Five Reasons to Choose a College Major in Bioengineering
Biomedical engineering (BME), a field which connects the disciplines of medicine and engineering, has only recently taken its place as an independent major area of study, but has quickly become one of the most dynamic, as well as lucrative, employment opportunities for individuals who display strong math and science abilities. Thanks to that hearing aid, your grandfather isn’t constantly asking you to repeat what you said. If your grandmother’s heart problems have eased since she got her pacemaker, you can thank a biomedical engineer. MRIs and ultrasounds are routine now, thanks to biomedical engineering. Dialysis equipment for diabetics came as a result of this merger between medicine and engineering. To be a biomedical engineer is to take your place on the frontier of medicine as it redefines patient care in this century. If you’re looking for a major that will make use of personal talents that are in demand in today’s multidimensional health care industry, give biomedical engineering some consideration.
You Have the STEM Skills
A student who wants to achieve a degree in biomedical engineering field should prepare for a STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) course of study while still in high school by taking advanced placement courses in calculus, chemistry, computer programming, English, life science and physics. The emphasis is on the science and math disciplines, but communication skills are vital, so adding a speech course to the mix is a smart move. Remember that the growing popularity of the field means that entrance into a college program has become highly competitive. That’s why it’s a good idea to lay the foundation for your college career while still in high school.
Some university degree programs use the terms biomedical engineering and bioengineering interchangeably; other schools with a BME program emphasize applications in health care and medicine, while bioengineering stresses nonmedical applications. When pursuing your degree, be sure to find out how the school defines its course of study. According to U.S. News and World Report rankings, the top colleges and universities in the country for biomedical engineering degrees are Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California at the San Diego and Berkeley campuses, Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Rice University and the University of Washington. But even within the degree program, there are various options. A student can choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in one field of engineering and then obtain either a graduate degree in the biomedical engineering field or gain hands-on experience in the field itself.
It’s important to note that in addition to successfully completing your college education, the individual states have different licensing requirements that must be fulfilled in order for a biomedical engineer to be authorized to work directly with the public. Qualified biomedical engineers will have a four-year degree, work experience, two competency exams and state licensure.
You Like the Variety of Employment Options
Biomedical engineering offers so many areas of expertise that a student in the discipline can look forward to the exploration of an assortment of exciting directions in the health care field.
BMEs in this field will work with nurses, technicians, physicians and hospital staff to teach them how to use modern medical electronic devices that range from simple nerve stimulators to complex MRI imagine systems.
BMEs in this applied interdisciplinary science integrates biology, mechanics and electronics, as well as robotics and neuroscience. The BMEs work to make the devices interact with human muscle, skeletal, and nervous systems with the goal of supporting impaired or lost motor control.
BMEs develop devices that are used to diagnose and treat disease with the assistance of computers.
BMEs in the biomaterials field are trained in the use of living tissue and artificial materials that are used in implantation.
BMEs in biomechanics have developed artificial hearts. heart valves, and artificial joint replacements by the application of statics, dynamics, fluids, solids, thermodynamics, and continuum mechanics to biological and medical issues.
Cellular, Tissue, and Genetic Engineering
BMES in this field develop ways to tackle biomedical issues by interpreting the disease process and intervening at designated sites to promote healing.
BMEs in bionics apply biological methods and systems to modern technology and engineering systems.
BMEs in clinical engineering develop and maintain computer databases of medical instrumentation and equipment records, applying cutting-edge technology to health care.
BMEs in medical imagine blend a specific knowledge of sound, radiation, magnetism, etc., with high-speed electronic data processing, analysis and display in order to display an image that’s obtained with noninvasive or minimally invasive procedures that are less painful.
BMEs design artificial joint replacements for bones, joints, and muscles.
BMEs in rehabilitation engineering work with prosthetics to develop modifications for the home, workplace, and transportation to improve the quality of life for those with physical and cognitive impairments.
BMEs in systems physiology employ engineering strategies, techniques, and devices to discern how living organisms, whether bacteria or human beings, function.
BMEs in bionanotechnology make use of a technical approach to biology to create systems for biological research.
BMEs in neural engineering use their skills to capitalize on the properties of neural systems, and to understand, repair, and enhance them thanks to their ability to solve design problems.
You Like the Pay Rate and Employment Prospects
The median annual wage in 2012 was $86,960. This field is expected to grow by 27% through 2022, which is a much faster rate than that of other jobs. As of 2012, there were 19,400 biomedical engineers in the United States work force, but as the growth expands, the United States Department of Labor predicts that by 2022, there will be an additional 5,200 biomedical engineers in the field. One of the reasons for the dramatic increase is because the population in the United States is aging; baby boomers now entering retirement are going to require geriatric care which will call upon new resources. Another reason is that the innovative field has inspired greater public awareness of the advances that have arisen, thanks to the scientific inventions.
You Like the Diverse Work Environment
Biomedical engineers analyze and design solutions to biological and medical problems so that the quality and effectiveness of patient care can be improved. Biomedical engineers typically find full-time employment in an interesting array of employment opportunities, including hospitals, universities, manufacturing, research facilities, education and medical institutions, and government regulatory agencies. A BME will use computer software and mathematical models to design and test new materials, devices, and equipment. You will work with technicians and manufacturers in order to make sure that a product is economically feasible and viable in its design. Research will include compiling the information that’s needed to solve a problem. Health professionals will be the colleagues who help you to assess the market for products, which will also need to undergo clinical trials. Products must be sold; that means that marketing is involved. Reports must be written; conferences where you will present your work and designs must be attended. In order to keep on top of the field, it’s necessary to stay current with new developments in the field. Medicine is constantly changing and improving; biomedical engineering is one of the reasons why.
You Like the Quality of Life Report Card
If you’re a person with solid technical skills who’s looking for a job that makes use of your abilities while providing high quality of life rankings, you’ll be pleased to know that according to www.money.cnn.com, the biomedical engineering field offers the following report card:
Personal Satisfaction: A
Benefit to Society: A
Low Stress: A
Biomedical engineers have changed the world we live in. Pacemakers, knee replacements, bioengineered skin, artificial organs, and robotic surgical instruments are only a few of the medical innovations that have forever changed the health prognosis for patients. Biomedical engineering is a field that makes it possible to change the world, one patient at a time.