What the class of 2022 should know about getting into engineering – Natural Self Esteem

Since every company evaluates your interests, experience and qualifications differently, here is some general advice.

what should i study

While some companies still require a specific degree to fill a role, robotics seems stacked with people breaking that mold. I work in a world of PhD students, college dropouts, mechanical engineers writing software, and software engineers designing mechanical parts. Some roboticists make it through college with no direct robotics exposure, while others are employable with skills assembled in a high school robotics program.

Be bold and experiment with your studies and internships, as these are great opportunities to learn what you like and don’t like. Try to find out what you’re passionate about early on; It’s a lot harder to change your path late in your career!

The Internet has democratized education, and most employers are aware that anyone with a high school diploma and an avid interest in software can easily become an outstanding software engineer. As a result, you will see more and more job postings listing requirements similar to “MS in software development or equivalent experience”.

Still, a conventional college education is by far the most common path to a job in robotics, and the most popular degrees are mechanical, electrical, software, computer, systems and, if your school offers it, robotic engineering.

How do I get experience?

Without relevant experience on your resume, it can be difficult to find an interesting job. Keep in mind that part-time jobs while at school demonstrate reliability and soft skills that are often implicitly required in job applications.

Fortunately, most engineering firms have embraced the idea of ​​hiring college students for summer internships. If you’re just trying to get your foot in the door, make salary a second priority. Focus on finding a job that gives you the experience you need. I met an American high school student who found an interesting drone design company in Japan, and through a carefully crafted email suggesting any improvements he could make to their website, I was able to, for a summer to be hired. He even contributed to their drone software before the summer was over.

Another student who offered to work for free if reporting directly to a company CFO ended up getting a paid internship despite the fact that there was no vacancy and he had no prior experience. A cover letter stating that you want to work for XYZ Company so badly that you’re sacrificing your salary is a powerful tool that will get your application noticed in general.

If you have a great idea you want to pursue, consider a self-led project; These look great on a resume and can teach you some invaluable skills.

Shape your future actively

If you’re looking for a longer-term job, make sure you’re honest about what you do and don’t do. Also in an interview, I appreciate having candidates who are genuinely interested in finding out if the position is a good fit for them. If you’re open about your fit, you’ll have a better chance of finding a role you love. Conversely, if you get a job by exaggerating your experience/skill/interest, it’s unlikely to work in the long run. While you are looking for a job or college, remember that recruiters and employers are doing the same thing and are looking for potential employees who would make a good addition to their company.

Once you’re in a job, make sure it points you in the right direction. Many small businesses may not have a structured career planning program, or your manager may not be aware of the concept. Don’t be afraid to have this conversation yourself; Talk to your manager about where you want your career to go and together find opportunities to build relevant skills. If you find yourself in a position where you can’t seem to get the experience you’re looking for, cast a net and see what other opportunities you can find.

After all, you know and believe that you deserve a great job. A little self respect can go a long way in building a good mutual relationship between you and an employer. Ultimately, it’s up to you to forge your unique experience and I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

Matt Coady has spent more than 25 years in the robotics industry and has worked in a variety of robotics industries. As VP of Engineering at Realtime Robotics, he is responsible for ensuring that engineering fully realizes the company’s vision and delivers the best possible product to customers, on time and with the expected quality.

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