The life of an engineer is a fun but incredibly stressful one. As an engineer, you have to apply the principle of mathematics and science to your work to ensure that you are developing or finding the solutions to problems. Your work is to help make discoveries but also ensure the smooth running of important business operations and fix anything that may be malfunctioning. Businesses hire engineers for their own operations, but engineers are also hired by agencies so that they can provide insight and help clients. There is a lot of opportunity within the realm of engineering, which is why you may be interested in improving your engineering skills so that you can find a job that suits you and provides you with the type of work that interests you. Here’s how you can do just that.
- Obtain a Masters
While heading back to education can be nerve-racking for many, it can be a much-needed step for those who are looking to improve their knowledge in engineering and want to excel in their career. Having a degree is a great start, but a masters can help you expand your knowledge and become much more knowledgeable about the engineering industry. It can also provide you with advice and skills that are highly sought-after. What’s more, having a master’s degree can help you secure a job with much more responsibility and higher pay.
Make sure that your master’s degree is relevant to the engineering field. For instance, studying for an online MS in Computer Science is a great option as it can provide you with useful tools that may be needed within your engineering career. Typically, a masters in Computer Science will teach you about software algorithms and database design, which can be a valuable asset.
- Find a Mentor
If there is someone that you look up to and who you believe to be successful and knowledgeable, why not speak to them and ask them if they have any free time to mentor you? When asking, keep in mind that they may not be completely on-board due to the time constraints that mentoring can put on them. What’s more, you will want to build a rapport with them before asking as they are more inclined to mentor a friend and trusted co-worker than someone who is not genuine and who only wishes to gain something from them and their skills.
If you do not know the person who you wish to mentor you in person, you can always reach out to them and ask them if they have the time or any advice on how you can improve your engineering skills and career. Again, they may not have the time, but if they do, you can gain a lot of useful knowledge and teachings from them.
There are many useful guides on how you can approach someone about a mentorship. Remember that it may take some time before finding someone who has the time and resources, so don’t be too discouraged if a few of them turn down your proposal.
- Continue to Strengthen Your Technical Skills
As an engineer, you will be expected to be knowledgeable about certain technical skills and have to stay ahead of the game when it comes to algorithm or database updates that could change how certain apps or software work. The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to read in your free time and keep on top of industry news. You can set up alerts on your computer to ensure that you are informed whenever there is news regarding the keywords you have typed in.
You may also want to speak with your line manager or employer about attending crucial networking events or conferences so that you can continue to learn but also be alerted of any trends that may be approaching the industry you work in. If you are also considered an industry leader and have become well-known for your knowledge within the engineering industry, you may also wish to speak at certain events.
- Ask for Constructive Criticism
Feedback and constructive criticism can seem like a volatile and terrifying way of learning, but if done properly and without malicious intent, it can be a valuable source of education. Speak with co-workers, line managers, supervisors or even your employer and ask them for any constructive feedback they may have. You can do this face-to-face or you can send out an email to some trusted select individuals who you believe have your best interests at heart and who are likely to give you unbiased opinions on how you can progress your career.
Speaking with co-workers who are also engineers may also help you realize that there is a group of you who wish to improve your engineering skills. You could then work together and help one another; you may also wish to set up a work Discord so that you can have different categories and channels that allow you to post interesting and relevant sources for you all to read and learn from.
There are numerous benefits to seeking constructive feedback from others. It helps promote growth, provides insight into your work progress, and highlights parts of your job that you may be struggling with and need help developing. It can also promote trust between you and those providing you with feedback.
- Find a Job You are Passionate About
Entering a job that you thought you would love is easily done. It could be that the job was not what you expected or that you have simply grown tired of the workplace and wish to progress elsewhere. It is important that you find a job that you are passionate about and that promotes employee growth and progression.
Engineering is a profitable and exciting career. However, make sure that you remain knowledgeable within your field so that you can continue to excel. The engineering industry can change very quickly, so it is imperative that you continue to improve your skills.