Once an Engineer, Always an Engineer

Disclaimer: This is rehashed from an article I wrote in July 2017 for GineersNow. Some parts are added or edited for clarity.

Upon graduation, engineering students take pride that they have finished the gruelling process of surviving college. With all those nights of burning midnight candles to study, those engineering projects that seemed to take forever to finish and everything that happens in between, they can say that they have been through a damn lot just to earn that diploma.

In a span of at least four years, they commit themselves to learn what an engineer should possess and apply when released in the field.

But it’s not always that engineering graduates end up in engineering jobs. Some engineers will realize along their career paths that they belong to a different field, or their calling is not really engineering.

And that is okay. Because everyone has his or her own crises.

However, the engineers who left their fields are being criticized about no longer deserving of being called an engineer. But I beg to disagree.

You can take the engineer out of his engineering job, but you cannot take the engineering out of the engineer.

It may be that the engineer no longer practices what is expected of him to do, but the qualities of an engineer are still there.

All the knowledge and experiences that he or she acquired in the engineering ‘phase’ cannot be undermined since those can still be used in whatever career that person chooses. The training starting from being an engineering student still serve great impact in a person’s capacity to be employed in another field.

The principles of logical and analytical thinking learned in engineering apply so well in any field, as well as the capacity to perform under pressure that lingers in every engineering project.

When confronted with problems and situations that require such skills, the engineer has them up his sleeves. The challenges are not as bigger as they appear to be because the one dealing with them is an engineer.

Dealing with mathematics too is a competitive edge for engineers having to brave through those complicated courses in college. The computational skills are handy when working on finance and budgets.

Engineers cannot simply shake off what was learned during their engineering days. There is already a strong foundation of the core engineering skills and habits that can no longer be removed from them.

The value of those experiences transcends to jobs even off of engineering – because shift happens. Engineering professionals who have made the career change in business, law, humanities, and medicine, among others, can say with their clinched fist over their hearts: once an engineer, always an engineer.

Source: Times Ascent


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