Subjects

Choosing which subjects you are going to do at school can be confusing and daunting. The reality though is that your subject choice can make a big difference to your chances of being accepted, when it comes to applying to universities to study. This is particularly relevant when it comes to Engineering, as the golden rule is if you want to study Engineering at university you are going to need to have done Math and Science, and are going to need to be relatively good at, and have good grades in both.

So often when faced with choosing subjects at school, students opt for the easier subjects because there is less work involved and they feel they may get better grades in certain subjects. They are not thinking long term, or how their subject choice is going to affect their careers long term.

If you want to pursue an Engineering career, you can never go wrong by choosing subjects such as Science, Math, Technology and Engineering. These subjects can only widen your options later on in life rather than narrow them. Science and Math are highly regarded subjects and valued for the majority of careers, not just Engineering, so can never be limiting or hold you back.

Engineering is an exciting career. It does take creativity, perseverance and lots of hard work, but the long term rewards are worth the hard work you will have to do to become an Engineer. Engineers are responsible for making tools, machines and countless other things that people need to improve their lives. Engineering is hugely diverse, and for this reason wherever your interest lie, there is probably a place for you in Engineering. Regardless of whether you are interested in mining, to building roads, to medical science, to computers there is opportunity for you in Engineering. Engineers are also in demand, which means that you will be offered job security, plus they often get to travel the world and get to see new places, and explore remote wilderness areas.

Because of the growing skill shortages across many fields of engineering, Engineers are paid well, and as a whole earn highly competitive salaries, as demand exceeds supply in many regions. This means that Engineers are pretty much guaranteed financial stability which helps them to really enjoy life. I was interested to read in a recent article in the Telegraph that one in five young people will need to become an Engineer if the United Kingdom has any chance of addressing severe skill shortages and rebalancing the economy towards advanced manufacturing.

It seems that the gulf between skills and jobs is making the gap bigger and bigger between what students are studying and what skills are required in order to become an Engineer. For this reason it is essential that more young people take science related subjects at school. It is therefore important for educators to emphasize and encourage the benefits of taking the right subjects at school, for students who have an interest and aptitude for Engineering. This problem is also not unique to the United Kingdom, it is a problem in many regions.

You do not have to love maths to become an Engineer, but you do need to develop competent math skills and have the ability to know how to use maths concepts to be able to qualify as an Engineer. Without math and science, your chances of being accepted into an Engineering program are slim if not impossible. Sadly parents and educators at times discourage children from pursuing a career in engineering for fear that the student will fail because they do not love the rigor of maths. You do need to have done Math, and need to be relatively good at math, but you do not need to be a mathematician, or madly in love with math. It is important to remember that Engineering is not only about having the skills in math and science, but it’s also about problem solving, creativity and having a positive impact on the world. However subject chose is extremely important if you are considering a career in Engineering.

3 Responses to “School subjects and getting into engineering”

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Alfred. Math is not easy, and is far more challenging for some students than others. For some it comes easy and for others it can be really hard. I would suggest if engineering is your passion, that you really focus on math, and ask family or friends who are good at it to help you, or get extra lessons if you are able to afford them. Math is an important part of your studies when it comes to becoming an engineer and university math is not easy. So if you feel that it is going to trip you up, and you are not going to be able to manage the math required, you may need to reconsider whether engineering is the right career for you. However if you are really passionate about it and willing to put in a lot of hard work, then you can hugely improve your math ability through practice and working really hard at it. Good luck with this. Regards. Susan.

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