How To Get Into Engineering – The Most In Demand Field Of Work
Are you looking at getting into engineering?
Whether you’re straight out of high school or want to change your current career to engineering, this article is for you.
Engineering is a career path that offers a huge range of possibilities, allowing you to use both sides of your brain and see exactly how much of an impact you’ve made.
But how do you get into engineering? Read on to find out.
What is engineering?
Engineering is the field of study and practice that involves applying scientific, mathematical, and practical knowledge to design, develop, build, and maintain a wide range of structures, machines, systems, and processes.
Engineers use their problem-solving skills to improve systems that help to make our everyday lives easier, both now and in the future.
They create engines that run public transport, design bridges, develop software, medical devices, and renewable energy sources.
Engineering is a diverse industry that covers a range of disciplines and sectors. Typically, it refers to the manufacture of engines, machinery, and tools that are designed to help make a difference in society.
Let’s look at the exact steps you need to take to get into engineering:
1. Choose your field of engineering
Engineering is a broad field with many different specializations, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, aerospace, and more. Consider your interests and strengths to determine which field is the best fit for you.
Engineers can work in different settings, providing solutions and offering their services. There’s electrical engineering, which incorporates electrical design software to implement electrical systems in buildings, transport, and construction.
Here is the list of the most common engineering fields:
* Civil Engineering.
* Electrical Engineering.
* Mechanical Engineering.
* Structural Engineering.
* Modern Technology.
* Water systems and plumbing.
* Energy production and supply.
There are plenty of areas that are covered by engineering. If you’re considering becoming an engineer, it’s worth taking the time to research what type you’d like to specialise in.
2. Obtain the required education
The earlier you realise your passion for engineering, the better.
There’s a real drive to get children into STEM subjects, with engineering taking up a significant part of this focus.
Having a firm understanding of maths and physics will help you to understand the fundamentals before going into higher education and studying this further.
After completing A-levels in maths and physics, you’ll need to look at university qualifications. The grades you’ll need to get into university will depend on the institution, but most expect top marks in order for you to enrol.
The courses you’ll need to look into will be dedicated engineering undergraduate degrees or tech-based subjects. There are some engineers with degrees in maths, physics, or computer science, however.
There are specialist engineering courses at a range of universities in the UK. If you want to specialise at this point, this is the best way to narrow your choices into the engineering discipline you want to work in.
For instance, there are dedicated aerospace engineering courses at Imperial College London and the University of Bath, while electrical engineering courses are run at several institutions including the University of Southampton and University of Oxford.
General engineering courses are available at the University of Sheffield and Durham University, among others.
Engineering education later in life
However, if you come to the idea of engineering later in life, you need to pick the field of your interest and research the requirements. Namely, find out what qualifications you need to become an engineer in your chosen field. This may include a degree, certification, or licensure.
If you’re say 40 and want to become an engineer, you may be required to take a math and physics placement exam to determine your level of proficiency in these subjects.
However, the exact requirements will depend on the specific engineering program and the university you are applying to. Some universities may have different requirements for mature students, and some may offer alternative pathways to engineering for people who do not have a traditional background.
3. Gain practical experience through internships
As an engineer, you will need to have a strong foundation in math and science, as well as skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication. Take courses, participate in internships or co-op programs, and join engineering clubs or organizations to build your skills and gain practical experience.
Many engineering programs require or strongly encourage students to participate in internships or co-op programs to gain practical experience in their field. This can help you build your skills and make connections in the industry.
Take the time to shadow engineers if you can. This will help you see what an average day looks like for them and give you an idea of how your career path could look.
4. Apply for roles
Once you’ve got your degree and have some hands-on experience under your belt, you’re well-positioned to apply for roles.
Tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job and company you are applying to, and be prepared to showcase your skills and experience in an interview.