Engineering is one of the most sought after and best paid professions. Therefore, it is not surprising that parents and educators are interested in what qualities are the most appropriate for children and teenagers to develop until they decide what they would like to do in life.
First of all, it should be borne in mind that there are many types of engineering. Beyond the classic division between mechanical, civil, chemical and electrical engineering, there is also computer, biomedical, aeronautical or even mathematical and data engineering. However, in any of them, by definition, engineering is the work of applying scientific knowledge to industrial design or innovation, from building an aeroplane or a bridge, to designing a medicine or programming an algorithm. Therefore, the first requirement to be an engineer is a predilection for science.
1. A liking for science in general, or for a particular science
Engineering is usually the application of theoretical knowledge to another branch of science that is being investigated. It is therefore crucial to choose which discipline to combine engineering with. If your child likes computers and mechanisms, computer or mechanical engineering might be a good idea; if he or she is passionate about health sciences, chemical or biomedical engineering might be a good idea. There are as many possibilities as there are branches of scientific knowledge.
2. Mathematical skills
Every science has a language, and that language is mathematics. Therefore, to be an engineer it is essential to train to work with numbers and abstract concepts translated into formulas. In whichever branch of engineering we opt for, mathematics will play a fundamental role, so it is better to start thinking about it as soon as possible. So if your boy or girl has a special talent for numbers, perhaps studying engineering is a good option.
3. A sense of logic
Logic is fundamental in problem solving. An engineer must spend much of his or her time simply thinking about how to make this or that design or how to solve a given situation. Although it may seem contradictory, logic is studied in branches of the humanities, such as philosophy, because it is the art of how to think.
4. Interest in objects
Whatever branch of engineering we choose, what is clear is that we will have to work with objects, from computers to all kinds of machinery. An early interest in the nature of any kind of object or mechanism (how it works, what it is made of, etc.) can be a sign of likely engineering ability.
5. Good spatial orientation
Spatial orientation is also very useful for an engineer. In most cases, you are working with objects, as mentioned above. Therefore, all those skills that have to do with their layout and predictions of their movements will be extremely useful for this job.