Becoming an engineer is definitely a rewarding profession. Seeing your blueprints made into towering skyscrapers that people use on a daily basis is just a part of what makes it so great. Of course, the amazing salary makes all those years in college well worth it too.
The road to becoming an engineer begins in school and don’t be mistaken – the challenges begin here too. A lot of students struggle to pass through school as the standards for engineers become even higher. Here are a few tips on how you can survive through those challenging years.
1. Develop Your Portfolio Early
Your portfolio is going to be your best asset once you are a professional. You should begin developing yours as early as possible. That means keeping a copy of your projects during your first year up until your last year. It’s something that’s going to help you out in the future.
Developing your portfolio is also going to let you see how well you’ve improved over the last couple of years. You can also see the techniques that set your work apart from others too. Keep both a physical and a digital copy of your work, regardless of what mark you get from it.
2. Make Sure You’re Well-Equipped
One thing that most people might forget to tell you is that you need to be well-equipped if you want to be an engineering student. We aren’t just talking about books, pens, and notebooks. You need to have the right gadgets to help get you through college as well.
The most important piece of equipment you need to have with you is a laptop. Not just any laptop, you need the best laptops for engineering students in 2021 too. It should come with hardware strong enough to accommodate the software that engineers use to create 3D models of their projects.
Your laptop needs to have good specs simply because if you’re using one with low specs, you might have trouble rendering your projects. It can greatly limit the amount of work you do at school. While expensive, a good laptop is a vital ingredient towards your success as an engineering student.
You should also have a scientific calculator with you at all times. You’re going to be crunching a lot of numbers so having a scientific calculator is going to benefit you well. Make sure that you have a backup just in case your laptop and your calculator malfunction or run out of batteries.
3. Enroll In Online Classes
If you really want to expand your knowledge of engineering and the principles behind it, then you need to go beyond the classroom to learn. If you have the time and money, take extra classes online. Expand what you know by going above and beyond what the school teaches you.
There will even be some cases where you can study ahead of your peers and this is often a good idea. What’s even great about these online classes is that they can give you certificates for completing the course. These certificates can be a part of your resume too.
4. Practice Creating Blueprints When You Can
Part of what makes an engineer great is his ability to create plans for structures and large-scale projects. Most of the time, you’d want to be practicing your craft so that you get better and better over time. Even if you’re just going to practice by creating a small-scale project, that’s still going to do a lot for your overall growth as an engineer.
What you’d want to do is have a separate sketchbook for your practice. At first, you’d want to stick with what you know to do and then master it first. Once you become better, slowly work towards creating larger-scale projects so that you can develop more skills in the future.
5. Create A Good Network
What does creating a good network mean? If you can, you need to develop a network where you have professionals you can turn to for help. There will be some times where you’ll need a professional opinion on projects so it’s best to have someone with professional experience to help you out.
Building a good network also means building a good circle of friends to study with. Engineering school can be really difficult. It can be made a lot easier if you have a group of friends that you can regularly study with. Studying together will make the experience all the more pleasant and easier.
The toughest part of an engineer’s life is going through school. This is where you learn all the basics and fundamentals of the craft. These tips are going to be useful during your stay in school. Perhaps the one tip you should really bear in mind is that you need to be diligent and patient. School can be tough but it is far from impossible.