Third year Mechanical Engineering student Jenny Olsen talks us through the many options that are available to engineering students once you graduate.
So you’re thinking of choosing an engineering degree to study at Newcastle University – great! You’ll learn lots of practical skills and engineering theory that will make you both knowledgeable and employable.
First of all – there are lots of different types of engineering; Mechanical, Civil, Bio-medical, Electrical and Chemical (to name just a few!). That means lots of different career routes, but despite there being lots of different streams of engineering we all study quite similar topics (at least for the first few years of your degree). Often, companies hire engineering graduates from more than one discipline, so try to study what you think you’ll enjoy the most! If you have a set career in mind, look at what types of engineers they tend to advertise vacancies for and consider tailoring your degree towards that.
So what happens after you graduate? You’ve passed all your exams, you’ve been at University for 3-4 years, maybe taken a placement year or Summer internship – what now?
As an engineering graduate, there are lots of options open to you – if you’ve graduated with a BEng and want to become chartered, the next step is probably taking an accredited Masters degree. Alternatively, some graduate schemes are tailored to take BEng graduates straight to being a chartered engineer, however these are harder to find and require a longer training period.
If you’ve taken an MEng and want to be chartered: straight into a graduate scheme or professional job role and you’re on your way to chartership!
There are plenty of places to search for graduate roles or engineering vacancies – using sites like Gradcracker is a good place to start however they generally only list big companies which makes the roles extremely competitive. The University Career’s Service also lists vacancies in the UK and abroad from companies who are actively seeking to recruit Newcastle graduates which is a brilliant resource. Alternatively, asking your lecturers if they know any companies that are hiring is a great way to find out about smaller companies that won’t be listed on the other sites!
But what if you’re not ready to give up Uni life just yet? If you’re one of the many students (like myself) who aren’t quite ready to leave behind the lecture hall, maybe further study is for you? There are plenty of research degrees or Doctorate schemes available, and this is a great time to specialise as you’ll already have had 3 or 4 years to discover what you really enjoy learning about.
Whatever you choose to do after your engineering degree, you’ll be well prepared to fit into a workplace, communicate with your colleagues and tackle the problems of our generation!