Asked by Yash on October 12, 2016
Answered by Sara, Hiring Expert at Grace, on October 24, 2016
You have come a long way to turn back now. I would recommend that you stick to engineering and pursue training opportunities on the side or that closely relate to engineering. In corporate environments, there are many opportunities for trainers of both soft and hard skills. Also, you can look into engineering firms that need trainers. I understand your dilemma, in my undergraduate studies I could not decide what I wanted to be when I grew up and completed two majors. My graduate studies are in another discipline all together, but I have found a way throughout my career to use what I have learned and apply it to my current positions. I have taken opportunities that marry both interests together. It is unique that a mechanical engineer would have interest in being a trainer, so use this to your advantage. Good luck.
Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on December 2, 2016
Thanks for your question - it's an interesting one that you pose.
I would have to agree with the other response in that you would be a great idea to continue to focus on a career path that would blend both your major and your interest in training (unless, that is, you don't have any interest in pursuing a career that involves mechanical engineering). If you look at the career path of those that doing training on our products, a majority of them have technical backgrounds, and have worked with the products for years before becoming experts and training others on them. Having a technical degree is an important thing, but combining it with technical experience is extremely beneficial.
If you interest is more in training on soft skills (leadership, communication, business acumen, etc.) I might suggest getting a few years of work experience on the technical side, then consider looking into a career path or advanced degrees that might allow you to explore those areas more. Also, once you are in a leadership position in a company, even if it is leading technical individuals, you could still dedicate that focus on corporate training toward coaching your own team.
I hope this helps - good luck with your search!