Why are engineers so humble?

They seem to be the least stuck up bunch from business people, lawyers and science students.

And ironically they have the hardest undergrad.

I don't get it. Maybe it's because their schools don't spend millions in shameless marketing gimmicks so they don't really ever have a reason other than pure hard work to have an elevated opinion of themselves.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Most engineers love what they do. They do it because they like it, not because of prestige. It's society that elevates doctors and lawyers, and places them on a pedestal. Society also elevates business types, although maybe indirectly. They elevate money, which in turn elevates people who are close to money.

    Engineers also tend to be very practical. They have to be. In engineering reality has a tendency to slap you in the face. Marketing types can be overly optimistic to a fault. But engineers can't get by with that. When they flip the power on, either it works, or it goes up in smoke. If the bridge falls, marketing can spin it like it was supposed do that, then call it a "feature". Engineering knows better. They are grounded in reality by necessity.

    I've only met one engineer who had a big ego. He also got fired because of it. How are you supposed to brag when everything you do is confidential? Very likely engineers are not even allowed to talk about what they're doing. The engineering department could very well be behind locked doors, and even other company employees are not allowed in without a reason. That guy got fired for bragging. What should have remained in engineering didn't remain in engineering.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I mean... there are so many different kinds of engineers tho XD

    I have three brothers who are either active military or honorable discharge, so, when I hear the word "engineer", I think of hard-drinking, fast-living, hard-charging Army Corps of Engineers guys blowing up bridges, locks, and dams.
    I mean, THEN I think of software engineers, and industrial engineers, and all the other kinds of engineers.

    __

    In any case...
    Engineers primarily work with THINGS, and not with PEOPLE.

    Really... it's that simple.
    That's the main source of the humility.

    When you work with PEOPLE, carrying yrself with swagger and pomposity and attitude can actually affect people's opinion of you (usually for the better -- especially if you are male, ugh).

    THINGS, on the other hand, do not give shit #1 about that stuff. If you are a civil engineer, you can give that seismic retrofit as much attitude and resting-bitch-face as you want, and it'll just sit there and stare back at you. (:

    So, basically, that kind of "attitude" doesn't really serve any useful purpose for engineers while they're working with THINGS... so they don't cultivate it.

    The engineers who DO work primarily with people are just as likely to have an attitude/hubris problem as any other highly esteemed professional. No more no less.

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What Guys Said 15

  • We just want to make the world a better place to live in. I still prefer to work in the field, not an office guy, I like getting my hands dirty and solving problems at the technician level. I still consider myself blue collar, worked for everything I have and have done, even paid my own way through college.

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  • Uhh have you lived in Silicon Valley? Many are dicks that can't even gather enough personality skills to have a social life lmao

    But ya, there are tons of humble, down-to-earth engineers I've worked near too

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    • See that's another thing. Whenever someone wants to attack them they attack their social skills.

      I have met tonnes of business people who are not naturally smart. And my goodness the ego! The way they talk to others, it makes me sick. Just because they got into a particular school or studied a little bit more than the average person they think they are better than others when there are real people with real skills who let their work do the talking, like you got it, engineers.

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    • You know the funny part? I sometimes feel like that's the biggest downfall of the business person, the inability to accept that they are not that smart.

      A lot of these people actually can achieve so much more if they owned up to it, because there are so many routes open to business people (it's almost unfair). But they'll stubbornly stick to believing the best about themselves despite clear evidence that proves otherwise.

    • Well, you have a point there

  • Well you have to see the type of character each profession attracts

    Law, business are based on interaction. You provide value by the network of people. These people will most likely be slick used car sales men type so to speak. Smart mouths

    Medicine attracts intelligent people but the pay grade is so high that you get extremely conceited and arrogant doctors... a lot of them are

    Engineers and scientists - they dont get a massive paycheck but good enough. They are motivated more so by the natural laws of science. Providing value not by the network or people (smart mouths) but providing value by actually creating something out of nothing and changing the world

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  • Haha some oc the most stuck up people who I know are Engineers. So who cares about the undergrad. Lawyers just need a simple one mostly to have an undergraduate thats why poli science its like a 3 year program. Then Law school comes. You the CPA exam and pass then will talk about somethinges hard.

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    • Hmm the CPA exam is accounting-related not law?

      I'm sure there are stuck up people in every field, engineers included. But on average, I notice they aren't overtly people who brag about their achievements or try to put others down. I find people who do that to be quite silly because they're showing their insecurities.

