Whether you are looking for a job or want to connect with professional online communities, social media offers an opportunity for engineers to link up with peers, stay up-to-date with the latest market trends and best practices as well as industry news and events.
If you are in a specific field like engineering, the number of industry-based networks to help you enhance your career are growing across all the social media platforms and can be great resources.
Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager at Robert Walters says, "Social networks are a way for engineers to work together and get into trends and topics they didn't realise they were missing."
Our team of engineering & natural resources recruiters at Robert Walters offer some useful tips to help engineers build their online community and enhance their career.
Building your online community: Useful engineering networking sites
LinkedIn: Most professionals and recruiters use LinkedIn as a way to network, keep in touch and share industry ideas and advice. According to LinkedIn, they have 2 million+ members in South Africa (August 2013). You can build your online community with LinkedIn Groups and industry-focused professionals can ask questions, or share advice, events and articles.
Social networks are a way for engineers to work together and get into trends and topics they didn't realise they were missing
There are countless LinkedIn groups that appeal to engineers in South Africa and around the world. Below here are a two of our favourites:
- Engineers Looking for Stuff (ELFS): with over 2,300 members worldwide, this is a group for engineers to share all kinds of stuff but particularly with side projects and entrepreneurial ideas. The online community was created by an electrical engineer and it's a great source to help you get ideas which are beyond your skill set. There is also a great website http://www.engineerslooking.com/
- Electrical Engineers World: with over 20,000 members, this online community allows you to participate in discussions and find out answers to difficult electrical engineering questions.
The engineering exchange
A global educational networking community for engineers. You can use the Engineering Exchange to view and share videos or blog posts, and participate in forum discussions about the topics that matter to you. The Engineering Exchange also lets you connect with engineers in similar positions, locations or industries and browse a resource section full of 3D CAD models, job listings and content leader boards.
Brings the most influential voices in engineering to a worldwide audience of engineers. Engineering.com offers a range of free tools, a large engineering library and several subject-based directories which are aimed at engineers of all disciplines. You'll also have access to Electronics Design, a microsite that covers industry news and commentary specifically for electrical engineers.
Professional bodies on Twitter:
- SAIEE: South African Institute of Electrical Engineers: https://twitter.com/@SAIEE
- SAWomEng: South African Women in Engineering: https://twitter.com/SAWomEng
Other profiles you might find interesting for engineering content:
Interactive engineering information sites like the CR4 blog at www.Globalspec.com are providing a peer forum for engineers all around the world to discuss and debate building and design topics ranging from commercial lighting schematics to sustainable energy alternatives. Others target specific fields. Element 14 at http://www.element14.com/community/index.jspa, for example, is aimed at design engineers.
Quite a few are devoted to research: Mendeley (a research reference manager and academic social network), MyNetResearch (networking site for global research), ResearchCrossroads (project showcase for funding and collaborators), ResearchGate (social networking site for scientists and engineers to discover share research), and Vivo (connects researchers between participating universities and institutions).
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For more career advice please contact:
Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
+27 (0)11 881 2414