High School Tips to Prepare for Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineers create and develop mechanical systems for all of humankind. To make mechanical engineering your chosen career path, you must have an affinity for the way different machines work. This trait can be observed from early days of children when they tend to take apart mechanical toys and other different machinery and then they attempt to assemble them back again. These children are so innovative and advanced that they may even try to create new things.
During schooling, the quest to play around with machinery increases all the more. This curiosity often culminates with the child opting for science with the PCM subject combination during high school.
Following are the general preparation ways and means to pull in an undergrad course:
High School Courses
Students planning to pursue Mechanical Engineering should consider the following courses while in high school:
- Two years algebra
- One year chemistry
- One year physics
- One year trigonometry
Physics and calculus are the back bones of Mechanical engineering program. Also, aspirants should take classes of English- four years, three years of social studies, and Computer Science. Courses in the humanities and social sciences enhance non-technical skills, and explore the engineer’s relationship with, and responsibility to, society. These non-technical courses allow the student to interact and communicate effectively with a wide variety of individuals.
- Develop Solid Writing Communication skills and public speaking: Communication is an important component of any job. Mechanical engineers need to be able to speak, write, listen and understand. Communicating effectively with different types of people is one of their common job responsibilities. Documentation and technical writing skills are a must to learn for pursing mechanical engineering at higher levels and for jobs as well.
- Take drafting classes: Learn a CAD (computer-aided drafting) program.
Expertise to develop during high school for entering in Mechanical Engineering
The aspirants should work and develop skills such as an analytical bent of mind, logical reasoning and problem solving. Further, the aspirants have immense patience, physical strength, ability to work for long hours and an inventive spirit that are essential ingredients for getting into the mechanical engineering program and becoming a successful mechanical engineer.
- Creative Skills: Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery. A creative mind is essential for this kind of work.
- Listening skills: Mechanical engineers often work on projects with other engineers and professionals, such as architects. They must listen to and analyze different approaches to the task at hand.
- Math skills: Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work. So, the aspirants should make their Math base strong.
- Problem-solving skills: Mechanical engineers take scientific discoveries and seek to make them into products that would be useful to people, companies, and governments. So, focus on building up the right logic and problem-solving approach.
Work experience is incredibly important whether paid or volunteer. There are a few reasons for the need for having experience under your belt before climbing the next ladder of education:
- It teaches you to be more disciplined, focused and punctual.
- A summer job/internship during high school is a good way to gain practical experience and earn money for college as well.
Activities and achievements
Scores alone are not sufficient to get in the best mechanical engineering school. They do not provide the complete picture of the applicant’s potential. The activities apart from studies are also the source to get in. Activities and achievements give opportunity to show your strengths, passion, dedication, leadership and abilities. Achievements and awards are the recognition of your ability to excel while activities show your commitment and creativeness; which are characteristics of an all-rounder personality. Listing your activities and achievements will add weight to your admission.
Standardized tests are pre-requisite for all the colleges and universities to enter undergrad and graduate courses in the USA so start preparing for these tests from junior year of your high school. Standardized tests are one way of predicting how a student might do in a given college. Standardized test scores of ACT or SAT are also vital for assessing an applicant to Mechanical Engineering. The SAT and ACT tests the verbal and math ability. The achievement tests measure how much students know about a given subject. IELTS TOEFL is required for international students and all other aspirants whose native language is not English. The test scores are important in order to get into the best schools.
If you have the aptitude and motivation, then start a fulfilling career in mechanical engineering by following these preparation ways and means right from high school.