Fuel-efficient vehicles, such as solar-powered race cars, exist in large
part because of the contributions of automotive engineers. It's a fairly exciting
field to be in. But academic programs are hard to come by.
There are master's degrees in this field. But you may only need a bachelor's
degree to get the job you want. (A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering
is usually enough for a career in automotive engineering.)
Many automotive engineering degree programs are located in Michigan, home
of the American auto industry.
One of the best-known automotive engineering programs is Kettering University.
It was formerly known as the General Motors (GM) Institute, in Flint, Michigan.
It has work-study programs with GM.
Kettering now requires students to alternate 12 weeks of classroom and
lab work with 12 weeks of on-the-job experience.
The University of Michigan at Dearborn offers a master's degree in automotive
systems engineering. The program is designed for engineers already working
in Detroit's automotive industry, so all classes are held in the evening.
P.K. Mallick is the director of interdisciplinary programs at the University
of Michigan at Dearborn. He says the best preparation for the master's program
is a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Electrical, materials and
industrial engineering training will work, too.
Math (especially advanced math) and science are important high school
subjects. Take physics and chemistry.
Computer and technical literacy are also good. But if you're good at learning
about computers, you'll be able to pick up the necessary skills in the program.
Co-op work terms are part of most programs. Co-op programs place
students in jobs where they earn a wage and academic credit. They learn to
apply classroom skills to the real world.
On top of tuition and books, you may have to pay computer fees.
Occupational Outlook HandbookFor information related to this field of study, see: Engineers
Solar Cars: Racing TeamsCheck out who's building solar-powered race cars all over the
Concept CarzGreat pictures of concept cars