Engineering is the set of scientific and technological knowledge necessary for the innovation, invention, development, and improvement of techniques and tools to meet the needs and solve the problems of the companies and society. An engineer relies on mathematics, physics, chemistry, programming and other sciences both for the technological development and the efficient and productive management of resources and natural forces for the betterment of society. Engineering is an activity that turns knowledge into something practical.
In sum, engineering is a great profession and a service to the community that exists since the beginning of our time, although back then it did not have this name. As a matter of fact, its study as a knowledge field is directly related to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, becoming one of the main activities for the development of modern civilizations.
However, in earlier ages engineering was already a thing. For example, some of the Greek and Roman great civil engineering works (bridges, aqueducts, dams, etc.).
The origins of engineering as we know it date back to the 18th century and it was linked mainly to military activities. For this reason, when the first schools of engineering were founded, they were called Civil Engineering Schools to differentiate them from the military ones.
After the military and civil engineering came the rest of the engineering categories that we know: mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, environmental, aeronautical, naval, IT, etc.
If you are still reading this post, I imagine you can relate to some of the above-mentioned definitions and categories. It is likely that you are also looking for professional engineering opportunities because you are not comfortable in your current job and want some fresh air or maybe you just finished college. If this is your case, you might want to see what the professional engineering world looks like and what companies can offer you after years of studying hard. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Working for a technical engineering office
This usually is the first option in every engineer’s mind, especially when you start college. In this sense, there are many options in front of you. You can opt for entering a vast and multidisciplinary team in a big corporation where your responsibility will be small at the beginning, you will not take part in the decision-making process and you will have to work hard to gradually become more relevant. As a positive note, you will have with a great experience with a well-known company on your CV, your mentors will be excellent professionals and, if you have an open-ended contract you will grow depending on your achievements. If you choose a smaller engineering company, your tasks and activities will have a bigger impact on the company, you will have greater responsibility and a big learning opportunity, even though this happens really quickly and by yourself.
Consulting and investment banking
International and national big consulting companies have included a significant number of engineers from different disciplines (civil engineers, chemical, aeronautical, industrial, etc.) in their teams for years now. Investment banking, although more recently, are following the same trend. Engineers have great skills concerning problem-solving, quick learning, sacrifice, trustworthiness and analytical thinking which were acquired during their academic training and they make them perfect for this job. If you decide to go down this road, it will help you to have additional knowledge in finance, business management, trade, etc., which you can study on your own or with a master’s degree/course.
If you do not want to follow a contract, fixed schedules, norms, and rules, you may consider working as a freelancer. This is not a very recommendable option for an engineer with zero experience because, ideally, you must have a good reputation based on your experience and successful projects in order to get hired as an advisor, for instance. Another option for a freelancer is to make the most of the online opportunities that offer projects. An example of this opportunities are the crowdsourcing platforms specialized in engineering projects like www.ennomotive.com.
If you enjoyed your theoric and research lectures in college more than the applied subjects, the best option for you may be to continue working at the university. Universities, in this sense, offer a great number of paid internships to help professors in every department Besides, you can even take a Ph.D. that allows you to spend more time associated with the university.
If you are thinking about working for yourself, have a great business idea and the courage to go through with it, you may opt for starting up your own company. Your start-up may be linked to engineering, and your field of study or it can be something completely different. Many universities have contests and entrepreneurship programs that can help you at the beginning, offering you a space to work, mentoring to gain knowledge about business and even help you get funding.
Logically, not every country offers the same opportunities when it comes to salaries, contractual conditions, or engineering disciplines. If you are a mining engineer, you will find the best opportunities and the most interesting projects in countries with a mining history and fields. If you are a naval engineer you will have to move to a country with an important coastal culture. Looking for better opportunities in other countries is becoming more and more simple and common in this globalized world. It is crucial to be fluent in at least another language to complement your engineering studies.
If you just finished your engineering studies or are looking for new opportunities you must think and read about the best option for you. Can you think of any other engineering opportunities? Let us know!