Careers in Engineering
The role of an Engineer in our modern civil society is undeniable. Since the dawn of man on this planet, innovators have been the driving force behind human evolution. Their technological advancements have taken us from savages to sophisticated individuals and have significantly improved upon our living standards. The journey from fire and wheel to artificial intelligence and the internet is a testament to the human imagination and the unwavering effort and perseverance of humanity.
In this day & age, the responsibility of innovation relies heavily on engineers. The field of engineering is pioneering technological breakthroughs. Thus the expectation from any engineer is only that of brilliance.
Engineering is a field that demands any individual to be bold, creative, and exhibit an eagerness to learn. It is a fruitful stream of higher education for anyone with a knack for finding solutions to prevalent problems, irrespective of their scale.
The field provides a scope like no other and rewards anyone who can demonstrate dexterity in the discipline. It is one of the scant professions in the world where out of the box thinking is not only appreciated but encouraged.
Once a student has cleared the board examination prescribed by their respective board, they could gear up to initiate the process of becoming an engineer.
Suppose the student has decided upon engineering as their profession. They must be ready to accumulate knowledge and be willing to apply the said knowledge in meaningful ways.
Engineering offers several choices of streams. Civil engineers are responsible for infrastructure such as houses, roads, highways, canals, tunnels, etc. Electrical engineers concern themselves with the working of electrical equipment, their construction, upkeep, and preventing any potential failures. Computer science engineers are responsible for developing apps, websites, software, and maintenance of servers and storage. Automobiles engineers use their skills to design and manufacture efficient automotive vehicles that perform well. Mechanical engineers are given the responsibility of developing and maintaining industries. Environmental engineers dare to challenge issues such as global warming, climate change, etc. Marine engineers are responsible for designing and development of different machines and equipment onboard ships or oil rigs.
The profession holds an indisputable allure for the up and coming graduates, whose primary goal is to gain a respectable degree and find satisfying employment opportunities. It is not only due to the droves of students who apply in various engineering colleges for admission each year, but also the innumerable graduates who pass the course each year and become upstanding citizens who contribute in the progress of our nation.
The popularity of engineering is also primarily based upon the ever-increasing demand of engineers in their respective streams due to exponential growth in sectors such as manufacturing and information and technology.
To make the proper choices, one must be armed with the right information. This helps you choose not only the right institution but also the correct stream of engineering best suited to one’s own set of skills.
Do you wish to know the process of becoming an engineer and prepare yourself for future employment opportunities? You’ll get to learn about the educational requirements to be fulfilled so as to enroll in an engineering program. Learn what you have to do after graduation and what do employers demand in a fresher applying for a job.
A. Do you have the desired set of skills?
It is essential to develop excellent mathematical and scientific skills as both math and science form the core foundation of engineering. It cannot be accentuated enough to depend on a solid foundation of scientific principles and mathematical skills. Ensuring the fact that you perform well in these disciplines will guarantee that understanding the various subjects taught during the duration of engineering will not appear foreign.
It is also advised to perform satisfactorily in school in areas such as chemistry, biology, algebra, geometry, physics, trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus as these areas of your school curriculum will further be explored in the graduation program.
Beyond scientific and mathematical skills, the acquisition of soft skills will contribute to your success as an engineer. Being a critical thinker will help you in applying principles you’ve learned to find solutions to problems. The ability to get together with your team and exhibiting teamwork will increase your odds of solving any issues. Be open to ideas, suggestions, and new information provided to you. Be malleable and learn to adapt quickly.
B. What are the necessary educational qualifications needed?
To become an engineer, first, you need to achieve the degree of bachelor of technology. This degree is the first stepping stone for anyone with a wish to be regarded as an engineer.
You will have to select a program that is either accredited or unaccredited. The accredited program is highly recommended, as it ensures that standards are being met. The certified program students find it easy to get their license. Companies seem to favour these individuals as they are assured of the legitimacy of the degree archived by the student.
NAAC awards these accreditations for higher education in India. While in the USA, engineering accreditations are awarded by ABET. Other countries have their respective bodies.
College courses vary depending upon the engineering branch you choose. In addition to your engineering classes, you would have to take advanced science and math courses. English, humanities, and social sciences classes will also be part of the broader college curriculum.
The following courses are essential for any engineering program:-
- Engineering Materials
- Analytical Geometry and Calculus
- Logical Design and Digital Circuits
- Engineering Mathematics
- Decision Analysis
- Probability and Risk Analysis for Engineers
- Mechanical Engineering Laboratory
- General Chemistry
- General Physics
- English Composition
- American History
- Introduction to Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology
C. How to enter an engineering program?
The process of the entrance is different in different institutions. You must stay watchful and be aware of the methods, completion of which is paramount for admission, of the institutions you wish to be given access.
It generally begins with filling a general application and taking a test that determines your admission. SAT and ACT are a few of these tests.
In engineering, aspirants have sometimes correctly to apply for courses they want and meet any additional qualifications demanded. For instance, they may have to get a specific score in the science or math section of the SAT or ACT.
Students seeking transfer from one institute to another or looking to change streams will have additional cross hurdles.
Thus, it is always advised that students decide well in advance about the college they want to go to, which stream they wish to choose so that at the time of the admission process, they have determined the path to pursue. This will help them be aware of the methods they need to complete and the qualifications they will have to meet.
D. What lies ahead of graduation?
Those who have accomplished their graduation and wish to serve the public directly have to get a license. Once the permit is acquired, the individual is referred to as Professional Engineers (PEs).
In the United States of America, states and the District of Columbia are responsible for issuing their licenses. The sole requirement is to have a degree from an accredited program, four years of work experience, and clearing exams mandated by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. If you wish to move or practice in multiple states, you’ll have to apply individually. But the exam is national, so you have to clear it only once.
Steps to take for getting a License for graduates of accredited engineering programs in the US:-
- Take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test after graduation. It spans for 8 hours.
- After passing the exam, work as an intern to gain four years of required experience as demanded full licensure.
- Clear the Professional Engineer (PE) exam in your stream or field. It also lasts for 8 hours.
E. How to get your first job?
The employers are always on the hunt for recruits due to their ever-expanding operations. They want someone with enthusiasm and zeal towards the task at hand. Obedience and respect are also attractive qualities in an employee.
The following are some qualities beyond the academics which are expected in an applicant:-
- The skills to organize tasks and work responsibilities while being efficient in time management.
- The ability to work with a team or assume the leader’s role according to the demands of current situations.
- Cooperate with supervisors and managers to efficiently manage labour and increase productivity.
- Quickly Identify issues and provide the best possible fix for it.
- Be personable and mild-mannered to reduce the possibility of conflict with other staff members.