Engineering is a growing field that is at the forefront of rapidly developing technologies across several industries. And the demand for engineers in the United States is growing. According to a 2016 projection from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field will grow by nearly 140,000 positions by 2026.
At MJS Designs, we can observe a growing interest in the field locally by looking at graduation rates from Arizona State University’s engineering programs in recent years. The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering granted 4,687 degrees in the 2019-2020 school year, up approximately 52.4 percent from the 2014-2015 school year.
Young professionals might wonder what they can do to get ahead of the game early in their career. Here are five tips to help you build your value.
Find a Mentor/Internship
Finding a person who inspires you to do better and push yourself further can help you stay on the professional path you’ve laid out for yourself. Select a mentor that can provide support, encouragement, and meet regularly to discuss your career progress and share experiences. A great way to find a mentor is through an internship. Not only will you connect with a highly skilled engineer, you will also be working in your field prior to graduation. This looks great on an engineering graduate’s resume when being compared to others who did not take the opportunity for an internship. Plus, you may be positioning yourself to be hired on after graduation, if the company is impressed with your work during the internship.
Work on Soft Skills
Technical skills are a large part of the puzzle, but being well-rounded in soft skills like communication, creative thinking, and time management can elevate your value in any team. In the varied world of engineering, you will also need critical thinking and problem-solving skills to tackle daily situations like printed circuit board (pcb) repair, system builds, and product design.
Networking is one of the most important steps to advancing your career. By joining professional organizations, taking classes, and attending industry events, you are opening lines of communication with new people who can present you with new opportunities in the field.
Creating a LinkedIn profile is a great way to record your accomplishments and keep in touch with your colleagues and peers. As a bonus, people can view your work experience quickly and recruiters may reach out to you.
Taking the time to learn about things like business finance and operations can help you become a more well-rounded professional with the ability to look at a project from the different requirements and perspectives of the client.
The ability to understand varying perspectives also increases your value in a team setting, where you might work with others outside of engineering.
Rapid advances in technology demand flexibility and forward thinking. Whether you prefer a career in automotive engineering or PCB engineering, you have to be prepared to leave how you’ve always done something behind and adapt to better methods and new industry standards as they are introduced.
And remember, you are at the beginning of your career journey. By showing passion in your work, innovation in your ideas, and putting yourself out there by learning and taking on more challenging responsibilities, you are setting yourself up for success in the future.
At MJS Designs, we employ engineers to deliver quality products and, services for the semiconductor industry, global communications, aerospace technology, industrial products, and printed circuit board (pcb) design. We also offer technology and engineering capabilities such as high speed design, analog and digital design, new hardware design, reverse engineering, embedded and high level software. To learn about our current openings, visit mjsdesigns.com/careers.