When it comes to engineering, there are many things you can do to advance your career. Furthering your education is rapidly becoming a requirement for any type of career advancement today. But that’s not all. You’ll also want to focus on developing your soft skills and networking. Here are 3 things you should be doing (or at least considering) if you want to advance your engineering career.
Many engineers are expected to hold at least a master’s degree to be successful in their careers. Further education, or a multi-disciplinary background, can really help give you an edge. Many employers now look for candidates with advanced degrees “in progress” and even expect them to continue their education while working for their company. Some may even offer programs that support that pursuit financially (and in terms of schedule).
Overall, while the technicalities of being an engineer have increased, many schools have reduced the number of credit hours required to earn an engineering degree as an undergraduate student. This leaves employers in a bind as the candidates applying to entry-level engineering jobs are not fully prepared without the additional coursework a post-graduate degree provides. Rather than struggle to apply an incomplete degree to the real-life demands of a career in engineering, consider getting an advanced degree that will put you on better footing within your career now and in the future.
There are many soft skills that engineering candidates can benefit from when it comes to advancing their career. Communication is chief among those skills. Many individuals with a more technical focus struggle to translate their expertise into layman’s terms. In fact, it is the ability to communicate effectively with a large audience and to build strong relationships with stakeholders that employers find highly valuable in their technical staff. So, work on your soft skills. Build on your emotional intelligence. Because being able to work well with others is the key to long-term career success.
Networking is important no matter what you do, but as an engineer, your professional network can support your career growth and establish your credibility as an expert in your field. Reliability and references are two key elements of an upwardly mobile career. So be bold in growing your network. Ask for mentoring opportunities when they make sense. Learn from those with something to teach, while also contributing in your own way as well. There are so many ways to network effectively these days, from LinkedIn to industry events. The best way is the one that works best for you.
Don’t limit yourself to connections with people within your discipline. Engineering has several applications across multiple industries. You never know where your next opportunity will come from, so always be open to new things. And for more great tips to help you grow your engineering career, connect with the career counselors at USPRO today.
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