Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:
I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.
There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.
General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.
An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.
Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.
What are your interests?
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I attended secondary school in New Zealand and I took a variety of subjects, but I only took one year of Accounting and Economics. Therefore doing these at Stage One at University was more difficult than it would have been if I had taken finance subjects the whole way through school.
I think in hindsight it would have been easier if I did finance subjects throughout school, but on the other hand, taking a variety of subjects in school is a good way to see where your interests and strengths lie.
As long as you are dedicated and want to learn something, there is no reason why you can't study it even if you have no previous experience in the subject.