Today the 9th of May 2020 we are facing a tremendous transformation all around the world. With the health pandemic, oil price war, lock downs leading to catastrophes in the lives of people. According to Forbes.com April 2020 16.7 million people in the United States of America, USA, filed for temporary unemployment benefits1. Imagine peoples hopes and dreams of many years being shattered by 2 months of global standstill; this only shows how fragile a society we run. It is for these reasons I write to civil engineers (engineers) who will continue their lives in their chosen field post global lock down.
Understanding the job market and the winning areas to involve in (if you are into businesses of your own) is very key to life after this lock down. There are several areas which are hot right now for people to involve in some of which are the health sector, food industry, everything IT, online sector among others. I have here mentioned those other sectors of society to show I am not oblivious of the current booming fields of endeavor. However, for civil engineers’ post lock down 2020 is not about being excessively involved in the old ways, rather to improve your skills so well that your productivity increases in multiples.
For those who are intensely interested in getting a job post lock down or who intend on securing their current employment, working effectively can no longer be over emphasized. I meet people every day who complain of lack of good jobs and limited opportunities to expand in the field of civil engineering. Their opinions on the subject matter cannot be disputed. But for the limited available ‘good jobs’ civil engineers will often have to compete with other talented individuals for such spaces. Still, the sky is large enough to accommodate everyone. The time to stop mastering a new skill is never.
Below are some tools engineers need in order to enhance their productivity. I have also grouped them into each branch requirement. And not to forget those who may be nursing a desire to work outside the shores of Nigeria, Canada for example.
15 Productivity Tools for Engineers Post Lockdown 2020:
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
- Microsoft Office Project
- AutoCAD Civil 3D
- AutoCAD Structural Detailing
- STAAD Pro
- STAAD Pro Offshore
General Engineering Tools:
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), AutoCAD and Microsoft Project are basic tools engineers should not just be conversant with but also versatile.
Structural Engineering Tools:
Of the 4 branches of civil engineering, structural engineering is one branch that most if not all civil engineers have a significant foundational knowledge in. some of the necessary tools are: AutoCAD Structural Detailing, StaadPro & Offshore, SACS and Tekla. This is in no way an exhaustive list as there are many other productivity tools for structural engineers. More so it is also not necessary for structural engineers to learn all these applications but should learn the necessary ones in and out of the list that relate to their current or desired jobs.
Highway Engineering Tools:
Highway Engineers usually utilize most of the applications in the list intensively. One tool which is very useful for them is AutoCAD Civil 3D. Other applications needed are MicroStation and InRoads which are requirements for Canadian jobs. These applications have considerably demystified the production of layouts for major highway projects. Geotechnical tools are also useful to highway engineers.
Geotechnical Engineering Tools:
Geotechnical engineers should do well to learn applications such as SLOPE/W, SEEP/W, SOILVISION, FLAC.
Canadian Productivity Tools for Civil Engineers
For engineers who hope to leave the shores of Nigeria to work in Canada of the list of 15, here are the top 6 applications used in Canada that may not be widely known in Nigeria:
- STAAD Pro Offshore
Development of skills in the above tools will greatly position engineers for a better future. Last of all one field of engineering and personal life that civil engineers urgently need but may never be taught in school are soft skills. Most soft skills are learnt on a personal basis through self-development.
There are skills which cannot be quantified in terms of a class at school, a certificate or a curriculum. Self-development is very key for civil engineers for the following reasons:
- There are things we know that we know
- There things we know that we do not know
- There are things we do not know that we know
- There are things we do not know that we do not know.
An engineer will be doing themselves a huge favour if they can study the following fields at their leisure periods.
- Effective Communication
- Emotional Intelligence
- Speaking in public
The time to stop mastering a new skill is never…