Engineering: The personal skills needed to succeed in the field

It’s one of the hottest career paths going right now, and if studies regarding the demand for engineers are to be believed this isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

However, a lot of people only focus on the technical skills required when it comes to pursuing a career in engineering. These of course vary depending on the discipline you are opting for; for example Biomedical engineering online degrees naturally require completely different skills to someone who is pursuing civil engineering.

Through today’s post we are instead going to look at some of the personal skills that you need to develop in a bid to realize a successful career in engineering. Let’s now delve into the list.

The ability to present

When you discuss the latest engineering breakthroughs with your peers, you will naturally use technical jargon. However, when you are presenting, there’s a big chance that this won’t be required. In fact, in most cases you won’t need to.

If you are serious about gaining a senior position as an engineer, you need to learn how to communicate information in a simple and easy to digest manner. On a lot of occasions, you will be transmitting these details to high-level directors, who simply want to find out about the end-point, not the technical information in-between.

Work on this, and you will be much more respected through your early career.

Set yourself apart from other engineers

This relates to the point we have just discussed, where it’s not just about your own technical engineering knowledge. When you arrive for a job interview, everyone on the panel is expecting you to have that knowledge. If you have made it to that stage, there’s every chance that your grades have carried you to it. Of course, they might dig slightly deeper into your technical knowledge, but the real purposes of these interviews are to find out about you.

This is where you need to sell other parts of your personality. As well as being able to present information concisely, as described above, you need to show your value. Show that you are commercially aware for example, as this shows that you are much more likely to increase a company’s revenue than an engineer who has just rocked up to an interview with a purely technical background.

The power of empathy

This final point we are going to talk about is an interesting one. A common misconception about engineering is that they are so focused about solving the world’s problems that they fail to think about the other issues which might affect a project.

For example, there might be an idea to solve an area’s health problems. At the same time, there might be local policies and a general feeling around the area that it’s not the right thing for society. We won’t touch upon the reasons here, they really can be few and far between, but the first time you are greeted with a surprising denial for a project question just why this answer has been given, rather than looking purely from an engineering and technical perspective.

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