4 Mistakes Electrical Engineers Make in Their First 5 Years Out of University

Here we discussed 4 common career mistakes Electrical Engineers make in their first 5 years out of university. Avoid these mistakes & make it successful.

Mistake #1: Overlooking Technical Skills by Not Pursuing Challenging Assignments

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 on the FE Electrical and PE Power Exam

Ideally, you should stick with the same one throughout your entire preparation period so that you understand the ins and outs of your FE 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, and binary-decimal-hex-octal conversions.

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Mistake #2: 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 #3: Putting off FE 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 #4: Not Having a Clear Vision of Where to Go With Their Career

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. Not having a clear vision of 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 of 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 traveling 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.


Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas (PE), Florida (PE) and Ontario (P. Eng) with consulting experience in design, commissioning and plant engineering for clients in Energy, Mining and Infrastructure.