Career Education Interview
For my Career Education course this year, I was tasked with interviewing someone who held a job I was interested in. Since I have always had an interest in engineering and more specifically, software engineering, I decided to interview my dad, who works as a Director of Software Engineering at a multinational wireless communications company. Throughout the brief interview, he gave me multiple career advice tips which I will be sharing today.
My dad’s first major piece of advice was to start playing around with coding and start learning about it as soon as possible. Building an understanding of code from a younger age will allow for more proficiency and fluency in later years, so the earlier you get started, the better. This is because programming languages are not too unlike learning real languages, and the younger you are, the easier it is to learn a language. This advice acted as a bit of a wake-up call for me, as I could be spending more time learning programming languages, though I did spend time over the summer learning Python. I am also taking a programming course right now, so that helps at least. My dad and I both agreed in the end that simply gaining that interest in computers, and how they work at a young age can be important in the future.
The second piece of advice I learned was that there is not one singular path you can take towards a goal, which is becoming an engineer. My dad always had a goal of becoming an engineer, but he didn’t start as a software engineer. He originally studied electrical engineering in university, before he later started moving into a software-orientated role. I think it is important to know, even if you aren’t successful in one path, there are other ways to get to the final goal. With that said, my dad also mentioned that it takes a lot of hard work to become an engineer, and there are paths you can take that make it easier. He recommended that I take high-level math and physics courses for high-School, and he said an engineering degree from a university is always essential, especially in this generation. I think the big underlying message my dad was getting across was that it takes a lot of hard work, alongside careful planning to fulfill a pursuit in an engineering career, but if one path doesn’t work, there are always other ways to still reach that goal.
Shortly before we concluded the interview, my dad left me with one final piece of advice; soft skills are just about as important as hard skills. Unlike hard skills, which are the technical skills, abilities, and knowledge of how a task, soft skills are more the skills that allow us to work well with others. On average, my dad stated that he used soft skills 50% of the time and hard skills the other 50%. Because of this, he encouraged me to keep working on soft skills like being able to compromise, get along with others, effectively communicate, and write professional emails and whatnot.
Overall, I learned a fair bit in my interview with him, though I am still left uncertain about my future. I still have a lot of time to figure it out though.