How to become an engineer (and what to expect)

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Does the world of engineering interest you? The industry is going from strength to strength, with business booming in Ireland despite the pandemic and new career areas opening up all the time.

As this year’s Engineers Week comes to a close, this is your chance to catch up on some of the stories you might have missed on over the past few days.

Which skills will you need?

Coding is a useful skill for everyone, according to Hays’ Steve Weston, but it’s especially important for engineers. But with so many coding languages and frameworks to choose from, where should you start? Go, Scala, Objective-C, Kotlin and SASS were all in high demand last year.

Click here to check out the top sci-tech employers hiring right now.

Along with technical expertise, engineers need to hone their soft skills, too. Workhuman’s Ronan O’Dulaing told us why he looks for self-motivation in new engineering hires, and MSD’s Brad Holstine explained the importance of being passionate.

Where could you work?

There are many career paths somebody with engineering skills can take. In this guest article, Hays’ David Burke outlines what he believes will be the five most in-demand roles in the industry this year. They range from software engineers to those with knowledge of cloud infrastructure.

We also heard from Jimmy Nguyen, president of the Bitcoin Association, about the emerging area of bitcoin programming. Bitcoin Script engineers, for example, are a new category of professionals he believes are about to take off.

And if you’re decided on your path but unsure about your next steps, our list of companies that are hiring engineers right now could help. It features 27 companies all looking for engineers in Ireland, from Mastercard to Patreon.

Insider insights to help you become an engineer

One of the best ways to set yourself up for success when entering into a new field is to listen to the people already working in it. We spoke to plenty of those this week. If you’re just starting out in the field, the experiences of an engineering intern might be useful. Brandon Caffrey, a college student of computer engineering, spoke to us about his time so far at Viasat.

Verizon Media’s Karla Maria Garcia told us what she enjoys in her role as a software developer and Accenture’s Ross Manning took us through a typical day in his life as a data engineering consultant.

We learned what it can be like for an engineer to move across the world for their career from Caroline Poovelil. Originally from Bahrain, Poovelil fell in love with pharmaceutical manufacturing during her internship with MSD Ballydine and now works as a technical group engineer at the company.

For those wondering about career progression in the field, Dun & Bradstreet’s Paul Hitz shared his journey moving from software engineer to manager and Fidelity Investments’ Cora Ryan talked about her role in leading engineering projects to completion. Paul Fitzgerald of PwC spoke about his slightly different journey, moving from Formula 1 engineering to strategy consulting.

And finally, we got some important insights into what the engineering industry is like for women from Kirby Group Engineering’s Eve Cassidy and NASA datanaut Fionnghuala O’Reilly, who is also the ambassador for Engineers Ireland’s STEPS Engineers Week.

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