Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

Careers Service

Engineering

Engineering sectors are so diverse, you really can pick and choose what type of work-style you want. Whether you prefer to be at a desk working on designs, liaising with clients in meetings or being out ‘in the field’ looking at maintenance problems, solving flow issues on gas plants, and fixing large scale problems, the possibilities are endless. If you want a global career, working and/or living in different countries, this is also available. You could even work offshore in the middle of an ocean! Consultancy work is also a fantastic option, lending your problem-solving skills to multiple client companies. Engineering really is a world of opportunity!"

If you are studying an engineering degree, you could end up working in a sector not related to your discipline, but still using the technical skills you have gained. For example, we have a number of civil engineering graduates who now work in cyber security!

You also don’t need to be an engineer to work for an engineering company. Many engineering sectors require staff to run disparate elements of the organisation such as sales, marketing, IT, communications and HR.

For sales based roles, it is good to have the technical degree, and will sometimes be preferred, as you need to know what you are selling as well as have the confidence to communicate that to your client.

This might feel overwhelming - where do you start? Think about the type of role you are most interested in - what makes you tick? Use websites such as www.gradcracker.com to research the different industry sectors. This website also tells you which companies are in which sector and what internship, placement and graduate jobs are available to you.

Often employers will recruit from many if not ‘any’ discipline. It is worth noting that if they specify something and it doesn’t quite match your degree title, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply. Definitions below may help with your search;

  • Mechanical – design, construction and optimisation of machines, including automotive, rail, industrial, energy, defence, robotics etc.
  • Aerospace – large- and small-scale development and production of aircraft and their parts
  • Civil – design and maintenance of roads, bridges, dams, commercial & civic buildings and other infrastructure
  • Electrical – wide-ranging application of electrical principles in eg power, telecoms, signal processing
  • Electronic – creation and development of electronic devices of all sizes
  • Mechatronic – the interface between mechanical and electronic engineering, often most associated with robotics and automation
  • Chemical – application of chemistry and physics principles on an industrial scale

Speak to someone already in the role that you want. Access the Manchester Network to connect with graduates from the University who you can speak to and ask what it is really like to do xxx job.

There are a number of events taking place over the year, either employer-led or university-led. Look out for the “Meet the Professionals” series. This is a chance to network with graduates, find out what it is like to work in various sectors and how they were successful with their applications.

Get experience

One thing that is always highly recommended is getting some engineering-related work experience. There are plenty of opportunities, and it gives you a chance to explore and experience first-hand, what it is like to work for your preferred industry sector.

Students returning from their placement year and summer internships often comment in two ways:

  1. “I loved it, can’t wait to go back, I even have a job offer waiting for me when I graduate.”
  2. “I’m really pleased I had the opportunity to experience working in that sector, but I’m not sure it is for me. I have gained lots of transferable skills, but definitely want to explore working in a different sector now; it was great to get a taster before graduating.”

Have a go, speak to people already doing the job and explore different projects completed by the company to which you are applying. There may be some really interesting work that they are doing that you want to be involved with in the future. If that is so, make an application, make some connections with them.

You can find out more about events taking place throughout the year on our Events page.

You will likely be a student member of the Institution associated with your discipline. Be active, engage with their activities; it is a great way to learn, keep update with current news and projects, and to connect with industry professionals.

  • IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology)
  • IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers)
  • ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers)
  • IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers)
  • IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers)
  • RAS (Royal Aeronautical Society)
  • Iom3 (The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining)
  • RAEng (Royal Academy of Engineering)