Industrial

Career trajectories of young engineers

28th July 2021
Alex Lynn

Being an engineer of any level is a big job with great responsibility. These professionals are important to the world as they plan, design, create, test, assess, analyse, develop, upgrade, manage all complex large-scale systems. All the necessary products and tools used in our lives today were created with the help of engineers.

There are many areas in which, depending on your degree and preference, you can start your first steps as a young engineer and gradually become proficient: mechanical engineering, computer engineering, civil engineering, industrial engineering, medical engineering, aerospace engineers, etc. 

As an engineer, you can also work on projects that contribute to the well-being of society, overcoming hunger, developing clean transportation systems, preserving the environment, and so on.

What is the career trajectory of an engineer?

Career trajectory is the main part of life. It describes the progress of career, from first ideas about work, the sequence of steps, the training, all the events that have helped to change and improve working life.

Whether you are a beginner or a professional engineer, you are in the early stages of your career or you have many years of experience, it is very important to plan what the next stage of your career is, where you see yourself in the coming years.

There are various career pathways you can take to become a successful engineer, and there are lots of fields you can work in. But these pathways are not always smooth and straightforward and easily lead your career in the desired direction. That is why it is necessary to keep pace with the demands of the time, to update the knowledge and skills, and always look ahead.

Career tips for young engineers

When we compare the current and past engineering workforces, it becomes clear that perceptions of work, work environment, relationships, and career growth have changed significantly. If in the past young professionals were ready to work for decades in the same workplace, in the same position, today young engineers are more ambitious and purposeful. Moreover, having a wide range of opportunities for self-education, self-development, and skills, they bring a new culture to the workplace making it a source of abilities.

Here are great ways to make your career as a young engineer:

Set clear goals and find the optimal ways to achieve them

Before starting a career as a young engineer, you need to set motivation, smart and relevant goals, that is, choose the direction in which you need to move forward. By setting goals, you also define the sequence of all the steps that will lead to success and career growth. That means where you see yourself in a year or five. In addition, your goals should have a deadline because working on a deadline, you manage time more efficiently and reach the goal faster.

Develop soft skills for career success

Surely technical knowledge is the key to creating a successful career in engineering. But making yourself more competitive and attractive to clients and employers you should develop soft skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, innovation, leadership, time management, and risk management.

Moreover, as engineering is a sphere that often demands engaging in activities with people and establish constructive relations without adequate communication, collaboration, and organisational skills, it’s impossible to thrive in your job.

Keep your knowledge up to date

Especially in the field of engineering where one technical development follows the next, you should constantly learn and learn making a habit regularly to spend time on education and updating knowledge. Read professional books, use relevant websites, communicate with professionals as much as possible, take professional development courses, attend professional events, and become more competitive and perspective.

Engineering career paths

The presence and constant development of the latest technologies in almost all fields show that experienced and knowledgeable professionals both now and in the future are in great demand. Therefore, young engineers have a wide range of choices to build their careers as engineering contains a lot of job opportunities and specialties.

Below is a list of some of the areas that are very promising for young engineers:

  • Computer engineering: Computer engineers merge electrical engineering with computer science to innovate computer systems. These engineers also design and test computer hardware components, create more effective software applications and manage operating systems.
  • Software engineering: Software engineers using mathematical analysis, engineering, and the principles of computer science design, test, and develop computer software. They have a wide knowledge of programming languages, computer operating systems, and software development.
  • Electrical engineering: Electrical engineers design, develop and test domestic and commercial electrical systems for buildings, transport, and communications systems, power generators, and manufacturing.
  • Mechanical engineering: Mechanical engineers apply fundamental science laws to design and develop the mechanical machines and equipment that we daily use. They are responsible for designing and testing power-using machines and power-producing machines.
  • Vehicle engineering: Vehicle engineers, also known as automotive engineers, oversee the production of automobiles. They design the mechanisms and systems in cars, analyse potential problems, solve them and retest car parts and car prototypes.
  • Biomedical engineering: Biomedical engineers design and test medical tools and technologies like Implants, artificial organs, ambulatory devices, rehabilitation equipment, nerve stimulation machines, etc.
  • Industrial engineering: Industrial engineers coordinate quality control to improve production processes while maintaining the required standards for machine performance and product quality.
  • Civil engineering: Civil engineers design, construct, develop and manage the different types of construction projects such as schools, tunnels, roads, towers, dams, bridges, and other buildings.
  • Environmental engineering: Environmental engineers, also known as technological advisers, use technology in designing solutions to today's environmental challenges such as water shortages and global warming.
  • Water resource engineering: Water resource engineers oversee all types of water resource projects, repairing drainage systems, performing hydrologic modeling. They usually spend most of their days planning and mapping for the water needs of a particular location. 
  • Aerospace engineering: Aerospace engineers create almost everything that is designed to fly through the air: planes, helicopters, satellites, drones, rockets, spacecraft, missiles, and other planet-orbiting machinery.
  • Agricultural engineering: Agricultural engineers design, develop and analyse problems of farming machines, like conveyors and drag chains. Solve problems concerning power supplies, machine efficiency, the use of structures and facilities, pollution and environmental issues, and the storage and processing of agricultural products.

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