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 Top 10 Reasons to Be an Engineer

Even The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper dreams of being an engineer! Okay, so locomotive engineer isn’t exactly the type of engineer we’re talking about here, but it’s safe to say that engineers of all types are seeing their cool factor rise. In fact, being an engineer has never been cooler. 
Check out 10 reasons to consider a career in engineering: 
1. You might just change the world. Did you know that mechanical engineer/mathematician Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer in the 1820s? One hundred years later, British mathematician Alan Turing revived Babbage’s idea and succeeded in breaking Hitler’s secret ciphers with a code-breaking device - the precursor to today’s computers. Engineers from the U.S. and Britain took Babbage’s and Turing’s concepts to the next step in the late 1940s. Engineers have played a role in the invention of everything from the internal combustion engine to the perfect chocolate bar. “You have the opportunity to solve problems and make people’s lives better!” enthuses Professor Pierre Larochelle, head of the department of mechanical engineering at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SD Mines) in Rapid City, SD. 
2. If the thought of traveling, and meeting and working with people from other cultures appeals to you, then think engineering. Engineers are needed all around the globe, which means the odds are good that you’ll get to see the world as an engineer.
3. People will be impressed when you tell them you’re an engineer. Seriously - most people know just how difficult it is to become an engineer, and they respect that. You might’ve been the kid no one knew in high school, but when you tell everyone you’re an engineer at your high school class reunion, they’ll know who you are.
4. Here are two words for you: financial security. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in engineering jobs is projected to grow 7% from 2016 through 2026. An estimated 194,300 new jobs are expected to be added. Plus, the median annual wage for engineering occupations is $79,180. Yep, that’s financial security for you. 
5. It’s a no-brainer that science and math will be an important part of your job, but so will creativity. The best engineers can dream up and create amazing inventions by thinking outside the box. “My number one reason to be an engineer is because you get to use your creative abilities every day!” shares Larochelle. 
6. It’ll scratch that humanitarian itch. Engineers use their skills to give back to their communities and the world, starting as students. For instance, engineering students at SD Mines study and travel abroad, doing such things as introducing a water filtration system in the African country of Tanzania, developing a water system in Chile and offering their science knowledge on humanitarian projects in Mongolia, Guatemala and Egypt.
7. You can learn how to design, build and fix almost anything. Enough said!
8. We live in a technical world, filled with hardware and software. Someone has to take care of the tech stuff. Why not you?
9. If you become a software engineer or a computer engineer, then you’ll never have to ask your kids for help with the computer. Think about that. You’ll be the expert, pushing innovation at the same time!
10. The career options are endless. As an engineer, you could end up working in almost any business or industry, from NASA to Morgan Stanley. Engineering opens up the world to you.
– SD Mines
Source: South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SD Mines)
About the Author: Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SD Mines), sdsmt.edu, is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, SD, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,654 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97%, with an average starting salary of more than $61,346, according to the university the school.
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