Discussion: View Thread

  • 1.  Career

    Posted 05-01-2023 08:00 AM

    I am a student in 3rd year and I want to know which field in civil engineering is most evergreen for my future perspective, my personal interest is in structural engineering and I need direction about the knowledge and soft skills required in this field for a successful career startup. 

     Muhammad Shaheer Rizwan 

    M.Shaheer Rizwan S.M.ASCE

  • 2.  RE: Career

    Posted 06-11-2023 10:53 AM

    Hi  M.Shaheer Rizwan!

    Just for clarification, the label "Soft Skills" has been used far too long.

    It really doesn't clarify anything.

    Project work is based on the combination of:

    • Techncial Matters and Sociocultural Matters.

    Engineering edu programs do a great job with the technology part;

    to date, very few address the other.

    The education to learn why, what, and how to collaborate, coordinate, and cooperate does not come natural to most of us.



    p.s. Absent other sources, go to your library and ask the librarian.

    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880

  • 3.  RE: Career

    Posted 06-12-2023 03:16 PM

    My experience suggests that Bill Hayden's reply is on target with respect to the need for knowledge of social and cultural matters. I know of a parking garage that had to be substantially redesigned because the neighborhood association said it didn't match the historic look of the area -- an industrial zone.

    Nevertheless, I consider the soft skills of good communication and teamwork to be essential to a successful engineering career. For example, expressing your good ideas persuasively gets them accepted. The ability to successfully manage conflict and draw out the best ideas from everyone on a team, not just the loudest ones, produces much better solutions. These are all learnable skills. Characteristics like kindness and honesty have to be an internal discipline.

    William McAnally Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.NE, F.ASCE
    Columbus MS