Career Opportunities with an Engineering Degree

There are many areas of Engineering and plenty of opportunity to specialise so as an Engineering graduate the world is your oyster.

During your course you’ll have a mixture of theoretical and practical learning so you’ll be equipped with a wide range of skills by the time you leave.

These transferrable skills make Engineering graduates an attractive prospect to future employers as they can demonstrate ability in many areas including engineering, finance, and commerce.

Many degree courses also offer their students the opportunity to spend a year in industry as part of their degree so you’ll have on the job experience that could lead to a job offer after graduation.

There are any number of career opportunities with an Engineering degree, both in the UK and abroad, and you could find yourself working for internationally renowned companies such as National Rail, IBM, BAE Systems, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Here’s more about a career as an Engineering graduate:

Areas of Engineering

The specialist areas of Engineering all come with their own career prospects and opportunities for career development. Some of the more common areas of Engineering are:

Aeronautical Engineering

This branch of Engineering concerns aircraft, spacecraft, and other related areas. It is also known as Aerospace Engineering, particularly if your role only involves aircraft.

Popular employers for Aeronautical Engineering graduates include:

  • The Armed Forces
  • Leading aerospace companies
  • Government departments - e.g. the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • Airline operators
  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering applies science to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more valuable or useful forms or items.

Popular employers for Chemical Engineering graduates include:

  • The Armed Forces
  • The nuclear industry
  • The oil and petrochemical industry
  • Waste water treatment companies
  • Academic institutions

Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering is a broad field that deals with the planning, construction, and maintenance of structures or public works. For example, as a Civil Engineer, you could be responsible for the roads, sewage systems, public buildings, and traffic control.

Popular employers for Civil Engineering graduates include:

  • The construction sector
  • The communications industry
  • Architectural design companies

Electrical Engineering

This is a relatively new branch of Engineering, only coming to public attention in the late 19th Century when the first large scale electrical supply networks were installed.

During your degree and future career you’ll be dealing with the application of electricity, electromagnetism, and electronics.

Popular employers and career options for Electrical Engineering graduates include:

  • Communication technology companies
  • IT companies
  • The Armed Forces
  • Hardware Engineering
  • Software Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

This is another very broad area of Engineering that involves analysis, design manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical and other systems.

During your degree you’ll study a broad range of modules and because of this Mechanical Engineering graduates can find jobs in almost every sector.

Popular career options and employers for Mechanical Engineering graduates include:

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Energy (gas, oil, water, electric, renewable, nuclear)
  • Transport
  • Marine and shipping
  • Chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • Building and construction
  • Medical and biomedical

Information and Information Systems Engineering

This is probably the most recent branch of Engineering to be taught at universities and involves developing algorithms and systems to process, collect, and extract meaningful information from data.

As well as studying traditional engineering methodology you’ll also need to have skills and knowledge of maths, statistics, and computer science.

Because of this many universities offer modules in this branch of engineering as part of degree courses such as Computer Science and Mathematics.

Popular industries for Information and Information Systems Engineering graduates include:

  • Medical
  • IT
  • Communications
  • Finance

Do I need further study to become an engineer after graduation?

In the majority of cases you’ll need to be registered with the correct professional body to practice as an engineer.

These professional bodies include:

To register with these bodies you’ll usually need to have studied to Masters degree level or worked for a company that runs an accredited MPDS (or similar) scheme that satisfies the “further study to Masters level” requirement.

Many universities offer the option to study an integrated degree that lasts a year longer than a Bachelors degree but combines the two so you’ll graduate with a Masters degree.