There is a high demand for talented, driven and ambitious Engineers, and the field is excellent for graduates to enter as it offers not only challenging and interesting careers, but also very good financial rewards. Engineering requires applicants to be skilled in at least one of several disciplines: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering.
As a technical field, graduates going into Engineering must have a solid set of academic qualifications. These include the core GCSEs of Maths, English and Science, relevant A levels including Maths and the Science relevant to their field, and a degree in Engineering or a related field.
How to Get a Job in Engineering
Although each discipline in Engineering requires specialist knowledge, candidates would do well to demonstrate skills which are applicable to all:
1. Academic credentials
Engineering is a niche field, which means that the relevant academic credentials are essential. A BEng, or even a MEng, is critical, and as much of the work in Engineering requires graduates to work on dangerous projects with hazardous materials, many employers look for a minimum 2:1 qualification.
Most of the larger employers in Engineering run summer schemes or internship programmes. Candidates should try and get onto one of these programs in order to learn how to apply their degree knowledge in the working world. These schemes not only give candidates a wealth of experience, they show commitment to the industry. In some cases, candidates who work over the summer or have placements can impress the firm enough to be asked back full-time after graduation.
3. Specialist knowledge
Much of a graduate's specialist knowledge will be gained during their degree, but candidates should make sure to provide examples of projects which are directly related to their field. For example, an Electrical Engineering graduate applying for a position at the National Grid would want to highlight experience working with large transformers on a university project.
4. Problem-solving skills
Problem solving is one of the most important skills for graduates in this field. Work across all sectors of Engineering requires the ability to assess problems and determine how best to fix them. Candidates can use degree work such as individual tasks or group projects to provide evidence of their problem-solving skills.
5. Analytical and numeracy skills
Candidates for Engineering work must have excellent analytical and numeracy skills. Engineers are required to be precise and accurate in all their work, as even the smallest errors can become major hazards. Graduates should be careful to show accuracy in every stage of their application process, and should be prepared to undertake competency tests.
6. Interpersonal skills
Team work and communication are important for work in any company. Engineers rarely work on their own, and candidates must be able to work as a team and liaise with other departments. Graduates can show evidence of their interpersonal skills by highlighting projects in which they worked as part of a team, as well as projects in which they delegated as a team leader.