The 21st century will be the age of the ‘megacity’ – vast metropolitan areas with populations of more than 10 million. Go back a few decades to the 1950s, and New York City was the only urban area on the planet with a population of more than 10 million. There were nine in the 80s, and just shy of 20 in the early 2000s.

Today (depending on which list you reference), there are about 30 cities on the planet that fit the definition of megacity. More than half of them are located in Asia. New York’s not even in the top ten anymore.

Populations are booming and cities are sending up infrastructure in a flurry of steel, concrete and glass. In 2010, China became the largest construction market in the world a full eight years earlier than analysts had predicted the year before. And this is just one country in a continent booming with new infrastructure. In fact, according to a report issued by Oxford Economics and Global Construction Perspectives, the global construction market is set to grow a whopping 70 percent between 2010 and 2020. Much of that is attributable to burgeoning growth in China, India and Japan.

Male and female students in Engineering laboratory UNNC

Pic: Students in the Engineering laboratory UNNC.

A ripe market for engineers
With that kind of growth on the market, it’s safe to say that engineers are going to be in incredibly high demand over the next 20 years. Students who earn a degree now and gain a few years’ experience are going to be well ahead of the competition as the construction industry continues to expand.

And bear in mind, construction is only one of many industries at play here. It’s a spot-on indicator of growth and development, but this should not be taken to imply that the only marketable engineers are going to be the Civil, Industrial and Structural variety. On the contrary, engineering is a diverse field to begin with, and these professionals are going to be involved in virtually every aspect of the world’s continued growth and development.

In addition to building infrastructure, they’ll be involved in designing and implementing advanced software solutions in our increasingly complex societies; working toward cleaner, renewable energies to keep us in motion; and developing new materials and fabrication processes to keep pace with our evolving lifestyles. In short, engineers will be designing, building and maintaining the world that we live in.

University of Dundee campus

Pic: University of Dundee campus.

Choosing the best engineering program
Plenty of schools offer engineering programs around the world, but it’s not difficult to whittle the selection down to a few high-ranking short-list candidates. The best balance strong research divisions with hands-on experience and industry placement opportunities.  Many of the schools with the best reputations are still located in the West, but the development surge in Asia has prompted them to seek industry and university partnerships in the East, as well. Some schools go so far as to set up satellite campuses in Asia to strengthen in-roads into the region.

With that in mind, the following are among the leading engineering schools for Asian students:

 

THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM NINGBO CHINA (UNNC)
Through UNNC, engineering students can earn a degree while living and studying in one of China’s burgeoning boomtowns. Factor in a wealth of internships and the chance to study abroad in the UK, and it’s difficult to imagine a better place for aspiring engineers to get their start. Read the full profile here…

External view of the Science and Engineering Building, Pic: UNNC.

External view of the Science and Engineering Building, Pic: UNNC.

UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE, SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS
Internationally renowned for its research and innovative instruction, the University of Dundee is Scotland’s premier hub for engineering instruction. It’s also a leader in the UK, with several of its programs ranked in the national top-five. For students in Asia look to the West for engineering schools, the University of Dundee is a leading candidate. Read the full profile here…

Students at the University of Dundee

Pic: Students at the University of Dundee.

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL, FACULTY OF ENGINEERING
As one of the most respected schools in the UK, the University of Bristol is easy leading candidate for engineering students from Asia. The Faculty of Engineering is widely recognized as one of the finest in the world. Throughout history, it has been directly involved with everything from designing the wings on the Spitfire in the 1930s to contributing to the development of the first mobile phones in the 1970s.

SWANSEA UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
SWANSEA University’s College of Engineering ranked first in Wales during the most recent     REA. It also took eighth place in the entire UK, solidifying its position as one of the nation’s leading engineering schools. It’s high-caliber instruction and well-developed industry network have both been praised by Times Higher Education and the Guardian.

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
Cardiff University is a member of the elite Russell Group, and it operates a robust school of engineering. Cardiff School of Engineering is well-networked with industry players as well as the local community, and it’s easily one of the best-resourced engineering schools in the UK – particularly in terms of facilities, teaching and research.

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM, COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
The University of Birmingham is highly selective, and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences places students on the leading edge of science and technology. It’s involved in some of the world’s leading research, including particle physics conducted through CERN and the development of micro-engines.