Five ways to stay relevant in your engineering career


The world and its technologies are rapidly changing. Engineers are at the heart of this. Climate change, sovereign capability, innovation and infrastructure are just some of the areas in in which engineering plays a crucial part.  

To that end it’s never been more important for engineers to continue learning – to adapt, pivot and move their careers forward. 

Engineers Australia chief engineer Jane MacMaster FIEAust CPEng said engineers must ensure their knowledge and skills remain relevant to a very dynamic industry. 

“Engineers need to keep developing and retaining that ability to learn.”  

“Communication, stakeholder engagement, risk management and ethical practice are all key areas that need to be maintained.” 

 MacMaster said these skills are fundamental to what it means to practice as an engineer. 

“Risk management is part of most engineers’ roles and fundamental to engineering work. As the challenges engineers work on become more complex, more interdisciplinary teams are required to work on them. Engineers need to be able to work effectively in these teams, so communication and stakeholder engagement skills are now regarded as essential.” 

1. Build your communication skills  

As an engineer, your technical competency is assumed to be at a high standard. But what really gets projects moving are your communication and interpersonal skills. 

“Engineers Australia provides an array of professional development opportunities to maintain and refresh these skills. We have just launched eight micro-credentials this week that will provide engineers flexible pathways to build and verify their skills to a recognised standard, through previous or current work,” MacMaster said. 

“Many webinars and on-demand videos are free for members. Or there’s the option to work towards a Chartered credential, which recognises both technical ability and leadership and communication skills and are kept current through lifelong learning and continuing professional development.” 

2. Keep your technical expertise up to scratch   

Engineers have always needed to stay on top of new information and emerging technologies, and this will matter more than ever in the future. 

Membership to Engineers Australia includes complimentary access to technical journals, the world’s largest engineering database, discounts on engineering short courses and micro-credentials and access to a growing video library of webinars. 

3. Connect with other engineers, and not just in your field 

Through an organisation like Engineers Australia, there are multiple opportunities to connect with engineers from all disciplines, and all walks of life, through local events, mentoring opportunities and online communities and forums. 

4. Keep up with trends and forecasts  

Staying up to date with new ideas and technologies is crucial to staying relevant, allowing you to think differently to come up with unique solutions. 

Subscribe to industry publications for a regular dose of inspiration you can take into your own work. 

And as a member of Engineers Australia, you can get discounted tickets to our engineering conferences, featuring world-class leaders and innovators. 

5. Get involved with the engineering community to make a difference  

” Volunteering is a great way to give back to the engineering community, allowing you to have a positive influence on the future of engineering,” MacMaster said. 

“This can include contributing to policy and advocacy on behalf of the profession.” 

Become a member with Engineers Australia and gain access to a myriad of expertise, events and professional relationships. Join by 31 July and save $90 on membership. Visit engaus.org/getsaving for more information. 

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