Engineering students spend more of their time studying and the less on outside activities, according to the annual National Survey of Student Engagement, which seeks to measure how hard, and how effectively, students are working.
Based on a questionnaire of more than 400,000 undergraduates, all of them freshmen or seniors, at nearly 700 colleges and universities in the US, the results revealed that student engineers are the most diligent demographic.
It found that would-be engineers work significantly harder than business majors, who spend a surprisingly small amount of time on their studies. Indeed, business majors devote more hours to non-school duties, such as earning money and caring for family members.
Some 42 per cent of engineering students spend at least 20 hours per week on such study - well ahead of any other group while just 19 per cent of business majors made the same claim
In descending order, would-be engineers were followed by those studying physical sciences, biological sciences, arts and humanities, education and social sciences, with business majors languishing at the foot of the list.
"Business and education students are more likely to be older students," Alexander McCormick, director of the survey and a professor of education at Indiana University, commented. "We see a fair number of older students trying to do it all - going to school, working and having families."
Many students fail to use study techniques that have been shown to be effective, according to the survey, which said that while most students take notes in class, fewer than two-thirds review them later. Furthermore, it found that only around half of the students surveyed make outlines of course material, or talk with other students or teachers about study strategies. Around 30 per cent, meanwhile, confessed that they do not ask for help when they do not understand the course material.
Reflecting on these statistics, Mr McCormick observed: "There's a growing movement in the last ten years or so of colleges explicitly teaching students how to be good students. But too many of our institutions still just assume that students show up knowing it already, or that they'll figure it out, and too many of them never do."
Clearly, though, engineering students are not falling into the trap of becoming complacent with their work, something that ought to be commended.