As a recent graduate of civil engineering, it may seem like what it takes to be successful in your field is the same as what has made you a successful student, technical expertise, and knowledge. But in the professional world of civil engineering, success is more complex. While the technical and analytical skills that are so often the focus of your academic career, your professional career requires added depth for you to be successful. Soft skills like interpersonal collaboration, creative thinking, listening, and communication skills often come into the forefront of your career once you are ready to try your skills in the field. Here is a more in-depth look at what you need to bring to the table to become a real success in civil engineering.
Mastering the Essential Functions
Civil engineers are responsible for the preparation of work procedures, installation and test packages, and associated support documentation. They analyze project problems and make recommendations of corrective actions. They monitor scope, budgets, and schedules to ensure project objectives are achieved. They work with a variety of cross-functional stakeholders and need to be able to communicate and work with a broad range of professionals. The essential skills for a civil engineer include analytical skills, communication skills, decision-making skills, management skills, and writing skills.
Engineers regularly analyze information, plans, and data from a wide variety of sources, and use statistical techniques to provide solutions. Knowledge of GIS systems and mapping is beneficial in civil engineering careers. But that’s not enough on its own. Successful professionals must be able to communicate clearly and effectively in presentations and plans with a wide variety of audiences, such as public officials, interest groups, and community members. A balance of creative thinking and realistic problem solving will go a long way toward providing the necessary skills. Engineers often struggle with soft skills such as communication or people management. Still, these skills are what will drive your career forward in a field of otherwise very technically adept engineers with similar skill sets and abilities. Consider what unique skills you bring to the table and lean into your strengths to help differentiate yourself and your career.
Ongoing Education and Training
Most engineers have at least a master’s degree from an accredited urban or regional planning program, or directly in civil engineering. Many of those students who enter such a program have a bachelor’s degree in math or sciences disciplines. But keep in mind that civil engineers must be interdisciplinary, team-oriented, and creative to become global leaders in building a better planet. That provides great opportunities to seek education and training in unique and specialized disciplines to help broaden your knowledge base. Complementary degrees to a civil engineering career include economics, geography, political science, or environmental design.
ESGI Will Help You Prepare for a Long and Successful Career
For more tips on how to prepare for a long and successful career as a civil engineer, connect with the recruiters at ESGI today.