Careers in Engineering are very varied, spanning many different industries and occupations. As an Engineer, your transferable skills are valued in many different professions, including those outside of the engineering field. Although figures vary, the engineering sector is estimated to need around 100,000 more engineering and technical professionals every year to fill the skills shortage in this industry. This means there are likely to be a variety of roles open to top engineering students, both in the UK and worldwide, but competition can be fierce.

What skills do I have?

Whatever your discipline, as engineering students you will have developed several transferable skills which are useful in the engineering industry, but also in any industry you are considering. These include:

  • analytical skills
  • problem solving
  • numeracy
  • specific technical skills (eg design software, programming, machinery etc.)
  • ability to adapt  (eg to learn new technology and techniques)
  • project management
  • an understanding of Engineering within business (eg more efficient processes)
  • IT and technology skills

What can I do with my degree?

Along with the transferable skills above, engineering students are sought after for a whole range of roles. Your analytical, problem solving and numeracy skills are particularly valued in management, consulting or financial careers.

Engineering students go into a variety of professions

These can include: Graduate Engineer, Project Engineer; Electrical Engineer; Cost Engineer; Automotive Engineer; IT Manager; Mechanical Engineer; Energy Engineer; Supply Chain Manager; Quality Engineer; Manufacturing Engineer; Environmental Engineer; Technician Research and Development Systems Engineer; Electronic Engineer; Network Engineer; Aerospace Engineer; Project Manager; Technical Consultant; Materials Engineer; Software Engineer; Logistics and Operations Officer; Test Engineer; Water Engineer; Telecommunications Engineer; Consultant Engineer.

Previous Sheffield Hallam students have worked across the Engineering and IT sectors for companies such as: Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Qinetiq, Gripple, Rolls Royce, CSE-Global BMW (UK) Manufacturing Ltd, Carillion plc, Caterpillar (UK) Ltd, Cetix Ltd, Decathlon, Vauxhall Motors, Unilever UK, Explore Manufacturing Ltd, Javiel, Pirelli Tyres Limited, LUK (UK) Ltd.

What area of Engineering should I go into?

Only you can answer this, but you could think about the following questions…

  • What aspects of my degree have I enjoyed the most? (eg project management, design engineering, oil and gas, CAD etc.)
  • Have I explored my options? (eg researching the industry, getting work experience, going to presentations and events, learning a new programming language or software, working on engineering projects outside of my degree).
  • What type of role am I looking for? (Do I want a client facing role? Consulting? Project based? Project management or business? Software or hardware? Site based or office based?)
  • Where can I see myself in the future? What roles should I do now, to enable me to pursue X career in the future? (Remember that you may need to work up to your dream job - it takes the average graduate around three years)

TARGETjobs Engineering has tips on choosing the right engineering career and graduate employer.

Don't want to work in Engineering?

Book an appointment with one of our advisers who can help you think about your options outside of Engineering.

Want to see what kind of jobs could suit you?

Check out online career planning tools such as TARGETjobs career planner or Prospects Planner.

Further study

Further study is a great way to develop more advanced knowledge in specific engineering areas. It is not always necessary for certain engineering careers, but check the course content and speak with an adviser or your tutor if you are not sure. A good way to measure whether a Master's degree or PhD will be useful is to check out job descriptions of roles you are interested in for your future career. If they consistently ask for higher level qualifications (eg Rolls Royce and Jaguar Land Rover usually ask for MEng/MSc qualifications), then a Master's degree may be a good way to increase your job prospects. Check out our Postgraduate Study pages for more advice.

What type of study could I do?

The possibilities are endless - MSc, MEng, PhD. These could be in engineering or engineering-related fields such as Sustainability, Product Design or Medical Engineering, but remember that you can also study areas outside of engineering such as PGCE (for primary and secondary school teaching), GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law for Law conversion) or MBA (for Business and Management).

Professional Development - Chartered Engineer and Incorporated Engineer status

Within the engineering profession, professional qualifications can help you progress up the career ladder and also command a higher salary.

You can work towards becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) while you work (typically on an accredited graduate scheme). This is something to think about when you are looking at graduate employers and whether they will be able to offer or support you in your professional development.

TARGETjobs Engineering has more details on becoming a chartered or incorporated engineer after starting a graduate job.

Top tips for getting a top job

Check out 'the Importance of Work Experience: Employability tips for Engineering students' in the essential files section for brilliant ideas on how to build your CV and experience. Don't forget to look at the Finding a Job section.

Last modified: 
Friday, June 29, 2018 - 14:30