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So you want to be an engineer? Let’s bust a few myths about the profession

Engineering is a great career choice, but there are many misconceptions about the industry out there which only serve to put people off. Let’s tackle four of the most persistent myths about engineers:

“I won’t get a chance to be creative”

Actually, as those involved in designing the project, engineers are usually the most creative people on the delivery team. Each project is different, which means you have to apply your knowledge and skills to develop a bespoke solution that meets the particular needs of the client and local community. And with added constraints such as limited budgets, the need to support increasing populations or the drive to cut carbon emissions, your creativity will be even more crucial in delivering viable solutions.

“I will work with machines, not people”

In fact, collaboration with colleagues and the wider delivery team is key to a successful project. Also, the value of engineering lies in how much it helps the affected community. Your job may see you engaging in surveys or workshops with local people to help you develop a more inclusive solution.

“I will be doing the same thing for my whole career”

Becoming an engineer means joining an incredibly diverse industry and while many like to specialise, there is still huge flexibility in the roles and responsibilities you can take on, and there are overseas opportunities to pursue too. Also, the profession is always adapting to a constantly-changing world, and engineers have to adapt with it. For example, smart (or digital) infrastructure is an exciting and rapidly growing discipline that barely existed just 20 years ago. The fast-changing nature of the digital world means many of the innovative companies that will make waves in infrastructure in the future probably don’t event exist yet.

“I won’t meet people like me”

Yes, engineering in the UK has historically been dominated by white, middle class men, but the industry is taking diversity very seriously to help fill the skills gap. Women are being encouraged to join the industry, via initiatives like WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and the annual International Women in Engineering Day. There are also efforts to support people of other minority backgrounds such as BAME, LGBT+ or engineers with a disability. The industry is changing, so whatever your background, don’t be put off by an outdated image of the profession.

So now we’ve dispelled the most common misconceptions about the industry, are you ready to take another step into the world of engineering? Come along on one of our events, or visit EqualEngineersJobs to see what job opportunities are out there.

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