There are numerous misconceptions and a lot of misinformation surrounding us with regards to guidance for engineering students.
If you are in the loop with the world of engineering and education, you would agree that several students are posed with a lot of confusion about staying industry-relevant.
Educational and government policies are slow to change. On the other hand, science and technology are making gigantic leaps forward.
With so much dynamism, the syllabus and content of the subjects taught in engineering institutions are just not enough for students to excel in the real world and be deemed ’employable’.
In India alone, 80% of the graduates from engineering colleges and universities are adjudged unemployable. To stay relevant in the industry, engineering students ought to have various other skills.
Many of these skills are not taught in all engineering institutions, because of which they have to upskill on their own.
To make things easier, we walk you through the 7 essential skills that every engineering student should develop to remain relevant to the world of jobs tomorrow.
1. Design Thinking Skills
Design thinking is probably one of the most underrated skills in educational institutions.
Moreover, it was always kept disconnected with engineering due to which students do not pay much heed to it and hence find it difficult when it is time to make their way into a reputed company.
Engineering-intensive companies like Apple, Rolls Royce, and Tesla that were early to grasp the importance of design thinking and incorporate it into their business processes have seen tremendous success.
The proof of their success might just be on your desk or in the news articles even now!
Design thinking is an approach towards solving two problems at once – functionality and aesthetics. This methodology allows engineers to give birth to a product that places the end consumer at the center.
Hence, the result is often welcomed into the marketplace with open arms!
For example, a course in Mechanical Design that offers project-based training could take you one step ahead in your design thinking skills.
2. Leadership Skills
Leadership skills are incredibly essential for an engineer. Many engineering projects can take months or years to complete. Hence, there will be many hurdles that may cripple the project team from within.
Lead engineers are the ones who are expected to keep things in order and running, no matter what.
They must develop exceptional leadership skills to realize, reflect, and reciprocate the cause and effect of incidents to draw meaning and logical conclusions.
Engineers have tremendous technical expertise, and when their expertise is combined with leadership skills, they can drive their teams and projects to success.
Leadership skills can be acquired through taking part in sports, undergoing training, or taking up project-based learning engineering courses online or offline.
- What is Mechanical Engineering?
- What is CAD – Computer Aided Designing?
- What is Computer Aided Manufacturing – CAM?
3. Communication Skills
Engineers work in huge and diversified teams all over the globe. Each team can have tens of engineers from various parts of the world working on the same project towards a singular goal.
Due to such cultural diversity, some differences among team members may arise – ranging from a clash of political ideas, moral understanding, and other personal ideologies.
Only with impressive and impeccable communication skills and cross-cultural skills can such differences be overcome for the project’s success.
This will also ensure strong bonds and long-lasting relationships among the members involved in the project.
4. Presentation Skills
Presentation skills go hand in hand with communication skills. Engineers are very talented and bright individuals of a company that can intuitively understand the project’s technicalities.
However, you will soon realize that other members of the company – like the directors, stakeholders, managers, and more – cannot grasp these terms as easily.
Hence, it is in the engineers’ hands to clearly convey the vital aspects of a project to all minds present in the room, irrespective of their background or expertise.
Pulling off such a monumental feat is like winning a battle. But it is a vital aspect in any industry to keep everyone in the managerial and executive positions in the loop.
5. Critical Thinking And Problem-Solving Skills
Real-world engineering problems are nowhere close to what engineers are taught in their books at schools and colleges. There are mountains of technical and non-technical variables to consider, like;
- Local weather conditions
- Political agendas
- Material availability
- Project feasibility
- Potential hazards to the working members
- Short-term and long-term effects on the health of the people
- Short-term and long-term impacts on the local environment
Despite considering all the factors that one can think of, the chances of encountering an unexpected problem are still considerable.
When unforeseen trouble sets foot under such conditions, engineers should be adept at overcoming the challenges through quick and effective responses.
6. Aerodynamics, CFD, and FEM
Aerodynamics, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and Finite Element Analysis (FEM) are all the rage among engineering students.
Moreover, these subjects act as essential skills that engineers are expected to have in their back pockets.
The knowledge of these three disciplines can be put to productive use in virtually any engineering project. Being a master of at least one of them can truly set an engineering student apart from the crowd.
You can learn any of them from the comfort of your home through online courses. Taking up a project-based online learning program is ideally recommended.
7. Programming Skills
As computers, robots, and software tools continue to take up jobs, the threat to conventional jobs grows.
However, programming is an area that appears to be on the greener side of things because it is a skill that interacts with the computers directly and empowers humans to tell them what to do in the first place.
Here are some programming languages that are becoming popular:
In addition to the seven skills mentioned above, engineering students should also have a desire to learn new things continually. Only then can they stay on par with the pace of the modern world.
It is important to note that once you become good at any of the skills mentioned here, do not stop practicing them. Keep polishing and refining your know-how to stay ahead of the race.