degree in electronics engineering As an online student pursuing a degree in electronics engineering technology, you’re probably most interested in learning about complex control panels and electronic systems. But do you consider all the times that electronics engineers have to make important decisions on the spot? Probably not.

As you work towards your degree in electronics engineering technology, it’s important to ask yourself “how am I making myself better equipped than other candidates applying for this job?” Before you know it, you will be out of school competing against many others for the job you want. It is necessary to focus on more than just technical skills when it comes to your degree in electronics engineering technology—like strategic decision making, for example. Problem solving and critical thinking are among the top five skill sets engineering employers look for in potential employees.

In any job, decision making will play a big part. “Employers are not simply looking for someone to create a program (computer science) or calculate variance (accounting). They are looking for an individual who understands the larger ramifications of their actions and solutions, as it relates to social responsibility and overall impact on society,” stated Amy Engelson, a Grantham University professor who has taught Strategies for Decision Making, a course required for all of Grantham’s electronics engineering technology students, since October of 2014.

Here are a few reasons why taking a Strategies for Decision Making course is important for electronics engineer technicians:

It Encourages You to Become an Advanced Critical Thinker

According to a recent article published by the International Journal of Engineering Education, employers believe that engineering technology graduates lack critical thinking and analytical skills.

“Students should be tailoring their assignments and reflections to their specific fields of study and professions. Within the eight weeks of the course, students are given the freedom to incorporate their fields of study into the assignments and/or reflections,” Engelson said. “Essentially, the student has the right and the freedom to grow within his or her specific career field, while using the critical thinking concepts provided in the class.”

Put yourself a step ahead of other graduates with a degree in electronics engineering technology by making the most of your Strategies for Decision Making course; look for ways to apply the class lessons to your industry. This application of strategic decision making may place you ahead of your competitors.

You Learn How to Gather Evidence to Support Your Decisions

Once you have landed a job in electronics engineering technology, you may be expected to make important decisions with your team. You want to prove to your new employers that you are capable of solving problems through critical thinking and strategic decision making. These decisions must be validated with evidence.

“Although this course is very open and flexible, there is still a strong focus on backing up one’s reasoning with solid evidence,” Engelson said of the Strategies for Decision Making course. “The assignments are not necessarily opinion-based, but require students to think deeply about what they are writing and demonstrate the ’why’ behind their words. Gathering evidence and data – whether it be through personal experience or research – should be at the heart of that particular process.”

A decision made on assumptions will not cut it in the real world. Your team members will expect you to provide evidence and think critically. Don’t settle for an electronics engineering technology program that doesn’t make you the absolute best candidate for a position. Your degree program can develop your decision making skills, putting you in a better position to get hired!

Connecting Critical Thinking Concepts Helps You Grow in Your Career Field

Engelson noted that decision-making courses have a “life-long learning aspect” to them. Improvement is always necessary when it comes to critical thinking.

As you grow in your technical career, your ability to connect critical thinking concepts to your job experience also grows. Your degree in electronics engineering technology should prepare you to draw connections between concepts and experience, allowing you to do your job to the highest standard.

If you can start your career with a strong grasp on how to handle situations through strategic decision making, you can put yourself in a position to thrive in electronics engineering technology.

How Will You Make the Most of Your Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology?

Being knowledgeable about electronics engineering is the goal when working towards a degree in electronics engineering technology. But so is having strong decision making and critical thinking skills.

Take Engelson’s advice: “I do not believe there is a student out there who is ill-equipped to thrive in Strategies for Decision Making. Every student is starting at a different phase in the critical thinking process, which is acknowledged within the first week of the course. Wherever a student is starting, the goal should be for greater self-awareness, fair-mindedness and improvement in their personal processes.”

With that self-awareness, fair-mindedness and improvement in your personal processes, you can make yourself the exact kind of employee companies are looking for.