What skills are MUST for a career in engineering?
What are the most important skills a student interested in going into engineering should have since now? And what about the ones we might have to develop during college?
TEAMWORK – Engineers almost never work alone; you will work with a wide range of employees, both fellow engineers and people outside your department, to bring your projects to fruition. This is the essence of department integration and collaboration. You need to be able to work collaboratively with different types of people at every level, applying skills as varied as verbal communication and appropriate body language to goal-setting and prioritizing problems. You need the character and integrity that will induce other people to trust you and rely on you as you all work together.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL – Engineering is fundamentally about problem solving and multi-tasking, and that means finding new ways to apply existing knowledge—a truly creative process. You may be attracted to engineering because of its creative element. Projects in engineering are extraordinarily complex. They involve dozens, if not hundreds, of people. A small mistake at any point during planning, development, or construction can result in failure. A failed project not only loses money but could also injure or even kill people.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Frequently, engineers manage teams and must integrate with auxiliary departments while trying to meet deadlines on a budget. Because of the administrative demands required of most engineers, many of them go on to become CEOs and thought leaders. Like other professionals that need project management skills, some engineers seek a project management certification. Some companies will offer their engineers the opportunity to get certified in project management. If you seek employment as an engineer and already have a bachelor’s degree, you can often find graduate programs at low cost that help you take and pass the PMI exam.
While the skills above highlight to most important hard and soft skills required of top engineers, there are several others. If you love complexity and understanding the building blocks of innovation, many of these skills will come to you naturally.
Hope this was helpful Gloria
Many employers appreciate a well-rounded individual, so if you've settled on a specific branch of interest, explore related topics in school if you can. For example, if you're going into software engineering, a basic electronics course will serve you well in understanding how that computer works from a hardware level. If you're going into mechanical or civil engineering, try to have at least a basic physics course under your belt, and so on.
Best of luck!
Generally though, those who are the most successful in engineering careers are those who have an affinity towards certain areas. If you like to build things, maybe mechanical engineering. If you like computers, computer science. If you enjoy math, multiple levels of engineering would be good.
In addition to what everyone else is saying about communication and problem solving, I see a lot of people struggling to ask for help. From the perspective of a co-op student, other co-ops are often too shy or too cocky to ask for help. When you're new and starting off, full-time employees expect you to ask for help because ... how is it possible for you to know everything already? A good manager/co-worker may act like a mentor towards you and train you in multiple areas to increase your value to the company.
Another important skill to have to determine if you'd enjoy working at that company. If a full-timer tells you off for asking questions ... well sounds like bad workplace culture. A sign of a *good* company is one that asks you what you want and what areas you are interested in exploring.
TLDR: have confidence (not too much), ask questions and don't trap yourself
When it comes to professional engineering life, ability to listen and learn from system matter experts will take you far.
Hard work, being ethical and being consistent at your given work are some of the behavioral skill that I think are important.