With industries like energy and robotics growing at a feverish pace, it’s no wonder the engineering field is hotter than ever.
According to the Engineering Employment Outlook, the demand for engineers could increase by 11 percent by the year 2023. With baby boomers heading toward retirement, the need could grow even greater. But what does it take to be a successful engineer?
Dr. Maj Mirmirani, Dean of the College of Engineering for the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach campus, says that many of today’s engineering graduates have a few things in common: terrific analytical skills, practical ingenuity, creativity and communication skills.
So, let’s say you think you have all of those attributes. Why should you aim for a career in engineering? Dr. Federica Robinson-Bryant, Assistant Professor of Engineering Sciences for the Worldwide Campus, says there are six reasons why the field is soaring:
Left Brain + Right Brain: One of the interesting things about engineering is that it provides not only opportunities for intellectual stimulation but also requires creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving in new and unique ways.
Professional Autonomy: As an engineer, you’re often left to conduct your efforts with minimal ongoing oversight. In many cases, micromanagement is less of a risk in the daily functions of the engineering role.
Teamwork: While autonomy is prevalent, engineers still experience a lot of personal and professional benefits related to teamwork and communication. Engineering is a team-based field, and engineers often forge interdisciplinary relationships that can extend one's outlook and perspective.
Elite Reputation: The general perception is that engineering is a difficult field that only a “chosen few” can penetrate; however, this is not (or should not be) the case. Certainly, engineering is a field that requires someone to have a stringent computational understanding to truly be effective, but it also provides a heightened understanding of how things work, why they work and how they can work better. By gradually consuming the fundamentals of any engineering discipline, we become more apt to do the job better.
Highly Impressionable Field: Engineers are in a position to significantly impact their world. One design decision, one process change or one product can impact the way we do things across an entire spectrum.
Life-Cycle Experience: It is not uncommon for an engineer to complete their career having experienced a fraction of what engineering truly encapsulates. The mystical nature of the field ensures that we can only wonder what we would be exposed to along the engineering journey. One day, we could be thinking outside of the box to conceptualize a transportation vehicle that is powered by some new propellant in the year 2030, and then the next path may take us into an effort to retrieve a CubeSat from outer space for its disposal. As can be inferred, not even the skies are the limit in engineering.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.