Is Engineering the Right Major for Me?
Are you naturally curious? Do you enjoy figuring out what makes things tick? If so, engineering might be a great major for you. Take this quiz to help you decide:
|Do you work well as part of a team?||Yes or No|
|Do you have leadership skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in business?||Yes or No|
|Are you willing to work in the field as you pursue your degree?||Yes or No|
|Do you like fixing things?||Yes or No|
|Are math and science your favorite subjects?||Yes or No|
|Do you manage your time well?||Yes or No|
|Are you logical?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy research?||Yes or No|
|Do you write well?||Yes or No|
Why Do These Questions Matter?
Do you work well as part of a team?
Engineering is a field in which one rarely works in a vacuum. To prepare for future employment and team-based academic projects, you should enjoy the process of collaborating with your peers.
Do you have leadership skills?
Corollary to teamwork is leadership. In working on group projects or in practical work environments, an engineering major should be able to identify weaknesses, suggest changes, and delegate responsibilities appropriately. These leadership skills will be invaluable throughout your career, whether you become an engineer or pursue another occupation.
Are you interested in business?
Because professional engineers need not only technical abilities, but also project management skills, engineering majors should have an interest in business. While business courses may not be required to earn a degree, they are recommended to prepare students for job skills such as contract negotiation and budget oversight.
Are you willing to work in the field as you pursue your degree?
Potential employers value practical experience, so hands-on work is a critical component of most engineering degree programs. Depending on the school, on-the-job training may be a requirement for engineering majors.
Do you like fixing things?
The desire to solve problems is a key trait of professional engineers and a good indicator of future success for aspiring engineering majors. Successful engineering majors find themselves drawn to figuring out why something is not working properly and finding ways to fix the problem.
Are math and science your favorite subjects?
The coursework for engineering majors heavily emphasizes math and science. Basic requirements will likely include chemistry, physics, and calculus. Advanced math and science courses are typically required, but vary depending upon the engineering concentration.
Do you manage your time well?
An engineering major needs exceptional time-management skills to juggle challenging technical academic classes, multiple projects and assignments, and practical experience requirements.
Are you logical?
The technical nature of engineering necessitates logical thinking. To pass advanced math, science, and engineering courses, you will need both technical knowledge and sound reasoning to apply that knowledge effectively.
Do you enjoy research?
In their professional work, engineers must conduct and evaluate research regarding each particular project in order to develop a plan to solve a problem or serve a need. Because the profession relies heavily on research abilities, engineering majors will be required to master the identification and utilization of appropriate research resources.
Do you write well?
Professional engineers need writing skills to compose research documents, technical manuals and general business correspondence. To prepare for these responsibilities, engineering majors may be required to complete writing courses to earn their degrees.
Assess Your Results
Did you respond affirmatively to most of these questions? If you answered yes to more than half, you may want to explore engineering degree programs. As an engineering major, you may choose to concentrate in a variety of fields, including civil, mechanical, chemical, ocean, environmental, electrical or biomedical engineering.