If you're considering doing an engineering degree at university, here are some things to think about when taking your next step.
Engineering skills are in high demand and engineering careers are therefore an attractive prospect for graduates looking for jobs with high earning potential, good long-term prospects and scope for moving across different industries and sectors. Starting graduate salaries for engineers are, on average, around £2,600 more than the average graduate starting salary. In fact, engineering and technology graduate starting salaries consistently appear in the top three in the league tables for the highest graduate starting salaries.
Pick a specialist course in a particular field of engineering, or try a broad one for a year or two before specialising. A Bachelor’s degree (BEng) takes three years while a Master’s (MEng) takes four. Some courses also include a year’s work placement, either at home or abroad. Entry requirements vary, as does the course content, but for most engineering courses you’ll need maths and physics A level (or equivalent) – or for chemical engineering, chemistry A level (or equivalent).
For engineering courses at university it is helpful to know if your course is accredited by the Engineering Council. The Engineering Council holds details of academic qualifications that meet the education requirement for professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) or an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).
As well as course content, think about what you want from a university when choosing where to go. Is it close to home? What is the cost of living? Is there plenty of student accommodation? Is it in a city or the countryside? Does it have a good reputation for the course you have chosen? There is lots of information available to support a decision about which universities to apply for.
There is lots of information available to support a decision about which universities to apply for. Here are some general links that may help you with choosing a university and the right course:
www.unientry.org (comparison site for STEM degree courses)
www.applytouni.com - the ApplytoUni team have put together a guide to make it as easy as possible for you to make your university application.
university.which.co.uk- there are a number of engineering degree guides on the Which?
Once you graduate, you may decide to continue to study for a postgraduate qualification in engineering – such as a Master’s degree (MEng) or Doctorate (PhD) – either full time or while you’re working. Not only can these lead to research roles, but they can also land you some great roles in industry, as the depth of knowledge gained is highly valued by employers.