Engineering is a field that is always in high demand, meaning that it offers reliable job security. It is also a varied, wide-ranging field, making it fairly easy to find a niche that you love. However, not everyone is suited to the field of engineering. If you are interested in it, here are some skills that you have to have.
- Computer Skills
Most careers require some type of computer skills, but engineering jobs require a range of different computer skills, such as CAD design services and computer modeling. At the very least, you need basic computer skills so you can build on those depending on the needs of your specific engineering subfield.
- Higher Mathematics
The use of computers in engineering jobs does not negate the need for an understanding of higher mathematics. In fact, the opposite is true. You need to be able to figure out complicated calculations on your own before you can enter information into a computer because computers are only able to do what they are instructed to do.
- Attention to Detail
Engineering is not a field for people who focus primarily on the big picture. Engineering projects are complex not only in the minute details that all have to come together for a project to work but also in the involvement of dozens of people. All of those people are affected by the project’s outcome, whether positive or negative. Failure of the project could mean injuries, deaths, lost jobs, or lost revenue. To prevent failure, an engineer has to be able to think in if-then contingencies, identifying and correcting minor flaws before they have a chance to turn into major problems.
While engineering involves a lot of mathematics and computer work, it is not just rote repetition. On the contrary, engineers often have to exercise creativity by finding ways to apply the knowledge that they already have in new ways to solve unique problems.
Because engineering projects are large and can involve hundreds of people, you need to develop collaborative skills. As an engineer, you work with your own peers as well as people outside your department. This means that, in identifying priorities and setting goals, you need to be able to express yourself effectively both verbally and nonverbally. To gain the trust and respect of others, you must conduct yourself with personal integrity at all times.
If you don’t feel that you have all these skills already, it may be possible to learn them through hard work and practice. Depending on your temperament, some may come more easily than others.