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    • @idiotmanchild STEM undergrad programs are much harder.

    • @AssJacket Agreed.

  • who says that? most people in engineering are seen as dudes who are generally secluded and introverted and can't get a bit of pussy. whether it's true or not is up for debate

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  • In STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), there are more questions than answers. Nothing is quite so humbling as the realization that humans know almost nothing about the universe we live in.

    Also, engineers run the world, and we know it. There's no reason to brag ;)

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    • Hmm I'm a Business major and honestly? I can't STAND other business people who try to act like they're better than others because they went to so and so school. I went to a good business school but there are better ones in the country.

      But when I meet engineers, it's pretty refreshing. They work hard, they don't show off, they're not insecure.. it motivates me to stop thinking so much about spoiled rich kids who don't know shit.

    • My SO is a business professor at one of the big business schools in the U. S. and she can't stand this attitude. She delights in breaking down students like that.

  • I think that engineers are doing what they do because they legitimately just love what they do and figuring out how things work. They aren't in it to necessarily get rich or gain prestige like a lot of business majors and law school students are even though the money can be quite good.

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  • I never would've put humble and engineer in the same sentence. Most engineers I know will never let you foget it

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    • Where do you live where the engineers are talkative?

  • I'm going into my 3rd year in ME. Most of my classmates are humble but there is always a bunch that are very stuck up lol. They come off as condescending and try to downplay other majors constantly.

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    • This spills over into the real world, too, unfortunately. I think a lot of folks that study engineering are bitter over having been treated poorly earlier in life because they were under-socialized.

      At my company, there is constant tension between engineering and the business folks (marketing, sales, finance, management, etc). Not a week goes by in which someone reminds someone else that engineering is harder than business. It doesn't make for a very cohesive team dynamic.

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    • @Melcart23 LOL. Gronk will just in completely unannounced while I'm laughing at the TV.. then he shoves his 9 inches of meat inside my mouth to shut me up. No homo though.

    • @Melcart23 meh, you get used to it.

  • they definitely are unlike those with liberal arts, political, women's studies, racial studies degrees to name a few that have their heads up their asses.

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  • They usually know what they want, and are serious about what they accept. They have high standards, but can be classed as boring by some!

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  • My dad and engineer and some are down to earth people like him nut some think that they are hot shit

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  • You mean the stupid ones? They do hard work for shit pay.

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  • nah they don't have the hardest undergrad

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    • Which one would you think is one of the more difficult undergrad majors? I'm sure there may be others, but out of the most popular ones that people know of, I would rank them as having a hard major.

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    • @AssJacket I might add math as right up there with physics. It takes a "special" kind of mind to do some of the abstract stuff that math majors deal with at the 400 level.

    • @idiotmanchild I agree with that.

  • Lol that's not true. You actually sound like one. They brag non stop...

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What Girls Said 5

  • Truly intelligent people tend to be humble, and their interactions with others tend to be guided by humility. Most engineers are quite intelligent. That's my answer. :)

    Also, engineers are in some ways the background creators in society. Their achievements and expertise are necessary for civilization, but engineers receive little public acknowledgment or credit. It's common for even very successful engineers to make roughly what public schoolteachers make. So maybe the humility follows naturally.

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    • ^ So true. Especially the part about them receiving little public acknowledgment for their work

    • Very true. I totally agree with the same part with which the asker agrees. Being an Engineer I feel this thing. Doctors , Lawyers get a lot more respect and recognition even when they are in college. People start calling them Doctor/Lawyer but an Engineer is never addressed as Er. ___ in his life
      Very rarely does it happen.

  • What kind of stupid opinion is that? You're telling me that MIT, Caltech, Rensselaer and other top-notch engineering schools don't advertise? The reason they are not stuck up is because they work very hard at what they do. Engineering required a lot of math and a lot of physics. And engineering is in 1° there is chemical engineering there is applied physics mechanical engineering and industrial engineering. And I'm applied physics PhD graduate student from Stanford University and I am stuck up

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  • Engineers? Humble? I think so many of them are entitled. In my opinion UX designers are the most humble profession in tech world. But I'll tell you why you find them humble. It's because the way they think, the understanding they have of finding a solution for a problem, or finding that problem, tackling the problem from different angles and having an empathy for different people.

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  • They are silent achievers and under appreciated as workers

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  • Yes they are very hard workers :)

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