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what kind of support system should if I want to become an automotive engineer and to help me be successful in this field?

I am a Job Corps student and I have some questions.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Paul’s Answer

To thrive as an automotive engineer, it's crucial to have a comprehensive support system that covers all facets of your education, career progression, and personal development. Here are the essential elements:

1. **Educational Support:**
- **Formal Education:** Pursue your studies at a respected university with a solid mechanical or automotive engineering program. Make sure the curriculum includes courses related to automotive technology, design, and production.
- **Certifications and Training:** Think about obtaining extra qualifications in automotive engineering, such as those provided by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) or specific software tools like CAD, CATIA, or MATLAB.
- **Continuous Learning:** Keep up with the newest developments in automotive technology by taking online courses, attending workshops, and participating in seminars.

2. **Mentorship:**
- **Academic Mentors:** Establish relationships with teachers and academic advisors who can guide your educational journey and research endeavors.
- **Industry Mentors:** Connect with professionals in the automotive industry who can share valuable insights, offer advice, and present networking opportunities.

3. **Practical Experience:**
- **Internships and Co-ops:** Acquire real-world experience through internships and co-op programs with automotive firms. These experiences provide practical knowledge and could lead to job opportunities.
- **Projects and Competitions:** Engage in engineering projects and contests, like Formula SAE, to put your skills into practice and collaborate with your peers.

4. **Professional Networks:**
- **Industry Associations:** Become a member of professional groups such as SAE International or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). These organizations provide resources, networking events, and conferences.
- **Alumni Networks:** Utilize your university's alumni network to link up with graduates who are now working in the automotive industry.

5. **Technical Skills:**
- **Software Proficiency:** Master industry-standard software tools used for design, simulation, and analysis.
- **Programming Skills:** Acquire programming languages that are relevant to automotive engineering, like C++, Python, or MATLAB, particularly for roles in areas like automotive electronics and autonomous systems.

6. **Soft Skills:**
- **Communication and Teamwork:** Cultivate strong communication and teamwork abilities, as automotive engineering often requires collaboration within multidisciplinary teams.
- **Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking:** Improve your capacity to tackle intricate engineering issues and critically evaluate design and manufacturing procedures.

7. **Career Services:**
- **University Career Centers:** Take advantage of your university's career services for help with resume creation, interview preparation, and job placement.
- **Job Portals and Recruitment Fairs:** Be proactive in attending job fairs and utilizing job portals tailored to engineering careers to discover employment prospects.

8. **Personal Support:**
- **Family and Friends:** Depend on your personal network for emotional backing and motivation throughout your educational and professional journey.
- **Work-Life Balance:** Uphold a balanced work-life dynamic to ensure your long-term success and well-being in your career.

I wholeheartedly endorse this well-researched response I've given you above, particularly the emphasis on work-life balance. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! Best of luck!
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Jerry’s Answer

Kyaw,

For automotive engineering you are about 100 years too late. I grew up in Michigan and thought about being an engineer in some area of automobiles. Good thing I got an engineering degree and left the automotive stuff behind. The problem with automotive engineering is that you'd be working for a large company run by bean counters (accountants). You would be just a necessary number, one that could go at any time. Your work would be furthering and evolving the existing designs. Look at todays cars - the trend (evolution) is to electronic and electrical innovation - not mechanical design. The challenge is to get the multiple sensors on all four corners and front to work together so the car can drive itself - electrical, electronic and software.

Look to fields that are growing - like aerospace, satellites, rockets, etc. Or maybe in Industrial, Commercial & Residental building design. I found a place in the design of offshore oil/gas drilling rigs and platforms. The platforms are each designed for a specific location (water depth, sea state, etc.) and must meet the processing requirements (oil/water separation, gas processing and compression, oil and gas pipelines to shore, on-shore processing & storage, etc.). Each platform is a unique design.

The Jobs Corps is a good place to come up with low cost things like water wells, better crops, better ways to move stuff around - not on someones back. The idea is simple & cheap. You will probably carry many of the things you learn into your engineering career.

Best of luck
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