Engineering is said to be a man’s world but for no other reason than a misassigned stereotype… Student Ambassador Feby Jose Mathew from India is a big engineering advocate and is here to dispel this archaic way of thinking!

When I first visited Waterford Institute of Technology, my professor was standing at the gate to greet me. His first words were, “Wow, I did not expect to see a woman because generally, women do not pursue a Masters in Engineering. This is really good.” His words surprised me and at the same made me feel really proud. However, I kept wondering if his words were true. 

According to the Society of Women Engineers, only 13% of engineers in the world are women[1]. There are also a lot of women who leave engineering and STEM programmes. Though there are many initiatives to help girls and women develop an interest in engineering from a young age, the percentage is still very low. Thinking about this, I have noted down a couple of points on why I decided to become an engineer, come to Ireland to do my Masters in Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology and why women should pursue engineering fields in general. 

Engineering is for everyone! 

You heard me right. Engineering is for everyone. Even though society is moving away from its sexist and stereotypical labels, I found that a lot of people still think that men are more capable with matters of the head like calculations and critical thinking. This is not true at all. I knew I had an affinity for using science to build a lot of stuff in my childhood which eventually led me to choose engineering as my profession. Building and making things are not just for the boys. If you have an interest in knowing how things work and are passionate about them, then just make your choice right. 

Encouragement: The right mentors and the right place 

It is fair to say that without the right kind of mentors in life, it is very difficult to find inspiration to keep pushing forward. It is easy to start a new path but hard to stick to it. The idea of pursuing my master’s popped in my head when I was talking to my mentor back in India. He encouraged me to learn, gather more knowledge and pursue a strong career in engineering rather than moving to other fields after my bachelors. WIT is definitely one of the colleges that I suggest if one wants to do a Master’s in Electronic Engineering. This course takes you on a journey that is filled with knowledge and professors who encourage you to do more in engineering. The dream of any electronics engineer is to design electronic boards or products that can help society. WIT has great labs where every electronics student can design, run simulations and test circuits. The Applied Robotics Lab is my favourite. Here, students are encouraged to use embedded systems and software to build small models and robots that perform different tasks.  

Working on a board (photo: Annson Thomas)

Engineering has a lot of job opportunities

Let me cut to the chase. Engineering has a lot of scope in today’s world. There are numerous opportunities in many engineering fields where the pay is really good. The world has transitioned; today a woman does not depend on the male to be the breadwinner of the family but she has learnt to stand on her own feet. Engineering can bring a certain amount of financial stability to a person’s life. Besides being a very lucrative job, engineering graduates also develop a lot of skills such as problem-solving and creative thinking. There is no one solution to a problem. With the rapid change in technology every day, there is no dearth of challenges posed to an engineer. Thus, engineering helps a person become more creative. Home to a lot of multinational companies, Ireland stands out as one of the best countries to pursue a career in engineering.  

Engineering makes the world a better place 

My father always says that we need to give back to the world for all that we have taken from it. I believe the engineering profession is very fulfilling. Imagine being part of a project that can help humanity become better! There is nothing in this world that can give you greater joy. If you are enthusiastic to make a change in the world, with of course an intense passion for science, then you can find the perfect job in any engineering discipline.  

So, those are the reasons why I chose to be an engineer and I am proud to say that. If you wish to become one too, I encourage you to follow your passion and let nothing stop you from being who you want to be. 

Feby Jose Mathew is pursuing a Master’s in Electronic Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology.