Engineering is a unique career. It calls for its own sort of intelligence which is distinct from that employed in many other fields. Students who major in economics, government, communications, and other areas of study don’t employ the same blend of thought that successful engineers require. To be a good engineer, you need to borrow some of the artist’s creativity and the accountant’s passion for detail. You need to understand math and programming thoroughly. You need to have confidence and the ability to motivate yourself. Engineering engages both the left and right sides of your brain constantly. Some people just don’t have the beautiful blend of creativity and technical passion required for engineering. If you do, you should strongly consider entering the field. The world always needs great engineers.
Our modern world is one of machines and electronics. We’re surrounded by products and vehicles – computers, phones, cars, tablets, scanners, drones, routers, 3-D printers – all of which have been carefully designed and efficiently manufactured. Every one of these pieces of hardware is an artful assembly of circuitry, structure, material, data, and packaging. Who brings it all together and turns a pile of raw materials into something useful? It’s the job of the engineers. Engineers are responsible for filling up the world of things we live in. Every device we use, from a TV remote to an airliner, is designed by engineers.
More and more, all of those things around us have something else in common besides springing from the mind of an engineer. Today, all those carefully-designed products we rely on are active. They think and live and react, and that means they’re running software. The incredible utility of our modern things derives more from its software than its hardware. Who do you think writes that software? It’s another responsibility for the engineers. There are many other reasons to become an engineer as this blog by nPower jobs suggests.
Our population is aging and the world’s demographics are shifting. Over the next 20 years, a full 20 percent of our population will be ready to retire. Life expectancy has jumped up 30 years in the past century. What do these numbers mean? It means we’re about to take on a rapidly-growing segment of the population that needs care. They’ll need advanced drugs and medical devices and prosthetics. They’ll need all sorts of devices – and software programs – to maintain their quality of life. It will engineers that make all of these things they need.
The world isn’t going to be changing due to demographic shifts alone. We can also expect more people of every age group. The Earth’s population stands at 7.1 billion today; 30 years from now it should be closer to 9.6 billion. In the United States, we can expect to see the population grow by more than 120 million in the same time frame. All these additional people will require more buildings, more infrastructure, and more transportation systems. Engineers will have a hand in making all of it.
The world of the future is going to be a highly competitive one. Fortunately, the current international climate is biased towards competing economically rather than fighting militarily. This means that different countries have vested interests in creating better products and more efficient infrastructures than their neighbors. They’ll need smart people to help them do it. They’ll need engineers.