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Monday, 16 June 2014

How Engineers are Finding Their Dream Jobs in the 21st Century

The field of engineering demands students of great intellect, so it's reasonable that graduates seek lucrative positions. And based on a recent article in the Telegraph, the UK is focusing much of its job creation efforts on the engineering and manufacturing sectors. This means that our current and future engineers have their pick of the field, and most probably don’t know it.

Think about it: every day, there are new bridges and roads that need building and repairing due to city expansion. Software applications that connect people to companies and governments are becoming more prominent and depended upon every day.

Ultimately, one’s dream job may encompass many qualities. Some seek high pay scales, others look for companies that challenge them, and some are drawn by company culture. Whatever the case, these methods help engineers find lucrative and interesting fields.

Internships

It’s common for engineers to enter an internship that gives them some on-site work experience. Companies tend to favour someone who needs less on-the-job training, so a fresh postgraduate looks a lot less attractive than an undergraduate with four years of work experience.

These placements put students in software companies or civil positions, where they can witness protocol first hand and learn some of the methodologies behind development. There are also an overwhelming majority of employers who use internships to find their future full-time hires.

Recruiting

In the US, engineering placement agencies have become like second sets of eyes for hopeful engineers, freeing them up to improve their skills or find work elsewhere. It’s common for software developers to use downtime between gigs to take on freelance projects online. Those projects build the CV and pad the wallet, plus they present opportunities to learn new skills. A placement agency affords one the chance to take those projects while still keeping prospects open.

These agencies also fill the important role of vetting a candidate, saving the hiring manager hours on research and background checks. The company gets a candidate tailored to their job opening, and the candidate gets valuable on-site experience that can grow into a full-time position.

Targeting

Finding a job is a lot like finding a uni. It’s not that acceptance is an issue (although, you should get used to rejection as a new job seeker), but it may be difficult to find something desirable. Engineers can easily find jobs, but applying for the right job is stressful if you don’t plan for it.

Applying for a specific job requires thorough research on the company. Study the company’s background, know its history, its executives, and get a sense for how it likes to operate. Plan to remain loyal, and plan to be shot down too. Normally, one’s dream job is with a company that only hires extremely well-qualified candidates. Successful engineers don’t get discouraged when they don’t get in on the first try, they will keep re-applying and explore additional opportunities.

Face Time

A foot in the door is always valuable, and getting a job at a reputable and stable company sometimes requires it. Companies here and across the pond are increasingly reliant on something called “internal recruiting” to connect qualified candidates with hiring managers. Budget cuts mean less time spent checking up on new recruits, so there is a greater risk to the employer. There just aren’t enough hours to spend personally tracking down qualified candidates.

The hunt for amazing talent is always ongoing, so who you know can play a big role in the kind of job you get. That’s why engineers attend job fairs, lectures and seminars. It’s a chance to build knowledge on their topic of choice, but it’s an important opportunity for many to get some face time with decision makers at the companies they want to work for.

Final Thoughts

A lot of graduates make the mistake of bombing classified ads with their CV. It’s not a bad idea for newbies, but the blanket approach only gives candidates a numbers advantage. There’s no guarantee you’ll find the job you want answering classified ads. You have to be proactive and scout for opportunities. The right job is out there, and with patience and a willingness to work hard, there are a multitude of possibilities that open up.

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