Electrical engineering is not a course for the faint-hearted as you don’t just require mastery of technical skills but also a deep understanding of practicality. Electrical engineers are trained to create solutions and the ability to implement and evaluate them. Jobs in this field are vast, which draws many students to take up the said course. The success of electrical engineers often begins during their life as students. It is a course where your attitude in school plays a big role in your future success. Many students mistakenly choose to breeze through college without much attention to what lies after graduation. Next thing they know, they find themselves having a hard time placing a good job.
Like most science and engineering courses, electrical engineering is stereotyped for nerds and socially awkward individuals. That however is not the case. Aside from having critical thinking skills, numeracy and a strong grip of the field, personal competencies are also necessary. Hone your interpersonal skills and your ability to communicate effectively, as early as possible. Most electrical engineers will work in close proximity with other engineers and professionals; hence, great team-working skills are a must. Attend different events in school and elsewhere like, community resource and others to improve your ability to deal with individuals of all sorts.
Another tip is to take initiative to learn things you don’t tackle in your conventional engineering course, since it is not enough to be technically proficient. One of the most practical add-ons to your knowledge is being business savvy. You will be working for businesses and companies where you must have a sound understanding of basic business functions. You must know how to read an organizational chart, deal with colleagues from different departments, understand financial statements and insurance quotes, know how to negotiate deals and contracts and understand certificate info. You must know how to deal with lawyers, accountants and managers as you will surely work with them, the higher you get in your job. Educate yourself on humanities fields and general knowledge too. This will make you a better conversationalist and gives you an improved ability to connect with different individuals.
Whether you are working as the head of a team or not, electrical engineers must be good leaders. Problem solving, decision making, time and project management, critical thinking and job task planning all require a strong set of management and leadership skills.
Another useful tip is to create a portfolio of projects you have participated in. One example is to include all notable projects that you worked on throughout your course. Another is to participate in as many extra-curricular hands-on opportunities that your time allows. In that way, you have solid and well-presented qualifications to show to future employers while, others simply list their theoretical courses in their resume. Joining practical projects also helps you retain your knowledge better through your experience in actual applications.
Just like in all endeavors, the right connections are a great asset. Success needs a certain dose of luck which usually entails being at the right place at the right time with the right person. Join different associations and attend campus lectures when you can. Introduce yourself to speakers and get a list of alumni from your school, which are willing to connect with undergraduates. The key is to widen your network as much as possible. Meeting the right people can also potentially lead entrepreneurial endeavors and partnerships. If you intend to start a business through electrical engineering, you can avail of a small business loan to set things in motion.
Opportunities in the field of electrical engineering are indeed vast. From bio-engineering computer science and aerospace to telecommunications, IT and transportation, electrical engineers are sought after professionals. It is because of the vast scope of this field that it is necessary to take preparatory steps even before graduating from school. Getting ready for becoming a successful electrical engineer should start as soon as you decide to become one.