Planning to Take Engineering Course? Ask Yourself These Questions First
When I was in high school, choosing what course to take in college was a big crisis. I had the slightest idea which career I want to pursue because I did not plan about it enough. To add insult to injury, my parents never suggested anything for my college course and instead gave me the liberty to decide on my own.
Although I had some majors in mind, I was still not sure about them until I have to consider other factors.
Before graduating, we were given exams by the guidance counselor’s office to evaluate which subjects are our strengths and weaknesses. The results were supposed to assist us in deciding for a college course. But ultimately, I was not at all convinced that I am inclined to be in the medical field.
In no time, I came to my senses and disregarded the suggestion. Two choices were on the table: information technology and civil engineering.
If not for the stringent admission process in the IT department of the university I applied for, I could have easily enrolled as an IT student. But that was a good riddance. I was able to sign up for a civil engineering course in another university where my admission went smooth. Thank heavens, I have no regrets about that at all.
My college course selection could have been an easier experience if only I asked myself the right questions upon realizing that engineering as a career option. Since I do not want anyone, especially those who are about to enter college, to suffer from the same, here are the questions that one should answer before pursuing an engineering course:
“Why do I want to take engineering?”
Forthcoming college students, regardless of the course they are about take, should have that moment of self-awareness about their chosen career path. It’s important to give yourself a valid reason of why you want to take that course.
It should be as specific as possible. You can say that it has been a lifelong dream of yours to become an engineer because you are inherently curious about how things work. Or you have been tapped by your parents or relatives to take the course and you have no problem with it. Or you are enticed by the financial security that an engineering course provides.
Do not ever tell yourself that you are pursuing engineering just because you feel like it. You won’t survive for long in there if you do not have that solid interest in finishing the course.
“Am I tough enough to stay in engineering?”
Engineering school is not for the weak or the faint-hearted. If you want to make it through, be prepared for all kinds of struggles you have to deal with along the way, including physical, emotional, intellectual, and social, among others.
Stress is common in engineering. In every subject, you will be obliged to meet deadlines of projects and reports and pull all-nighters for exams and assignments. Necessary adjustments have to be made because the course will not do that for you.
What you will sign up for is essentially torture – but all will be worth it in the end if you do not quit along the way.
“Do I have what it takes to be an engineer?”
Your inclinations before you enter engineering school matter, but are not really necessary.
If you are good at math and science in high school and love it when those subjects are discussed, you are less likely to have a hard time learning engineering. That’s the core of the engineering study.
If you do not really like them and yet you are persistent with your dream, you should be willing to double your effort. There’s nothing that cannot be done if you are only up for the task of doing what you are required to do and that is to learn how to learn math and science.
Above the subject matter you are to encounter in engineering is your capacity to think critically. It should be innate for engineering students to have the curious and analytical mind, open to explore different solutions to a problem both in theory and application. While this will be exercised when you admit in engineering school, you will go far if you have that skill already up your sleeve.
It’s only you who hold the answer to these three questions. If you’ve got a firm grasp of them and they are favorable of you getting into engineering, then you’re ready to be trained as an engineer.