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How Technology Is Changing the Way Engineers Work and Study

There are so many different types of engineers that it can be quite confusing when trying to define exactly what it is that an engineer really does. Not only is an engineer a professional who “controls an engine,” but an engineer can also be defined as a person who maintains, builds, or even designs such things as structures, machines, or engines.

Although this is just a basic look at what an engineer is, the one thing you can see is that engineers play a key role in literally every aspect of the world in which we live. In today’s world, technology has factored significantly into the way the different types of engineers work and study, and this, in itself, may play a key role for students when choosing which area of engineering they would like to major in.

IT – A New Type of Engineer Is Born

This is a relatively new career path in the field of engineering. In fact, IT engineering probably wasn’t even a field of study in your grandparents’ day! According to Engenius, computer technology didn’t take off until just after WWII, and then, it was only the humble beginnings of what we know today. It is said that Information Technology didn’t come into its own until the days of the Cold War in the mid to late 20th century, and it was at this point that the field of Information Technology engineers was born.

IT Engineers – What They Do

To continue on this train of thought, let’s look for a moment at that very basic definition of what engineers do. Since they design, build, and maintain machines, you can see that IT engineers play a key role in the design and maintenance of hardware. However, there are also IT engineers who specialize in software and networking, but computers are the very core of what they do.

Information Technology in All Engineering Specialisations

Here is where the use and study of IT gets extremely interesting. There really isn’t one type of engineer that doesn’t rely heavily on computers. In days gone by, engineers did all their designing manually, sometimes spending hours and days sitting at a drawing table. In today’s world, an engineer can accomplish in a fraction of the time what it used to take weeks to achieve with Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software. By plugging in variables to the program, the computer draws a design to scale, which can then be analysed, edited, or sent to prototype. So, here you can see that virtually every type of engineer can benefit from Information Technology.

Dual Specialisations Open Many Doors

Consider for a moment studying the field of Civil Engineering, where you will be responsible for building all type of structures from roads to high-rise buildings. The computer programs you use aren’t quite giving you what you need and you can’t find another CAD program to your liking. If you had a minor focus in IT engineering, you could either modify the program you are using or build a new one altogether. While this may not be something every student would be interested in doing, it sure would be a way to open many doors within your career. You could work in Civil Engineering or hardware/software design for Civil Engineers.

Key Benefits of Technology in the Field of Engineering

As mentioned above, literally all types of engineers rely heavily on technology within their respective jobs or fields of study. Each field of engineering has specific benefits within their industry, but engineering as a whole shares several, key benefits. One would be the time-saving feature. What took engineers of the past a long period of time to accomplish can be done in nanoseconds on a computer. Collaboration is possible through online networking, and the reduction in overhead is amazing. The cost-effectiveness of these benefits is, perhaps, the key benefit of all. Lower overhead means greater profitability. That’s why so many companies are investing in computer technology for their engineers.

In the end, no matter which branch of engineering you are in or intend to study, you will be significantly impacted by technology that is advancing by the day. If you want to make a difference in the physical world in which we live, it’s time to master cyberspace. As an engineer, it is your duty to understand technology and put it to work for you. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a degree in engineering and a computer. Sometimes, it’s just that simple.