In a perfect world, an engineer works by himself, armed with his computer, and little magic bag of tools, he solves complex problems and makes the world an easier place for non engineers. But sadly engineers do have to work with people and cannot be confined in their engineering ivory tower. When you work with people, having quantitative aptitude and technical skills will not suffice and you have to exercise soft skills. Unfortunately many engineers disregard the importance of soft skills, as they envision themselves in jobs which involves a lot of ‘’invention’’ and innovation, where they will need to solve a lot of solutions to complex technological problems.
They completely ignore the fact that engineering means more than solving quantitative problems, analyzing complicated mechanics of software and technology, inventing new apps etc. Your job is not finished when you invent a particular product, you have to do some basic marketing. Creating a unique product will mean nothing if you cannot convince anyone to buy it! Just having technical skills alone won’t make you a perfect candidate for a specific job, having some basic soft skills like communication skills, negotiation skills, networking skills etc, goes a long way to secure you that dream job.
According to recent surveys, one of the main reason why, many engineering graduates from second and third tier colleges in India fail to get a job, is that they have poor communication and English speaking skills. In order to make career advancements and even get a job in the first place you need to have formidable soft skills. In this essay we will address a few of the must have soft skills for all engineers :
- Communication : Many IT companies and technology firms complain that the engineering colleges do not have fluent English speaking skills. They have stilted or defective speech and appear to be awkward at public speaking colleague and client interaction. This is a very significant issue as most companies have become very client focused nowadays, engineers can no more expect to be confined in their ivory tower, tinkering with software, isolated from everybody. Engineers are also expected to demonstrate their technology/apps before prospective clients, give presentations and address questions tactfully. Also some minimum communication skills are required to make a good impression in the interview itself.
You have to justify all the accomplishments listed in your CV, address your weaknesses, market yourself ( the question why should we hire you, is just an opportunity for you to showcase yourself) without coming across as pretentious, aggressive or obnoxious. The interview itself is an evaluation of communication skills. If you are working in a private sector, and want to make professional advancement communication skills are a must have quality.
- Confidence : This is a trait which quite a few graduates lack in. Wrong body posture, stilted and hesitant speech, shifty or wandering eye gaze all points to lack of confidence. If you want to shine in the corporate sector, then having a healthy amount of confidence in your talent and ability to get things done is necessary. Look at it this way, if you give the impression that you do not have confidence in your own abilities, how will the employer place his faith on you?
- Teamwork Skills : Compared to other professional streams such as BBA or MBA Engineering have comparatively few joint projects and assignments. So a lot of talented engineers have the classic lone wolf mentality and have to develop sufficient teamwork skills if they expect to prosper in the private sector. Teamwork skills involve transparent communication with colleagues, ability to handle differences and conflicts gracefully, keeping matters objective and impersonal etc. A consummate professional is one who exhibits decent team work skills but is also able to work independently.
- Time Management Skills : The private sector runs on deadlines before which you have to submit projects, complete assignments, convert prospective leads etc. It is a very demanding sector so in order not to fall behind your peers you need to develop time management skills.
Brainware Engineering College understands the importance of soft skills so it has an exhaustive and elaborate pre placement training programme where the engineering graduates undergo soft skill training regularly. Brainware has state of art language labs where they are taught everything from perfect English diction to pronunciation correction. Apart from this they undergo training for interview etiquette, corporate etiquette, how to develop presentation and negotiation skills, etc.