One of the most popular career paths out there is becoming an engineer, and there are many reasons as to why this is such a favorable route to take. Engineering is a wide career route that involves many different options and specialties from architecture to computing, depending on where your interests are, but in this blog post, we will talk in general terms about why you may want to consider becoming an engineer yourself.
Multiple Routes of Entry
Some people believe that the university graduate route, which you can read more about here, is the only way to get into engineering, but there are plenty more options out there. There is an ever-expanding body of organizations offering apprenticeships to train and learn the job from the ground up. The opportunity to learn straight from school gives you an enormous head start and the chance to learn on the job. All this practical experience can give you the edge and ensures that you start your career off in the right way.
Range of Different Options
Unlike some narrow career paths, engineering is the kind of career route that allows you to choose a specialism that most suits you. A few of the most popular options include biomedical, aerospace, chemical, structural, civil, electrical, and mechanical. While all of these professions are counted as engineers, a lot of what they will be doing every will vary entirely from one job to the next. As long as you have this basic enjoyment and aptitude maths and science, there is bound to be an engineering area that engages you enough to launch a career.
Clear Sense of Progression
While some jobs are thought of as ‘dead end’, which means that you reach a point where you struggle to go much further, engineering is not like this as it allows you to move along a clearly defined path, which some people like as it provides them with a sense of direction and reassurance. If you want to move onto a senior position, there are certainly plenty of opportunities to do so. At the same time, if you are happy enough at your current level, you can still find the types of interesting projects that keep you engaged and satisfied with your work.
Whereas some work involves sitting behind a desk and not getting involved in projects in a direct and meaningful way, this is certainly not the case with being an engineer, which is very much a front-line job. Depending on what type of engineering post you take on, this will impact where your front-line talents are taken. You could be working with machinery or in a lab-based setting. While you obviously need a great deal of theoretical knowledge, you also have the pleasure of putting this into practice and seeing the fruit of your labor come to life. The projects that you are engaging in are often both challenging and rewarding, as well as providing a level of complexity that is going to keep your working life interesting.
High Level of Employability
While some jobs move in and out of favor and popularity, engineers tend to be perpetually in demand. If you are looking for a job that stands the test of time and grants you a level of security, becoming an engineer certainly ticks this box. There are also plenty of different career paths that need engineers, so you are not constrained to a single type of organization. You can also enter both public and private routes, depending on where your main passions lie. Of course, new technology comes out all the time, which impacts how you do the job, so you need to be ready to adapt and learn throughout your career to stay up to date with this, but these new developments will always be available to help you.
Whether or not you go into engineering for the high salaries that it can command, it is certainly a nice perk of the job, which is worth mentioning. For people who are just coming out of university, you can get one of the highest starting salaries for new graduates by becoming an engineer. Also, there is a clear sense of progression, so you can boost your salary as you move up the ladder. While salary isn’t everything for a lot of people, it certainly provides an added bonus and an extra incentive to go down this particular route.
Live All Over the World
Whereas some jobs are very region-specific, you can apply to become an engineer all over the world, which broadens your horizons and opens up the world to you. While it is useful to brush up on your language skills, there are also plenty of jobs where you will be able to communicate in English – no matter which part of the world you choose to live in. Of course, a lot of jobs are done from home at an increasing rate these days, but there is always going to be some level of necessity for engineers to visit on-site. The general mind-broadening potentials of living abroad are almost limitless and should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lives. You can also achieve one of the most significant levels of personal satisfaction by working in a developing country and making a genuine difference to society’s state where it is needed the most.
Achieve Respect and Recognition
There is no doubt that being an engineer holds a certain level of prestige across the world, which is difficult to emulate in many other professions. Again, this may not be your number one reason for entering this particular career path, but it is a nice added bonus when you are asked at dinner parties about your job. Within the engineering sector itself, you need to work a bit harder and get some successful projects under your belt to ensure that you gain the level of recognition that you would like.
No Two Days Are the Same
Another nice part of taking a job in engineering is that you are working in a fast-paced and varied job in which no two days are the same. You will come into contact with lots of different people with varying skillsets and their own list of priorities, and you will always have to manage an ego that is bigger than your own in the room. Your job is to manage all these competing influences as professionally and successfully possible. While you may be able to solve some of the problems yourself, there are also plenty more in which you will need the assistance and varying expertise of your colleagues and even independent contractors. When many people are looking to start their career, they search for a role which is going to be interesting and variable, and there is no doubt that engineering provides this.
Feel Like You Are Making a Difference
While some jobs feel monotonous and like you are not changing anything, this is not the case with engineering, which is certainly a career path that can make a genuine difference to all sorts of different areas of society. You may not get the kind of obvious recognition that is piled on professionals like doctors or teachers. Still, there is no doubt that the work that you are doing is invaluable – whether this is in a private or a public capacity. As we talked about earlier, engineering is broad, which means that you can pick what you are passionate about improving and specialising in that field in the earliest part of your studies.
It is not a pleasant experience when you are out of a job and have to put in a real effort to get another, but this doesn’t tend to be the case with engineering as it is the kind of career that remains constantly in-demand. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can simply coast along – you still need to put in the work to advance and reach the upper echelons of engineers. However, even at times of economic recession, there still tends to be a natural demand for engineers.
Join a Community
When you enter a career in engineering, you join a community of people who are all like-minded. These communities give you the opportunity for interaction and networking, as well as resources, events, and support. Professional bodies can also provide accreditation and the kind of recognition that will see you move through the ranks and reach the upper echelons of your career.
A career in engineering presents so many different rewards and possibilities, but these are just some of how it can benefit you personally and professionally. Obviously, you have the financial rewards inherent in a job such as this one, but there is also a sense of personal achievement. Sure, this tends to a high-level and high-pressure career path, but it is also one in which you know that you are making a genuine difference to society and commanding the kind of respect you would like.