While I never try to belittle the importance of being yourself and bringing your intangibles to the table every day in your engineering career-development efforts,there are certain accomplishments or accolades that are a must in order for you to succeed in achieving your goals in your engineering career—and credentials are among them. By credentials, I mean licenses, certifications, awards, education, publications, etc.
We have discussed this topic a lot recently in the Institute for Engineering Career Development forums, and I thought it warranted a full post here. There are unique skills and talents that you must develop to be considered among the best at what you do, such as your ability to connect with people, present information, be responsive, and stay productive; however, oftentimes in addition to all of the above, there are certain credentials which your goals will not be possible without. For example, let’s say you want to achieve partner in an engineering company, and the company requires a master’s-level degree and/or a professional engineering license; well, no matter how great you are at business development, you will have to gain one of those credentials to achieve your goal. While all of your skills and business accomplishments can walk you through that door to partner, having those credentials is the key that must first unlock the door before you can walk (or run) through it. No matter how fast you are going in your career, without that key, you will run into a locked door, every time. [Read more…]