Whether you’re planning on taking on an engineering degree or if you’ve just graduated and are wondering where to go next, it’s always good to do some research and have a look at where you might be likely to end up. Of course, these are far from the only careers available to an engineering graduate – as a degree, it’s beyond versatile – but they are ones that you may want to consider.
Here’s our guide to the top 5 most popular careers that engineering graduates go on to. It’s a good selection, but remember that this isn’t what all (or even most) engineering graduates do – don’t stigmatise yourself! Engineering is an incredibly broad field, and often someone working within it will need to get an extra qualification to show off their specialisations.
5. Industrial Engineers
An optimist will tell you that a glass is half full, a pessimist will tell you that a glass is half empty, and an industrial engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be. Industrial engineers work within an industry (unsurprisingly) and try to optimise and improve a given production process. This means working with a broad spectrum of problems and processes, within and outside the actual production process. As an industrial engineer, you could be working on improving the electrical efficiency of a factory or on perfecting a custom-built crane system on a cargo ship.
The wonderful thing about industrial engineering is the variety of problems – large, multinational companies keep full-time industrial engineers on hand so when they have a problem, they’ll have someone available who has the know-how and ingenuity to fix it. Employability, it’s fair to say, won’t be a problem.
4. Oil and Gas Engineers
Oil and gas engineers enjoy an enormous amount of responsibility as they work at the forefront of an immensely competitive and well-financed industry. Oil and gas engineers may be working towards developing new drilling or investigative methods, or they could be perfecting already existing processes, or they could work on-site making sure all of the machinery in a drilling rig or pipeline is working exactly how it’s meant to.
The main advantage of working as an oil or gas engineer is, without doubt, the salary. Because good engineers in this industry are snatched up so quickly, many companies make sure they’re paid well enough to not be tempted to join a competitor. And because of the huge amount of global public pressure this industry is under to make things as efficient and as green as possible, all of the big companies are in need of more engineers than ever before. It’s a good time to be working in this industry, and the pay cheque will, in general, reflect that.
There is, however, a potential downside to this specific profession. These engineers should not be afraid to get their hands dirty working with the raw materials of the job – this is big, heavy, and at times dangerous machinery, and these kind of jobs shouldn’t be taken on if you don’t feel like this will be within your comfort zone.
3. Chemical Engineers
Chemical engineers can make a huge difference in an industry where a new perspective is a highly valued thing. Essentially, a chemical engineer will be dealing with the engineering of chemicals, energy and the processes that can create and/or convert them. Although most chemical engineers will come from a chemical background, the ones that don’t often get to cherry-pick the best jobs in the business. When chemical companies look for engineers, they are looking for engineers – not another chemist who did a few extra modules at university. Having been trained to look critically and originally at a production process, engineers are well respected.
To get into this area of employment, however, an engineering graduate has to do a lot of extra work in securing a few extra qualifications in chemistry. This means a few more years of hard work and studying, but when it’s all over, a chemical engineer will very much rule the roost within their sector – there’s simply not enough chemical engineers available to every company, and they’re always looking for more.
SEE ALSO: Chemical Engineering Degree Guide
2. Biomedical Engineers
This is a sector for the crème-de-la-crème of the engineering world. To work in this industry a graduate has to have good working knowledge of biology, chemistry, medical science and of course engineering, and must be able to use all of this knowledge and experience in tandem to get results. Jobs in this sector are very well paid (simply because it’s so difficult and requires truly excellent minds) and rewarding – biomedical engineers develop technology that, ultimately, saves lives.
Work in developing things like advanced artificial limbs and organs, or into imaging processes that allows doctors to get a better insight into patients’ bodies, are just some of the opportunities available to people working within biomedical engineering. Yes, it’s immensely difficult, but it’s a truly great job to have, and will tend to be focussed towards research and development more than any other on this list, meaning anyone working in this capacity will always have something exciting on their plate.
1. Electronic and Computer Engineers
Yes, we know these two positions are more than a little different from one-another, but in the industrial world they’re starting to mean the same thing. As companies develop smarter systems that aren’t just designed to provide a service, but also to analyse usage, collect information, and make everything more efficient, electronic engineers find themselves slowly working together with computer engineers to produce flexible systems and products that can do a lot more than ever before required.
This means that anyone with a good working knowledge in both electronic and computer engineering are liable to be snapped up by a whole host of companies and businesses, all of which are obsessed with developing ‘smart’ systems that are able to control and analyse their own usage. In the future, if not already, computers will run the entire world, and working in this industry means you’ll be working towards realising that. It sounds scary, but in reality it’s a very exciting opportunity to build something that will be used by future generations all around the world.
SEE ALSO: Electrical Engineering Degree Guide
For more information on Engineering Courses visit our Engineering Directory.
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