Engineering degrees are career-driven and chances are you’ve already put a lot of thought into your future. Of course, the various specialisations within engineering mean you can choose to specialise in certain fields, although transferable skills do allow you to change direction.
Don’t feel like you’re nailed down to any one career at this stage – you are just about to set foot on your way to your future profession and now is your chance to make potentially life-changing decisions. Good luck!
Faculty of engineering: aeronautical engineering, chemical engineering, electronic engineering, engineering, manufacturing sciences, mechanical engineering
All engineering degrees carry core skills in project management, IT and computing skills, alongside the detailed engineering skills you’ll need in any field within the sector. It’s now up to you to work out what you could offer companies within your sector and ensure you sell your talents on your CV.
The additional soft skills that an engineering degree can equip you with include communication, leadership and organisational skills, all of which are highly sought after by employers across a range of industries above and beyond just engineering and manufacturing.
As an engineering graduate there are a lot of specific engineering and manufacturing careers open to you that, due to their highly specialised nature, can prove to be very lucrative. As if that wasn't enough, these are also currently growth areas with excellent prospects for anyone looking to move into the sector.
Engineering is a sector that has one of the lowest rates of unemployment – a point that’s true even in the current economic downturn. Engineering, of course, is a huge area and covers mechanical, civil, electrical, electronic and marine engineering – and that’s not even an exhaustive list. Within this, there are a huge number of roles and services.
Engineers are always in great demand meaning graduates in this area are in the unique position of almost being able to walk straight into a job. Just be sure to show your core and soft skills on your CV and highlight the parts of your specific engineering degree that would make you suitable for each individual position.
Search engineering, manufacturing, utilities jobs
As well as straight engineering roles, graduates with a degree in this field can also look to move into research, design, manufacturing and maintenance. Although considered to be a demanding job – particularly those roles concentrating on invention and innovation within the manufacturing industry – the professional and financial benefits can be great in this sector.
Mainly the domain of civil engineers, although graduates with a more general engineering qualification can move across into this field, the construction industry is also a good option. Roles can involve managing the construction, operation and maintenance of, for example, roads, bridges, airports, oil and nuclear plants, both in the public and private sector.
Search construction jobs
Charities and not-for-profit
It seems that barely a month goes by without a natural disaster blighting the lives of countries across the world, so it’s no surprise that many engineers choose to work for charities, running developmental and recovery projects to restore the supplies of utilities and transport networks internationally. As well as proving to be a lucrative career long term, it’s also a personally rewarding one.
Search not for profit, charities jobs
Medical engineers work closely with hospital staff, offering their expertise in medical equipment or applying engineering principles to the workings of the human body, aiding the development of artificial limbs and robotics, for example. This is a highly specialised sector of engineering and requires extra training and additional qualifications, but many engineers find it highly rewarding.
Search for health, nursing jobs
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be helping to design cars that the likes of Lewis Hamilton wins Formula 1 titles in. A highly specialised branch of engineering, this discipline could see you designing engines and new models of vehicle for some of the biggest brands in the world.
The aerospace industry as a whole thrives on innovation and offers excellent career development opportunities, nurturing top talent. The road is long on this career path with lots of scope for further qualifications but the benefits are also substantial.
Search for aerospace jobs
Whether you’re minimising the effect of industry in the environment, overseeing the safe disposal of waste materials or even managing the operation of large-scale power stations, the environmental sector offers a lot of scope for anyone with a degree in engineering.
Green jobs are on the increase as governments and businesses come under pressure to harness environmentally friendly energy sources and graduates entering this field have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this exciting sector.
If, having completed your engineering – or similar – degree, you realise that you don’t enjoy the physical side of the jobs on offer then this is where your transferable skills come in handy. There are theoretical-based careers that seek engineering graduates, including consultancy roles and business management positions.
There’s also the option to move into pure research at a university with a job in academia, although this will require substantial extra study.
Search management consultancy jobs
Getting a foot in the door
Chances are that your degree course included placements or a sandwich year in the industry; however, it’s always worth getting extra work experience in the role that interests you. Getting involved with official clubs and bodies, working on unpaid engineering projects and attending graduate fairs will all bolster your CV and look good to potential employers.
Even in a growth industry such as this it’s important not to get complacent – those top jobs will still be highly sought after by your peers.
Look for graduate jobs today