Women in Engineering: Tips for starting a successful career in Electrical Engineering

A portrait of Jessica Wilson, BCIT alumna and Assistant Instructor at the BCIT Electrical Engineering program, smiling straight at the camera. She is wearing a dark blue, long-sleeved shirt, with a green vest.
Jessica Wilson

As a BCIT alumna, and now an Assistant Instructor in the BCIT Electrical Engineering program, Jessica Wilson has a wealth of knowledge about the engineering profession. In an interview with her, she speaks on her top tips for those looking to start a career in engineering, and the value of diversity in the field.

Choosing an accelerated and hands-on education

After completing her undergraduate degree, Jessica was looking for a job-ready education. Based on a referral from a friend, Jessica looked into the various two-year diploma programs that were offered at BCIT. After speaking with a BCIT academic advisor, she found that the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology program (Automation and Instrumentation Option) directly suited her interests.

The accelerated curriculum at BCIT ensures that students can achieve their targeted credentials more quickly and efficiently. Along with the variety of innovative degree and diploma options, the hands-on programs at BCIT is what makes the Institute a top choice for students seeking to start an engineering profession.

If you’re interested in enrolling in the BCIT Electrical Engineering program, here are Jessica’s top tips for success:

  1. Make friends with your fellow students. They will help you study, keep you on track, and keep you sane!
  2. Ask questions as soon as they come up. Instructors have office hours, make sure you take advantage of them.
  3. Be prepared to make BCIT your main focus for the length of your program. You need to put the hours in to be successful.

Then as you enter the workforce, you’ll want to:

  1. Pair up with a mentor. Most engineering firms will assign one to you, but if not, don’t be afraid to search out one yourself. This could be a senior member of your team, or perhaps a personal acquaintance.
  2. Be prepared for a steep learning curve! The applied and industry-focused skills and knowledge learned at BCIT ensure that you have strong fundamentals and are job-ready to start an ever-developing engineering career.
  3. Be patient with yourself. You won’t know everything, and that’s ok! In fact, that is part of what makes engineering such an interesting field.

The value of women in engineering

Although women are still underrepresented in engineering professions according to Engineers Canada, Jessica notes that her experience has been very positive. She particularly appreciates the ability to bring diversity into her team and the opportunity to inspire other women engineers.

“My colleagues appreciated the chance to work with a woman as we bring different viewpoints, experience, and energy to the team,” says Jessica. “I felt very supported!”

If you’d like to hear more from Jessica, sign-up to attend the BCIT Engineering Panel Event and Info Session on March 29, 5:00pm to 6:30pm PDT. In line with the BCIT annual Women in Engineering (WIE) campaign, the info session is designed to encourage and support women to pursue engineering careers. This year, BCIT is inviting five panelists to share how they paved the way for women in the engineering profession.

If you’re interested in an engineering career, or you’d like to learn more on how BCIT is supporting women in our engineering programs, don’t wait to register.

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