Hardest Engineering Majors: Are You Up for the Challenge?


As we approach college, one of the most crucial decisions to make is choosing a major that aligns with our interests and career aspirations. While some majors are easier than others, it’s important to pick a field that challenges us to grow and develop the skills that we’ll need in our future professions. This is where engineering comes in – a field that’s widely known for its difficulty but also its potential for high-paying jobs and impactful contributions to society. In this post, we’ll discuss the hardest engineering majors, as well as offer tips on how to succeed in them and suggest alternatives if they’re not a good fit for you. So, if you’re interested in pursuing engineering, or just curious about what it takes to succeed in this challenging field, keep reading.

The Hardest Engineering Majors

Engineering is a vast field with many different specializations, and while each major requires a unique skill set, some are undoubtedly more challenging than others. Here are a few of the hardest engineering majors:

  • Mechanical Engineering: A major that involves studying the design, production, and maintenance of mechanical systems.
  • Electrical Engineering: A field that focuses on the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
  • Chemical Engineering: A major that applies principles from chemistry, physics, and biology to design and operate chemical processes.
  • Aerospace Engineering: A field that deals with the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Biomedical Engineering: A major that applies engineering principles to solve medical and biological problems.
  • Civil Engineering: A field that deals with designing and maintaining infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and buildings.

While these majors are challenging, it’s important to keep in mind that with dedication and hard work, they can also be rewarding. So, don’t be intimidated if you’re considering one of these majors – just be prepared to put in the effort required.

Tips for Succeeding in Difficult Majors

Here are a few tips for succeeding in the hardest engineering majors:

  1. Manage your time effectively: Creating a schedule will help you stay on top of your coursework and avoid overwhelming deadlines.
  2. Develop study habits: Figure out what study methods work best for you, whether it’s creating flashcards or joining study groups.
  3. Build a network: Form study groups with peers or visit professors during office hours to build a supportive academic community.
  4. Seek help when necessary: Don’t hesitate to ask professors or tutors for assistance if you’re struggling with coursework. It’s better to ask for help than to fall behind.
  5. Take breaks and practice self-care: Engineering can be a demanding major, so make sure to make time for hobbies or self-care activities that can help you relax and recharge.

Remember that everyone has a different learning style and pace, so don’t be discouraged if these tips don’t work for you. Keep experimenting with different methods until you find the strategies that suit you best.

Alternatives for those who Struggle with the Hardest Engineering Majors

If you find that the hardest engineering majors are not the right fit for you, there are plenty of other options within and outside of the engineering field.

If you still want to pursue a lucrative field, consider some of the easy majors that pay well. Alternatively, if you’re interested in engineering but overwhelmed by the most difficult majors, consider exploring alternatives such as:

  • Environmental Engineering: A major that addresses environmental concerns, such as water and air pollution, waste disposal, and sustainability.
  • Industrial Engineering: A field focused on optimizing complex systems and processes in various industries, such as manufacturing and logistics.

Remember, it’s important to choose a major that aligns with your interests and career goals, even if it means pivoting away from certain fields that are deemed as prestigious or high-paying.

Interesting facts

Here are some interesting facts about the hardest engineering majors:

  • According to Robert Virona, engineering is one of the hardest college majors alongside mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

  • The hardest engineering majors include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Civil Engineering.

  • One of the reasons why these majors are so difficult is because they require a mastery of complex mathematical and scientific concepts.

  • These majors also require a significant amount of hands-on work and often involve difficult, time-consuming projects.

  • Despite the challenges, a degree in one of these hardest engineering majors can lead to lucrative and rewarding career opportunities.

  • Many successful engineers credit their college experience as being instrumental in developing their analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.


Real experience

Juan enrolled in college with dreams of becoming an engineer. He had always loved tinkering with machines and understanding how they worked, so he thought engineering was the perfect major for him. But when he started taking courses, he quickly realized that engineering was much harder than he anticipated.

The math and science courses were intense, and he struggled to keep up with the demanding workload. He often stayed up late into the night, studying and working on projects. Despite the challenges, Juan refused to give up. He knew that engineering was his passion and he was determined to succeed.

Juan studied tirelessly, taking advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. He worked with classmates on projects, sought help from professors, and practiced his problem-solving skills until they became second nature. Slowly but surely, he began to see improvement in his grades and his confidence grew.

Fast forward four years, and Juan is now a successful engineer. He landed a job with one of the top companies in his field, and his hard work has paid off in dividends. He still faces challenges on the job, but he has learned to embrace them as opportunities for growth and learning.

Looking back, Juan knows that his journey was not easy. But he is proud of what he accomplished and grateful for the struggles that made him a better engineer. He hopes that his story can inspire others who are facing similar challenges to persevere and chase their dreams, no matter how hard the journey may be.


Choosing a major is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Engineering can be a rewarding field, but it’s also known for its difficulty and rigor. If you’re interested in pursuing the most challenging engineering majors, remember that with dedication and hard work, you can succeed. Use the tips we’ve presented to create a plan that works for you, and don’t be afraid to seek help when needed. And if you find that the hardest engineering majors aren’t a good fit for you, remember that there are plenty of other options available, both within and outside of the engineering field.

Engineering is still one of the highest paid fields in the job market, and to learn more about the top-paying engineering jobs in 2021, check out our resource here.

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