Whether you’re looking into studying engineering because you want to build bridges or work with complex machinery, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before enrolling in school.
By doing your research and knowing exactly what you want to get out of your degree, the path to engineering can be a much smoother one.
Read on for 10 Things You Need To Know Before You Study Engineering!
10 Things You Need To Know Before You Study Engineering
1) The field of engineering is vast
Engineering is a vast field with many different branches and specialties. For this reason, it’s important that you explore the different types of engineering when you’re deciding on a major.
Some common fields of engineering include chemical, civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering.
If you’re not sure where your interests lie, one way to start is by thinking about what types of technology interest you the most.
Then do some research into which type of engineer would be best for those interests. Another good question to ask yourself is:
What problem do I want to solve? Once you have an idea for a problem, look at the type of engineer who might be able to help solve that issue.
2) You need to be good at math
One of the most important things you need to know before going into engineering is that it requires a lot of math.
It’s not just one or two courses either, it can be as many as 8-10 courses! If you don’t excel in math and are able to do calculus problems in your head, you might want to reconsider this major.
If there was one word I could use to describe my first year of engineering, it would be intimidating.
With so much math involved and some people struggling with the new material, it can feel like a whole different world than what you’re used to.
However, when I started getting the hang of things and doing better on exams, I felt really proud of myself. It was worth all those late nights studying for hours at a time.
3) The basics of physics are essential
In order to become an engineer, you will need a strong foundation in physics. Physics is the study of matter, energy and their interactions with each other.
Understanding physics will help you be more successful in any engineering field that interests you.
And it’s not just about memorising formulas or laws; you’ll also learn concepts like Newton’s Laws of Motion which are critical to understand how objects move and interact with one another.
4) Chemistry is also important
While engineering is an important field, you also need to take chemistry classes.
Chemistry helps you understand the world around us and teaches you how things work together in a system.
It’s also critical for understanding certain types of engineering, like chemical engineering or biochemistry.
Learning chemistry before starting your engineering studies will help you understand the fundamentals of how things work in the world.
It also gives you a better understanding of what engineers do, which can make it easier for you to decide if engineering is the right major for you.
5) You need to be able to think analytically
As an engineering student, you’ll need to develop good analytical skills. This means being able to break problems down into manageable pieces and find solutions.
It also means asking lots of questions and trying to find creative solutions when standard ones don’t work.
To be successful as an engineer, you have to be a problem solver.
Engineers use math, science, technology and other subjects all the time because they understand that in order for a project or design to be successful it has to take all the different factors into account.
6) Problem solving skills are key
Engineering is a complicated field and you will be expected to solve problems in many different contexts.
However, there are several skills that can help you tackle these challenges more effectively.
These include time management, critical thinking, problem solving, team working and communication skills.
-1 Time Management Skills -2 Critical Thinking Skills -3 Problem Solving Skills -4 Team Working Skills -5 Communication Skills
Before you begin, it’s worth thinking about which skills are most relevant for your area of engineering.
For example, if you plan to become a chemical engineer, these areas will be important: -6 Mathematics Skills -7 Physics Skills
7) You need to be able to communicate effectively
Effective communication is key in any profession, but it’s especially important in engineering.
Whether you’re talking with your professor or with a client, you need to be able to clearly and efficiently get your point across.
The field of engineering is vast and spans many different specializations, so you need to figure out which specialization interests you the most.
Engineering also requires strong problem solving skills and creativity. If you like using math or science (or both) in your work and think that this might interest you as well, then studying engineering could be the perfect choice for you!
8) You need to be able to work in a team
Engineers are required to work in a team environment, so it’s important to know how to communicate effectively with others.
Communication skills are important in engineering because engineers must interact with people from different backgrounds and expertise levels.
Engineers must be able to listen carefully and understand what is being communicated, as well as articulate their own thoughts.
They must also have strong writing skills so they can clearly document the work they’ve done or problems they’ve solved.
9) Time management skills are essential
While the time you spend in engineering courses is important, it’s equally if not more important to learn how to manage your time effectively.
It’s easy to get caught up in coursework and lose track of what else needs your attention.
Keep a list of all deadlines, tasks, and obligations you have; this will help you stay on top of things and better prioritize what deserves your focus at any given time.
Learning how to balance engineering school with extracurricular activities and other responsibilities can be difficult; but it’s well worth the effort!
In addition to mastering their technical skills, many students find that participation in extracurricular activities such as sports or student government are essential for giving them an opportunity to connect with others.
And by participating in these activities, they can keep their grades from slipping too much from balancing classes, homework, and other commitments.
10) You need to be able to handle stress
Tackling a tough engineering project can be overwhelming. It’s not uncommon for students to go days without sleep, working 20+ hours a day.
This is one of the reasons why it’s important for you, as an engineer in training, to know how you react in high stress situations.
Are you a drown your sorrows kind of person?
Do you prefer avoiding your problems by distracting yourself with other activities?
If so, think about whether this is the best approach for handling stress. Is there something else that would work better for you?
For example, if you’re drowning your sorrows after a stressful week at school and realize that it’s only making things worse, maybe try talking to someone who will understand or focusing on some physical activity like jogging.
If none of these seem like good solutions for you, there are always medications such as Xanax or Valium which could help calm down overactive nerves and relieve feelings of anxiety.