Electrical Engineer – Expectations Vs. Reality
Electrical Engineer – Expectations Vs. Reality
Electrical engineers, once they get their first job, face a steep adjustment curve as they reconcile their expectations with the reality on the ground. They realize that certain things are not as rosy as they seem while others are significantly played down. With a little insight, however, one can know exactly what to look forward to in a career in electrical engineering and that is the whole point of this article.
The learning never stops
After the college years, engineers look forward to a job in which the need to continually learn is diminished. This expectation is very realistic as jobs are more about doing something with what one has already learned. In engineering, however, the need to keep on learning is more pronounced and this catches many unawares.
It comes down to the fact that the electrical engineering field evolves at a frenetic pace opening up many avenues that those in the sector must polish up on. The engineer who does not embrace continual learning may soon find himself at the bottom of the pile. Constantly evolving by utilizing and expanding one’s knowledge bank is the only way to rise to the fore.
The plain truth is that in many instances, the money, talent and conditions will not be conducive enough to facilitate pursuing the big dreams. This reality usually deals a big blow to firebrand engineers who harbor lofty ambitions since many are the projects shelved thanks to this reality.
Many of the popular technologies today were foreseen by visionary engineers many years ago. But like visionary electrical engineers today, they too faced the actuality of limited resources and that is why some of those technologies have been actualized only recently. The majority of exciting projects being envisioned today are futuristic, and that can be very frustrating.
The importance of communication
Being an action field, novice electrical engineers downplay the criticality of social skills in the profession. They expect that delivery is what really matters but once in the job, they quickly realize that things are different.
Electrical engineering projects are multifaceted and they involve different types of people and teamwork to bring the trophy home. There is simply no room for aspiring lone rangers. In fact, poor communication skills on-field can lead to injury, botched projects, and even death and there are many tragedies to back up this truth.
The use of advanced techniques to solve problems
Fresh electrical engineers presume that they will be using a lot of advanced mathematics to formulate solutions. They see themselves putting much of the advanced learning to work in real life situation but this expectation turns out to be unrealistic. In practice, advanced mathematics, and other advanced techniques hardly come into play – and if they do, there is often a software for it.
Charting a career path
Almost everything is electrical nowadays and this means options for an electrical engineer. What many do not foresee is the doublemindedness and second guessing that they have to contend with when choosing a niche. There are so many subsectors to choose from that it all gets confusing. Engineering mentors propose going for a niche that one loves or likes, but that is sometimes hard because it is challenging to know how much one likes something without experiencing it at a deeper level first. The expectation that knowing the kind of job to take after graduation will be easy is not true.
Engineering comes with a lot of responsibility and projects have complex ramifications especially financially and socially. In light of this, electrical engineers find themselves sucked into working long hours, including weekends and holidays to ensure projects become a success. On the other hand, those looking to get into the sector harbor the inaccurate expectation that achieving a work-life balance as an electrical engineer is easy.
Hard work equals success
This is what most people believe. It is what many people have been taught and in school, up until graduation, it holds true. However, in the world of engineering, this is often not the case. Of course, hard work still remains a main ingredient in the success recipe, but things cease to be as streamlined as expected and other dynamics come into play.
Many are the times an engineer will work long hours only for a proposal regarding something he/she is passionate about and believes in to be turned down. In short, hard work will not always amount to recognition, rewards and glory.
School engineering vs. real world engineering
Classroom electrical engineering problems are definite and as such, they have definite answers. This conditions graduates to wrongly expect the same at the work place. In reality, electrical engineering problems are complex on many levels and they do not have one correct solution that holds true across the board.
More than that, it is infrequent that an electrical engineering perspective alone will solve a real world problem satisfactorily without the input of professionals from other related fields. In many cases, truly effective solutions tend to be amalgamations of the ingenuity of several people.
In closing, the most important thing for an electrical engineer is to remain adaptive and flexible and insightful sites such as bitgale.com can help. With that in place, even in the face of broken expectations, and unexpected curve balls, it remains possible to emerge victorious.