Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Engineering major/jobs requiring no interpersonal skills???

bcarvingsbcarvings Posts: 249Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2011 in Engineering Majors
Hi,
I was just wondering is there an engineering major that consists mostly of independant work? I've read engineers need to constantly work with people but I really work best independently. Could you rank (best guess) which engineering majors require the least amount of interpersonal skills 1 requiring least 10 the most. Thanks again
Post edited by bcarvings on
«1

Replies to: Engineering major/jobs requiring no interpersonal skills???

  • harvard09harvard09 Posts: 165Registered User Junior Member
    Relatively speaking, the research laboratories and institutions will allow you to do more independent work. As for the commercial or defense companies, you will need interpersonal skills. If you don't have any, you will have a hard time getting promoted no matter how good you are technically.
  • silverbulletsilverbullet Posts: 161Registered User Junior Member
    don't you mean social skill rather than interpersonal?
  • TreetopleafTreetopleaf Posts: 2,706Registered User Senior Member
    I worked for defense companies as a software design engineer. While some assignments required spending significant time with other people from other departments, most assignments did not, particularly for young engineers. When you're designing software or in the lab fixing software, the bulk of your time is spent thinking and doing, and contact with others is limited. The same would be true of other electronics-related jobs. You do have to cooperate with others, of course, and consult with others occasionally, but producing product (code, hardware design, documentation, simulations, testing, etc.) is your focus and what you spend the bulk of your time doing.

    That said, I think nearly everyone is expected to converse occasionally, to communicate design interfaces, requirements, test results, to work cooperatively to solve problems (is it my problem or yours), etc. This is where I think the emphasis on engineers needing interpersonal skills comes in. But in my experience, when working with talented, motivated engineers, a person can be quite 'backward' and still effectively do his job. They just won't necessarily be promoted to management ranks, which is probably fine with them.

    I'd say avoid sales engineering, factory-related work where you'd have to supervise floor personnel, and any work where customer communications would be the primary focus. I suspect for many disciplines you need more interpersonal skills as you climb the management ladder, and relatively fewer as a beginner.

    I'd love to hear what others have to say about this.
  • jessiehljessiehl Posts: 3,328Registered User Senior Member
    You know, you can work better independently and still have decent social skills.
  • ken285ken285 Posts: 3,882Registered User Senior Member
    I'd say avoid sales engineering, factory-related work where you'd have to supervise floor personnel, and any work where customer communications would be the primary focus. I suspect for many disciplines you need more interpersonal skills as you climb the management ladder, and relatively fewer as a beginner.

    Based on my experiences and what I've seen, you are dead on. I have a degree in civil engineering and have worked in both an engineering office, as well as in the construction field.

    The construction field is much like factory-related work as treetopleaf described it. Communicating, managing, and directing are the primary tasks and NOT designing or calculating things.

    I also worked for a while in a small traffic engineering firm (approx. 60 people), and communicating and working with others was important at all levels. Even the entry-level engineers participated in a lot of meetings with clients, and communicated directly with them outside of meetings as well. Civil engineering projects typically require working with many other civil engineering companies as well, who are handling other aspects of the projects. There is a lot of coordination necessary, not just within the company, but with other companies as well.

    Interpersonal skills are the key to success at the higher levels. The VP at my engineering firm rarely did any engineering at all; his primary tasks were to talk to clients, make presentations, and to find more work for the company.

    At the lower levels, employees were expected to try to find work for the company as well through anybody that they knew in the industry. I suspect this is not the case at large companies though, where they likely have a big enough business development/marketing department to handle it.

    In all but one of my civil engineering undergrad and grad courses, the semester projects were group projects. There were typically 3 to 4 students per group, so being able to work with others is important while in college as well. I have some chemical engineering friends, and their classes seem to not emphasize groupwork as much. Not sure if this is the case at most colleges, or if this is an exception, but that's what I've seen anyway.
  • hs-studenths-student Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    Which engineering jobs are mostly not team-orientated?
  • ElectricTechElectricTech Posts: 882Registered User Member
    I would also like to know the answer to this question.
  • bcarvingsbcarvings Posts: 249Registered User Junior Member
    I would like to know the answer as well...
  • Mr PayneMr Payne Posts: 8,850Registered User Senior Member
    I highly believe that design oriented jobs are less dependent on social skills than others, certainly not to the level of being an engineer in a factory. As the jobs begin to require higher and higher IQ, I would imagine social skills play less and less of a role - as work product becomes a bigger aspect (even as people talk about the "cliquey" nature of high end research, the quality of research is much more important than your friends). I would say software development is the least social of the engineering professions.
  • undefinedundefined Posts: 282Registered User Junior Member
    ALL mainstream engineering jobs are team oriented. That is a ridiculous question. You might get away with it in fields like Financial/Ocean Engineering.
  • ken285ken285 Posts: 3,882Registered User Senior Member
    Be a professor if you want to avoid teamwork. You still have to work with others sometimes though, like grad students with research, but the level of teamwork required isn't as much as in industry though.
  • MegaaadiMegaaadi Posts: 223Registered User Junior Member
    being professor??????????? THATS LIKE U HAVE TO GO TO GRAD SCHOOL AND GET PHD
  • hs-studenths-student Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    "ALL mainstream engineering jobs are team oriented. That is a ridiculous question. You might get away with it in fields like Financial/Ocean Engineering."

    I am thinking of maybe going into ocean engineering, may I ask what they do here that is so anti-social?
  • DusterbugDusterbug Posts: 391- Junior Member
    This thread was shown on Cracked as a joke lol
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Posts: 5,499Registered User Senior Member
    I only wish this thread really was a joke, but sadly enough it was meant as a serious thread. It is kind of sad to think about, honestly.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.