Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Am I good enough to become an engineer?

  1. Apr 27, 2007 #1
    Hello I am currently a high school student near graduation and I want to know what skills and general ability kind of things are needed to be a good engineer. I am a student of relatively high spatial, mathematical, systematic ability and am quite good at communicating through writing as well. However I think I lack some practical skills, i.e. I am not extremely fit and have very little hands on experience on engineering tools and such.

    What skills does engineering require to be good at it? I am good at all the sciences and mathematics and teachers describe me as creative when solving problems but my parents think im not creative at all. As an engineer, do you have to be really practical and physical?

    Secondly, I would like to ask what field of engineering is likely to be the next big thing? I am interested in nearly all fields, including aerospace, electrical and mechanical (cars). Also, out of these fields which one is the most practical and which one is the easiest and hardest to understand?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2007 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!

    You don't learn much in the way of practical skills in college and even if you did, they certainly wouldn't require it for entrance or need it as a prerequisite for success.

    Success in engineering in school requires, primarily, two things:

    -Somewhat above average intelligence.
  4. Apr 27, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It sounds like you are a good match for pretty much any engineering field. I would recommend that you pursue a BS in engineering -- the first two years of work are generally applicable to all of the specialties EE, ME, ChE, etc. You need to declare your major after the first two years, but up until then, you can take a broad range of classes to help you decide which major you enjoy the most. Best of luck!
  5. May 10, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Most places have really cut back on practical workshop classes ( lack of staff and insurance worries) if you do mech eng it can be useful to know how (or even if!) something can be built.

    Ugrad engineering is like most ugrad science - it consists of working hard to learn lots and then finally realising you don't know enough about anything, but it's still fun!
  6. May 10, 2007 #5
    Hi EL, welcome to the forum. You have described yourself as having the makings of a good engineer. When asked what an engineer is, I usually respond that they are problem solvers. Sometimes this requires creativity, sometimes just application of existing materials and methods through your knowledge and experience. Creativity helps, but there are plenty of engineers who are content to use long established methods on every project. This is not necessarily a bad thing, known methods have known outcomes.
    Last edited: May 10, 2007
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook