“Engineering is the closest thing to magic that exists in the world”- Elon Musk
Engineering is one of the most chosen career paths in the world. Many students dream of becoming engineers when they grow up. Some have got inspired by movies such as Interstellar, Iron Man, Martian and Aviator. Some have got inspired by real-life people such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Sundar Pichai. But, many times when students who dream of becoming engineers land into the engineering profession, they find that it is different from what they imagined it to be. After all, things are not exactly as depicted in movies. As a result, they feel confused and baffled.
If you are also someone who wants to become an Engineer but has gotten inspired by movies or famous people like Elon Musk, it is important to get a real-life view of engineering before making any decision. If you like using computers, it doesn’t mean that Computer Engineering is the right profession for you. You may not like coding which is an integral part of computer engineering. So, before making your career decision, it is important to explore whether engineering will be the right career for you or not.
Engineering is a wide discipline. There are different types of engineering that you can pursue. Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Civil Engineering are some examples. Depending upon your likes, you may have an inclination towards one of these types of engineering. It doesn’t matter whether you want to become a Computer Engineer, Mechanical Engineer or any other type of engineer, the following practical ways will help you determine whether a particular engineering job will be right for you.
5 practical ways to determine whether an engineering job will be right for you:
Play suitable online games that can help you familiarize with the work you’ll have to do as a particular type of engineer:
This is a fun and practical way to determine if you would love to be in a particular profession or not. There are some games available online that can give you an idea of different types of work that a particular Engineer does. For example, Computer Software Engineers are involved in programming. Little Red Coding Club is an Augmented Reality based multiplayer game that can help you learn the basics of coding playfully. As you play the game and learn to code, you can easily determine if becoming a Software engineer will be the right career choice for you or not.
Similarly, you can search for different mechanical engineering games that can help you familiarize with different things that mechanical engineers do. Truss me and The incredible machine are two examples of games that can help you familiarize with the life of mechanical engineers. Further, you can play the games related to any domain of engineering and analyze if you like the particular type of work that is involved in it.
Visit an engineering company that inclines with the domain of your interest:
The real life of engineers is quite different from one depicted in movies and T.V. shows. To get an idea about what exactly a particular type of engineers have to do, you can visit an engineering company that specializes in that domain. There you’ll be able to get a clear idea about what kind of work you’ll have to do if you choose to become a particular type of engineer. It is not necessary that you have to visit a big company, you can visit any company that is nearby. But, on your visit, make sure to examine everything closely and ask as many questions from the experts as you can.
Talk to some people who work in the same engineering field as you aspire to work in:
Before making a particular career choice, it is imperative for you to talk to some people who work in the same engineering field as you aspire to work in. Different people have different views and opinions about different things. By having a word with a variety of people, you’ll be able to see the profession you want to pursue, from multiple viewpoints. You can get to know about the various advantages and disadvantages of working in a particular field that you might have never thought of before. So, make sure to talk to at least four people who work in the same engineering domain that you aspire to work in, before making any decision. Also, ask them to be absolutely true with you about the kind of work that you’ll have to do and their work-experience.
Explore different activities that help you experience the psychological state of flow:
In the words of Mihaly Csikszentmihayi, “Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement and thought follows inevitably from the previous one like playing jazz.” When you experience flow, the activity that you are involved in becomes so enjoyable that you want to continue doing it for its own sake. You lose all sense of self and time and get drenched in waves of inner joy and bliss. If you can experience the psychological state of flow while working, your professional life will get filled with passion and become a play for you. The state of flow is a key indicator that can help you determine if engineering is the right career for you.
You should try to explore if activities related to the engineering domain you are planning to pursue help you experience the state of flow. For example, if you want to become a software engineer, you can determine whether you experience flow when coding or not. If you do, that’s great. But, if you don’t, it might be a sign that the particular engineering domain is not for you.
Try taking a free beginner’s course in the domain you are interested in:
One practical way to determine whether you’ll enjoy learning things that are taught in a particular engineering domain and using them in your profession is to try taking a free beginner’s course. There are different types of free engineering courses available online that you can try. For example, mechanical engineering aspirants can try Udemy’s free course- Mechanical Design for Beginners. This course will give you an idea about the basics of mechanical designing. Similarly, you can try taking different free courses in computer engineering and see if you enjoy the learning process.
If your love for engineering has blossomed by watching movies based on this subject and from the life of real-life great engineers, it is imperative that you explore the real life of engineers before taking on engineering as a career path. No doubt, engineering is an interesting field, it is not for everyone. You may not actually enjoy working as an engineer despite being in love with machines, computers and technology. The above mentioned practical ways will help you determine whether engineering is the right path for you or not. Wish you All the Best.