3 misconceptions about engineering careers in global development

By Ma. Eliza Villarino 22 March 2016

A team works on an Engineers Without Borders construction project. What are common misconceptions about engineering careers in global development? Photo by: Student Design and Experiential Learning Center / CC BY-ND

Engineering, like any profession, suffers stereotypes. Engineers are often thought to be male, for example, when in reality, many women do engineering work. Khanjan Mehta, assistant professor of engineering design at Pennsylvania State University, shared that in fact about half of those enrolled in the university’s humanitarian engineering and social entrepreneurship program, which he leads, are females.

When it comes to working in global development, here are several common misconceptions — and corrections — about engineers.

Myth 1: You must know multiple foreign languages to successfully compete for engineering jobs.

Foreign language proficiency gives any candidate an edge when competing for jobs in global development. And the more languages you know, the better. That’s the common belief, anyway.

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About the author

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Ma. Eliza VillarinoDevexElizaJV

Currently based in New York City, Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.

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