Saturday, April 18, 2009

Who wants to be an engineer?

Being an engineer in Estonia, I have gotten used to working together with Estonians in IT, most of which are college dropouts of some variety, if they even had the time to go to school before aggressively starting building their work experience or running their own companies. So - who wants to be an engineer, when there are so many other opportunities to spend your time on?

Obviously an engineer doesn't work twice as fast just from spending twice the time on educating themselves, which may be cause for sarcastic remarks, but there are two things I would argue which are equally forgotten when people think of higher education:
  • With higher education, you can acquire the knowledge, perspective and skills to achieve completely disruptive things. You can learn about patterns, learn from the mistakes others have already made throughout the years, and you can push forward to things in a smarter way
  • Engineers get to do immensely cool things. My favourite example is my old friend David, now lead engineer at Illuminate Labs. He started out as some very nerdy but skilled graphics coder, and now their company are presenting at the San Francisco Game Developer's Conference and are the ones to thank for beautiful graphics of major movies and games like Mirror's Edge. There are many more examples, such as my friends at Spotify, MoYuMe and Bloggy, he role of an engineer may be intangible, but with an education from Universities such as Chalmers or KTH, the world can be truly by your feet and you can achieve whatever you dream of


Anders said...

Not to mention that having a university degree (preferably a Master's degree) helps a lot if you'd ever want a permanent residency in the US!

Carl-Johan Sveningsson said...

@Anders: Indeed! Residency and VISA rules are a bitch... but yes, I am very convinced of the benefits of higher (and continuous through life) education, but I feel that this post fell a bit flat, hopefully I can improve on it a bit later.