Mechanical Engineering, like all other professions, has some associated myths and preconceived notions. People associate certain stereotype features and characteristics with an engineer like geeky and inward. Although, in reality, their nature is opposite to the traits and personality characteristics that are branded on them by societal beliefs. Following are some myths about mechanical engineers and their work-
Myths Associated with Mechanical Engineers and their Work
Some common myths are associated with mechanical engineers and their work. Following are some of the popular myths about mechanical engineers and their work-
Absence of Social Skills
One of the most common myths associated with mechanical engineers is that they have very few social skills. It is believed that an engineer is an introverted person. He only likes to sit around his computer device. It is believed that most of the engineers’ daily routines are focused on working in an internal environment. They are considered to be geeky and inward. Moreover, it is believed that engineers do not like human interaction and they like to spend most of their time at home. However, all such claims are not supported by any evidence. These are societal perceptions about engineers. Like any other profession, there are combinations of introverted and extroverted engineers in the field of mechanical engineering.
Mechanical Engineers can fix everything
This is a common perception that has developed in human beings. It is believed that engineers can fix anything and that they carry around with themselves a toolbox so that they can repair any designated machinery at any point in time. This perception however does not exist for doctors. At family gatherings, no one asks a doctor about an annual physical check-up. But whenever the slightest disturbance is noticed in a mechanical or electrical appliance at home during such family gatherings, it is perceived that the engineer, courtesy of being an engineer, will take out his toolbox and solve the issue. This is one of the most disturbing myths about mechanical engineers and their work.
Absence of Creativity in Work
This again is one of the most common myths associated with mechanical engineering work. In our society, it is perceived that people who pursue literature and fine arts are the foremost proponent of creativity. Arts is somehow compared with being creative. On the other hand, the work of engineers is only associated with mechanics, logic and scientific application. However, channelization of creativity through work is the primary objective of any mechanical engineering work. Creativity is relative to any field of work. For example- for operating a machine, creativity in solving problems associated with the machine is necessary. Engineers need to find a balance between work-life creativity, logic and scientific acumen.
Mechanical Engineering is a predominantly male working field
This perception has been one of the most common myths associated with Mechanical Engineering. Although this was true when Engineering as a profession started taking shape, the dimensions and dynamics have altered with time. Nowadays, many women are showing interest in the field of mechanical engineering. With so many avenues and opportunities opening up for women in the field of engineering, the hierarchy of employment as an engineer is slowly shifting from male-centric to a more balanced position. As more and more women are taking up engineering as a profession, the number of women mechanical engineers working in large multinational corporations are increasing.
Mechanical Engineers have a limited field of interests
Over many years, the image of an engineer has become that of a nerd or a geek. This common myth associated with mechanical engineers has developed courtesy movies and television mediums.
Because their work involves a high degree of concentration, commitment and attention to detail – it’s only logical they fully immerse themselves in it. But engineers are people too and have varying interests and outlets that add value and happiness to their lives. All engineers have a personal life where they are different from their professional environment. Good engineers can strike a balance between their personal and professional work lives.
Mechanical Engineers are confined to one job and one location
Another common myth associated with mechanical engineering is that their job is confined to one location. It is also perceived that they synchronously perform repetitive jobs. Many people think that the skills engineers acquire are not transferable on an international level, but this applies more to lawyers. Engineering consists of a set of standardized principles and universal laws and correlations, and many countries welcome foreign engineers to fill skilled migrant numbers, so moving and living abroad can be easier if you’re an engineer. Moreover, the work of engineers nowadays is project-oriented. Some of these projects require engineers to settle abroad. Therefore the work of an engineer, contrary to popular belief, is location-centric.
Therefore we must eradicate such mystical notions about the work of engineers and their personal life. Engineering like all other professions has its share of thrills, spills, excitement and enthusiasm. However, only an engineer, who has learnt the principles associated with engineering science will understand the importance of such characteristics and situations. Therefore it is our objective to remove such common myths associated with mechanical engineers and their work.
Frequently Asked Questions (faqs)
Why is it thought that the life of an engineer is boring?
It is commonly perceived that the life of an engineer is boring because the manner of the work that he/she indulges in daily is considered repetitive.
What common perceptions exist about the social skills of engineers?
It is perceived that engineers have very few social skills and that they are introverted and like to live in a shell of their own.
Can Engineers fix anything?
No, it is humanly impossible for any engineer to fix everything.
Is the job of an engineer location-centric?
Yes, the job of an engineer is location-centric.
Do Engineers have a varied field of interests?
Yes, Engineers like all other professionals working in different fields have a varied range of interests and likings.
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