Are you a recruiter?
If you’re a natural problem-solver armed with plenty of practical skills and a strong background in maths, science and design, a career in engineering could be your calling. Engineers are the lifeblood of everyday existence – they dream up, manufacture and maintain everything we use on a daily basis, from computers and machines, to buildings and vehicles. Consequently, there are many different areas of engineering, and the careers are constantly evolving as new processes and technologies come to the fore. Some of the most popular roles include aerospace engineer, automotive engineer, biomedical engineer, chemical engineer, civil engineer, computer engineer, electrical engineer, marine engineer, mechanical engineer and software engineer to name a few. It just goes to show the massive variety of industries that require professional engineers, whether working in space, pharmaceuticals, transport, energy or construction, for example… The world is your oyster!
Each engineering discipline requires professionals with very specific skillsets. But, on the whole, all engineers need to be mathematically-minded, logical and practical, with a keen interest in the future of technology. Typically, a trainee engineer would then select one area of engineering in which they wish to develop their career.
You can enter into engineering as either a school leaver, student or graduate. If you decide to go down the apprenticeship route, you will be able to gain first-hand experience whilst you train, taking home a salary too. Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships are available for school leavers with GCSEs (or equivalent), while higher apprenticeships are available for A-level applicants only, with programmes lasting for around four or five years. Perhaps you wish to study for an engineering degree? There are host of undergraduate opportunities for students who are in the midst of their university course, from internships and ‘year in industry’ placements, through to summer placements and formal work experience. These offer a great chance to get a taste of the job, do some networking and pick up some useful industry contacts. For graduates who have undertaken an engineering-related degree, they have the chance to apply for lucrative graduate schemes. If you have your heart set on a graduate-level engineering job, the university path will open the most amount of doors for you, as the vast majority of engineering firms offer some form of graduate scheme. They tend to have a yearly graduate intake, so make sure you don’t miss the deadline for the application window. Universities provide guidance when it comes to the application process, but if you have a specific company in mind that you’d like to work for, make sure you do your research into the schemes they run and don’t be afraid to make initial contact.
Engineering careers are varied in both job responsibilities and working locations – you could be based in an office, laboratory, oil rig, factory, or even in outer space. Although the industry is viewed as male-dominated, more and more women are entering into this profession, as the gender gap steadily closes. As a final point, engineering offers one of the highest paid jobs in the world, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an easy career to choose – the demands can be quite stringent.
Fancy your chances? Your first step is to decide which route into engineering is likely to work for you, then use your connections, attend organised events and get started on those all-essential applications… Good luck!