Could Engineering Be the Coolest Job Ever?

A MiddleWeb Blog

stem_design_logoTeachers, we need more engineers!

Take the time to give your middle school girls and boys more background about engineering possibilities.

Using the message below, you can give students some information and prompt them to start thinking about the kinds of creative jobs available to them as engineers. (I’ve included a download at the end.)

Calling All Students to Engineering

What kind of career do you want? You probably don’t know yet, and chances are you will change your mind several times. But when you do decide on a career, remember that you’ll be spending a lot of time at work. You want your work to be interesting and exciting. You want to keep getting better at what you do.

In other words, you really need to love your job.

Take a look at a career you just might love – and this may surprise you. Think about engineering.

Look at the world around you: spacecraft, sports cars, movie special effects, smart phones, medical devices, bottled water, video games, pollution controls, art supplies, trail bikes, 3-D printers, child safety seats. Just about every manmade object in your world was designed by an engineer. Engineers are constantly making new things to make lives easier as well as improving the old stuff.

engineering-cool

Engineering has more impact on the world than any other profession. Engineering may be the coolest profession in today’s workplace.

The word engineer comes from a Latin word meaning cleverness. Clever kids take a look at engineering and what engineering can teach them, even if they plan to choose a different career. Take the smart approach and find out if engineering has possibilities for you.

Try a little free-thinking. Do any of these sentences describe you?

1. I like to do creative stuff and imagine new things.

If you like to explore, invent, discover, and create, then engineering is a great fit for you. Engineering takes you into new, unexplored places and stretches your imagination in ways you never expected. Engineers constantly design new things and come up with ways to improve others.

imagineering-competitionYou can let your imagination run wild in engineering! In fact, Disney World calls their engineers “Imagineers.” Imagineers dream up and design some of the most amazing and magical creations ever. They create Disney theme parks and attractions, resorts, cruise ships, and worldwide entertainment settings.

Engineering offers you non-stop challenges. You will always have new questions to answer, problems to solve, things to create, and ideas to try.

When it comes to being creative and inventive, engineering is awesome!

2. I like doing things that matter.

So what turns you on?

  • I want to help people stay healthy and fit.
  • I want to improve ways for people to connect and communicate.
  • I want to make sure people have enough food to eat and clean water to drink.
  • I’d like to help people be better prepared for natural disasters.
  • I want to keep our earth healthy and clean.
  • I’d like to provide entertainment and enjoyment for people.
  • I’d like to help with something not listed here.

If any of those things appeal to you, then definitely explore engineering. Look around you and see how engineering is making our daily lives better. Our cars are getting safer. Smartphones and other technologies are upgrading at breakneck speed. Medical tests and equipment are advancing. Engineers work to save lives, prevent disease, reduce poverty, and protect the earth and our local communities.

crash-course-load-paths

If you want to make a difference in the world, then investigating engineering is a great choice. You can gain the skills and know-how to make a positive difference for thousands of lives.

Engineers make a difference in our world.

3. I like working with other kids on projects.

Good for you! Engineering takes teamwork. While solving a problem, an engineer might be working with other engineers, graphic designers, architects, doctors, scientists, mathematicians, and people from many different professions. If you like working with others, engineering gives you plenty of opportunities.

If you prefer working alone, think about this: as an engineer you’ll find yourself working with smart, inspiring people who introduce you to new ideas and ways of doing things. You can learn to enjoy working with others.

Engineers learn and create together.

4. I like video games and computer applications, and I want to know how to develop and improve them.

Video games are a super cool branch of engineering. The people who design video games, virtual reality games, and amazing special effects include software engineers. These engineers have jobs like gameplay engineers, rendering engineers, tools engineers, animation engineers, audio engineers, and artificial intelligence engineers.

game-engineeringMany games they design help students like you have fun learning subjects like math and science, and gaining skills in reading and writing. Video games are definitely on the engineering fast-track.

Engineers are always on the cutting edge.

5. I like to travel.

Do you dream about seeing interesting places around the world? Many engineers travel to other countries to build, install, and improve products. You might end up designing a skyscraper in London, exploring oil and gas fields, or developing safe drinking-water systems in Asia. If you really want to travel to travel a long distance, consider looking at space engineering. If you prefer to stay closer to home, you’ll have plenty of opportunities as well.

Engineering can take you everywhere.

6. I like to be respected.

Engineers change the world, and the engineering profession earns a lot of respect. In fact, engineers are currently in high demand in our nation to help solve some of the big challenges society faces. Engineers are also well paid for their work.

Our society looks up to engineers.

7. I don’t know what I want to do yet, and I want to have some choices.

You’re in luck! Engineering provides you with an amazing number of different job possibilities.

Portrait of Young female engineer. Portrait of Young female engineer. Portrait of Young female engineer. Portrait of Young female engineer.You can create new toys, design special effects for movies, improve racing cars, engineer sports equipment, be a space engineer, or be a graphic designer. You can build bridges and buildings, design solutions for health problems, and create devices that help people live more active lives. You can design new products in the fashion and entertainment areas, or focus on solutions for environmental problems.

Not sure engineering is for you? No problem! Engineering also prepares you for other professions such as being a surgeon or a teacher, or working in business and industry. Engineering teaches you how to analyze and solve problems, work with others, be creative, and communicate successfully. Those skills make you more successful in whatever career you choose.

Want to have a lot of career choices? Investigate engineering.

I want to look into engineering as a possible career! What do I do next?

Take STEM classes, including plenty of science and math courses, along your other subjects and electives. Talk to different kinds of engineers and research different engineering fields. Make things, build things, and come up with new ideas.

Stay curious and wonder about the world around you. Notice how to improve things and what needs to work better. Stay focused on learning and planning for your future. Care about the future of others in your community and your world.

Investigate engineering. Get ready to create the future!


Want to share these ideas with students? Download the text of this post: Calling All Students to Engineering.

Anne Jolly

Anne Jolly began her career as a lab scientist, caught the science teaching bug and was recognized as an Alabama Teacher of the Year during her years as a middle grades science teacher in Mobile, AL. From 2007-2014 Anne was part of an NSF-funded team that developed middle grades STEM curriculum modules and teacher professional development materials for the Mobile Area Education Foundation's Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE) initiative. Anne has also teamed with science and math teachers to help them develop and implement their own STEM curriculum. Her book STEM By Design: Strategies & Activities for Grades 4-8 is published by Routledge/MiddleWeb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.