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Top 10 Most Transferable Job Skills For Engineers
With the fast pace of technological advancement, as well as a persistent labor shortage, today’s engineers have lots of options before them. A healthy arsenal of transferable skills can help them advance in their current jobs—but they will also help engineers stay marketable for roles with new employers.

What are transferable skills?

Sometimes called portable skills, transferable skills are abilities or proficiencies that are valued across multiple disciplines and industries. No matter what your job is, both hard and soft transferable skills play a key role in career development for mechanical engineers.
  • Hard skills: quantifiable or technical skill sets you can learn
  • Soft skills: character traits that impact your work and relationship-building styles 

Why should I improve my transferable skills?

Traditionally, transferable skills were often the differentiating factor that allowed mechanical engineers to move into leadership positions. In the mechanical engineering world of the future, however, transferable skills will be necessary for everyone from fresh-out-of-school graduates to career executives.


Technological developments have rapidly cascaded from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Whether we’re talking about the Internet of Things, AI and machine learning, additive manufacturing, or cloud computing, these developments allow for more efficient, less expensive workflows.

And because they take less time and cost less money, they’re creating serious disruption.

If this need for continued upskilling feels overwhelming, don’t fear. More than almost any other discipline, mechanical engineers are well equipped to meet the challenge because their background has taught them how to assimilate knowledge, analyze data, deconstruct problems, and develop logical sequences for solutions.

Five transferable hard skills

These hard technical and business skills will put you on the path to career progression:
  1. Conceptual, logical, or physical data modeling and simulations
  2. Process development and documentation
  3. Programming languages
  4. Project management and budget administration
  5. Recruiting, training and mentoring

Five transferable soft skills

Soft skills can’t really be measured, but their impact is tangible. The following soft skills will go a long way toward boosting your profile.
  1. Curiosity
  2. Adaptability
  3. Nontechnical communication
  4. Cross-functional collaboration
  5. Creativity

How to build your transferable skills today

Self-directed learning has always been necessary for mechanical engineers trying to close skill gaps or change industries. This type of continuing education can be in a formal class setting, but it doesn’t have to be.

For example, ASME has hundreds of online courses and learning experiences for both nontechnical and technical training needs.

For a limited time, we're offering our Business Ethics course for free. Try it out today.


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