Do you have what it takes to be an engineer? If you’ve come to this article, the chances are that you are already interested in pursuing this as a career path.
Still, how can you be sure that it’s something that will suit you? After all, you are about to choose a job that you will, in theory, be doing for the rest of your life. Thus, before you take a leap and pursue the life of an engineer, it’s best to understand what this actually entails.
The points below will shine more light on exactly what this means.
- Determine if this aligns with your personality
Your very first step is to decide if this career path properly matches up with your personality.
Those that are working as an engineer have certain common traits with one another. This includes thinking critically and analyzing the world around you, being mathematically inclined, applying creativity thought to your work, problem solving skills, and of course, even mechanical skills, among others.
If you are interested in the list mentioned thus far, you’re on the right track towards ensuring that you will enjoy being an engineer.
- Choose your preferred field of engineering
Don’t forget that there are countless different fields of engineering that you can choose to pursue. Some of these include electrical engineering, aerospace, computer or software engineer, civil, mechanical, and chemical, among others.
There are so many different sections; you are bound to find one that you will personally enjoy doing.
- Talk to someone that works as an engineer
In order to get a better understanding of what the job entails, it’s important for you to talk to a professional that already works in the field of engineering that interests you.
Reading about the role can only do so much, and so you want to hear from someone’s own experience what it’s like on a day to day basis. Plus, it’s always in your best interest to make these types of personal connections, as they will benefit you in your career.
Who knows, one day this person may even help you get hired?
- Your career and the right education
Without the proper education, you will not be able to find a career in your field. The answer, in this case, is simple, and it requires you to find the degree that best suits the field you wish to pursue.
Remember, there are countless different subsections within engineering, and you can even further your education while you are already working as one.
There may come a day in the future where you decide to start your own company, or you will at the very least want to be hired in a management position, as this also comes with a pay raise. In order to further your skillsets and work at the same time, you can look for academic institutions that offer masters in engineering management online.
It’s always worthwhile to pursue higher education, as it boosts your knowledge and makes you more of an expert in your field than you already are.
- Get an apprenticeship and grow your experience
Next to school, the experience you gain through your apprenticeship, and afterwards, your work experience, will help you grow your skills in your field.
You aren’t born being an expert in your career path of choice, but you become one through first-hand experience.
- Be a team player
Engineers need to learn how to be team-players and work with other engineers within the company. You will not be solely responsible for any of the large-scale projects, as there are lots of hands and eyes needed in any case to complete certain work.
It’s thus important that you understand this isn’t a solitary career path. You will not be sitting at a cubicle, by yourself for most hours of the day. Rather, you need to interact with those around you.
- Good communication skills
Expanding on the previous point, you must also have good communication skills to be an engineer. Perhaps one day you will become a leader and the manager of your team, and even then, you must still talk to your team on a daily basis about the work that needs to get done.
It’s important for everyone within a specific company to understand what his or her specific roles are, and how they fit into the larger team.
You won’t be coming up with innovative work if you don’t combine all of your brains in the office and tap into one another’s creativity, and personal strengths.
You can’t possibly change the world and solve technical problems if you don’t foster this particular skillset and if you aren’t able to communicate your ideas.
- Choosing to start your own company one day
Engineers can very well choose to start their own company one day, and perhaps you will want to do this after you have already worked in your field for some time, and thus gained some initial experience and know-how.
If you do choose to pursue your own company one day, it’s important to realize that you will need to follow the steps that most entrepreneurs do, although apply them all to your current field when it comes to the details of what equipment you need to purchase and so on. You will have to start a company website, fund your company, acquire clients, market yourself, and so on.
Engineers are innovators and people that are constantly looking to change the world around them. They provide solutions to technical problems, and it’s important that you are interested in doing this. Otherwise, why are you pursuing the career path? While it’s true that it’s a profitable choice and you will always find a job in this field, you must personally enjoy it if you hope to be successful at it. Not to mention, you’ll live a much happier life if you do something that makes you happy – it’s as simple as that.
Talk to some professionals that work in engineering and take some time to reflect if this is the right job for you.