I have several engineer friends who have graduated from well known universities in U.K. They passed all exams with flying colour and achieved good academic results. However, when they commence work in Malaysian based companies, they have to learn hands-on skill from their senior technician or coworkers.
Most of the time, coworkers are reluctant to train young engineers and tend to look down at them. Thus, making it harder for young engineers to manage skilled workers.
In a nutshell, many engineers have book knowledge but don't possess hands on skill. Such disconnect in knowledge and skill, can be a hinder and handicap to excel in engineering career. Handicap like this will pose a fear on engineer to take up a new skill.
I have seen some Malaysian engineers quitting to become real estate agent or trainer due to this reason. I have also heard complaints that engineers have to tolerate the temperament of the skilled coworkers as they play the lead role of the production line.
If given a choice, employer will choose to hire a candidate with both know-how and practical skill. Unlike Germany, their engineers are all rounders. They have the know-how, expertise and practical skill. Therefore, our Malaysian engineers should aspire to gain both knowledge and skill to spearhead our economy.
My next article will show you how to gain know-how and engineering skill with speed.