Guest Blogger: Tips for Science and Engineering Careers

Tips for succeeding in science and engineering industries
By: Laura Sanchez

For many of us our career is the most important thing in our life. But at the beginning of our life, we don’t know which path to choose. First, because we are not sure about our skills. And secondly, because we don’t know about the real world just yet. This article gives some pointers on how to have a successful career when you’re just starting out.

  1. First of all you have to assess your abilities because you need to know what kind of professions would suit you best from an intellectual point of view. This is the most important decision that you are going to make while you are in high school.
  2. Once you are sure about your abilities, you must determine what your interests are. Sometimes your interests are aligned with your abilities. For example, I used to be very good in math and the sciences, and I also loved them, so the scientific and engineering fields were a good fit for me.
  3. Gauge the market: This one is very important, because you want to ensure you’re able to land a job in your chosen profession. It is very sad that after years of study and sacrifice, you won’t be able to get a job, because you have a profession that is in low demand or that pays a lousy salary.
  4. Do your research and determine whether you are ready to commit: Some professions only require a bachelors degree, others require a PhD, so it’s important for you to know the kind of qualifications you need in order to work as a professional in that field, and you also have to decide if you are willing to put in the amount of time to study as necessary.

  5. Find mentors in the field: Seek out people who have been in your chosen profession — those that have enough experience under their belt that can offer you pointers, job hunting advice,  and help you with some of the toughest aspects of the field.
  6. Voluntary work: Volunteering is a good way to interact with people in the field and also construct a good reputation.
  7. Always try to develop new expertise: It is important to be as versatile as you can, but it’s just as imperative that you develop deeper content knowledge and vary your skillset. When opportunities arise, try new things. These days, with the economy in shambles, no job is stable. However, you’ll been an asset for whatever company you work for if you have expertise in different areas.
  8. Stick to your decision: Don’t get discourage if in the first couple of years, things don’t go the way you wanted to. Keep at it. Individuals who change careers every 6 months or so don’t make it too far.
  9. Seek advice from a superior: If you are already in the work force, your manager or other superior may be a good resource. Tap them to discover how you can enhance your skills and move forward in your career.
  10. Attend seminars and conferences: It’s important that you stay on top of any new trend in your field, and oftentimes seminars and conferences are the places that shed light on such trends. You can also learn ways in which you can perform better in your work, or how to approach problems in the workplace.
  11. Take advantage of any educational opportunity that your company may provide: This is an extension of the previous bullet, if your company provides opportunity for you to go to college to get an advanced degree, take it. Not only will  you gain knowledge and new skills, but earning higher credentials could certainly set you apart from colleagues.

The past pointers give you the best information I can share with you about how to succeed professionally, but the best things you can do are work hard, and have a vision for your career.

About the Author

Laura Sanchez is the creator of the blog Thoughts of a Career Woman, which offers insight on how to approach career-related problems from the perspective of a woman working in a high-tech industry. Laura is an engineer specializing in electronics, and works as a circuit designer at a semiconductor company. As one of the few women working at her company, she shares through her blog personal experiences in the field, along with pointers about education and career success. To learn more , visit Laura at