Are you considering a career in engineering? How much do you know about study expectations, career prospects and general view of the engineering field? Are engineers really good at anything they choose to do or is it just a myth?
Well today, you will learn 25 things you probably didn’t know about studying engineering. As usual, this post is brought to you by After School Africa. If you are new here, welcome. Love videos? We are on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe to continue exploring opportunities.
1. Petroleum Engineers are the highest paid engineering profession
Six of the top ten richest companies in the world by revenue are oil and gas companies. And in such high-stake industry, energy companies rely primarily on the expertise of petroleum engineers. And petroleum engineers are handsomely compensated. The drawback is that petroleum engineers are restricted to a particular industry.
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2. Civil engineering is the most employable engineering degree
According to the bureau of labor Statistics, about 23 percent of new jobs for engineers are projected to be for civil engineers, the largest engineering occupation; while mechanical engineers are second. Together, these two professions accounted for about 36 percent of new jobs for engineers.
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3. Agricultural engineering is said to have the least employment rate
Agricultural engineering degree offers the least employment opportunities and is projected to create the least amount of new jobs in future. It is also the least paying engineering job according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
4. Computer/Hardware engineering is the second highest paying
After petroleum engineering, computer and hardware engineering is the second highest paying engineering profession followed closely by aerospace engineering.
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5. Manufacturing industry employs the highest number of engineers
This is followed by Engineering services, the government, and scientific research and development. Engineers in countries with low manufacturing industry have a harder time finding jobs to practice their field.
6. Many of world’s richest people are Engineers
Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon studied Electrical Engineering, Larry Page, Google co-founder studies Computer engineering, Strive Masiyiwa founder of Econet wireless studied electrical and electronic engineering, Mo Ibrahim founder of Celtel, electrical engineering, Carlos Slim Mexican business titan studied civil engineering, to mention a few.
7. Studying engineering can be boring
If you are a lover of arithmetic and technical drawing, you may find studying engineering interesting; but to the average person, Engineering can be boring. If you have no flair for complex formulas and calculation, do not bother studying Engineering.
8. Engineers earn high income
Engineering is one of the world’s top paying professions. Entry-level salaries for fresh graduates of engineering are among the highest in the STEM fields. For all the hard work engineers go through, this is a good reward. But there are no guarantees. Depending on where you live, there may not be enough engineering jobs to go round.
9. You will not use most of what you learn
Engineering is a scientific field that involves taking our scientific understanding of the natural world and using it to invent, design, and build things to solve problems. You will learn a lot in your engineering class but the essence of most of what you learn is to develop your ability to think and solve complex problems scientifically. You will not directly us most of what you learn. But you still need to learn them anyway!
10. You have wide career options
There are several career options that you can specialize in, in the field of Engineering. Before the 21st century, all that was available include Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and possibly Aeronautical Engineering. But today, there are new, exciting and equally rewarding fields such as Robotics, Software, Space Engineering, and a host of others.
11. You need social skill to make the most of your career
Engineers are often introverted. It’s easier to find socially awkward engineers than socially skilled ones. Most just want to do their job and let their result speak for them. But engineers who develop their social skills are often exceptional in their career and achieve more. So while you are working on your academic performance, you want to also develop your communication skills.
12. There are numerous engineering scholarships
Engineering scholarships are easier to find than most other fields of study. You’ll find a number of government funded engineering scholarships, engineering scholarships in UK, US, Australia and other popular study destinations. See the description below for link to engineering scholarships. Also visit www.afterschoolafrica.com to explore engineering scholarships
13. Expect to spend more years in school than your friends
While most arts and humanities degrees require four years for bachelor’s studies, most engineering degree requires five to six years in most countries.
14. Engineering is still widely regarded as a man’s field
Thanks to advocacy for gender equality, female empowerment and education. More women are beginning to venture into STEM fields. But despite that, Engineering is still widely dominated by men. According to study, there were 13% female engineers as at 2018. And usually, the salary of female engineers is at least 10% less than male engineers.
15. You must be willing to take initiative
If all you do is stick to whatever you are taught in the classroom, you will remain an average student. As you progress in engineering school, you must adopt the ability to take initiative. Go out of your way to apply some concepts that you are taught, and even develop them further. That is what engineering is about.
16. Engineering students suffer high depression rate
A recent cross-sectional study among young people in India showed that engineering students attempted suicide more than any other subset of individuals in the target demographic. To an extent, this explains how challenging engineering studies can get. But there could be a cultural implication to this result.
17. You must have problem-solving skills
One way to demonstrate inclination for engineering is by approaching everything you do in school from a problem-solving standpoint. Do you go to class to get good grades and work for a multinational company, or is your intention to gain knowledge to help solve problems in future? Those with the latter mindset to engineering studies perform better than the former.
18. You may end up in the totally different profession
It is common to find engineering graduates, especially in developing countries, working as bankers or insurance brokers. While engineering is a highly employable professions in industrialized nations, this is usually not the case in under-industrialized countries. Where every engineer move to the cities and urban areas for job, there is often not enough jobs to go round. So you may end up settling for totally different profession.
19. Every little project you engage in matters
While studying engineering, every little project you get involved in matters to your future career as an engineer. These are the elements that you will include in your portfolio when seeking work. They are the proof of your technical skills and practical knowledge, beyond classroom work and GPA.
20. You need to become a team player
In many cases on campus, you will be required to work independently: but, in the real world, it is the opposite. You need to build team-playing skills right from school. Learn to leverage the knowledge and experience of other people for maximum result.
21. Get ready for boring classes
Some engineering classes are interesting to attend if you have a lecturer with an engaging teaching style. But you cannot escape those boring classes where you wonder how you’ll make it through the course. But don’t lose faith; as an engineer to be, you’ll get through it.
22. Don’t Limit Your Skills to Engineering Alone
Your survival as an engineer depends on your ability to adapt. This quality of engineers is why they tend to perform well in any field they go into, even in business. Learn coding and other digital skills. Develop your writing and speaking skill. Learning other skills that interest you outside your engineering field will make you a better engineer and give you options in life.
23. The United States is the best country in the world to study engineering
MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley and Harvard University rank top universities in the world to study for engineering degree; and they are all in the United States. With most of the world’s innovation coming from the US, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
24. Yes, you have to be a smart student to study Engineering
The stereotype is true on this one. Engineering is not for the average student. Entry requirement into most universities is above average in virtually every country. So you need well above average result to get in.
25. Engineers will continue to be in high demand
As the world continues to advance in technology, the future is bright for engineers. Developing countries are becoming more industrialized. And Developed nations are advancing even further with engineering innovation. This simply means more opportunities for engineers. If engineering is your thing, then go for it.
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