Career Advice

Breaking Gender Barriers In A Male-Dominated Field

Published by Afterschool.my on Apr 19, 2023, 10:28 am

Are you aware of the acute shortage of engineers in Malaysia right now? According to Chang Lih Kang, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) to build a sustainable future.

In light of that, now is the ideal time for you to fill the spots of civil engineering professionals in our country. If your curiosity has surpassed a cat, do not worry about it: We have acquired direct insights from IUKL's diploma in civil engineering student Kok Wei Ling, so you prepare yourself before enrolling in the course!

Learning civil engineering can be challenging for me, as I did not have a background in physics during my secondary school education. Subjects such as Soil Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics require a deep understanding of physics. However, these challenges are what grow me as an individual, which is crucial to experience during university years.”

In this article, we will delve into various aspects of civil engineering, including why it is interesting, project exposure, the relationship between civil engineering and architecture, common misconceptions, and more.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is the application of physics and mathematics to the development and maintenance of various building constructions. It involves designing, planning, and constructing infrastructure such as buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, and dams. Civil engineering also includes managing and maintaining existing infrastructure to ensure its longevity.

Civil engineering is a crucial aspect of society as it plays a significant role in creating a safe and sustainable living environment for people. It is a multidisciplinary field that combines knowledge from physics, mathematics, geology, and other areas to generate solutions that meet community needs.

Why is Civil Engineering Interesting?

Kok Wei Ling points out that one of the most amusing things about learning civil engineering is going in-depth to understand the functions that materials play in building structures. Soil composition and compaction are critical factors that influence the capability and stability of the building. Understanding how the soil behaves and its effect on the building is a fascinating discovery, that makes you wonder what other possibilities different materials can do that are not discovered yet!

Civil engineering also involves working on large-scale projects that can significantly impact the community. The satisfaction of seeing a project come to life and the contribution it makes to society is a rewarding experience.

What kind of projects will students be involved in?

Learning processes would not be complete without involvement in projects, to gain a deeper grasp of civil engineering. Kok Wei Ling shares that she recently worked on a project for a double-story semi-detached house. “We used computer software to draw the floor plan, elevation plan, and rooftop plan to complete the project. In addition to the architectural drawings, we also drew the structural columns, beams, slabs, and foundation plans. The drawings were crucial during the planning stages, and they helped us visualize the construction and building process.” 

What is the relationship between Civil Engineering and Architecture?

Architecture and civil engineering are two distinct fields that work together to create buildings and other infrastructure. Architects design the building geometry, such as L-shape and H-shape. On the other hand, civil engineers use architectural drawings to build the construction. They are also concerned with the structural columns, beams, and slabs that support the building. The bottom line is: they work together closely to complete a building project. 

Learn more about Architecture programmes in Malaysia.

You may also want to find out more about Landscape Architecture if you’re more interested in designing outdoor spaces! 

Theoretical Knowledge vs Practical Exposure at IUKL

Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL) offers a comprehensive curriculum that provides both theoretical and practical knowledge to civil engineering students. The theory component covers various concepts such as soil composition, soil compaction, and how soil affects the stability of the building. The practical component includes laboratory experiments and site visits to places such as Kajang Rocks.

The exposure to both theory and practical knowledge ensures that civil engineering students at IUKL graduate as competent professionals ready to enter the workforce.

Civil Engineering’s Role in Malaysia’s Resilience to natural disasters

In this day and age in Malaysia, flooding has become a very common case and an indication of climate change, which is due to heavy rainfall or deforestation. Therefore, a building more resilient to floods is paramount to the residence and occupancy in buildings. Kok Wei Ling shares that it is crucial for future civil engineers to devise strategies to solve this prevailing problem. 

Buildings can be designed with elevated foundations, flood-resistant building materials, and reinforced structures to prevent damage. Additionally, civil engineers can implement effective drainage systems and water management plans to mitigate the effects of flooding. By adopting these measures, civil engineers can ensure buildings and communities are protected from the damaging effects of natural disasters.”

Common Misconceptions in Civil Engineering

There is a common misconception surrounding the field of civil engineering that can discourage individuals, particularly women, from pursuing it. It is widely believed that civil engineering is a male-dominated field, and women do not have a place in it, with implications that it is too difficult and technical for women to grasp. This could not be further from the truth, as women have the same potential as men to excel in civil engineering courses and succeed in their careers. Kok Wei Ling is ready to speak up and dispel these discouraging notions. 

Women have increasingly joined the civil engineering field and have made valuable contributions. Despite the common misconceptions, this field demands dedication and problem-solving skills. These prejudices should not discourage women who are interested in civil engineering. Rather, they should be inspired to prove them wrong and showcase their capabilities. If you're a woman considering civil engineering, do not hesitate to pursue it and debunk this falsehood.”

Internship opportunities for Civil Engineering students

Aside from classroom knowledge, going for Internships is also important for civil engineering students as it allows them to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. Many universities place internships as a compulsory requirement to graduate from this programme. Here is a list of some of the top companies that offer civil engineering internships in Malaysia for you to consider:

  • Gamuda Berhad
  • IJM Corporation Berhad
  • Sunway Construction Group Berhad
  • MMC Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd
  • Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd
  • UEM Group Berhad
  • Zelan Berhad
  • JKR Malaysia
  • Sime Darby Property Berhad 
  • Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd 

Job Prospects and Salary for Civil Engineering

Civil engineering offers a wide range of career paths. There are many opportunities for graduates to work in the construction industry from different fields, including site engineers, project managers, design engineers, geotechnical engineers, water resource engineers, environmental engineers, quantity surveyors, and quality assurance engineers.

When it comes to civil engineering salaries in Malaysia, graduates can expect competitive compensation packages. Salaries vary depending on experience, specialization, and industry, but can range from RM2,500 to RM8,000 per month for entry-level positions. Experienced professionals can earn even higher salaries, with some earning upwards of RM15,000 per month.

With the right education, experience, and skills, graduates can expect to earn competitive salaries and make a positive impact on society. So, if you are interested in civil engineering, do not hesitate to pursue your passion and take the first step towards a rewarding career.

You can contact our educational counselors to assist you in the enrollment process, to reduce time and complications! If you're still hesitant, you can still ask them course-related questions to help you gain clarity on your study and career choice. To obtain our free counselling, simply click on the banner below:

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