Engineering graduate navigating life after university.

7 Myths about Engineering

 

1. Engineering students are so smart

I used to believe in this too when I was in high school and about to enter university. My thoughts were like, “hell ya I’m going into a field filled with smart people and because I’m good with math and physics I’ll belong in this land with these smarties.” Boy was I wrong. I’m going to tell you as it is: engineering students and even engineers are probably the laziest type of students you will ever come across.

When did the 95% of the engineering student population write the essay for their liberal course? The night before. How many students actually did the matlab assignment as opposed to copying it from their friend? Maybe 20%. The laziness in engineering students just gets worse and worse as the semester goes. So the spread of assignment answers, lab samples is like wildfire in any engineering program and school. I’ll admit, it’s nice knowing there’s a solution key circulating and hence scoring your 2% weighted assignment a 100%. Fact is, majority of engineering students are lazy and will always find the fastest way to finish their work. But do know when it comes to serious studying, we will grind and do all that we can to pass a bloody course.

2. Doing an engineering degree means I have to work in a factory plant or sit in front of the computer all day, coding.

This is the biggest myth of engineering! Pursuing engineering is about attaining a mindset not a career. This mindset itself will help you get a career. The engineering mindset means that you are able to approach challenges and not give up in front of a problem. It means having the passion to do anything you set your mind to. Want to become a doctor or a lawyer after engineering? It is 100% possible – and I have friends who are enrolled in med and law schools as engineering graduates. This engineering degree gives you the freedom to work anywhere you want and in any field you want. From the makeup industry to Disney land (fun fact: Disney land hires the most IE’s in the country every year), engineering is everywhere. I myself have an industrial engineering degree and am working in a telecomm field and my best friend is working in consulting as an IE.

3. Engineering is a superior field of study than the sciences.

Again, I believed in this too. The sciences explain something that already exists in more detail. And to understand this world and make it better we must understand from foot to toe the current atmosphere. This understanding provided by scientists are transferred to engineers who innovate with what we have! The two fields go hand in hand in making our world an optimal and safe place to live in.

4. Engineering students are guaranteed a job

Just like any other major, engineering graduates are not guaranteed a job right off the bat. Competition grows every single year and there aren’t enough jobs available for the graduating numbers – even if they graduated from engineering! Why do you think so many people pursue masters? An engineering degree is powerful and to do a masters in engineering right after either means:

  1. Your field is niche hence requiring further specialization (likely but is the case for a very small and limited number of students in engineering such as nano eng.)
  2. You love school (very unlikely but if true, teach me your ways!)
  3. You can’t get a job (ding, ding, ding for most cases.)

Getting a job is hard no matter what field you are in. If your resume doesn’t stand out, you don’t have good work experience and if you don’t know how to network, it is tough landing a job in any field of study!

5. There are no girls in engineering

Fact: There are girls in engineering, like me! Sure they may not take up the majority of the classroom, but they do exist! and by creating awareness in elementary, middle and high schools of how awesome engineering is, we can increase this female to male ratio. It takes a group effort. And to those girls reading this, I am so happy you’ve chosen this field! If you’re currently studying do know that engineering (or STEM) is the best decision you have made. You have shaped yourself as a role model for young girls. You can proudly represent yourself in a male dominated field of study. Guide and tell the young girls of this world, why engineering is a kick-ass field and why all girls should go into it. Help create a better gender ratio for this field, together!

6. You must have every textbook of each course to succeed in engineering

Check out my article: alternatives to buying a textbook. Don’t make the mistake of investing heavily in textbooks especially in your first and second years. Reality is, you’ll barely use them while in the course and in the future. And the schools get you because you think you’ll be able to sell them in the future but they strategically make a new version of the textbook for the course and no newbie will want to buy the older one because they’ll think it is completely different than the newer version. Trust me, I’ve been there and had a buyer who wanted a refund because the version of the textbook was different even though the content and questions were the same (just put in different order in the newer version)! Talk about strategically ripping students off.

7. Engineering students can’t socialize hence they don’t have a social life

If you are going into engineering or even considering it, know this: engineering students party the hardest! Because engineering in nature is so team oriented, we get along with people of our kind very fast and like to stick together. It is very easy to make friends in engineering because not only do you have classes together, you also have the same mindset.

 

 



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