How to become an engineer in the Year of Engineering

2018 is the Year of Engineering thanks to a campaign launched by the UK government which aims to inspire young people from diverse backgrounds to consider STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) careers. With the skills shortage being one of the biggest crises affecting the engineering industry today - currently, there’s an annual shortfall of approximately 20,000 engineering graduates (EngineeringUK’s 2017 State of Engineering report) - during March, the campaign will focus on promoting the different routes people can take into engineering.

With more of the engineering workforce reaching retirement age, it’s vital that enough young people are entering the industry to continue delivering the necessary work that’s needed within transport, energy & the environment and infrastructure, amongst other sectors which are helping to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

If more of the next generation choose to study STEM subjects and enter related careers, it will help challenge out-dated perceptions on the industry and encourage more people to pursue engineering careers further down the line. So how do people get into engineering? And what does it take to be a successful engineer?

University vs Apprenticeships

During your core education years, having a flair for science, maths and/or technology will put you in good stead to become an engineer. With so many engineering professions available – from civil and structural engineering to design and software engineering, amongst hundreds more – you can be sure to find a job that plays to your strengths.

For young people, graduate schemes are one of the most common ways to start an engineering career; according to The Engineer’s 2017 salary survey, over half (52.4%) of all engineers have a bachelor’s degree. If this is something you’re interested in, take a look at some of the top universities in the UK to study engineering here. The percentage of engineers who have undertaken an apprenticeship currently lies at around 34.6%, showing that this is just as viable a route into the profession. There are several different sectors you can seek an apprenticeship in; here are just some of the courses available in the UK.

Skills to be a successful engineer

Aside from your education, you will of course need the right skills and it’s worth noting that not everyone is equipped to be an engineer. The best engineers are logically-minded, great problem solvers, and have strong attention to detail. In addition to this, engineering is a much more creative profession than many people realise so if you’re someone who thinks outside of the box, engineering could be a great career choice.

Supporting the Year of Engineering

Matchtech is proud to support The Year of Engineering and will be running a series of articles throughout March on the routes you can take into different engineering professions. 

View our engineering jobs here.


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