Career Spotlight: Engineering
There are tons of options for students hoping to become engineers one day. There are mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, industrial engineers, civil engineers, biomedical engineers… The list goes on and on, and the list of job opportunities after graduation is even longer.
What does it take to become an engineer? What kind of responsibilities must an engineer handle on a daily basis? In this career spotlight, you will get a brief taste of what your life would be like as an engineer.
1. Job description: Engineers are problem solvers.
No matter what type of engineering you get into, one of your main tasks will be to solve problems. If a machine isn’t working properly, a mechanical engineer will likely be on hand to get it back up and running. If a roadway is causing a lot of traffic issues, a civil engineer will work with a team to design a solution.
Engineers must always think critically and be very precise and accurate when executing their tasks. We’ve probably all heard horror stories of buildings or bridges collapsing unexpectedly or machines malfunctioning. If engineers aren’t careful, something could go terribly wrong, and those involved will likely know immediately who is responsible.
2. Qualifications: Get your degree, and learn to love math!
There are both two-year and four-year degrees offered in engineering. Two-year engineering degrees are typically in “engineering technology,” which means you can perform a lot of the same tasks as an engineer without being a full-blown engineer yourself. If you want to be an engineer rather than an engineering technologist, the four-year route is your best option.
If you’re willing to add at least two years onto a four-year degree program, some universities even offer graduate programs in engineering. These rigorous programs can help you set yourself apart from the many engineers with only four-year degrees.
While this may not be considered a traditional “qualification,” engineers have been known to be somewhat obsessed with math, probably because the job requires the use of a lot of mathematical formulas, equations and calculations. If the thought of solving equations all day makes your head spin, engineering may not be for you.
3. Where can I get a job with an engineering degree?
If you have found yourself asking this question a lot lately, you are experiencing what I like to call the “post-graduation panic.” You have nothing to fear, however. There are plenty of job opportunities for engineers all over the country and the world.
Factories are obviously some of the most common employers of engineers, but any companies with a need for building, designing or maintaining structures, machinery or software will also hire engineers. In other words, your options are endless.
I have only scratched the surface of the vast world of engineering, but if this article has piqued your interest in this type of career, that’s awesome! To all of the aspiring engineers out there, good luck on your future career!