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engineering

Skills required for joining engineering courses

Published On: 08 May 2013 | Last Updated On: 10 May 2013

Engineering is defined as the application of scientific and other knowledge for the building and maintenance of structures, machines and processes. It involves the use of many sciences and often combines different subjects. Engineering is a vast field encompassing a variety of sub topics. To join an engineering course one needs to master some common subjects and skills: 

Mathematics and general science are essential subjects for those aspiring to be engineers. These subjects help in the development of technical or specialized skills in the field of engineering. Nowadays, students have quite a variety of options at the school level. Choosing the right combination of subjects can be beneficial to students making their transition to the engineering field very smooth. Subjects and sub-topics, which engineering aspirants should have a strong hold on:  

1. Subject Knowledge

  • Mathematics: is a primary subject requiring maximum practice at the school level. A good understanding of mathematics is essential to those wanting to pursue engineering. A tertiary understanding of algebra, geometry and trigonometry will sufficiently prepare students for a course in engineering.
    • Algebra is a core area of mathematics, which helps in problem solving. Basic rules of arithmetic are used in algebra for the grouping and description of objects, and for discovering an undefined element. Many other subjects in mathematics are built upon algebra; therefore a strong base in algebra is essential.  
    • Geometry is described as the study of properties and relationship between surfaces, lines, angles and points. Mathematical laws and logic are used in geometry for the description of the physical world. This helps students solve many critical problems.
    • Trigonometry includes the study of triangles and trigonometric functions like tangent, cosine, sine, etc. Application in real world scenarios is also a part of trigonometry. Electricity, telescopes, radio waves and ship navigation all use elements of trigonometry.
    • Calculus is the field of study in mathematics which is used to solve higher order complex problems. Itis applicable over and uses elements of all other fields in mathematics. Designated symbols and logic are used and applied in calculus to carry out difficult problems like the prediction of the time taken by a wave to reach the shore or determining a rocket’s orbit.
    • Science:
    • Science is referred to as knowledge about the world, as understood and gathered through scientific methods. The scientific method tests hypotheses by experimentally testing them and proving them right or wrong. A hypothesis can be about anything including about how things operate.
    • Physics is defined as the study of interaction between matter and energy. Science is always asking questions on the behavior of moving objects and about the existence of certain things. A basic knowledge on physics is required for every branch of engineering.
    • Chemistry is the study of the physical properties of substances, their structure, composition and their reactions. It also investigates the production or conversion of a particular substance into other substances. Chemistry is as important as physics for students of engineering.
    • Biology is referred to as the study of living organisms. It includes specialized branches like botany, microbiology, zoology and genetics. Students of agricultural, medical and environmental engineering require an understanding of living systems in the world and must be well acquainted with biology.
    • Ecology is also termed as environmental science. It is a study of the interaction between the physical environment and living organisms. It is important for engineers to understand the behavior of nature and beings in nature at connected.  
    • Other sciences:
      • An understanding of several other sciences is required by aspiring students of engineering. These are:
      • Psychology-  a study on human senses, societies, sociology etc.
      • Anthropology- a study on cultures
      • Economics- study on resource and market allocation
      • Astronomy- study on cosmos and stars
      • Anatomy- study on human body

2) Team and Communication Skills

  • Working in teams: Team work matters to all engineers. Working in group projects, student government activities, youth groups, athletics, drama clubs and community services will all be looked on favorably by prospective employers. Working in a group is an essential part of an engineer’s job.
  • Communication skills:  Communicating thoughts and ideas to other people is of key importance for aspiring engineers. Speaking and writing skills have to be developed by taking advantage of every opportunity. For people with poor communication skills reading out stories or other material to listeners can help improve communication skills.
  • Technological skills: A part from computers technological competence includes knowledge of telephones and other systems. Basic understanding and comfort with technology will help make life easier and allow one to concentrate on other important skills.
  • Critical thinking: The ability to search for and find answers to questions independently and the ability to make logical decisions are parts of critical thinking. Experience and practice will improve one’s critical thinking skills. It is important to develop the skill of thinking critically.

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