5 Mistakes Electrical Engineers make in their first 5 years out of university

Blackboard - FE Exam Tips

Mistake #1 – Overlooking technical skills by not pursuing challenging assignments

Calculator - FE Electrical Exam

Regardless of whether you’ve picked the TI-36X-Pro, Cassio/HP, or any other eligible calculator (see the link at the end for reference), you should thoroughly practice all relevant functions and know your way around it. It’s essential that you know how to get between the different modes quickly and efficiently to save yourself time. 

Ideally, you should stick with the same one throughout your entire preparation period so that you understand the ins and outs of your calculator. 

Spend at least 30 – 45 minutes learning the basic functions of the calculator. We recommend Casio FX 115 because it is affordable and simple to use. A lot of students also use TI-36X Pro. Some of the most important functions that I can think of right away are rectangular – polar conversion, matrix, binary-decimal-hex-octal conversions.

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Mistake #2 – Overlooking Soft Skills by not pursuing development opportunities

Mistake # 3 – Underestimating the value of good mentors

A mentor is someone with knowledge and experience in your field who is willing to share what they’ve learned. Although a good mentor is difficult to find, the right mentorship can be incredibly helpful and provide you with practical knowledge that would normally take years of experience to learn.  John Crosby once said “A mentor is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”.

Mistake #4 – Putting off PE and PE Exams due to procrastination

One of the biggest regrets of students who take the FE and PE exams after many years in the workforce is that they wish they’d taken it right after university, back when all the knowledge was fresh in their minds. Although possible, taking the exams many years after is far more difficult as you have to re-learn everything all over again. Additionally, you receive the benefits of being licensed much earlier in your career. Given these reasons, you would be wise to get the FE and PE Exams out of the way as soon as possible.

Mistake #5 – Not having a clear vision of where to go with their career

CBT format - FE Exam Tips

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. Not having a clear vision with where you want to take your career can lead to many regrets down the line. If you don’t have a clear or even rough idea where your career is going to be in the next few years, you might end up staying at a job too long, or miss opportunities that would otherwise have helped you immensely. Many engineers cherish the younger years of their career when they are travelling abroad and seeing the world, and if you can plan out your career you may be able to determine if and when those opportunities will be right for you.

Helpful references for FE Electrical and Computer Exam Preparation

FE exam Overview

FE Electrical and Computer Exam Specification

NCEES FE Reference Handbook

List of Approved Calculators

Helpful references for PE Power Exam Preparation

PE Power Exam Overview

PE Power Exam Specification

Pass Rates

National Society of Professional Engineers

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