Being an engineer is all about how you grow as an engineer. It’s a scary world out there that is progressing at an alarming rate and in order to remain relevant, an engineer needs to grow at an accelerated pace as well. Now, in order to understand career development, one needs to understand what employers need and are looking for in engineers. The particular engineering needs of employers may vary greatly, however if you look at it objectively, you can determine a set of ground requirements that remain the same for almost all of them.
An extensive study was carried out to see what core engineering competencies employers look for and the top fifteen competencies have been listed below. Once you’ve gone through them, take a look below at important factors and accompanying explanations of why they matter.
Sadly, yes they are important. You’ll hear arguments about how GPA doesn’t matter, newsflash; it does. A good GPA is an indicator of the candidate having the ability to learn and master a particular skill set. Need a better incentive than that? How about this; your starting salary is affected by how high your GPA is. However, do not mistake a great GPA to be the only factor that will be considered. A standalone good GPA doesn’t warrant anything at all. Your resume needs to be dynamic and versatile.
Apart from good grades, employers want engineers with work experiences in the form of co-ops and internships. Internships and co-ops are professional experiences that help candidates work in a professional workplace and develop skills while you’re required to complete engineering tasks.
Soft Skills (Teamwork, Leadership, etc.)
Any candidate who has been an active participant in student organizations is a gem for employers. Why? Because such a candidate knows teamwork and can lead the team as well along with managing the project.
Forget the well-rounded approach, instead introduce yourself to the ‘T’ shaped personality. Such individuals possess technical depth in their area of study while also sporting a myriad of other interests. Such folks are usually inquisitive and are keen on learning. Since engineers are required to work with personals from various disciplines, the candidates are required to know about other disciplines as well.
Inquisitive and Conservative Individuals
This particular factor varies from employer to employer. Most of them prefer conservative individuals who are unlikely to take unnecessary risk. Since engineering decisions incur liability, it is considered to keep the creativity and innovation out of it. However, there are employers who prefer such individuals.