Engineering is an increasingly popular choice among people considering which sectors provide the best prospects for employment, and with very good reason. Some of the benefits most commonly cited by people in the industry are:
- Professional development. Engineers pride themselves on technical expertise and, as a result, the sector has a strong focus on ongoing learning with excellent career prospects.
- Personal opportunities. Very few sectors offer the same opportunities for travelling the world and working on the sort of projects that have the potential to genuinely make a mark on history.
- Excitement and diversity. The term engineering covers a vast range of fields and the scope for working on exciting and cutting-edge projects is wide.
These opportunities, when combined with relatively competitive salaries, make engineering an extremely attractive prospect for people coming out of university starting out in their professional lives, as well as those looking for a change in career direction. Competition for the best roles with prestigious companies can be exceptionally strong, so it is important for anyone wishing to enjoy these rewards to plan and prepare for the best possible chance of success.
There are a wide variety of roles in engineering and technical disciplines for people with the right skills and qualifications, and it is also possible to apply engineering skills in a range of different industries. Typical general areas include engineering management, research and development, computer aided design, as well as technical and electrical engineering.
Smaller engineering organisations also offer exciting opportunities for people looking to hone in on a specific field. Acquiring specialist knowledge in areas such as transducer techniques, for example, is a great way for an individual to ensure he or she stands out from the crowd when making job applications.
Skills and qualifications
Given the diversity of roles available, there are numerous routes into the industry, but the focus on technical expertise means that a strong academic background in a relevant field is a fundamental requirement. It is important therefore to think about which aspect of engineering interests and inspires you the most and direct your studies accordingly.
It is not all about academic achievement. While understanding the theory is essential, practical application is equally important. Internships and work experience placements are therefore hugely helpful as they provide real world experience of engineering as well as being the starting point to build a professional network and capitalize on opportunities for experiences such as mentoring and coaching to build on academic achievements.
Engineers often talk about the opportunity of leaving a lasting legacy as the most satisfying aspect of their role. As well as being financially rewarding, the industry offers excellent career prospects and opportunities to travel the world. It is therefore not surprising that so many people choose it as the sector in which to forge their career and the industry can be extremely competitive as a result. Preparation and research is therefore key and anyone wishing to make the move into engineering should ensure they are properly equipped with the knowledge and skills required to fully benefit from the advantages on offer in this rewarding sector.