If you're an engineering student or recent graduate, you need to know what your options are and how to go about achieving success in the international field. What skills do you need? What are your options? Do you need cross-cultural experience to be an international engineer? The tips below provide a few basic answers to questions we hear a lot!
- Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons: Within the engineering industries, international work experience is generally only valued by firms participating in international projects.
- While working as an engineer abroad, you will develop communication and managerial skills: More importantly, you may not develop further technical skills. Projects abroad do not often focus on using the latest technologies.
- The standard categories: Engineers who work abroad tends to fall in one of three distinct, broad categories: the international development engineer, the private sector engineer and the consulting engineer.
- Soft skills matter! Engineering students learn the value of efficiency, productivity and technical skill. These are important, but when working internationally, it is your adaptability, enthusiasm, persistence and cross-cultural understanding that will set you apart.
- Build international skills while you are studying: Take every opportunity to build your cross-cultural knowledge. Study abroad, or plan co-op placements and summer terms in other countries, learn languages, read up on world events or volunteer. Whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to build experience.
Related reading on the main MyWorldAbroad site (for registered users):