Structural engineering is a discipline of civil engineering that deals with the strength and stability of buildings, retaining walls, bridges, towers, vehicles, and other man-made structures. it is a very marketable and high paying field and after graduating with good grades, one is assured of a high percentage of getting employed. However, getting through the course itself is a challenge. Therefore, before you make up your mind to take on structural engineering as a main course, you should be aware of what you are getting yourself into.
Before anything, you must first consider your passion. Structural engineering is made of advanced mathematics and physics. How do you feel about these subjects? If anything, you should be in love with them and you will have a smooth sailing course. Apart from loving them, one must perform exceptionally in these subjects in order to be admitted by any college offering these courses.
Another thing one should be passionate about is the job at sight. After graduating, the main objective would be to get a job as a structural engineer. Most adult stresses and depression are from the work place. Getting work in a company requiring of you to perform tasks that you are not comfortable with, or dislike would make it stressful.
Structural engineering is a job that requires one to be mostly behind the desk designing and analyzing structures. Would you be comfortable in an enclosed room sitting for long hours?
Structural Engineering as a course has a wider area of study putting in consideration your study habits is a vital point. This is a course that takes one out of his or her comfort zone. It will test your limits and the weak usually give up midway. It demands team work. One has to conduct research and give a perfect presentation on their findings.
Structural engineering requires of one to read deep and wide which, without dedication is impossible. Good study habits involve taking part actively during lessons, doing your own personal research taking part in groupwork and executing the regular assignments, reading intensively and extensively. In so doing you not only expand your knowledge base in the field but you also improve your competency as an engineer.
Basic knowledge of some units is important. As much as you will be dwelling much on designing the framework for structures, it is advisable that you understand how certain methods came about. Knowledge of units such as calculus and statics will be of great help. They help you learn more about mathematical formulas and theories in the field. While still in high school, your teacher can play a great role in tutoring you on subjects you need to be good in, such as physics and mathematics. Just let them know what course you aspire to undertake at the university.
Going for quality is also another factor to consider. Engineering courses are offered by many institutions in the country but the question is; is the education offered at the institution up to the world and market standards? This has got to deal with the preferences of a person more. Of course, as a student you have to consider your safety, cost of the tuition fee, student support services and the social life. Most engineering students prefer a school with high ranking, good research facilities, practical experience and internships opportunities.
Life as a structural engineer at the university is not a carousel. Your professors will squeeze knowledge out of you to get the best version of you that they want. You will have to do a lot of duties, and you need to be ready for the marathon. Attending classes is very important for you as a student but still not enough.
Assignments will be issued every now and then to sharpen your skills. Make time for your personal studies. Do a lot of practice and research to widen your knowledge. It may not be a ride, but something great will surely blossom out of it all.
Among many of the more things to consider your main reason behind the decision of becoming an engineer is also one. Are you going for the structural engineering course because your relative pursued the same course and is successful in life? Are you going for it because of the pressure from your parents? This is a factor that most tend to assume and go for the course because of the social pressure. Structural engineering requires of you: hard work, determination and dedication to be successful in the field and also during studies.
Before making up your mind on undertaking the course, it is advisable to go through the course work and the subject requirement for the course. Of course, not only that you also have to consult with the experts in field. If they ascertain that you are fit for the course then there you have one point and will surprisingly come up as a motivation, encouragement and will make you take on the course with a positive attitude.
Some people have this notion that all they have to do is pass their secondary school examination and thereafter is a smooth sailing ride. Getting into campus with such a misleading belief have ended some students’ studies. These students are not ready at all for what comes next after joining campus. They are the sort that goes partying each and every opportunity they get, they abuse drugs and a rising trend of youths hanging out in video games cafés. By the time they learn what campus actually entails, they already submerged themselves in addictive behaviors which drag their performance. If anything, you should try your best not to get into this category.
Structural engineering, just like any other engineering course, requires huge funding. Lucky are those who receive scholarship or those sponsored by the government to undertake these courses. By which, even after, there are other costs incurred including the purchase of requirements such as a good quality laptop or computer. Are you in a stable financial position to support you or can get the funds required? If yes, go for it!
Be equipped with software skills. It is essential to know and learn great software from the experts to help in your understanding of structures. A good example of software for a structural engineering student is the Protasoftware. Dedicate your time in school to master such software. Identify the structure solutions used by such prominent structural engineers.
Structural engineering also demands precision. One should be not far adrift if not 100% sure with their workings. Making mistakes would be costly as you will be deciding the strength and resistance of the structures that will withstand people’s lives and other valuable assets. It means that a simple mistake can bring the whole thing tumbling down. One, there would be a loss in all materials already used in the construction and all manpower put in. Worst case scenario, there are people in the building. Might cause injuries or even still death. There is not a price on that. Your memory should be razor sharp.
All things considered, if you decide on taking structural engineering course, I wish you the best of luck!
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