International Study Centre

6 benefits of a civil engineering degree

Student in an engineering lab at University of Strathclyde

Our society cannot function without civil engineers. Everything around us from roads, buildings, bridges and drainage systems are expertly designed and crafted by civil engineers. They have a direct impact on society as without these infrastructures the world cannot go about its everyday life. 

So, why study civil engineering? We have the answers for you. 

What is civil engineering?

Civil engineering is a discipline within engineering that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of natural and physically built environments. These include but are not limited to: 

  • Roads
  • Canals
  • Bridges
  • Water supply
  • Airports
  • Sewage systems
  • Pipelines
  • Power supply
  • Structural components of buildings
  • Railways.

The main purpose of civil engineering is to solve infrastructure problems within society by providing strong, stable and sustainable solutions. 

What does a civil engineer do?

The role of a civil engineer is to design and implement structures that are used in everyday life such as bridges, roads and water supply systems. They are responsible for making sure these structures are created to a high standard and are safe. 

Some of the common tasks that civil engineers regularly perform are: 

  • Planning and designing new infrastructures 
  • Making sure all aspects of a project fully comply with safety regulations
  • Assessing any potential challenges with a project, such as budget, environmental hazards, and regulations
  • Determining the most appropriate materials to use for construction projects
  • Maintaining, repairing and replacing elements of existing infrastructures. 

Due to the complexity of their projects, civil engineers will often specialise in a specific area. These are:

  • Structural engineering – This is the planning and designing of the structural elements for major projects such as bridges, skyscrapers and homes, making sure they are strong and stable.
  • Construction engineering – This is the managing and supervision of construction projects. The role of a construction engineer is to ensure everything takes place according to the project-specific plan, budget and timeframe, all while following safety standards.
  • Transportation engineering – This involves working on designing, building and maintaining various infrastructure systems, such as roads and airports.
  • Geotechnical engineering – A geotechnical engineer specialises in analysing how the foundations of major structures interact with the environment around them, ensuring the solidity of rocks and soil. 

6 benefits of civil engineering

Have a positive impact on society

One of the best benefits of civil engineering is the impact it has on the day-to-day lives of people. The importance of civil engineering can be placed on one reason: making the world an easier and safer place to live. 

Without civil engineers we would not have safe homes, cohesive road systems or hospitals. By becoming a civil engineer, you will be able to positively impact society by making the world a better place.

Many structures designed and developed by civil engineers last for a long time. This means society can benefit from an engineer’s work for many years. The lasting impact you can have on a community as a civil engineer is invaluable. 

Job stability 

Civil engineering is one of the top five most in-demand engineering jobs (Top Universities, 2021). With an ever-increasing population, there is always a need for civil engineers as better infrastructures are necessary for our society to thrive.

Career opportunities and variety

A degree in civil engineering can lead to a variety of career paths for graduates. Civil engineers play a vital role in many industries, making the number of career options for graduates very high.

The different roles civil engineering graduates can pursue are: 

  • Design engineer – use technical expertise, mathematical knowledge and design skills to create cutting-edge solutions to problems across a range of industries.
  • Building control surveyor – in this role you will be responsible for making sure building regulations are followed when houses, offices and other buildings are designed, constructed or altered.
  • Water engineer – water engineers are responsible for the systems that supply clean water, dispose of sewage and prevent flood damage.
  • Nuclear engineer – as a nuclear engineer you will design, build, run or decommission nuclear power stations.
  • Structural engineer – work as part of a team of construction professionals to design and build a wide variety of structures. 

Learn valuable transferrable skills

One of the biggest benefits of studying civil engineering is the valuable transferrable skills you gain. As the subject area is diverse, you will learn skills that can be applied to numerous professions. These include decision making, problem solving, analysing and communication. 

Collaborate on projects

Civil engineers work on projects that require the expertise from many other types of professionals. If you are someone that enjoys working as part of a team, civil engineering is the perfect career for you. 

Task variety 

The role of a civil engineer is never boring due to the wide variety of tasks they perform every day. A civil engineer provides input on most areas of a project from project management, design and quality control. 

The tasks you might complete as a civil engineer include:

  • Develop project designs
  • Complete site inspections 
  • Collaborate with other engineers
  • Research regulations
  • Offer solutions and recommendations. 

Study civil engineering in the UK 

If you want to be a civil engineer, a good first step to take would be to study a pathway programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. The pathway programmes are expertly tailored to better prepare international students to transition into the UK education system. 


To begin your studies in civil engineering in the UK, choose the Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Engineering and Sciences. During the pathway programme, you will gain the skills, academic knowledge and English language level required to progress to the second year of your undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.


If you want to continue your engineering education journey in the UK and don’t yet meet the direct entry requirements, our Pre-Masters Programmes will prepare you for a postgraduate degree at the University of Strathclyde.

The Pre-Masters Programme in Engineering and Sciences, taught in two terms at the International Study Centre, is your pathway to a Masters in Civil Engineering. Specialist core modules and an Academic English Skills module ensure you have the knowledge and language skills necessary for a postgraduate degree at the University of Strathclyde. 

There is also the option of the Accelerated Pre-Masters Programme for those who meet the higher English language entry requirements. The 12-week programme offers modules to further develop your English language and academic skills in preparation for studying a masters at the University of Strathclyde. 

Upon successful completion of the Pre-Masters Programme at the International Study Centre, you can progress to a postgraduate degree at the University of Strathclyde. 


The fees for your programme will depend on the level of study you require. Find out more about fees at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.


Which job is the best for a civil engineer? 

There are many great career opportunities within civil engineering, each with their own perks. Finding the job that is best for you will depend on which area of civil engineering you are most interested in. 

Is civil engineering difficult?

Civil engineering requires knowledge, skill and hard work. Like any other job, the career will have its difficulties but if you are willing to put in the work and take advantage of the variety in everyday tasks, you will never be bored.  

Is it good to be a civil engineer? 

With so many different areas you can specialise in, being a civil engineer is a great career. You can choose to work in a field that interests you and work on projects you are passionate about.  

The average salary for a civil engineer in the UK is around £42,000 (Reed, 2023). It is a career with plenty of opportunities for promotions. 

Strathclyde is ranked 6th in the UK for Civil Engineering

(The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)