The engineering field has always been a popular one, and one with many routes that can be taken. Similarly, engineering jobs are plentiful, which has recently led to the industry becoming a candidate-driven market. This means that there are more jobs than there are qualified candidates, resulting in a huge demand for young individuals to enter into the engineering sector.
Like the various routes that you can take as a qualified engineer, there are a multitude of ways that you can become qualified. Whether you’re more of an academic individual or a hands-on learner, you’ll be able to select the route that best matches up to your learning requirements.
Before you decide between each of these routes, you must first have relevant high school qualifications, which will make this training accessible to you. With this being said, how will you decide to get into the engineering industry?
The Academic Route
First up, and the most popular method of gaining engineering qualifications is by attending college to get a degree. In doing this, you might specialize in engineering from the get-go, or dabble in other science- or math-based subjects, in which you can make the transition into engineering. The academic route is probably more popular as it allows for more flexibility; you don’t have to focus solely on engineering, and you can explore other avenues. Similarly, a degree opens you up for further study if you’re interested in getting a masters within the field. Despite this, academic study isn’t for everyone so you might decide to venture down the practical route instead.
The Practical Route
When it comes to careers in engineering, there are various apprenticeship programs in which people can earn whilst they learn. Not only does this allow candidates to gain their qualifications, but they’re also able to get hands-on industry experience that isn’t as readily available when taking the degree route. Therefore, prospective candidates are given a more accurate depiction of what an engineering job entails, which means that they’re better equipped to decide whether this is the career for them.
Apprentices are typically promised a job by the end of their training, which is why they’re so appealing. However, as previously mentioned, the engineering sector is candidate driven, meaning that you’re unlikely to struggle in finding employment upon the end of your training.
As the old saying goes, it’s not about what you know, but rather who you know. Therefore, you should get networking as soon as possible to establish a name for yourself in the industry. Networking can take place anywhere, from conferences to seminars. Similarly, there are many online groups for engineers, in which you can interact with like-minded people and make professional connections. You should make it your mission to become part of a chartered organization for engineers, as these organizations will host events that are designed to help professionals network. On top of this, you’ll be kept in the loop when it comes to new developments within the industry, which is always handy.
Doing Your Best
This applies to any industry but, quite simply, nothing beats doing your best. Even if you don’t have the most experience, employers will be able to recognize your willingness to learn, which is more important than any other quality when it comes to employment. The shortage of engineers doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to coast your way through, and you should always be doing all that you can to get yourself noticed. It’s your responsibility to plug all gaps in your knowledge, so that you’re exposed to a world of opportunity.