Engineers are considered to be problem solvers and creative thinkers. They have strong logic skills and are most of the time are able to take up any kind of challenges they are given. Their technical training and the education enables them to have a strong foundation. Here are some skills which engineers require to become accomplished problem solvers and to be successful in their careers.
Taking a hands-on-approach
Taking a practical and hands-on-approach to things can become the backbone of being an expert problem solver. Solutions found by practical experiments and getting involved with them for a deeper understanding encourages more knowledge and yield positive results. In their professional lives, engineers have to frequently consult people beyond the team of being project managers, technical experts etc. for solving a problem. With so much creative juice flowing with expert reasoning, several solutions can be easily created.
Skills required for thinking like an engineer
The quality of developing critical thinking has to be developed using required bits of information from what is learnt from your course/degree or work experiences.
Combining different types of relevant information into a single unique solution resulting in a definite path produces creativity. Diligence is something which develops with the passage of time. Follow the engineering path by repeating certain steps thoroughly to arrive at the best solution. There are various online forums available for generating new ideas and exchanging each other’s views across the table.
Arriving at a balance between convergent and divergent
Divergent thinking is the process of generating various potential solutions and possibilities, known as brainstorming. Convergent thinking involves evaluating those options and choosing the most promising one. Often, we use a combination of the two to develop new ideas or solutions.
There has to be a balance between divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking involves the process of producing various alternatives or possibilities. It is sometimes also known as brainstorming. On the other hand, convergent thinking involves selecting the best possible option from all the possible ones. We often use a combination of both one after the other for arriving at solutions or new ideas.
Practising Skills Early
While studying engineering, one requires less of memorizing facts and more of synthesizing in order to create something new. For gaining this mindset, students have to be introduced to various engineering activities early in their lives for ultimately being dynamic and bright working professionals.
Giving students the challenge of solving problems which cannot be solved merely by memorizing the academic facts taught to them in college is essential. Instead, they require deep critical thinking and innovative approach for solving these problems, though the fundamentals remain the same. This type of activity helps them to develop valuable skills and become successful engineers.
No Single Answer to Solve a Problem
Engineering has a speciality that there is no single solution to an engineering design problem. Engineering requires going beyond constraints and limitations that sometimes could be missed by others or could be stated as simply far-fetched. It ultimately requires creativity to arrive at solutions for challenging problems within a maze of constraints.
Engineers in the contemporary world today have to work in diverse teams across multiple time zones with multitalented people having different skills. They are supposed to create innovative and amicable solutions while working at the same time within various limitations. Diversity increases the scope and enables the team members to look at the ideal solution from different perspectives and a broad range of interdisciplinary knowledge. Regular staff meetings generating discussions for engineers with other team members also are quite important.
Diverse teams and talented people are essential for figuring out the requirements and understanding each other’s point of view. In fact, in today’s job market it has become quite necessary to demonstrate your creative and critical thinking in addition to the traditional engineering skills students possess.