Career advice for an engineering student

Ask Control Engineering blog offers advice links to resources to help with engineering career advice.
By Chris Vavra August 13, 2015

Ask Control Engineering: I’m an engineering student looking for articles with career advice. Can you help?

Control Engineering publishes many articles offering engineering career advice. Below are article names and descriptions that provide help to engineering students about careers, and links to eNewsletters and educational areas that may help. Link to each of the articles at the bottom of this post.

Before committing to a rigorous, expensive college education, aspiring engineering students should survey the field and take all factors into account before deciding which focus is best for them.

Brandon Hughes is the CEO of Cut & Couple. Courtesy: Brandon Hughes

Subscribers taking the 2015 Control Engineering salary survey provided write-in advice about engineering careers. They offered their advice on based on individual experiences in workplace strategies, education, attitude, communication, project management, and general engineering tips. 

Figure 9: Skills required to get ahead have remained consistent in recent years with engineering skills in the top spot, followed by project management skills, communication and presentation skills, computer skills, and team building skills, to round out

Young students, especially girls, looking to aspire to a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) should be willing to take chances and be willing to fail on their way because that’s the key to eventually attaining success in whatever you aspire to do.

Lisa Blais, Christie Fleming, Natalie Panek, Diana Peters, and Karen Norheim at the 2014 Women in Manufacturing Summit best practices panel. Courtesy: Anisa Samarxhiu, Joy Chang, CFE Media

Dr. James Duderstadt, president emeritus and university professor of science and engineering at the University of Michigan, advocates early education programs like the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) and Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program (ChiS&E) for young students who might be interested in STEM. Even if they don’t ultimately pursue a STEM career, they can learn many valuable skills that will serve them well in any career.

Dr. James Duderstadt was the president of the University of Michigan from 1998 to 1996. Courtesy: University of Michigan

Regardless of what career you choose, consider this write-in advice from the Control Engineering salary survey:

"Be willing to try anything and do anything. Only by trying and failing will you learn. Successes only showcase what we already know; failures teach us what we don’t know."

– Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

ONLINE extra

– See the Control Engineering education and training page, which has additional articles, videos, webcasts, and enewsletters designed to help engineers.