The Footnotes

ENGINEERING

What is a career in engineering?

Ummm… a lamb was grown in a bag?!

Sponsored by UNSW

I am amazed when I think that humans can travel to the other side of the globe in less than 24 hours, or even into space. Even more, I am amazed that the iPhone is more powerful than that of the total technology used to first send those men to the moon!

I like problem solving, I like hearing about scientific achievements – yesterday they announced that a lamb was grown in a bag?!

I look at huge problems in the world, like climate change, population growth – as well as smaller, more personal problems, like traffic jams and think, what can fix the problem?

If you are like me, study engineering.

I know what you are thinking, because I used to think it too: engineering is all about bridges and machines, and nothing like me.

But you know what? You’re wrong.

Engineers have some of the most enviable jobs around, from running Facebook or Google, to working at NASA, or even pioneering a huge not-for-profit; engineers are the change makers of our generation.

  • They work out how to process food so that it lasts,
  • They work with medical researchers,
  • They provide clean drinking water to people everywhere,
  • They lead space missions,
  • They are the brains behind your makeup, your headphones and your fitbit
  • They help people through problem solving.

Engineering is everywhere you look. You probably already think like an engineer too… just take the test.

Though the scary thing is that engineering isn’t on the radar for a lot of school leavers.

I asked a few of my friends what they thought engineers actually did. Results are in, and turns that beyond working with bridges and engines, no one really knew. (What’s more, I’d like to think my friends are pretty cluey individuals).

I told them about an engineer who gives the gift of hearing to deaf children, when they get Cochlear implants.

I told them about a software engineer who is working for the fashion-tech company, Shoes of Prey, who wrote the code that allows you to design your dream shoes online and have them custom made.

I told them about an engineer working in India who provides sustainable, affordable lighting for homes without electricity, so that families can cook and study past sundown.

After quite a few sighs, and comments like “what am I doing with my life?”

The consensus was this, “Why didn’t I study engineering?!”

The answer: Because we didn’t know what it was.

Engineering isn’t what you think, it’s so much more than you’ll ever imagine.

It’s not an easy degree, but choosing to study engineering will allow you the opportunity to change the world we live in more than any other path.

So, here’s the check list:

  • Do you like to think about things carefully before deciding what to do?
  • Do you have a natural love of maths and science?
  • Are you creative and something of an inventor?
  • Do you have a talent for thinking things through?
  • Do you have an ability to come up with new ideas?
  • Will you persist with something until you become expert at it?
  • Do you set a high standard for yourself?
  • Do you want to make a difference to the world?

If you answered yes pretty frequently, give engineering a go; you will change the world.

If you want to read more information about Engineering, take a look online here, or here or if you have specific questions, get in touch with us here, and we will pass you on to the right people.

Or if you want to know whether you think like an engineer, take this fun quiz.

What is a career in engineering?
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