Myths About Engineers

There are a ton of myths about engineers. Often, not-so-flattering. Try a search result for “engineers are” and see what comes up:

  • Dull people
  • Boring
  • Dumb
  • Weird
  • Cheap
  • Arrogant

Thanks, search engines! Young engineers are often stereotyped. We are different. It’s important to understand engineers. After all, you are one.

MYTH:  Engineers do not communicate well.

The myth is true for some, but if you want to be at the top of the ladder, you need to have excellent communication skills. More and more engineers are becoming leaders. Communication is the key.

MYTH: Engineers mostly do calculations.

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t use my calculator, but I rarely do high-level calculations. This is not true for all engineers. Your specific role dictates how many calculations you complete in an average week. Remember, you may be calculating the same thing over and over based on different parameters. Why not use a spreadsheet? Most of my time is spent problem-solving, reviewing designs, checking budgets, attending meetings, and completing paperwork.

MYTH: Engineers can fix anything.

Most engineers can tell you principles of how your toaster or microwave work, but engineers are not your local repairperson. They are designers using the principles of science to solve problems.

MYTH: Engineers love math.

Engineers need to be good at math, but it does not mean they like it. Math is a critical part of engineering—but certainly not all of it.

MYTH: Engineers work is boring.

Boring depends on where you are working and what you are doing. Sure, some parts can be boring, but it depends on what excites you. If you are using creativity to solve complex problems, you aren’t likely to be bored.

MYTH: Engineers work is tough.

Engineering is relentless. Day-to-day, project-to-project—the tasks, duties, challenges, and parameters change. Engineering is a constant problem-solving process. Many problems happen at the same time.

What myths have you heard?

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