Do you want to be an engineer? Great! Engineers play a vital role in this world, and it is partly down to them that the human race is civilized. Becoming one is not as simple as saying you want to be an engineer, however – there are many different areas, and it takes a lot of hard work to get there.
Don’t let that put you off, though, as there are some simple ways of deciding which area of engineering is right for you.
Know the Different Careers
First of all, you need to know which engineering areas you can become a part of. After all, how can you decide if you don’t have all the options? Make sure you look into each one thoroughly, including the ones you don’t think you’re interested in, as you might surprise yourself.
To get you started on knowing all the different roles of engineering, they include:
Aerospace engineers design, build and manage craft that goes up into space. It’s a pretty cool job, as it involves helping the exploration of life outside the earth!
Becoming an engineer manager takes business skills as well as technical skills and requires a decent amount of work experience. If you’re interested in climbing the engineering ladder, follow this link for more information.
You could say marine engineers are the opposite of aerospace engineers, as they build equipment that goes on top of or below water – think boats and submarines.
Civil engineers build what you see around you every day – bridges, roads, tunnels, and many more. It’s what many people think of first when hearing the name engineer.
Quite different to the other types – software engineers work with computers to create and manage software.
There are many more engineering careers to look at, but these will help get you started on your research. Once you know them all, you can start figuring out which one suits you best.
Assess Your Skills
While doing what you love is important, you must also pursue what you are good at. When deciding which area of engineering you want to go into, think of where your skills would come in handy. Are you great at programming? Are you an excellent communicator? Do you have a knack for mathematics?
Knowing where you thrive will help you pick an engineering career that you’ll succeed in.
Consider the Growth Rate
Job stability is crucial, so before you decide on an engineering course, have a look at how much it is expected to grow over the next ten years or so. By choosing one with a high growth rate, you increase your chances of acquiring a job and keeping it. Some of the most in-demand engineering careers include automation engineering and civil engineering.
Take an Engineering Course
There are plenty of engineering courses out there, so start at the bottom to give it a taste. At this stage, you don’t even have to choose a particular area; you just need to learn the basics. Of course, as your education goes on, you’ll need to be more specific, but for now, simply learn about engineering and see where you naturally drift.
Think About What Motivates You
The best careers are those that push you even when you feel like staying home all day. If you choose an engineering career in something that genuinely motivates you, then you’ll have a better chance of success.
If you’re interested in space travel, for example, then pursuing an aerospace engineering career would push you to work hard every single day. For those passionate about saving the planet, a career as an environmental engineer would serve you well.
Some people will take any salary that’s higher than average, while others are motivated by money. Whichever one you fall under can help you decide on your engineering path. If you want to earn an extremely high salary, for example, then you should look into more lucrative careers such as engineering managing and petroleum engineering.
Do Plenty of Research
You must research deeper than the basics of the role before you jump into a degree. Once you have a couple of ideas of what you want to go into, start doing more intense research into them. Fortunately, there are plenty of people online extremely willing to share their experiences, so you are likely to find out what the role is like day-to-day.
Talk to Engineers
The best way of understanding what’s it like to work as an engineer is to talk to those who are engineers. If you know someone who is one, try having a conversation with them about their career, and ask them about how they ended up choosing their particular area.
Write a Pros and Cons List
Pros and cons lists are great in many areas of life, including deciding on a career path. While you shouldn’t only use this to decide, it will help you figure out which engineering careers would be better for you in the long run. Also, you don’t have to do it for every single role – if you’re not at all interested in software engineering, then simply leave it out.
Consider Where You Want to Live
If you are determined to stay where you live, then look up engineering careers in your area. Where you want to live influences the career choices you make, so don’t commit to one role unless you know there are available jobs in the area you see yourself living in.
Go with Your Gut
If you’ve thought for a long time about which career path to go down, but you just can’t choose between a couple of options, then go with your gut. Picture yourself in five, ten, or twenty years – the chances are, whichever career you see yourself in is the one for you. Sometimes, life requires a leap of faith, so don’t get stuck for too long making a decision.