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What is the path to a successful career in engineering?

What should I do to prepare myself for a career in engineering, both in terms of school and extracurricular activities? #engineering #engineer

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Ben’s Answer

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Starting in High School, the first step toward a career in engineering is to excel in math and science courses. (Don't neglect humanities classes either - successful engineers must be able to communicate well. Not only that, the greatest engineers consider not only the technical but also the social, economic, and geopolitical ramifications of the problems that they face and the solutions that they propose.) Alongside their coursework, most successful engineers develop an early passion for how things work - sometimes a specific thing (like cars, or medicines, or skyscrapers, or the internet), and sometimes more broadly. Feed these passions - join clubs or academic teams, build things, take apart things, explore the world around you.

Some engineers attend technically-oriented engineering or tech schools; others attend engineering programs at liberal arts institutions. Either path can lead to a wonderful career, though different schools do place greater or lesser emphasis on certain priorities. Research your schools carefully, speak to professors, students, and graduates of the programs. Attend an accredited engineering program.

During college, do well in coursework, take classes that interest you, and seek summer internships with companies that do the kinds of things that you might wish to do in your career. Don't be afraid to take classes that appear to be outside the specific scope of your engineering major - great engineers are able to think about the world's problems in broad terms and apply a wide knowledge base to the specific tasks at hand.

Most successful engineers attend graduate school in their discipline. Some do so directly out of undergrad; in my case, I returned to grad school after several years of working in my field. Either approach can work well. Some engineers also attend graduate school for business (MBA), law, or other disciplines that relate to the business of engineering.

Depending on your discipline and your career aspirations, it may make sense to sit for the Engineer-in-Training exam and ultimately for the Professional Engineer (PE) exam in your discipline. Speak to others in your field about the appropriateness of these credentials as they apply to your field and your career aspirations.

Good luck!

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Ace’s Answer

Successful Engineering career starts from yourself. You need to really like doing Engineering everyday. In order to be be good in Engineering you will need to master the basic elements of the Engineering discipline. (math, logic, geometry, etc,)

Once you mastered, you will want to go work where you can apply the skills you have learned and to keep learning new technology.

Successful Engineers are passionate about what they are building.

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Brandon’s Answer

My path is probably less than traditional for a lot of people. My degree is in General Studies, but that was more from a lack of direction than a sign of intellectual direction. I joined the Army, and the Army introduced me to communications troubleshooting and problem solving, I was a Signal Corps officer. The Army opened up my desire to learn and helped me find my direction.

By all means, if you know right now you want to be an electrical engineer, go for that degree, it will be a great investment. But I think the most valuable asset for an engineer is the wonder of life and technology. When you see a piece of technology, you think how does that work? What do I need to learn to understanding something new?

My personal experience is that wonder and willingness to discover something new and create adaptive solutions are probably the best skills you can foster where you are in life. If you have a class where you can learn microprocessors/drawing circuits or even programming, take it. Both of those kinds of courses open doors to different kinds of thinking. Best of luck!

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Brian’s Answer

Engineers are natural-born problem solvers with abilities in math and science. So you have to have good skills in math and science. These are the tools that engineers use every day to solve problems. But even more important is a strong desire to tackle tough problems. A typical day in the life of an engineer is spent solving problems. They devise a solution, then find out that solution didn't work as well as expected. So they fix the solution. Then another problem comes up so they have to design a work-around to solve that problem. So in addition to learning math and science, you should be building or making something. It doesn't matter what, there will be problems and practice will make you good at solving them. Anyone with good math and science skills and an aptitude for solving problems will be successful, because that type of person is always in demand.

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kinjalk’s Answer

Path to successful Engineering career starts with self-analysis of the fact whether your personality/interests/ability aligns with this career. Read the post - Is Engineering the Career for you?

When you are satisfied that you will go ahead with Engineering then next step is to understand the efforts/planning required for preparation then in that case read this post. and next read things you should know before you start Engineering preparations .