Engineering: The Basics

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Becoming an engineer is a challenging and varied job that will use many of your technical and personal skills. There are many different types of engineering and job opportunities, so if you are considering starting your journey to becoming an engineer, it is important to understand your options and plan your education and career paths. Here are just a couple of the basics when it comes to engineering. 

What is it?

At the most basic level, engineering is concerned with the design, building, use, and maintenance of machines, engines, and structures. It combines science, mathematics, and technology in a huge range of fields, from agriculture to electricity, nuclear to aerospace. As well as technical skills, certain personal skills can help you excel as an engineer. These include teamwork, communication, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills. These are what are known as soft skills and are transferable skills that help you to excel in the workplace.

What are the different types?

When you choose to become an engineer, you will need to specialize in a specific area to ensure you have the technical knowledge and skills to succeed. There are many fields of engineering, including:

  • Electrical
  • Agricultural
  • Industrial
  • Chemical
  • Aerospace
  • Mechanical
  • Biomedical
  • Computer, including software

Although many of these fields will share the same basic principles of engineering, there are important specific skills, knowledge, and experiences you will need for each one, and the engineering course you choose will often be a specific type of engineering.

How do you become one?

The most common way to become an engineer is through educational institutions, from school and college to Bachelor’s or even Master’s degrees. Studying subjects at school such as math and physics is incredibly useful, and it can help to check out potential engineering courses to see what their requirements are before you choose your subjects. An engineering degree will give you plenty of important skills and opportunities to help you prepare for a career in engineering. If you want to provide your services directly to the public, you will also need a license. Many people choose to study for a Master’s or even a Ph.D. to further their education and specialized skills.

What are the career outcomes?

When you have graduated and obtained your license, there are many job roles available in the field of engineering you have trained in. You could work in settings such as research labs, construction companies, factories, or for companies like Telstar Instruments, which offer a range of engineering services to different clients. There are also other ways to boost your career, such as joining a co-op, looking for consultancy work, and joining a professional engineering society. This can be done while you are studying in order to give you as much experience and material to put on your resume as possible.

There are also plenty of careers outside of engineering that engineering graduates excel at. These include consulting, logistics, banking, academia, or patent law. Engineers have a range of useful and transferable skills, from personal skills to technical ones, making them very capable and employable individuals.

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