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Navigating the Engineering Career Path

Navigating the Engineering Career Path

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According to the Department of Labor, employment of engineers is expected to grow over 4% in the next 5 years - that's over 65,000 new jobs. With that being said, deciding which engineering career path to choose is becoming increasingly more difficult. From the various engineering specialties to individual contributor vs manager, there are endless possibilities! Lifei Tan, Director of Engineering has been in your shoes, and is joining us for a live, virtual Q&A; to hash out these potential career paths and talk about which is best for you!


Lifei Tan is a Director of Engineering at 33Across, a technology company based in NYC and Silicon Valley. She grew up in China and came to the United States for graduate school. Having worked as a Software Engineer and team lead for more than 10 years, Lifei now focuses on building and managing high performance engineering team that develops technical solutions critical to business success. When not working, Lifei is busy raising two energetic kids with her husband in sunny California.


  • No thanks

    Question by Jennifer on 2019-07-12
  • No questions

    Question by Luger Anthony on 2019-07-12
  • What engineering career path would you suggest for a someone with a design background?

    Question by Crystal on 2019-07-12
  • What Sophie said! (Right up to the same length of career break, and having recently gotten a data science certification.)

    Question by Seonaid on 2019-07-12
  • With 12-year's career break, what will be more realistic ways to re-enter the workplace? Do we try to be back to the tech field as programming analyst/data scientist/data engineer which invlove updating our technical skills? Or should we pursue project management/program management/product management? I recently earned IBM Data Science Professional Certificate.

    Question by Sophie on 2019-07-12
  • Do you have any books or resources to get stated for newbies?

    Question by Patricia on 2019-07-11
  • I am a product manager currently running two product tracks. I don't have any direct reports. I am wondering what my next step should be, career-wise. Should I work towards a leadership role in product strategy or will that ultimately not help grow my career as much as taking on direct reports? I currently work at a company of about 1,000 employees, so it's fairly corporate and the traditional reporting structure still applies here.

    Question by Anastasia on 2019-07-11
  • I am in my first role as a software engineer. Do you have any advice on how to make the most impact at my company and open up possibilities for advancement?

    Question by Emma on 2019-07-11
  • How can you better prepare for a technical interview? Resources, tools, tips?

    Question by Dana on 2019-07-11
  • How do you feel about applying to jobs where you do not meet all of the required skills, but are willing to learn? Is it a waste of time to try, or should I focus on building those new skills?

    Question by Stephanie on 2019-07-11
  • Can a Industrial Engineer, with experience only at the field of Supply Chain easily change to a Software Engineer? If yes, what would be the path? What other types of Engineering would allow a professional to work from home or only part-time? Thank you.

    Question by Juliana on 2019-07-11
  • What are your recommendations for new software engineers looking for a remote job? Most remote jobs seem to be for experienced software developers with at least a few years of experience.

    Question by Nour on 2019-07-11
  • no questions at this time

    Question by Margareth on 2019-07-11
  • For senior engineers looking to harness more strategic roles without sacrificing the hands on technical skills that make them so valuable in the market, what do you suggest? I have bounced back and forth between senior management roles with too little time to do actual engineering vs individual contributor roles where I struggle to get the CTO face time and budget I need to lead. Thoughts?

    Question by Emily on 2019-07-09
  • I have been doing lots of embedded engineering for regulated industries. How do I transition into the web based software world which uses completely different technologies?

    Question by Jessica on 2019-07-09
  • How would you advise a professional in non-technical role (content marketing and business development) to learn and grow into a more analytical, data-driven role? As a result of this extra qualifications, this professional will collaborate closely with engineering and product teams and provide insights that lead to profitable business decisions

    Question by Milena on 2019-07-09
  • What advice or suggestions do you offer for the non-technical individual looking to join an engineering or tech firm (for example, I have both Finance & Accounting Skills and experiences which I would like to transition to a tech firm?

    Question by Vanessa on 2019-07-09
  • I have been so embarrassed of my very new portfolio. How can I show myself as professional even as a new developer. Much of the work I have done is proprietary to those companies. How can I show off that work on my website?

    Question by Jessica on 2019-07-09
  • I have a chemical engineering background but have been trying to land a role in data analytics for several months with no luck. Any advice on how to switch careers within the engineering space? I'm debating on whether or not to invest in coding certifications on my own to make myself more marketable.

    Question by Elle on 2019-07-08
  • I've been working as a software engineer for many years, and I am experiencing some disenchantment of being a female engineer in a corporate world. Now, I am in a process of exploring different paths for my future: finding another job as a software engineer; looking for a software manager position; or becoming self-employed. I would love to hear about your experience as a director of engineering and any advice you may have for my situation.

    Question by Tatyana on 2019-07-03

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