical, software, and quite a few field-specific minors -- UNK's engineering foundations program is structured to best serve students who are going into the fields of agricultural, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.

With that in mind, we have provided some field-specific information for those areas in the following tabs.

If you are at all interested in pursuing a different area of engineering through our program at UNK, please contact us at engineering@unk.edu so that we can help you best determine your course route and options.

A great resource for information on the other areas of engineering can be found at TryEngineering.org.

Agricultural engineers use science and math to meet agricultural challenges.

They help farms grow better and more food, look for ways to conserve soil and water, and design tools and equipment. 

If you have a passion for the outdoors, biology, math and machinery, you can combine these interests to help ensure our important needs in food, water energy, and clean natural resources are met.

At UNK you will focus on getting the solid basics of the first two years of your engineering education underway. At UNL, you will choose your focus on machine design, soil and water resources, or sensors and controls. A specialization in agricultural engineering is offered at the Lincoln campus.

Career Opportunities

  • Machine Testing
  • Consulting
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Product Management
  • Equipment Design
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Research
  • Irrigation

Potential Employers

  • Eaton Corporation
  • John Deere Company
  • USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Con Agra Foods
  • General Mills
  • Pella Corporation
  • Cargill, Incorporated
  • Case-New Holland Corporation
  • BobCat Company
  • Polaris



Agricultural Engineering - Field Information Sheet (.pdf for download)

More information about the Agricultural Engineering field, pay scale, job outlook and work environment can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

As a civil engineer, you’ll be responsible for designing and maintaining the world’s inspiring and necessary structures like roads, bridges, dams, buildings, water systems, and more. You’ll help protect and enhance our quality of life while sustaining our natural resources.

At UNK you will focus on getting the solid basics of the first two years of your engineering education underway. At UNL, you can specialize in such areas as environmental, geotechnical, structural, transportation, or water resources. A specialization in civil engineering is offered on both the Lincoln and the Omaha campus.

Career Opportunities

  • Consulting design firms
  • General and specialty construction companies
  • Industries that explore for natural resources that produce energy
  • Municipal, county, state and federal government agencies

Potential Employers

  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad
  • Olsson Associates
  • Peter Kiewit & Sons
  • U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
  • Lamp, Rynearson & Associates
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • Nestle
  • Federal Highway Administration



Civil EngineeringField Information Sheet (.pdf for download)

More information about the Civil Engineering field, pay scale, job outlook and work environment can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Electrical engineers develop and oversee electrical systems and equipment. They work with everything from power grids to computers and telephones to cars.

Be connected with all things involving electricity – how it works, how to use it to power our lives, and how to create new innovations and ideas. As an electrical engineer, you’ll be at the core of cutting-edge technology and will gain skills sought after in a wide choice of career areas, not only engineering, but in law, medicine, and business.

At UNK you will focus on getting the solid basics of the first two years of your engineering education underway before moving forward to continue your education at UNL. A specialization in electrical engineering is offered on both the Lincoln and the Omaha campus.

Career Opportunities

  • Electrical Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Instrumentation Designer
  • Control Systems Specialist

Potential Employers

  • Boeing Company
  • Garmin International
  • National Instruments
  • St Microelectronics
  • Nebraska Public Power District – Cooper Nuclear Station
  • Intel
  • Microsoft Corp.
  • General Dynamics
  • Black & Veatch
  • Burns & McDonnell
  • Texas Instruments



Electrical EngineeringField Information Sheet (.pdf for download)

More information about the Electrical Engineering field, pay scale, job outlook and work environment can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Mechanical engineers develop, build, care for, and improve tools, machines, and systems.

If your curiosity and enthusiasm extend to developing, designing, and testing equipment/technology, power-producing devices, and using nanotechnology to create high-performing materials and components, consider becoming a mechanical engineer. You’ll be in demand in many types of complex operations, in research, design, production, sales and management.

At UNK you will focus on getting the solid basics of the first two years of your engineering education underway before moving forward to continue your education at UNL. A specialization in mechanical engineering is offered on the Lincoln campus.

Career Opportunities

  • Project Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Mechatronics Engineer
  • Materials Analyst
  • Combustion Technician
  • Aerodynamics Researcher
  • New Product Developer
  • Instrumentation Designer
  • Control Systems Specialist

Potential Employers

  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • Omaha Public Power District (OPPD)
  • Kellogg’s
  • Pella
  • Hamilton-Sundstrand
  • Nasa
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Nestle



Mechanical EngineeringField Information Sheet (.pdf for download)

More information about the Mechanical Engineering field, pay scale, job outlook and work environment can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.