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What does it take to succeed in engineering?

Kids in class are interested in learning more about this career.

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Subject: Career question for you


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Jason’s Answer

Engineering is the practical application of technical knowledge to creatively solve a difficult problem. As many people mention, you must have a strong technical knowledge base no matter what type of engineering field you choose. That base is built on mathematical thinking, scientific curiosity, and breaking impossible challenges into small discrete solvable problems. Being a good engineer is more about the personal traits and skills you develop. Great engineers always believe they can do impossible things and never quit trying. Sometimes it just takes longer than expected to develop the technology to solve the problems.

1) Be curious about everything. The more you know, the more likely you will find brilliance by applying ideas between different scientific fields. Read, practice, and try everything you can related to math, science, and technology. The internet is full of wonderful information like never before. Use flipbook to access technical articles in specific fields every day.

2) Build your skills early related to math, science, writing, communications, programming, and technical aptitude in what you enjoy (mechanical, chemical, electronics, etc.). Take advantage of every after school program, summer program, and challenging course in school. Make your own challenge projects at home to develop skills relevant to your technical interest areas. Active practice is required to develop expertise and depth.

3) Its possible to sit in isolation, but not likely in today's engineering world. Your ability to communicate both written and in groups is essential to working in the engineering field. Most technology is too advanced for a single person to solve all issues and take a new product to market. Sharing ideas and working together is essential to success.

4) Determine which engineering discipline motivates you the most, and plan your college career with the best universities in mind. They will be looking at how well rounded you are beyond just grades. That college education will launch you into the field with opportunities at the best companies. Experts in those companies will help you continue to learn and grow. College is just an important starting point, and most of what you learn happens after college as your specialization deepens.

5) Expect to work harder than most other fields. You will have more difficult courses in college. Your work life will have more time in the office solving challenges. Engineering has its rewards, and you must expect to work very hard to succeed.

Thank you comment icon THANK YOU! This is an amazing list we're going to provide for students in our class!!! Jesse
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Ken’s Answer

Hi Jesse!

Here is a site that will tell you much about the broad area of engineering. It has many facets and offers many varied opportunities.

Talk to your math and science teachers to see which area of engineering might be most suitable for your skills, abilities, and interests and see if they know of any engineers that you could meet or you could invite to make presentations to your class.

When I was in Personnel Administration I would have our company set up career days in which we would invite students to come and talk to the various departments of interest and allow them to see what the people in the various areas did in our plant. See if you can have something like that set up.

Send thank you notes to those who help you. Please keep me informed. I would like to follow your progress.

Best of luck on you journey!

Thank you comment icon Thanks! Career days and shadowing opportunities are great ideas! Jesse