I recently watched a video that beautifully summarizes this topic. We live in a world where we have more degrees but less sense. Today we have so many with engineering degrees but how of many are really engineers. In the real world, to be a professional engineer, we need to put our children 18 years and older through an engineering college for them to even be called as an engineering graduate. They only become engineers after receiving board approved certification to then be able to practice. And if that was not enough, only experience in their respective fields can enhance their skills and bring recognition. But how does one become an engineer or get in to the field of engineering? Is it because of parental expectations in our country with a preconceived notion that one either becomes a doctor or an engineer; does one get inspired by Space X movies with futuristic ideas or does living in a tech-savvy era push our kids in that direction to build something awesome and be an overnight engineer. The answer could really be any of the above but are they reason enough to produce good engineers out of our children. For our children to be inspired and aiming to be something that comes out of that inspiration is really idealistic. But then how do we know that is not just a passing fantasy? I must admit that I changed my mind about what I wanted to be when I grow up a zillion times when I was a kid before I found my passion in teaching. And that is the exactly the word we are looking for in our kids. Passion to do something and be something with all their hearts and not because their favorite movie star played an engineer.
An engineer is a person who designs, build, runs and maintains. But what makes one a good engineer? Anybody can do any of these things. Age is not a bar. But these creations are only acknowledged if they are technically sound. And that technical foundation is only possible if our kids decide to make it to college once they are 18 to continue to explore their passion be it engineering or any other field for that matter. An early start where we realize what we want to do in our lives, be in our lives, our passions, our curiosity to go beyond what others cannot envision and the efforts we put into making our dreams real are a good sign. We need to encourage these traits in our kids at an early start. Being creative, being able to build things, develop logic reasoning, being practical, being able to engineer an idea and making it a reality, that’s what we need to encourage our kids to do and most importantly do it with the passion that it deserves. To do all these things, there is definitely no age limit. However, our kids live in the world where they believe that anything is possible and anybody can be a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs even by being a drop out and change the world instantly without any formal education. But what they don’t realize is the passion, the hard- work and the struggles that they went through to make what they envisioned a reality. Our kids need to be thought that there is nothing called overnight success. We are only successful at what we do if we enjoying doing it and have a passion for it. We don’t have to be 18 years old to develop a passion to be an engineer or plan a career path and work towards it but we do need to bear in that without a formal education the journey is incomplete. They both go hand in hand to make good and a sound engineer. As the saying goes “There are engineering graduates but fewer engineers”.