Why is Engineering So Hard?

Engineering is a challenging field of study that requires dedication, hard work, and a strong aptitude for math and science.

Many students are attracted to engineering because of its potential for making a positive impact on the world.

However, the path to becoming an engineer is not easy. In this article, we will look at the reasons why engineering is so hard and provide some valuable tips for succeeding in engineering school.

Why is Engineering So Hard?

1. Rigorous Math and Science Requirements

Engineering programs have demanding math and science requirements. Students are expected to take a wide range of courses, such as calculus, physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics.

Read on: What You Will Learn in Mechanical Engineering?

These subjects can be particularly challenging for those who do not have a solid foundation in math and science.

Understanding and applying complex mathematical and scientific concepts is essential in engineering, and mastering these subjects requires significant effort and dedication.

2. Heavy Workload

Engineering students often face a heavy workload. They must take numerous classes each semester, and these classes are typically accompanied by projects and assignments that need to be completed outside of regular class hours.

The workload can be overwhelming, making it difficult to keep up with all the coursework and stay on top of deadlines.

Time management skills and a strong work ethic are crucial for success in engineering school.

3. Complex Material

The material covered in engineering courses is highly complex. Students learn about intricate theories, principles, and methodologies.

Understanding these concepts can be challenging, and applying them to real-world problems requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Engineering education goes beyond memorization; it involves grasping the underlying principles and being able to apply them creatively to solve complex problems.

4. Open-Ended Problems

One of the unique aspects of engineering is that problems are often open-ended. Unlike in some other fields, where there may be a single correct answer, engineering problems require creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Engineers must develop innovative solutions that meet specific criteria and constraints.

This open-ended nature of engineering problems adds an additional layer of complexity and challenge to the field.

5. High Stakes and Responsibility

Engineers have a tremendous responsibility, as the products they design and develop can have a significant impact on people’s lives.

Whether it’s constructing bridges, designing medical devices, or developing renewable energy solutions, engineers must ensure that their designs are safe, reliable, and meet the required standards.

The high stakes involved in engineering add pressure and demand a high level of attention to detail and precision.

Tips for Succeeding in Engineering School

While engineering studies may be challenging, there are strategies and tips that can help students navigate the difficulties and excel in their education.

Here are some valuable tips for succeeding in engineering school:

1. Start Early

If you are considering a career in engineering, it is advisable to start building a strong foundation in math and science early on.

Taking advanced math and science courses in high school can provide you with a solid base of knowledge and make the transition to engineering school smoother.

Developing a strong understanding of fundamental concepts will help you tackle more advanced engineering topics with confidence.

2. Get Involved

Engaging with engineering clubs and organizations can provide valuable opportunities for learning and growth.

Joining these groups allows you to interact with fellow engineering students, participate in engineering-related activities, and gain practical experience.

These extracurricular activities can deepen your understanding of engineering concepts, expose you to different engineering disciplines, and provide valuable networking opportunities.

3. Find a Mentor

Seeking guidance from experienced engineers can be immensely beneficial. Find a mentor who is willing to share their knowledge and experience with you.

A mentor can offer insights into the engineering profession, provide career advice, and help you navigate the challenges of engineering school.

Their guidance and support can be invaluable as you progress through your engineering education.

4. Don’t Give Up

Engineering school can be demanding and overwhelming at times. It is essential to persevere and not give up when facing challenges.

If you find yourself struggling with coursework or feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek help.

Reach out to your professors, classmates, or a mentor for guidance and support.

Remember that many engineers have faced similar challenges and have successfully overcome them.

Wrap Up

Engineering is undeniably a challenging field of study, but it is also a highly rewarding one.

The difficulties associated with engineering arise from rigorous math and science requirements, heavy workloads, complex material, open-ended problems, and the high stakes involved.

However, with the right mindset, dedication, and effective strategies, it is possible to overcome these challenges and succeed in engineering school.

Remember to start early, get involved, find a mentor, and seek support when needed. By doing so, you can navigate the difficulties of engineering and pave the way for a successful career in this impactful field.


  1. Why is engineering considered a difficult field of study? Engineering is considered difficult due to rigorous math and science requirements, a heavy workload, complex material, open-ended problems, and the high stakes involved in designing products that impact people’s lives.
  2. Can I succeed in engineering without a strong math and science background? While a strong foundation in math and science is highly beneficial, it is possible to succeed in engineering with dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn.
    Building a solid understanding of these subjects early on can greatly enhance your chances of success.
  3. How can I manage the heavy workload in engineering school? Effective time management is crucial in managing the workload. Prioritize tasks, create a study schedule, and break down projects into smaller, manageable tasks.
    Seek support from classmates and utilize resources such as study groups and tutoring services.
  4. What can I do to enhance my problem-solving skills in engineering? Developing strong problem-solving skills involves practice and exposure to a variety of engineering problems.

    Engage in hands-on projects, participate in competitions, and seek opportunities for practical application of engineering concepts. Developing critical thinking and creativity will strengthen your problem-solving abilities.
  5. How can I handle the pressure and responsibility of being an engineer? Understand that responsibility is an integral part of engineering. Emphasize thoroughness, attention to detail, and adherence to safety standards in your work.

    Seek guidance from experienced professionals and continuously update your knowledge to ensure you meet the demands of the profession.
  6. What are the benefits of pursuing a career in engineering despite its challenges? Despite the challenges, engineering offers numerous rewards. Engineers have the opportunity to solve real-world problems, make a positive impact on society, and contribute to technological advancements.

    The field provides intellectual stimulation, professional growth, and the potential for a fulfilling career.