The picture-perfect entrepreneur is someone who accepts risk, someone proficient in leadership, someone creative, charismatic, and careful. Entrepreneurs must be hardworking and persistent, but they must also have balance in their lives to avoid burnout. Finally, the ideal entrepreneur is passionate about what he or she does. That’s why engineers make excellent entrepreneurs.
Engineers boast all the best logic and leadership skills that make for effective business leaders as well as a few extra personality qualities that are incredibly useful for generating and pursuing a business idea. Many engineers ultimately decide to start their own businesses, and many enthusiastic entrepreneurs would do well to earn an engineering degree before launching a startup. Here’s why:
Engineers Solve Problems
If there is a simple way to describe what engineers do, regardless of their specific field, it’s this: They solve problems. Throughout their extensive educations, engineers are trained to observe products or systems, detect issues or inefficiencies, and generate solutions that will endure. The only difference between engineers is how they create their results: Mechanical engineers work within mechanical systems whereas chemical engineers manipulate chemicals. Ultimately, all engineers have the same drive to fix things — which is precisely what a good entrepreneur needs.
From the beginning, an entrepreneur faces nothing but problems that require fast, effective solutions. Entrepreneurs trained to isolate the cause of issues within their startups will have an edge over their competition.
Engineers Have Hard Skills
It’s important for employees to have soft skills, such as attentiveness and cooperability. Business leaders and entrepreneurs also need some soft skills, but it is certainly more important that they have the hard skills necessary to run a business. Entrepreneurship first and foremost requires a comfort with math; additionally, entrepreneurs should have experience working with certain technologies — especially those essential to their business, such as product design software and management tools. Without these abilities, entrepreneurs will fail to understand and control their budding business and its needs, and the entrepreneurial effort will fail.
After undergrad, engineers are well-equipped with various hard skills — and accustomed to acquiring them, so the learning curve of entrepreneurship should be relatively easy. All engineers are experienced in several types of math, including statistics, which is useful for understanding business data. What’s more, engineers who complete online engineering master’s programs gain the few soft skills entrepreneurs need, including effective communication, time management, and motivation. Business school isn’t the only place that teaches business-appropriate hard and soft skills.
Engineers Want to Know More
While formal engineering programs provide much of the training that helps engineers become excellent entrepreneurs, in truth, a greater portion of engineers’ suitability for entrepreneurship comes from their innate personalities. Engineers are typically drawn to their field through curiosity and a willingness to learn until they accumulate exhaustive knowledge on the subject. This undying inquisitiveness and persistence in learning makes engineers well-suited for entrepreneurship.
Plenty of entrepreneurs who lack engineering backgrounds begin their businesses with hubris, believing they already know all the answers. Meanwhile engineer-entrepreneurs understand the importance of thorough research and education before action. Engineers will only make business decisions after proper investigation, analysis, and consideration, giving their startups greater odds of success.
Engineers Are Honest
There are many types of entrepreneurs, and among the worst is the conniving kind. Some entrepreneurs will unabashedly lie to investors and the public to gain funding, visibility, and success. This is slimy behavior that ultimately backfires, leaving an entrepreneur with a defunct business and a bad reputation.
Meanwhile, engineers are well-known for their blunt candor. Engineers typically see no benefit in duplicity as it hardly helps them solves their problems once and for all. Because most are more than willing to be utterly transparent about business practices with employees and customers, engineer-entrepreneurs can build trust inside and outside their organizations
Engineers Are Optimistic
The world is full of problems — but it is also full of solutions. Engineers cannot have pessimistic attitudes and still hope to solve the challenges before them; instead, they must remain hopeful that a solution will become obvious with the correct thought and methods. Similarly, entrepreneurs have little chance of finding success if they doubt themselves and the world around them. Cynicism and negativity encourage inaction and resignation, and both engineering and entrepreneurship require perseverance in the face of sometimes great adversity. Therefore, enduring optimism is among an engineer’s greatest assets in the entrepreneurship journey.