It has to be said that there are thousands of career options out there for people. You could have an office-based job, or one working “in the field” as it were. Whatever you wish to do in life, I can guarantee you there will be a suitable career path for you.
One of those career options that prove to be a popular choice with people is engineering. It’s an industry that encompasses a broad range of sectors. It’s also one where your skills are transferable to other niches. As you can imagine, engineering jobs are in demand these days.
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Are you considering a career in engineering? If so, you might be wondering how to get started. You may also wish to know what sectors and specialities you should follow. Keep reading to learn the answers to those questions and more!
First off, you must ask yourself if engineering is 100% the career path for you. All too often, I see people that make career decisions based on hype and glamor. But, those folks fail to drill down into the mechanics of their future roles.
There’s no denying that engineering is a broad industry. Some jobs may involve spending time in an office environment designing components. Other roles might get people to work onsite at locations like oil rigs in the middle of the ocean! Some engineers may even spend most of their time working away in a secret laboratory!
As you can imagine, there are many different disciplines in engineering. It’s important to think about whether it is the right career path for you.
Choosing the right discipline
If you’re still reading this, I will assume that you’ve decided you want to be an engineer. The only trouble is; which discipline should you follow?
Examples of the sectors you could work in are as follows:
- Civil engineering;
- Electronics & IT;
- Manufacturing; and
The above isn’t an exhaustive list of the sectors where you could forge your career. But, it’s a brief insight into the broad range of niches where engineers are a sought after commodity.
Yes, you have decided that you want to become an engineer. But, you must also consider the sector that best fits your interests. For example, if you’re a car nut, you might want to work in the automotive or motorsport sectors. If you’ve a love of architecture, civil engineering may be your thing.
Think about what you want from an engineering career
People have all kinds of objectives and goals when it comes to their career choices. Many wish to start from the bottom of the ladder and work their way up to management. Others prefer to follow rather than lead.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to thinking about what you want from your career. What you need to do is consider what your long-term goals are in your career. Perhaps in a few years you would like to start an engineering business. Or maybe your dream is to work for a well-known company.
Everyone should have career objectives. It’s what drives them to succeed and be the best at what they do. Engineering is a desirable industry. Engineers seldom find it hard to get a job because their skills are always in demand. In effect, you can pick and choose where to work. Just make sure you think about why you want to get a particular job.
Getting your foot in the door
By now you are itching to forge your new engineering career. The only problem is how do you get started? Is there a particular path that people take to land their dream engineering jobs?
Well, it’s important first to have a good general standard of education. In other words, getting the best grades you can get at high school. From there, you can use your grades to embark on a college course related to engineering.
The most common route into the industry is through an engineering apprenticeship. The way such schemes work is simple. You get paid a nominal salary to “learn as you earn.” You’ll have a placement with a local company on a part-time basis.
The rest of the time will get spent studying and going to college. As your time with the company draws to an end, you’ll then have to pass some tests to receive qualifications.
If you’ve done a good job, the company that sponsored you may hire you as a full-time employee later.
Another popular route into engineering is by finishing college and doing a university degree. Entry requirements vary depending on the degree you wish to get. In general, students need to have good grades in a “STEM” subject. In case you wondered, I’m talking about Science, Technology, English and Maths.
Once you get your university degree, you can then look for graduate opportunities. They are jobs aimed at graduates fresh out of university and wishing to start their careers.
Seeking out your dream job
Last, but not least, you will perhaps be wondering how you go about finding the job of your dreams. Well, it’s no secret that anyone can get a job. The challenge is searching for the right one for you in the right places!
First, I recommend creating a killer CV or resume. It’s a document that will get used to market yourself to potential employers. Don’t spend too much time detailing your achievements; instead, bullet-point them. Employers have thousands of applications to sort through and seldom have much time.
You need to make your application eye-catching. That way, you can improve the chances of getting called for an interview.
Next, you’ll need to seek out engineering jobs in various mediums. Recruitment fairs are a brilliant way to find a job. You should also search through the various job board sites and even your local papers.
By looking through many different sources, you are bound to find the right job for you in engineering. Good luck!
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