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How to Begin Your Engineering Career

Written on:August 2, 2011
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So you’ve just graduated from with a new engineering degree. The road ahead may be daunting especially in today’s highly competitive environment. Fortunately, with a bit of planning and strategizing, you can begin your engineering career on the right foot. Very few people actually realize that their first few years of work experience will have a great impact on their future. After graduation, the most important factor to seek is appropriate job experience.

Getting the right kind of work for a respectable company can go a long way towards helping you have the best career possible. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what you should expect once you enter the industry and how you can move up the ladder.

Just After Graduation
Unless you have an impeccable college record from a prestigious university, have a family business in the engineering industry, or are just plan lucky, most graduates will be given low-level jobs. Among the basic tasks you can expect to perform include creating rudimentary designs, taking measurements, researching, and entering data.

There are a number of degree holders who may feel that their job is unfulfilling in the first few years but if you show yourself to be smart, responsible, and a hard worker, you may be in line to receive more and better responsibilities in the firm. In addition, keep in mind that working in a low-level gives you the opportunity to observe the most successful engineers and see how they work.

Tips to Move Up
Like any other industries, you can move up in the engineering ladder. Regardless of your engineering specialty, the following tips below can be applicable in your situation:

•    Subscribe to engineering magazines – be updated about the latest in the industry by subscribing to online newsletters or magazines. You’ll be able to demonstrate your knowledge in the workplace at one time or another.
•    Network with other professionals – increase your profile where it counts. Make it a point to meet senior engineers in the company and network with other people outside of work.
•    Attend seminars – spend time and invest in yourself by being aware of issues in the industry. If you have the time, inclination, and budget, it may be a good idea attend national and international seminars as well. Aside from increasing your knowledge, you’ll also meet influential people this way.
•    Become active in an engineering association – this will look good on your resume. Don’t miss the opportunity be become more than just a paying member of the association. Your exposure here will increase the options available to you.
•    Submit an article for publication – there are countless publications that are constantly on the lookout for personal perspective and experiences of engineers. Contribute an article to an industry publication where you’ll get a byline. This will immediately expose your talents to thousands of readers.
•    Volunteer your expertise – if you hear that a non-profit organization that requires the services of an engineer, take the opportunity. Whether you’re an electrical or civil engineer, your expertise would be more than welcome in many charitable organizations.

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