Webinar Date: February 09, 2023
Engineering Career Paths After Graduation
This post covers Key Takeaways and Frequently Asked Questions from the Engineering Career Paths After Graduation webinar regarding career paths after graduation. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a curious newcomer, you’ll find plenty of valuable information watching the webinar. Links to the Webinar, Resources, and Related Content are provided within the post. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation will be provided for customers that register to watch the recorded webinar. All Snippets and Content Compliments of Engineering Career Paths After Graduation webinar.
Do you feel the college classes you took help to look for a career and did they help while working within the career?
- It has helped indirectly with my current field but has also provided a foundation to learn other disciplines within this field.
Being a professor actively teaching students, what made you decide to get into engineering and what do you feel are great resources and ways for students to ramp up to graduation and even after graduation?
- I tend to start projects and finish them to completion so I try not to start projects unless I plan to finish them or else, they will nag me to death. Since I was a child, I was always curious, and I liked to fix things. Regarding how to prepare for the career path is any experiential stuff you can get involved in hands-on -if you can get an internship, a professor’s project, or anything else that you can do to get your hands applying knowledge while you are learning also builds confidence.
Can you provide some advice for students where they can find resources on campus?
- They can go on Sparkfun or DigiKey and utilize their tutorials and resources. Also look through student portals within the college system where you can meet people and make it a social time and get together with others to learn things and make projects together. There are equivalents to First Robotics at most colleges along with other projects available on most campuses. Look for student orgs and other groups to get some things started.
Could you provide the importance of soft skills?
- You need to work together within team environments to solve problems and communicate among others, so learning communication is important. Working in groups is a great way to form teamwork skills.
If you take on a project too large and risk burning out, what are some tips to mitigate burn out and the project from not being completed?
- I would suggest iterative design, the idea of a minimal viable product, having only the basic components but making it work in its most basic design. Start small and simple and build on each step, as you build you will learn and begin to get better at each step. Time management is a skill on its own and this will likely also improve by starting small and going through each step.
What career advice do you have for someone who’s very hands on, loves to build things?
- Be flexible, you never know where your career will go. Be passionate about what you do, and choose a company where they do offer hands on-projects and something you are interested in, as you don’t want to work on something you are not interested in. Learn the role, and grow into the role and be a lifelong learner. In this environment if you don’t learn anything new you may become obsolete, stay relevant as new pathways are always opening up. Some career paths won’t be here in the future and some new ones will form that you haven’t even heard of yet today.
What type of engineer career paths are available?
- Education as teachers, there is lab work soldering, building, and designing. There are also very lucrative career paths along sales and support. Field Applications Engineers basically visit customer sites and teach about products that they sell. Marketing Engineers discuss what makes their products exciting or why customers may be interested in those products. Support Engineers who handle customer questions, and there is also engineering positions that utilize computer software for programming. Facility or Process Engineers are responsible for engineering various aspects of the facility or production to name a few. There are many paths to take.
What projects do you think would be the most impressive on a resume?
- It’s good to have a portfolio of projects of stuff you have done whether it was building a Tesla coil, or any other designs you had to make preparations for and use various materials. Any projects that go beyond the basics is good, show that you know the “how” within the inner workings, and showcase you are able to have more than only theoretical knowledge. Projects you have done shows you are willing to do more than only the bare minimum to get “a job” and shows your true interest as well.
What are the most important concepts a student can focus on from your perspective?
- I would say multi-modality, knowing a little of each technology such as some hardware, software, or other physical piece. Bringing some of all the dimensions together, don’t focus just on one thing. From wireless, microcontrollers and coding, to machine learning, bundling skills from all various areas of discipline will help.
How important is it to have software skills?
- It’s important. You don’t have to be an architect, but knowing how it all connects is a good thing. Alot of things are driven by software so it’s important to understand that. It’s not going away, as machine learning is all software (hardware driven) but it’s all ran by software.
Is depth of knowledge or width of knowledge more attractive?
- Knowing a little of everything allows for a good foundation, but it depends on the exact career path you choose as some may be more specialized. It really depends on the role that you are applying for or career path you choose to take. Generally, it’s good to have a broad base knowledge, but with one or more area of a more in-depth specialty.
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